Category Archives: Psychology

The strange case of the mutilated horses

THE animals have been found missing ears and genitals, with eyes torn out, or deep, clean cuts to their bodies. The recent spate of horse mutilations reported across France has provoked horror and outrage. Satanic cults have been mooted, or individual perpetrators engaged in copycat crimes. But what if the panic reveals more about our collective state of mind in 2020 than any new and twisted form of human behaviour…?

This article first appeared in The Guardian on 23 September 2020. To continue reading, click here.

 

Will coronavirus lead to fairer societies? Thomas Piketty explores the prospect

THE French economist Thomas Piketty is the bestselling author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2013) and its follow-up, Capital and Ideology (2019), a sweep through 1,000 years of the history of inequality. Speaking to the Guardian, he said he had been thinking about the opportunities this pandemic may present to build fairer, more equal societies…

Thomas Piketty by B. Sutherton – own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

This article appeared in The Guardian on 12 May 2020. To continue reading, click here.

Outbreaks of all kinds: The Rules of Contagion review

DID you notice? There was a moment when something shifted, and all topics of conversation besides Covid-19 started to sound trivial. Things will surely shift again, as people realise that the self-confinement could last and escapism becomes our collective goal, but for now Adam Kucharski’s The Rules of Contagion is the book you might want to reach for. Not least – given that the present pandemic is very much in the ascendant – for its subtitle: Why Things Spread – and Why They Stop

Even loneliness is catching

This article first appeared in The Guardian on 25 March 2020. To continue reading, click here.

Closed borders and black weddings

PLAGUES – or, to use a more modern term, epidemics of infectious disease – pluck at our most primal fears. We have lived with them for at least 10,000 years, ever since our ancestors took up farming and built the first semi-permanent settlements. And they have always had the upper hand. They know us intimately, preying on our strengths – our sociability, our love of gossip – and turning them into weaknesses. They are always a step ahead, and once they are out, like the genie, we can’t get them back in. All we can do is limit the damage. So here we are again…

Poor advice

This article first appeared in The Guardian on 11 March 2020. To continue reading, click here.

 

Epidemics expert Jonathan Quick: ‘The worst-case scenario for coronavirus is likely’

IN 2018 global health expert Jonathan D Quick, of Duke University in North Carolina, published a book titled The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It. In it he prescribed measures by which the world could protect itself against devastating disease outbreaks of the likes of the 1918 flu, which killed millions and set humanity back decades. He is the former chair of the Global Health Council and a long-term collaborator of the World Health Organization (WHO)…

Jonathan Quick

This article first appeared in The Guardian on 1 March 2020. To continue reading, click here.