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September 16th; Thursday. What a dismal intro it seems now: Van der Valk. My memory made it better, though I recall being puzzled as a small boy by a detective series where Amsterdam police officers lived their lives entirely in English. The TV nostalgia sites call it 'gritty', and I can remember there were lots of storylines about corruption & local politics. I wonder how Dutch people felt about a British detective show offshoring bent-copper dramas to mainland Holland?

September 15th; Wednesday. More details emerge of US funding of coronavirus research in Wuhan.
September 14th; Tuesday. Another claim from a doctor (a tropical pathologist) that covid-19-vaccinated people are the ones who are dangerous to others.

September 13th; Monday. A plausible motive for the curious new push to - quite unnecessarily - vaccinate children.
Enjoyed several thoughtful articles in the copy of 'European Conservative' that I got given at last week's debate where Jeff Sessions spoke here in the Castle District. The magazine is much better than I expected, as were the darling little savoury pogacsas (mini-scones) on plates at the event.
September 12th; Sunday. Last night, visible to one side from Robin's balcony, crowds holding candles were slowly walking up Andrassy avenue towards Heroes' Square. This was while choirs sang. This morning I wake late to find Robin in the room adjoining the balcony, the room full of art ingredients, listening to more church music, more choirs singing uplifting hymns outside on the street. Another Catholic friend told me a few days ago quite mildly that Francis "did something very bad" in his youth that caused another priest to serve some time in prison. He said it as if perhaps it had been a valuable chance for the future pope to learn humility and repentance.
One of our contributors, none other than Tyler Durden, writes about Mr Fauci's involvement in the coronavirus scandal, lying when he called Senator Rand Paul a liar. Meanwhile, the British Heart Foundation describes how the spike protein in the covid-19 virus & vaccines causes changes to cells in heart tissue and elsewhere, migrating through the blood stream.

September 11th; Saturday. Barely 30 yards from Robin's front door, much of Andrassy avenue is shut down with parked police vans, newly mounted overhead display screens, lines of chemical loos, metal crowd fences, and long white ribbons marked 'Rendorseg - Police' in blue. This is all for tomorrow's visit by Francis the GloboPope, as a waitress outside the downstairs bar explained with sneering contempt, in reply to my query, two days ago. A Catholic friend told me a few months back that the Jesuits swore on their foundation never to let one of their own become pope (perhaps explaining why there has been no Jesuit pope until now).
Our Man in Bucharest judiciously celebrates Taliban victory.
September 10th; Friday. A good Salisbury Review article about history teaching. Not one of mine, I hasten to add.

September 9th; Thursday. Are white feminists evil? A nice Unherd piece. Small birthday party in the science cave for Tam, with Annette, Dag, Alja, and her sweet but jittery dog. Interesting how the pale shirt with pink and light blue checks, on being in the bucket of dilute bleach I put it in some hours a few weeks ago, stubbornly keeps the off-yellow background hue that makes it look not-quite-washed, but lost much of the dye meaning the checks fade in and out of white. In places the blue lines have gone altogether yet the white's failed to become clean-looking. You'd think that after a century and a half of bleaching and dyeing chemistry they might have worked this stuff out by now.
September 8th; Wednesday. A picture of Venetians larking around on the ice during the 1709 winter, a winter cold enough for the lagoon to freeze solid.
I visit Annette in the science cave for my first colloidal silver consultation.

September 7th; Tuesday. This morning woke out of a vivid success dream where I was, with some companions, in a large rambling building, part country house, part luxury hotel in some old city. One suite of rooms was haunted and filled with disturbing magical power, which was not so much frightening as thrilling. To get there I got into a lift which went vertically some floors and then horizontally down corridors and through rooms and walls very quickly, rather like a cable car. Then vertically some more - these "sideways lifts" feature in my dreams every few years, I notice. The suite of rooms was in some kind of tower overlooking from high windows a forest in winter, and I found myself triumphant, empowered, raised to more than health - "better than well" as the Americans say - as I clicked into rest-refreshed wakefulness. Later in the day, finished reading a copy of 'Ideas of the Great Philosophers', published half a century ago oddly enough by Barnes & Noble, a chain of American bookshops. I suppose booksellers branching into publishing was quite common once. The book uses a nice approach. Instead of touring in order through philosophers and centuries, or looking at specific debates, it does both. Each chapter is a topic (such as free will versus determinism), and the chapter starts with ancient thinkers, briskly touring through the Greeks, Late Antiquity, the Mediaevals, Renaissance thinkers, Early Modern, German Enlightenment and up to the late-19th/early-20th century figures (Russell and/or Pragmatists like Dewey in most chapters). Rather refreshingly for this reader, I don't recall seeing Wittgenstein, nor any of the Existentialists mentioned even once. The trick of making each philosopher italic on first mention in each chapter is very helpful, and some thinkers who tend to get left out of historical overviews, such as Herbart, Schleiermacher, or Anaxagoras, are here. Herbert Spencer gets quite a lot of mentions, and it's nice to see philosophers like Hobbes mentioned in non-political debates, not just in his classic discussion of the state. There's a proper effort to separate out Fichte and Schelling. This is an excellent book, but there are some strange slip-ups. A couple of thinkers, such as William of Champeaux and Roscelin, get italicised, full-status mentions in the body of the text, but are missing from the detailed biographical notes at the back, which include almost everyone else.
September 6th; Monday. A dog who apparently has learned to press buttons each with a word on is, her owners think, possibly becoming self-aware. Confusingly named 'Bunny', this affable hound is starting to press sequences of buttons like "dog / what / dog / is?" Not quite enough to convince me, but certainly interesting.

