Here are the Blogs in the Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 9 June 2014
Returning home from abroad recently, the airline temporarily lost my luggage and promised to deliver it to my house a little later. It did indeed try to do so, but it was at eight in the evening and I was out in a restaurant having dinner with my neighbours. The delivery man left my case at my next ...Read More...
Posted on 06/09/2014 5:35 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 8 June 2014
The expansion of the state and the services it provides, well or badly as the case may be, inevitably changes the relations between citizen and state. Among other effects, it corrodes the idea of privacy and even the very possibility of privacy: for the more the state does for citizens, the wider its ...Read More...
Posted on 06/08/2014 5:51 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 6 June 2014
The French newspaper, Libération, which began as a Maoist publication, waxed indignant recently about Chinese police working alongside French cops in Paris. The article began by reminding readers about a 1974 film,The Chinese in Paris, in which Mao’s army occupied the city, and the army commander, Pou-Yen, ...Read More...
Posted on 06/06/2014 1:52 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 6 June 2014
I was briefly flattered the other day to receive an e-mail from the General Medical Council asking me whether I could be its Chair (meaning Chairman). Then I realised that it was a circular, not an actual invitation to me personally: it had, presumably, been sent to everyone on its e-mailing list.
What ...Read More...
Posted on 06/06/2014 7:52 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 26 May 2014
Resentment is the one emotion that can last a lifetime and will never let you down. All other emotions are fleeting and unreliable by comparison. I have tried hating someone for years, but found it impossible: hatred fades like the colors of pressed flowers. But resentment! It is the perfect solution ...Read More...
Posted on 05/26/2014 7:42 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 24 May 2014
Sometimes the New England Journal of Medicine reads like a journal of failed bright ideas. I do not remember ever having read of so many failed trials of treatment as I have recently, but perhaps that is a sign of increasing scientific honesty. After all, it is as important to know what does not work ...Read More...
Posted on 05/24/2014 5:37 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 23 May 2014
Posted on 05/23/2014 12:14 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 21 May 2014
A well-known conclusion of political philosophy, as well as of the most elementary reflection upon life, is that not all human desiderata are compatible one with another. This is so because Mankind not only is capable of desiring, but always desires something and its opposite at the same time. We desire, ...Read More...
Posted on 05/21/2014 7:18 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 15 May 2014
Consistency and predictability are essential qualities of any system of criminal justice. Similar offences must call forth similar penalties. If one man is punished severely and another leniently for the same crime, injustice has not only been done but also been seen to be done.
In this sense, then, ...Read More...
Posted on 05/15/2014 7:56 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 13 May 2014
It is a curious paradox that those who inveigh most vehemently against race as a concept also campaign most vigorously for racial quotas by means of affirmative action. It is only a seeming paradox, however, because it is possible to acknowledge the existence of discrimination on the basis of mere physical ...Read More...
Posted on 05/13/2014 8:18 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 12 May 2014
I have taken no interest in cricket ever since cricketers started to wear baseball caps and vulgar coloured clothes, and behaved like footballers or basketball players when they took a wicket, hugging one another and making neanderthlal gestures of triumph.
Last weekend I attended, for the first ...Read More...
Posted on 05/12/2014 12:24 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 11 May 2014
The account in The Times of the murder by stabbing of Mary Maguire, teacher in Leeds, quoted a recent report by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) about the school in which it took place. 'Students,' said the report, 'say they feel very safe in the school. ...Read More...
Posted on 05/11/2014 3:44 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 11 May 2014
One of the things that medical practice teaches the observer of human nature is that no behavior is so bizarre that humans are incapable of it and will not indulge in it. Indeed, they often seem to take delight in inventing new forms of destructive and self-destructive conduct to assert their freedom ...Read More...
Posted on 05/11/2014 5:16 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 3 May 2014
There are few phrases more dangerous in medicine than “It stands to reason,” because what stands to reason may in fact not be a good idea, however brilliant it may once have seemed. This is because reality is always more complex than our theories about it; grey is theory, said Goethe, but ...Read More...
Posted on 05/03/2014 1:07 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
It was Robert Louis Stevenson who said: “Man is a creature who lives not upon bread alone but principally by catchwords.” Refining our thoughts with qualifications can get tiring, so we recur to slogans to capture a reality that is almost always complex.
Alas, what should be the shorthand ...Read More...
Posted on 04/16/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 15 April 2014
The belief that everyone can be persuaded by argument to behave well is, I suppose, a corollary of the notion that no man does wrong knowingly. The task of the moralist, then, is to get people to understand the true nature of their conduct, to educate them; and once this is done, the ...Read More...
Posted on 04/15/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 14 April 2014
Young people's money woes are down to lack of education,' said a headline to an article in the Observer of 30 March. Putting aside my dislike of the locution 'down to,' which strikes me, for reasons that I cannot quite explain, as extremely vulgar, it occurred to me that ...Read More...
Posted on 04/14/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 10 April 2014
Recently, Copenhagen Zoo shot a young giraffe named Marius with a bolt gun, publicly dissected it—like a hanged criminal in eighteenth-century England—in front of children, and then fed the remains to the zoo’s lions. Marius was killed, the zoo said, because there was no space for ...Read More...
Posted on 04/10/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 9 April 2014
A report of the British charity Oxfam recently drew attention to the fact that Britain’s five richest families had more assets than the lowest 20 per cent of the population put together. It called upon the government to consider instituting a wealth tax to reduce the gap, by how much it did ...Read More...
Posted on 04/09/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 6 April 2014
In his Portraits from Memory, Bertrand Russell ends his brief memoir of Joseph Conrad:
THE GRANGER COLLECTION, NYC
Conrad, I suppose, is in process of being forgotten. But his intense and passionate nobility shines in my memory like a star seen from the bottom of a well. ...Read More...
Posted on 04/06/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 3 April 2014
A friend in France having recommended the film The Grand Budapest Hotel, I went to see it recently. Tastes evidently vary, even among friends.
The film was a long and painfully extended joke about Central Europe that was not very funny to begin with and the script was completely without ...Read More...
Posted on 04/03/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 2 April 2014
Good and bad news often go together, for what is good news for some is bad for others. Shareholders in pharmaceutical companies that produce statins will have been heartened (no pun intended) by a paper in a recent edition of the New England Journal of Medicine in which the authors calculated ...Read More...
Posted on 04/02/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 29 March 2014
It is not only cleanliness, but concision that is next to godliness. In theory, then, Twitter should promote near-godliness, for it encourages people to express their thoughts in few words. A good example of such admirable concision wasthe tweet from Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, reproduced ...Read More...
Posted on 03/29/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 25 March 2014
If people try to swindle me, the least they can do is be charming about it. Today, for example, I had an e-mail from Miss Lea Edem.
With all due respect (she wrote) I want you to read my letter with one mind and help me. I am Lea Edem the only daughter of late Mr. and Mrs. Edem.My ...Read More...
Posted on 03/25/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 23 March 2014
When I was a student, my friends and I would stay up all night to discuss such questions as the truth or otherwise of determinism. Was the entire future of the universe immanent in its past, indeed had everything been determined from the very foundation of the universe (if it had one)? If so, what of ...Read More...
Posted on 03/23/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple