Pertinence & social intelligence

March 1, 2007

Living TV on Sky here in the UK, aside from showing two episodes of Charmed a day, is rerunning the first series of the X-Files. Given that I am home for a period I am generally catching up on good and bad television (to be honest mostly bad). We finished our final extension on this house this summer and it is made for winter. A wood burning stove, two contented cats, a comfortable armchair, a glass of wine and a brilliant padded laptop desk I got in the Apple Store in Singapore for my Powerbook; all make for the ideal environment to clear email of an evening before wandering across the lane to my local pub for our male response to the female members only book club in the village.

There was a great quote in the X Files which I thought I would share:

If you ask an impertinent question you are on your way to a pertinent answer.

I found that an excellent response to the excessive emphasis on focus that is a part of too many an organisation these days. Change is achieved through challenging orthodoxy, not by playing to convention.

The other thing I discovered that I would like to share is a Podcast from ABC, namely the Science Show for the 23rd of February. I was setting up iTunes to download Late Night Live. For those who do not know, this is Phil Adam’s intelligent late night chat show on which I have been privileged to be a guest on two occasions. The Science Show was on the subject of social intelligence and included thoughts from some of the world’s best thinkers. They included Dunbar whose work I have previously referenced. I intend to listen to again and blog some of my thoughts next week. One of the points made was the importance of story and religion to the development of human intelligence. This was an interesting coincidence in view of my exchanges on the Thinking Meat blog and with Euan in which I argued against their favorable reviews of Dawkins religious attack on religion. The latter has reached its natural end as I do not want to deliver lectures on 101 logic, and Euan has legitimately told me I should stop criticising his Calvinist inspired view of religion until I have put forward some views of my own. I plan that at some time in the near future (Oh and the reference to Calvinism is mine). In the mean time listen to the ABC Podcast, it is full of interesting material

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