September 5th; Sunday. Read 'Perspectiva: A Nuremburg Renaissance Casket for the Marquesses of Lothian', which is a lavishly illustrated exhibition catalogue, lusher than most books, that Robin got at some art show or auction house. The web has a lot of excerpted images of this casket, and other treasure boxes made by its maker, known simply as The Master of Perspective, who had a workshop in Nuremburg during the 1560s. The period of the German wunderkammer or cabinet of wonders was, it seems, exemplified by boxes to house valuables, themselves richly worked and decorated, sometimes containing jewellery, sometimes scientific wonders such as geological/biological/fossil curiosities. Pre-figuring Baconian science - the line was blurred between collecting natural oddities and displaying decorative wealth. Containing wonders and each cabinet itself sometimes constituting a wonder. The boxes made by the workshop in Nuremburg appear to have had a very distinctive style, surfaces in and out decorated by inlaid marquetry, mother-of-pearl and so on, almost invariably displaying what we might call wireframe polyhedra shown in perspective (hence the master's name) along with scenes from well-known classical stories such as Phyllis humiliating Aristotle, an episode Nietzsche & Lou Salome might have been referring to in their famous cart-pulling photograph.
September 4th; Saturday. This site opposes "covid passports" being pushed (clearly planned in advance) as de facto ID cards.

September 3rd; Friday. Up late, chatting with Robin. This Leo Strauss book looks like something worth reading as soon as I can. Strauss plausibly argues philosophers have always written in an 'esoteric' code, partly disguising their message so as not to challenge political & moral assumptions of their time head on.
September 2nd; Thursday. 'The crypto revolution is failing'.

September 1st; Wednesday. 'Afghanistan is where ideologies go to die'.
August 31st; Tuesday. The last couple of days of August have actually been a bit chilly. Not even mildly cool, but suddenly verging on uncomfortable, cold, pullover-worthy. Truly, autumn approaches.

August 30th; Monday. Finish Tam's tutorial book, English-language version, 'Technical Modeling with OpenSCAD', written with lots of examples, handy tips, clear diagrams in sunflower yellow, and a jolly tone which I can now recognise as Tam's voice. Other reviewers are positive too, and there are a few excerpted illustrations on the web. Have not yet done the exercises - the usual bit readers of how-to books leave out, including this reader - but I'm at least imagining practical implementation.
August 29th; Sunday. Day watching television. Jessica and I watch the 'Pickle Rick' episode of Rick & Morty, in which the mad scientist in the garage turns himself into a pickled gherkin. Then we watch the documentary 'Citizen Four' where director Laura Poitras films Ed Snowden and Glenn Greenwald in a Hong Kong hotel bedroom in the days Snowden's escape from the US becomes public.

August 28th; Saturday. Over at Filmmaker Jessica's for a lovely dinner. She introduces me finally to the Rick & Morty show, including the famous where-are-my-testicles? episode Andras recommended me last year. I feel I've leapfrogged South Park and Family Guy and am now updated on ironic cartoon shows for grown-ups.
August 27th; Friday. An enjoyable letter from Budapest by British/Hungarian author Tibor Fischer writing in May.

August 26th; Thursday. Most years the whole of August is stiflingly warm, and then cooler autumnal weather begins, almost like clockwork, on either August 20th or the day after. This year cooler weather and some rain started 10 days ahead. Warm and cool days intermingled up until the Istvan/Stephen coronation holiday.
August 25th; Wednesday. A low-key article in the Spectator by a woman says covid-19 vaccinations are affecting her and other women's menstrual cycles.
Robert Malone, one of the researchers who helped create the mRNA vaccine technique, chats with Steve Bannon and someone else in a show with the rather overblown title 'The War Room' (featuring a graphic of some burning stuff). However, the details of the interview are valuable. The basic point is that widespread vaccination early in an epidemic makes it more likely the virus will develop immunity to vaccines and evolve into more dangerous variants, than if the Swedish example (and that originally of Boris Johnson) had been followed.
One of our contributors, Zero Hedge (aka Tyler Durden), reports that Spain's Supreme Court is banning use of 'vaccine passorts' to control access to public spaces. At least they are in Spain. This same policy - not banned, in contrast vigorously enforced - is still causing giant demonstrations all across France, Germany, and Italy, so my French, German, and Italian friends claim.

August 24th; Tuesday. Article from last month about leftists rewriting Spanish history, specifically rewriting the massacres that led up to General Franco's putsch against and war against the left-of-centre government that ruled for several months in 1936.
August 23rd; Monday. Interesting item from last month's New Statesman, an interview with a pro-EU Tory who says Remainers must accept that they lost the vote in 2016, showing how deeply confused and out of touch even the pragmatic anti-Brexit wombles are. His yearning to again one day suckle at the euro-nipple is tangible throughout the piece.

August 22nd; Sunday. A Hungarian documentary I might be editing the subtitles of - dark and absurd by turns - about some mass murders in Budapest's 12th district during World War 2. It hinges on a commemorative statue (of a mythical bird, the turul, a bit like a Hungarian version of the phoenix) five decades later put very close to the site of the murders. Astonishing to say, the plaque under the big bird listed the names of both some victims and some perpetrators of those murders who then died elsewhere. It generated a bitter political quarrel which still rumbles on today. The central tragi-comic character is the 12th-district mayor, who
(1) allowed the statue to be built in the early 2000s,
(2) apparently did not know at that time that his own grandfather was part of a lynch mob rounding up and killing Jewish civilians near that site in 1944, and
(3) whose father (son of the grandfather of course) worked as a long-term informant for the state-socialist dictatorship that ruled Hungary in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, and 80s.
Truth really is stranger than fiction.
August 21st; Saturday. A curious claim that those who vaccinated early are at 'increased risk' of severe disease.

