Browsing Archives of Author »Roland Sookias«

The point of no return

January 22, 2012

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Summary: Tipping points are when systems suddenly change very quickly to another state. In ecosystems this can be catastrophic, with examples including suddenly increasing rates of forest loss or climatic warming. Veraart et al.’s (2011) research, published in Nature, allows us to be aware of whether tipping points are being approached by monitoring how quickly […]

Equality: The Answer to Everything?

January 2, 2012

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Summary: The book The Spirit Level published in 2009 outlines strong empirical proof that greater income equality creates a better society. Greater equality is inversely correlated with a large number of social problems, and even rich people are shown to be better off in more equal societies. Causation is supported by reasoning and experimental evidence. […]

Beyond Master and Slave?

April 24, 2011

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I recently re-read Friedrich Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil (Jenseits von Gut und Böse). Nietzsche has been labelled by some as the philosophical founder of German fascism; glorifying strength and advocating racial superiority. My thoughts are that his morality is disastrously authoritarian, but he is certainly no crude racist and his writing style is a […]

Deutsch and Scouse

April 2, 2011

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Was ist das? Some of you may know dass das (that that) means what is that. It’s German. Sounds kinda similar right? Well that’s no coincidence, because around 1,700 years ago English and German were the same language. Indeed English could be described as an island offshoot of German, though German as we knew it […]

Sustainability in Theory

March 1, 2011

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What is sustainable development? It’s talked about a lot isn’t it? Well, though the concept is famously a little fuzzy, and tends to be bent (especially by politicians and businesspeople) to suit people’s ends, it does have relatively firm theoretical underpinnings in economic and philosophical theory. Most readers here are probably all sick to the […]

N*ck Clegg? Dick head.

January 1, 2011

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Ninth of December 2010. London. I went to a demonstration. I don’t often, but I felt strongly about the issue and someone had brought it to my (often not attentive enough) attention. Allegedly as an “austerity” measure, the government was about to make tuition fees for university (for UK students too) maximum £9000 (more than […]

Nero’s breakfast?

January 1, 2011

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It’s a year after the 15th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (COP15), and the appropriately named COP16 is also now over. Unfortunately we still don’t have the much-hankered-after binding agreement. In the absence of more informed and informative comment, I’ll have a go at sharing with you […]