The vast, terrifying vista of boundless possibility.

Storm clouds approaching

The slippery slope argument is a well-known logical fallacy for two reasons. Firstly, it is almost universally wrong. Secondly, it is almost universally believed. This is because human beings are innately loss-averse, preferring the certainty of the here and now (however imperfect) to the unknown possibilities of change. It is only when the here and now crosses a significant threshold of imperfection that uncertainty begins to look inviting. The mildly discontented compare the known and the unknown and say “don’t … Read more

For race and community relations, fundamentalism has no answers

The present race row reminds me of a story from the bad old days.  To give the camera crews a decent sequence of the Saturday matinee in Derry, a very tall black squaddie used to sprint down Chamberlain St and run the gamut of stones, bricks and bottles from the freedom fighters. Back safe he turned to the cameramen. “There, told you,” he said, breathless but beaming. “The problem of this place  isn’t Catholic and Protestant. It’s race!” Black humour … Read more