August 20th; Friday. Several of my students refer to today as Hungary's birthday - which is a sweet way to describe it. It commemorates the crowning of King (also Saint) Stephen, the country's first Christian king, in 1000 AD. Rather lovely firework display along the riverbanks which I watch from Jessica's rooftop with Jessica & her friend Andrea.
August 19th; Thursday. Repercussions from abandoning Afghanistan continue.

August 18th; Wednesday. Over at Filmmaker Jessica to watch the film 'Predestination' on her big screen. A 2014 movie about time travel which Jessica convincingly argues is really about loneliness.
August 17th; Tuesday. Seems the comedy horror film I played a small role in 2 days in May is now public.

August 16th; Monday. Thorough piece on Edward Said's invented exile - seemingly from next month. Plus (also from next month) a fascinating article on Marcuse by Anthony Daniels.
August 15th; Sunday. Thought-provoking Unherd article about Mann's novel Magic Mountain.

August 14th; Saturday. Surprisingly hasty US withdrawal from Afghanistan gets people finally criticising Sleepy Joe.
August 13th; Friday. Peer-reviewed journals, once the core of western science, have been corrupted by Chinese ownership. China attacks new covid-19 investigation looking outside Peking's favoured origin story.
Meanwhile, one of the founders of self-appointed "fact checkers" Snopes.com has been caught plagiarising.

August 12th; Thursday. Interesting claim: Detroit vote-processing computers are connected online.
August 11th; Wednesday. Over at Filmmaker Jessica's where we watch a fascinating documentary about John 'Milius', whose name I didn't know. This was the screenwriter so instinctive he could help Spielberg with 'Jaws', a film he wasn't working on, by just dictating an extra couple of pages of crucial dialogue down the phone. The man who wrote 'Conan the Barbarian' & 'Apocalypse Now'.

August 10th; Tuesday. Interesting 6-month-old February article claiming mortality from covid-19 in Israel is multiples higher among the vaccinated than among the unvaccinated.
August 9th; Monday. The United Nations predict global doom for 50 years straight.

August 8th; Sunday. More on French demonstrations against covid-19 passes being compulsory to go to a cafe or restaurant.
August 7th; Saturday. Apparently the fourth weekend in a row that protestors opposing compulsory covid-19-vaccination ID cards in France have gathered in public to tell Mr Macron where to get off.

August 6th; Friday. Last night slept 13 hours. Probably needed that. Today finish Robin's copy of Norman Stone's 'Turkey: A Short History'. Stone tidily skips through ten centuries, revealing along the way (he worked happily for many years at a Turkish university) that he likes the people and their civilisation. Stone's command of some of the region's languages seems good. His particular concern to explain the Armenian genocide as the result of provocative Armenian nationalism seems to miss a crucial point though. Whether the Turks should have been there in the first place, and how the Eastern Roman Empire might have developed absent several centuries of predatory wars by Islam is left unexamined. The ethnic cleansing of Muslims out of Crete or the rest of Greece - as soon as the Ottomans were sufficiently weak to make it possible - is narrated rather as if it had been a constructive idea for them to overrun the Balkan peninsula in the first place. Instead we shift quite soon to the viewpoint where Islam is the de facto empire of the region, and the historian is instead asking why did that by-then peaceful empire have to be dismantled? Byzantium can be weak and corrupt and in need of new management, but not a thousand years later the descendents of the Seljuk Turks when it's their turn to be attacked and broken up?
Stone's prose style is good, crisply moving along without getting lost in digressions or over-detailed speculation. Amusing facts are injected on the fly, and the rhythm of the text is witty and show him as the raconteur he was in real life. This brisk style helps to drive a clean, straight narrative, but is also how the whole question of what the Ottoman Empire added to Europe or did to damage history gets dodged. Stone's funeral service in Budapest (which I attended but didn't write up) mentioned that Stone was a devoted & pious Anglican church-goer, which also jars slightly with his fond acceptance of Turkey's centuries of political domination of south-eastern Europe.
The book ends with mention of the democratically elected Islamist politician Recep Erdogan, but without quoting Erdogan's eerie remark that "democracy is like a train - you take it to where you want to go, and then you get off." Stone mentions several Turks who "played a long game" in their political careers. Erdogan's fake coup of 2015 came just after this book's publication in 2014 (I asked Norman over some beers at the time what he thought Erdogan was doing, and he didn't really answer). The five years of Erdogan's career immediately after the historian finished off this quick, disciplined book negate many of the positive conclusions. Stone seems to have seen the Turks as not a fanatical people: he writes as if Islamist Turks are a kind of abberation, not the very essence of that culture. In the next few years to come, Erdogan and his heirs may yet show this whole book up as misconceived.
August 5th; Thursday. That whole 2-hour club DJ set by the desperately-serious Solomun. This set ends with the slightly poignant moment noted earlier.

August 4th; Wednesday. A Public Domain Review article about James Bell Pettigrew's wonderfully eccentric - and gorgeously illustrated - 1908 ideas about 'spiralism'.
August 3rd; Tuesday. The BMJ asks why so many African leaders die of covid-19?

