‘People would rather die than think and most people do’ is a witticism attributed to Bertrand Russell. If this is true then the prospects are poor for the societal conversation on the morality of organizations that I suggested a few months ago, since it requires people to think for themselves. Socrates ran into trouble when he advocated such an approach; so, perhaps I should be careful about what I suggest and return to the silent majority. Now I have contradicted myself, but as Erwin Schrödinger wrote ‘If a man never contradicts himself, the reason must be that he virtually never says anything at all’. I am sure that I have contradicted myself many times in my posts over the last year but you continue to read this blog in increasing numbers [up by 50% compared to 2014]. Thank you for your support during 2015.
Happy New Year!
For many of us the pace of life will have accelerated to a fever pitch as the holiday season approached and we tried to complete time-sensitive tasks while being deluged with emails, messages, images, reports and demands for a slice of our time. Fredrik Sjoberg in his delightful book, ‘The Fly Trap‘ suggests that ‘if you think the torrent goes too fast, then in nine out of ten cases you can turn it off or just close your eyes and breathe your own air for a while.’ Nile crocodiles have a life expectancy of 100 years which some have attributed to their ability to slow their metabolism. ‘Unfussed, they can reduce their heart rate to about three beats a minute’ according to Peter Hughes. So in this holiday season: switch off, close your eyes, go mind-wandering (see my post entitled ‘Mind wandering‘ on September 3rd, 2014) and you are likely to live longer and have time for everything.
Fredrik Sjoberg, The Fly Trap, Penguin Books, 2015
Peter Hughes, ‘Gently does it’, Financial Times Weekend, 17/18 October 2015