+I would recommend Steven Poole’s excellent book Rethink: the surprising history of new ideas. It considers the rocky road to our present state of ‘certainty’ - which is largely the idea that we must know more than our ancestors, and that we are always improving on their knowledge. In many ways that is true of course, I’m not going to deny that e.g. penicillin wasn’t a huge step forward. There are a myriad of example of progress, but the fact that all of that progress can be wiped out by a singular kind of wilful ignorance, e.g. climate change denial in its many guises, does rather beg the question what it is we are progressing towards.
I liked a quote in the book from Somerset Maugham ‘If 50 million people say something foolish, it is still foolish.’ In a particular area of our polity that does rather resonate. Progress is hardly linear.
+The Rev. ‘Dr.’ Ian Paisley must be standing erect in his grave in honour of Johnson’s oft repeated reference to ‘surrender.’ The Red Hand of Unionism must be gripping Johnson’s inner thigh in a vice-like manner. NO SURRENDER!! (Except to a gorgeous, hugely witty, gregarious and popular Old Etonian of course.)
+Trump, over Bidengate (I think I’m the first to add the ‘gate’ appellation in this case, but I’m likely to be proven wrong) isn’t waving he’s flailing around drowning in his own swamp of mendacity. But you knew that already. I just wanted to add my tuppence worth. But anyone who has followed e.g. Counterpunch’s coverage of Joe Biden may well wonder whether Trump has a point, even if the content of his phone call with Zelensky justifies impeachment. Here lies a real risk for the Democrats. Their commencement of impeachment proceedings against Trump could force out stuff on the Bidens best kept hidden.