August 2nd; Monday. Unusual electronics account on Instagram everyone should have a look at.
August 1st; Sunday. Interesting piece about the ten-year wager between Julian Simon and Paul Ehrlich, and Ehrlich's reputation mysteriously surviving his decades of hysterically forecasting world starvation.

Recent weblog entries continued:

Who can translate the next 300 words into Korean or Hindi? Contact us and there will be revelry.

Languages dying out each week - who cares?

We do - otherlanguages.org is gradually building a reference resource for over five thousand linguistic minorities and stateless languages worldwide.

Thousands of unique language communities are becoming extinct. Out of the world's five to six thousand languages, we hardly know what we're losing, what literatures, philosophies, ways of thinking, are disappearing right now.


We may soon regret the extinction of thousands of entire linguistic cultures even more than we regret the needless extinction of many animals and plants.

The planet is increasingly dominated by a handful of major-language monocultures like Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, Indonesian, Urdu, Spanish, Portuguese, English, Swahili, Russian, Cantonese Chinese, Japanese, Bengali - all beautiful and fascinating languages.

But so are the 5,000 others.

These are groups of people?

Linguistic minorities are communities of ordinary people whose native tongue is not their country's main official language. Swedish speakers in Finland, French speakers in Canada, Hungarian speakers in Slovakia - and hundreds more - are linguistic minorities.

And totally stateless languages are the native languages of some of the world's most intriguing, little-known, cultures. Like the Lapps inside the Arctic Circle, the Sards in Sardinia, Ainus in Japan. Cherokee in the US, Scots Gaelic in Britain, Friesian in the Netherlands, Zulu in South Africa. There are only a couple of hundred recognised sovereign states and territories, so 5,000 languages - more depending on how you count - are the native tongues of linguistically stateless people.

How could I help?

You don't need to learn an endangered language - any more than go to live in the rainforest to help slow its destruction.

A good start is to just tell friends about websites like this.

Broader public interest makes it easier for linguists to raise funds and organise people to learn these languages while there's time.

That's right. There are people who love languages and are happy to learn them on behalf of the rest of us, but they need support, just like zoologists, botanists, or historians.

Fewer languages still sounds good to me

Depends what you think languages are for. They're not just a tool for business. We never said you should learn three or four thousand rare languages - or even one. And which ones we make children learn in school, or whether we should force children to learn languages at all, is another question.

Typical scene in a European city; Chances are, folk here speak some sort of foreign language *5

A century ago - before we understood ecology, and when we cared less about wilderness, most educated people would have laughed at the idea of worrying about plants or animals going extinct. Now we understand how important species diversity is for our own futures, we are more humble, and more worried.

In the same way, linguistic triumphalism by English-speakers who hated studying foreign grammar at school is dangerously ignorant as well as arrogant. Few of us know what we are losing, week by week. How many people realise these languages have scientific value?

Scientific value?

You can think of these languages across the planet as beautiful cathedrals or precious archeological sites we are watching being destroyed. That should be motive enough.

But these five thousand languages may also hold clues to the structure of the human mind. Subtle differences and similarities

Wireless radio can be a great comfort to those unable to leave the textbooks in which they live *6
between languages are helping archeologists and anthropologists to understand what happened in the hundreds of centuries of human history before written history. And that is one of our best chances of understanding how human brains developed over the thousands of centuries leading up to that.

Study of the mind and study of language go hand in hand these days. The world's most marginal languages are actually precious jigsaw pieces from an overall picture of who we are and how our species thinks and evolves. Every tiny language adds another brightly-coloured clue to this academic detective story.

Yet researchers have hardly started sifting through this tantalising evidence, and language extinction is washing it away right in front of us.

And worst of all, most people have no idea that there is this fantastic profusion of cultures across our world, let alone that they are in danger of extinction. Even just more people learning that there are still five thousand living languages in the world today (most of us would answer five hundred or fifty) is already a huge help.

We English-speakers hardly notice English - it's like air for us. But every other language is also an atmosphere for an entire cultural world, and each of these worlds has people whose home it is. Each language encapsulates a unique way of talking and thinking about life. Just try some time in a foreign prison, being forced to cope in another language, and you'll realise how much your own language is your identity. That's true for everyone.

Minority languages are a human-rights issue?

One of the most basic.

Dozens of millions of people worldwide suffer persecution from national governments for speaking their mother tongue - in their own motherland.

Many 'ethnic' feuds puzzling to outsiders had as their basis an attempt to destroy a linguistic community. Would the Northern Ireland dispute be quite so bitter if we English had not so nearly stamped out the Irish Gaelic language, for example? Almost nowhere in the world does a language community as small as the few thousand Rheto-Romanic speakers - the fourth official language of Switzerland - get the protection of a national government. Next time you see some Swiss Francs, check both sides of the banknote.

But outside exceptional countries like Switzerland or the Netherlands, speakers of non-official languages have a much less protected experience.

Speakers of minority languages are often seen as a threat by both the governments and the other residents of the countries where they were born, grew up, and try to live ordinary lives.

They experience discrimination in the job and education markets of their homelands, often having no choice but to pursue education in the major language of the host state: a deliberate government policy usually aimed at gradually absorbing them into the majority culture of that country.

Mighty oaks from tiny acorns grow, of course *7

Most governments are privately gleeful each time another small separate culture within their borders is snuffed out by a dwindling population or a deliberately centralising education system.

