Category Archives: Liberal education

Sport teaches passion and practical wisdom – but only to those who take part

ACCORDING to one tradition that has come down to us from antiquity, the Greek philosopher Plato was also a victor at the ancient Olympic Games – for wrestling. Another anecdote adds that his real name was Aristocles. “Plato”, as we know him today, is just a nickname referring to his broad, well-muscled shoulders. Continue reading

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Filed under Human nature, Liberal education, Olympics

Bring back artists’ medals: The Olympics was never supposed to be just about sport

ONE hundred years ago, the first Olympic medals were awarded for cultural achievement. In the summer of 1912 in Stockholm, exponents of architecture, literature, music, painting and sculpture were celebrated alongside the runners and the jumpers. The tradition continued for decades, with a final hurrah at the London Games of 1948, when the medallists’ work was exhibited at the Victoria and Albert museum. Since then, the awarding of medals to artists has been given up, replaced by cultural exhibitions held alongside the Games, like this year’s Cultural Olympiad. Continue reading

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Filed under Human nature, Liberal education, Olympics

The fall of Bob Diamond: How tragedy can stalk even the most powerful

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Filed under Business, Economics, Finance, Human nature, Liberal education, Literature

Steve Jobs made the right call: Apple’s ingenious iPhone turns five today

FIVE years ago, the makers of BlackBerry didn’t believe the iPhone was possible. According to a former employee, they held internal meetings on 10 January 2007, the day after the unveiling but six months before it went on sale on 29 June, arguing that Apple was fudging the truth: it was simply impossible for a device that was almost all touchscreen to work on battery power. Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Economics, Human nature, Liberal education, Technology

Character matters today more than ever – but in business it always has

DOES Britain need to reform its character? According to a new centre being formed at the University of Birmingham, and launched this week at the House of Lords, emphatically so. The Jubilee Centre of Character and Values, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, has a mission of developing character in our schools and in our wider national life, including companies. Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Human nature, Liberal education

Why pigs in space are worth your time: The case for playing Angry Birds

THIS may make me an addict turned dealer, but here’s my advice for the weekend. First, read this article. Then buy the Angry Birds Space app. It’s important to get the order right. Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Economics, Human nature, Innovation, Liberal education, Technology

Licensing journalists – it’s just not very British

OUR national poets understood how much freedom matters. Milton! you should be living at this hour: England has need of you – William Wordsworth sighed at the dawn of the nineteenth century. In the second decade of the twenty-first, when British journalists are rounded up by the police in dawn raids and both a senior Labour politician and the editor of a national newspaper have publicly floated the idea of the state licensing journalists, John Milton is due another resurrection. Continue reading

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Filed under Freedom, History, Human nature, Liberal education, Literature, Politics, Publishing