Friday 20 December 2013, 15:22
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss complexity theory.
This newsletter is going to be short. Principally because Ingrid – who types these missives for me – has already done a live In Our Time, a recorded In Our Time (on Plato, for broadcast on January 2nd), and is now doing a recorded Start the Week with Andrew Marr and Michael Gove and Simon Schama and others. I met Andrew in the corridor when I came out of the studio and it was great to meet him, especially here.
After the programme on complexity there was much talk, but especially about how advanced this country was in that area, not only in universities but in the government departments, and how strong Europe as a whole was, compared with, say, America or China. After the Plato, there was a feeling that despite covering the territory remarkably well there was still so much to say about, and inside, this short work. I think it was Professor Ryle who said that all Western philosophy was a footnote to Plato.
So, I’ll be off down Regent Street and into Green Park, and wonder again why the Japanese are fascinated by pigeons and why the French are entranced by squirrels and why intellectuals always veer towards the pelicans on their rock at the Horse Guards Parade end and try to associate those with the pelicans in the wilderness in the Old Testament.
Last night I had time on my hands so having been choked up with cold for a week or so I went for a long walk in Hyde Park in the twilight. Little Dickensian lamps along the Serpentine. Children feeding the ducks in the half-dark and a white swan coming over the lake like a sceptre from a medieval ballad. And a massive great funfair rocketing away on the Park Lane side: big wheel, all those amazing dive bombers and a fully lit-up ship. From there, back and after my wander this afternoon, I’m off to the East End to do a short film with Peter Blake.
So, that’s enough. I hope you have a good Christmas and fine New Year, when Ingrid and I are taking a rest from the newsletter. Be back on January 16th.
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