The United Nations is no help. It is an association of a couple of hundred sovereign states based on exclusive control of territory, almost all of them anxious to smother any distinct group or tradition that in any way might blur or smudge the hard-won borders around those pieces of territory.

The usual approach by sovereign states is to deny their linguistic minorities even exist.


Mark Griffith, site administrator / contact at otherlanguages.org

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*1 image from , with thanks
*2 "Al-Araby" in written Arabic (read more)
*3 "What?" in American Sign Language; image from , with thanks
*4 "Big" in written Chinese  (read more); image from , with thanks
*5 image from , with thanks
*6 image from , with thanks
*7 image from 'B?ume', with thanks to  Bruno P. Kramer, and Franckh-Kosmos Verlag


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reviews: ................. books {...or films here}

1 metrologie historique
2 postmodernism & the other
3 disaster (news on sunday)
4 money unmade (russian barter in the 1990s)
5 the sleepwalkers
6 e
7 the kruschev era
8 the end of science
9 don't you want me?
10 the carpet wars
11 zelator
12 life of thomas more
13 faber book of science
14 gilgamesh
15 out of it
16 guns, germs & steel
17 words & rules
18 figure in the landscape
19 life without genes
20 bede's history of the english
21 the nothing that is
22 zoology
23 journey by moonlight
24 heavenly serbia
25 ratkay endre
26 the handmaid's tale
27 the selective eye
28 a megismerese epitokovei
29 intention
30 thirty nine steps
31 princess
32 the pyramids
33 the etruscans
34 moonchild
35 paradise news
36 culture of time & space 1880 to 1918
37 szimmetria
38 babel orokeben
39 astro-archeology
40 a history of islamic spain
41 high gothic
42 among the believers
43 the renaissance
44 augustine
45 mcvicar
46 atomised
47 tangled wing
48 da vinci code
49 nature via nurture
50 termeszet szamai
51 decline & fall of roman empire
52 practical cheesemaking
53 the sufis
54 fra angelico at san marco
55 the cryptographer
56 they have a word for it
57 szamok valosan innen & tul
58 artistic theory in italy 1450 to 1600
59 darwin's black box
60 indiai ejszaka
61 cleopatra: histories, dreams & distortions
63 what mad pursuit
64 language, the learner & the school
65 writing the romantic comedy
66 the blank slate
67 dougal & the blue cat
68 diego velasquez
69 horse nonsense
70 a certain chemistry
71 deterring democracy
72 textiles
73 thief of time
74 bloodsucking fiends
75 right ho, jeeves
76 generativ grammatika
77 1st time i got paid for it
78 galapagos
79 othello
80 understanding media
81 mysticism
82 short history of french literature
83 best on the market
84 art of seeing
85 culture & imperialism
86 food of the gods
87 arabic-islamic cities
88 the alchemist
89 verbal learning & memory
90 building a successful software business
91 don't make me think!
92 memory
93 the u.s. & the arab world
94 hard times
95 spells for teenage witches
97 the pig that wants to be eaten
98 encyclopaedia of stupidity
99 seventy eight degrees of wisdom: part i
100 beach watching
101 the ancient greeks
102 brainstorms
103 seventy eight degrees of wisdom: part ii
104 utopia
105 technical writing for engineers & scientists
106 alphabet versus goddess
107 writing on drugs
108 news from somewhere
109 isp survival guide
110 petrus hispanus mester logikajabol
111 art of seduction
112 stet
113 penguin by design
114 the sense of being stared at
115 the golden ratio
116 dinamikus emlekezet
117 margins of reality
118 hopjoy was here
119 bump in the night
120 box of delights
121 color atlas of immunology
122 fashionistas
123 pi in the sky
124 a new kind of fool
125 one man's meat
126 greek fire
127 the buddha in daily life
128 beginner's dutch
129 private life of the brain
130 solar ethics
131 pedant in the kitchen
132 knots
133 the planets within
134 encyclopaedia of ancient & mediaeval history
135 consilience
136 the age of scandal
137 fashion: the 20th century
138 the tipping point
139 design literacy
140 the silent partner
141 hamlet
142 1421
143 the 1890s
144 godel's proof
145 rosencrantz & guildenstern are dead
146 beyond reason
147 little book of music theory
148 q-basic
149 alone of all her sex
150 social studies
151 eternal darkness
152 drawn from memory
154 a guide to elegance
155 medea & other plays
156 the future of money
157 cheese
158 grammars of creation
159 aquarian conspiracy
160 the climate crisis
161 true fiction
162 the making of memory
163 why most things fail
164 genetikai abece
165 finding fulfilment
166 genome
167 the broken estate
168 inigo jones
169 flashman & the dragon
170 from bauhaus to our house
171 100 great paintings
172 kis spanyol nyelvtan
173 the historian
174 tomorrow's gold
175 charting made easy
176 life after life
177 spanyol igei vonzatok
178 the eclipse of art
179 fire in the mind
180 the human body
181 out of control
182 possession
183 simplified chinese characters
184 the generation of 1914
185 intellectuals
186 world of late antiquity
187 riddle & knight
188 informacio kultusza
189 napoleon of notting hill
190 secrets: palm-reading
191 meet yourself as you really are
192 cat's abc
193 intro to spanish poetry
194 rise of christian europe
195 philip's guide to electric living
196 sins for father knox
197 celtic twilight
198 myths of love
199 snobbery with violence
200 just like tomorrow
201 7 basic plots
202 experiment with time
203 vile bodies
204 icons & images: 60s
205 fisher king
206 new jerusalem
207 born on a blue day
208 surveillir & punir
209 trial of socrates
210 how to catch fairies
211 conversations on consciousness
212 mind performance hacks
