Sunday, 15 November 2015

philadelphus in flower!, conspiracism, arvon courses

Having written about the inexorable creep of winter yesterday, today I noticed that the philadelphus is in flower in our garden. Six months early...

Read a rather fascinating book review in the Sunday Times earlier about conspiracism. The book is called Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories (Bloomsbury Sigma) and is written by academic psychologist Rob Brotherton.

The concluding sentences of the review give a flavour of the whole:

'He does admit that conspiracism is more common among people less satisfied with life, or those who feel they have less control over it. And he does regret that “you can’t win when you’re fighting a conspiracy that doesn’t exist”.

'As for fighting conspiracism in ourselves, we can try to compensate for our brain’s reflexes with evidence and reason, but we are unlikely to win. If three people were on a desert island, Brotherton says, it wouldn’t be long before each was “wondering if the other two were up to something behind their back”.' Review by James McConnachie.

Just been thumbing through the Arvon creative writing courses book for 2016. I went on an Arvon course in 2002 at Totleigh Barton in Devon with David Flusfeder and Louisa Young as tutors and Patrick Gale as guest author. It was a magical, enriching experience. You can find out about the courses on the Arvon website too.
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