Mountains in Hong Kong

Surely the skyline of Hong Kong observed from Kowloon is the finest in the world. Like all great skylines it’s seen across water, but this one has a back-drop, Victoria Peak. When I first saw it the Peak, which actually is quite flat, framed the high rise buildings. Then, towards the end of the colonial period, a few buildings, outstanding […]

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Notes on Genesis (xxii)

‘Let us make him a help appropriate to him.’ (Gen 2:18) With  these words a period of activity on the part of God that culminates in the creation of the woman is introduced. While translations into English generally follow the Hebrew and provide for the opening ‘I will make’, the Greek text of the Septuagint goes for a first person plural subjunctive present, […]

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Ian Morris’ Why the West Rules – for now (ii)

The Index of Social Development devised by Ian Morris awards precise numbers for the social development of both West and East at different times in the past.  Being incompetent at maths, most historians are disinclined to crunch numbers and feel vaguely uneasy about attempts to do so in a meaningful way. But this is no reason not to take Morris’ Index seriously, and it […]

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O dolce stil italiano!

Some people are afraid of crossing the streets in Italy, and it’s easy to see why, for the subtle conventions that regulate interactions between pedestrians and drivers are different here. But there’s no reason to linger on the footpath; all you need do is project an air of confidence as you step into the traffic, while being prepared to retreat […]

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