213 conscience of the eye
214 beau brummell
215 evolution
216 the outsider
217 raja yoga
218 rise of political lying
219 occidentalism
220 colossus
221 secret teachings of jesus
222 blue murder
223 nostrodamus the next 50 years
224 homage to catalonia
225 charity ends at home
226 palace of dreams
227 discovering book collecting
228 beyond the outsider
229 the last barrier
230 that hideous strength
231 indian sculpture
232 small world
233 evolution & healing
234 in search of memory
235 campo santo
236 llewellyn's 2007 tarot reader
237 dream of rome
238 why buildings fall down
239 the empty space
240 england made me
241 greek science in antiquity
242 science, a l'usage des non-scientifiques
243 utmutato tarot
243 hunt for zero point
244 william wilberforce
245 viktor schauberger
246 untouchable
247 the vitamin murders
248 straw dogs
249 elizabeth's spymaster
250 the hard life
251 the god delusion
252 the intellectual
253 undercover economist
254 quirkology
255 chasing mammon
256 early mesopotamia & iran
257 the strange death of david kelly
258 the pilgrimage
259 origin of wealth
260 maxims
261 the finishing school
262 the shepherd's calendar
263 islamic patterns
264 lost world of the kalahari
265 german short stories 1
266 electricity
267 liber null & psychonaut
268 born to rebel
269 wittgenstein's poker
270 will the boat sink the water?
271 romeo & juliet
272 why beautiful people have more daughters
273 the crossing place
274 the turkish diplomat's daughter
275 missionary position
276 lust in translation
277 teaching as a subversive activity
278 how german is it
279 empires of the word
280 warped passages
281 the power of now
282 ponder on this
283 sword of no-sword
284 narcissism
285 blink
286 shock of the old
287 basque history of the world
288 truth: a guide
289 who shot jfk?
290 newtonian casino
291 power & greed
292 the world without us
293 5-minute nlp
294 concise guide to alchemy
295 evidence in camera
296 4-hour work week
297 the rosicrucian enlightenment
298 de-architecture
299 how to lie with maps
300 a book of english essays
301 a time of gifts
302 the occult philosophy in the elizabethan age
303 le pelerinage des bateleurs
304 alchemy & alchemists
305 greenmantle
306 the hero with 1000 faces
307 goethe's parable
308 rhedeyek es fraterek
309 letter to a christian nation
310 the tryst
311 7 experiments that could change the world
312 mill on the floss
313 metastases of enjoyment
314 the isles
315 between the woods and the water
316 secrets of the great pyramid
317 life in the french country house
318 the china study
319 tarot: theory & practice
320 the roger scruton reader
321 alchemy & mysticism
322 picasso's mask
323 the rule of four
324 triumph of the political class
325 arts of darkness
326 neuroscience & philosophy
327 the art of memory
328 mind wide open
329 mud, blood, & poppycock
330 society of the spectacle
331 lila
332 de imaginibus
333 electronics
334 giordano bruno & the embassy affair
335 temporary autonomous zone
336 the human touch
337 the fascination of evil
338 the king of oil
339 dowsing
340 the book of j
341 the west and the rest
342 story of my life
343 plain tales from the hills
344 under the influence
345 modern culture
346 50 mots clefs d'esoterisme
347 giordano bruno & the hermetic tradition
348 development, geography & economic theory
349 das kapital: a biography
350 strange days indeed
351 hegel: a very short introduction
352 reflections on the revolution in france
353 history of sexuality: an introduction
354 why we buy
355 origins of virtue
356 the holographic universe
357 a dead man in deptford
358 obsolete
359 137
360 in your face
361 7 spies who changed the world
362 the noetic universe
363 why beauty is truth
364 imagery in healing
365 the craftsman's handbook
366 futurism
367 in the cards
368 dmso
369 les hommes et leurs genes
370 the franchise affair
371 the decision book
372 les harmonies de la nature a l'epreuve de la biologie
373 kibernetika
374 zuleika dobson
375 l'empire de nombres
376 circus philosophicus
377 some girls
378 number
379 island
380 how to get your ideas adopted
381 drive
382 emergence
383 rfid : la police totale
384 the tempest
385 aspects of wagner
386 view over atlantis
387 world atlas of mysteries
388 art of the dogon
389 genesis machines
390 the sirius mystery
391 the cult of the fact
392 anastasia
393 ringing cedars of russia
394 a whiff of death
395 spirit level delusion
396 wavewatcher's companion
397 the kybalion
398 elegance
399 death in a scarlet coat
400 architecture without architects


1 k-pax
2 very annie mary
3 wasabi
4 gosford park
5 arany varos
6 minority report
7 amelie
8 bridget jones' diary
9 arccal a fo:ldnek
10 monsters' ball
11 cube
12 man with no past
13 talk to her
14 szerelemtol sujtva
15 bowling for columbine
16 matrix3
17 zoolander
18 anything else
19 farenheit 9/11
20 8 & 1/2 women
21 madagascar
22 kill bill 1
23 dude, where's my car?
24 the woman in green
25 the hunger
24 nightwatch
25 de battre son coeur s'est arrete
26 wicker man
27 v for vendetta
28 courage the cowardly dog
29 casino royale
30 power of nightmares
31 charlie's angels
32 full throttle
33 foxy brown
34 paths of glory
35 airplane
36 between iraq & a hard place
37 mutiny on the bounty
38 flashmob the opera
39 octopussy
40 bakkerman
41 kiterunner

July 31st; Saturday. Our Man in Bucharest recommends an Unherd piece suggesting parallels between the USSR in the 1980s and the US now.
July 30th; Friday. Because her glasses already remind me a bit of the cartoon, I've been urging Filmmaker Jessica to buy black-framed spectacles and pumpkin-orange polo-necked pullover so she can properly dress up as Velma from Scoobie Doo.

