On Believing Without Proof


“A friend of mine – Lucille. She’s always right.”

– Daniel Dennett

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The Language Inheritance


‘Language is something you inherit, you are never quite yourself when you speak, which makes it easier to lie.’

Nooteboom C. 2009. ‘s Nachts Komen de Vossen [The Foxes Come At Night] Amsterdam, The Netherlands: De Bezige Bij (2009) p. 41

Ostracism


Ostracism was a procedure under the Athenian democracy in which any citizen could be expelled from the city-state of Athens for ten years. While some instances clearly expressed popular anger at the victim, ostracism was often used pre-emptively. It was used as a way of defusing major confrontations between rival politicians (by removing one of them from the scene), neutralizing someone thought to be a threat to the state, or exiling a potential tyrant. Crucially, ostracism had no relation to the processes of justice. There was no charge or defence, and the exile was not in fact a penalty; it was simply a command from the Athenian people that one of their number be gone for ten years.

Axe Brewery


In the Middle Ages, the ground underneath Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament was known as Thorney Island. It lay between two branches of the River Tyburn (which today flows directly under the Treasury in Parliament Street). The earliest known building on the site of Downing Street was the Axe brewery owned by the Abbey of Abingdon. It had fallen into disuse by the early 16th century.