July 29th; Thursday. Jessica & I watch on her Netflix account a film neither of us had seen yet, last year's 'Uncut Gems'. She mentions the cinema rule that once a gun has been shown on camera, it has to be used before the end of the drama. She also mentions that her trusted screenwriting teacher said Adam Sandler had been robbed of a Best Actor Oscar for his lead role in this film as a manic diamond merchant. He didn't even get nominated. Nonetheless his performance is darkly compelling, and the Safdie Brothers (makers of 'Good Time' which Robin & I watched one night about 18 months ago) had been trying to reach Sandler to show him this script for ten years. This interview shows just how different Sandler looks when he's not playing the role.
July 28th; Wednesday. EU leaders hostile to Hungary over new law blocking promotion of homosexuality to children. The Gay Pride Parade four days ago on Saturday that closed sections of sun-baked central Budapest down including whole metro lines (hours before the actual parade) was apparently in part a protest against being banned from propagandising to children. As a result I was trapped inside the small korut without justification. This delayed me enough that I missed the best train to the countryside and had to travel two hours later than planned. It was certainly the first time I had a taste of being ordered around by pompous officials wearing lilac fluorescent lipstick, backed up by police officers, telling me I was not allowed to continue down a street or cross the road.

July 27th; Tuesday. A Dijon family-law judge has been dismissed for offering his 12-year-old daughter online for sex.
July 26th; Monday. Israel now has such a problem with vaccinated people dying from covid-19 at a higher rate than unvaccinated people that it's banning some vaccinated tourists from entering the country.

July 25th; Sunday. A little snatch of dancing in the future. In a glass bubble at the bottom of the sea - as imagined in 1966, in German.
July 24th; Saturday. One trip last week helping Jessica buy furnishings involved a visit to the carpet section of XXXL-something, which was previously Kika, which was previously Michelfeit (which I kept childishly misremembering as Michelle Pfeiffer), which was previously Domus, the local flatpack-furniture store (whatever you call it) that almost killed me with a collapsing bookcase. It was striking not only how lazy and rude the staff were, but how greedily expensive the prices were. Jessica eventually buys a dusty pink rug with a simple pattern sharply reduced - by 70% in fact. All the other XXX carpets the same size were all 4, 5, or 6 times the price. They must have been struggling to sell it because it was too tasteful and understated. The section is huge, and stuffed with pricey carpets too. The matching IKEA carpet section had more attractive carpets, a bit cheaper, and about a tenth of the floorspace. The Swedes know to cost in fixed overheads like floor area, lighting & heating, I suppose.

July 23rd; Friday. Back helping Californian filmmaker Jessica - we're assembling the height-adjustable standing desk with its little motors. Her new flat is small but lovely with not only a small balcony front and back but even access to a shared roof terrace. Hearing jets and seeing helicopters overhead towing flags from one balcony, we rush up to the roof last week clutching a bottle of water each. We plump down into folding chairs each, and Jessica frowns up at the now-silent cloudy sky declaring "Come on, planes, entertain us!" Other sayings from Chairman J in recent days include "So I ask the cards what the obstacles are to me writing this screenplay so I can cry myself to sleep tonight?", not to mention "I've got better eyesight than you because I paid for it!" or even "Hinduism is a video game, right? You come back on different levels, you get different skills and weapons." Full in with the Bostrom/Musk view we're in a simulation is her conclusion that "The aliens are the maintenance workers for the video game."
July 22nd; Thursday. Warm weather continues. People continue to walk around in public wearing clothes with ridiculous slogans written on them in large letters, usually in English. For example "Die" or "Rebirth Through Pain". Another 19th-century account of a hollow world, Etidorhpa, this one framed as fiction. This evening at Middle Temple in London, a memorial service for Michael is being held but I can't get there to attend.

July 21st; Wednesday. Robin's exhibition at the Magyar Muhely Galeria opens. Afterwards Jessica & I repair to the comedy show at Sean's bar presented by Dave, where the funniest and most professional of the stand-up comics, Gruber, berates me from the stage for not getting vaccinated.
July 20th; Tuesday. Signs of hope: younger Britons are increasingly switching off the creepy & unhelpful NHS covid-19 tracing app.

July 19th; Monday. Two bits of quite aggressive club music from 'Labrinth': Mount Everest / Still Don't Know My Name.
July 18th; Sunday. Mycologist Terence McKenna, in his unmistakable whiny wordy Irish-American lilt, waxes lyrical over his favourite drug, the "business trip" N,N-Dimethyltryptamine or "DMT" and its cosmic implications. It sounds fascinating (or McKenna makes it sound fascinating), but I honestly don't think I have the courage to try it. The DMT Experience / DMT is Everything.

July 17th; Saturday. Two quaint bits of amateur research: one about the life of a 19th-century Nordic fisherman who claimed he had travelled into a hollow earth, and got committed to an insane asylum as a result / the other about how Biblical descriptions of angels are not at all as we imagine.
July 16th; Friday. More Bragg radio discussions. The Arian Heresy, something I kept stumbling over but never quite got my head round before / Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa / an intriguing 8th-century scholar & pedagogue called Alcuin.

July 15th; Thursday. A co-founder of the Wikipedia website says the mass-edited encyclopaedia is no longer trustworthy.
July 14th; Wednesday. Bastille Day. I find out the 'Ace of Wands' theme tune was, of all people, written by Andy Bown, someone who later played keyboards for Status Quo. And how odd - a children's show about the occult. Or is it? I recall watching some episodes of this as a small boy, realising it was a competitor to Dr Who, suddenly seeing that "science fiction" is really just a relabelling of "magic".

July 13th; Tuesday. A charming version of 'Season of the Witch'. Julie Driscoll's eye makeup very much of its time. The haunting melody still suffers from that jarring contrast with weak lyrics like "pick up every stitch". Such a lame rhyme for "witch".
July 12th; Monday. "Labour deeply ashamed by 'dildo butt pedo monkey'". Another fine headline.

July 11th; Sunday. ANC infighting in South Africa seems to be getting worse.
July 10th; Saturday. Some hefty claims about covid-19-vaccination risks: a US perspective / some effects of multiple inoculations.

July 9th; Friday. A radio show about the extraordinary affair in the late 60s & early 70s of Colin Turnbull and the Mbuti versus the Ik. The African tribe the Ik were, in his bigoted judgement (during a devastating famine, of all things), "the most selfish people on earth", as described in his book 'The Mountain People'. Very interesting programme, clarifying just what's so strange about anthropology and the people who do it. It was clear that Turnbull had a childish personal fantasy about an innocent Garden of Eden of early human societies in Africa (cf 'The Forest People', the Mbuti), partly based on hatred of his native England. The Ik ruined the Mbuti-fuelled delusion for him, and he reacted with the rage of a jilted lover. Mind you, the BBC narrator Syed is himself a bit suspect. In this short spot he misleadingly describes the 1973 hostage standoff that led to the phrase 'Stockholm Syndrome'. He explains how the phrase misrepresents what happened, while himself misrepresenting what happened. Another item about Brexit reveals him as part of the BBC news-distortion consensus.
July 8th; Thursday. Finish a mid-1980s book called '1984 Revisited', edited by Irving Howe. An intriguing set of essays, some very good, others not so much, some tightly connected to Orwell's book, others less so. Robert Tucker's essay suggests Big Brother is not just a cartoonish personification of a brutal system but an actual person: eg Mao or Stalin, with less personal police states less recognisably versions of Orwell's dictatorship. Richard Lowenthal goes into interesting detail about struggles over policy and ideology inside the 1950s & 1960s USSR & China. Bernard Avishai focuses on Orwell's fears about NewSpeak and language manipulation, while Robert Nisbet discusses how much Rousseau and Burke prefigured Orwell's themes before and during the French Revolution. Slightly eerie to read these thoughtful reflections written 2 or 3 years before (we now know) the USSR, East Bloc, and Berlin Wall collapsed. Seemingly every author was unaware the great change was at hand. No contributor mentioned Amalrik's prescient 1970s book 'Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984?'
A friend falls dangerously sick with heat stroke & low blood salt (having earlier in the day vomited on the side of the building housing Hungary's Ministry of Local Government). I take charcoal pills & salty drinks.

July 7th; Wednesday. Finish a curious book from 2012 lent to me by a friend. It's called 'Proof of Heaven', wherein an American neurosurgeon relates how he fell into a dangerous coma for seven days, his brain not only shut down but measurably & observedly shut down, yet meanwhile subjectively experiencing visions of heaven, higher realms etc. The surgeon who fell ill changed from being a materialistic science believer to someone convinced love is the basic force of the physical universe.
July 6th; Tuesday. Lockdowns and masks bring an extra cost.

July 5th; Monday. Slightly shouty but interesting article about the 2020 election scam.
July 4th; Sunday. Meet Jessica, Eugene, and others for US Independence drinks at the Marriott. A wiggly pet snake appears at a nearby table, looking harmless enough (Don't Step on Me?), but some of the womenfolk in our group nonetheless flee at Sammy the Serpent's arrival. After dark, Jessica shows me a rather fine burger restaurant, where a waitress has a large-ish bird of prey on one wrist, like a big falcon (she says it's a Mexican species not strictly the same as a falcon or a kestrel). He's called Marci. All very mythological.

July 3rd; Saturday. Astonishing. People allowed in shops and on public transport without the stupid paper hospital masks. A rule which should never have been imposed in the first place and did only harm finally vanishes after over a year. Incredible they got away with this, not to mention the censorship and the lies. Not really relevant, but an interesting nugget from Forbes, claiming Anthony Fauci was 2019's best-paid US federal employee.
July 2nd; Friday. Recently, my Peter Pan article went online at The Salisbury Review.

July 1st; Thursday. To buy a 2nd tube of relaxant gel for the still pulled muscles in my back, I go to three pharmacists in a row, all of which are closed. A woman passerby outside the third explains to me that Hungary has a national holiday today in honour of Ignaz Semmelweis, the man who drew a map of beds in a Vienna hospital ward to chart which end of the room most women were dying of childbed fever (thus showing that doctors were carrying infections in by not washing their hands). Meaning that most pharmacies have today off. Useful.

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