What Do We Aim To Do?
“Why can’t one have a reasoned discussion any more? Even with friends and family with whom you happen to disagree on something?”
So said my brother a few months ago. He and I frequently disagree but not to the extent that we are unable to have a reasoned discussion. His cry of despair was directed not at me but at those not in the room.
Our aim is to publish articles on current events and important issues which inform and entertain in a way that encourages readers to respond with their views. Ideally these would be articles of a similar length, putting forward different, evidence-based opinions. But it is more likely that they would be much shorter than the original. No matter. As long as all contributors are having a reasoned discussion with each other. And not stating, hectoring and abusing – the norm on social media.
Here is one of the definitions of the verb – to reason – given in the Concise Oxford Dictionary: “Form or try to reach conclusions by connected thought.” Hence the title of this magazine: Only Connect.
- Richard Pooley, Editor
The Writing Team
Who Are We?
We’re an eclectic group of writers. See the profiles below. The dictionary defines “eclectic”, adjective and noun, as “(Ancient philosopher) selecting from each school of thought such doctrines as pleased him; (person, doctrine) borrowing freely from various sources; not exclusive in opinion, taste, etc...”. We have widely different political views, life experience and interests.
But though international in spirit and location, we are not diverse enough. We hope to change this by receiving contributions from readers who are not old white men, as most of us are . If you want to comment intelligently on something you feel strongly about or want to put counter arguments to those voiced in our magazine, send the editor an article and he will see if it’s interesting enough to publish. He may need to edit it for typos, grammar and structure but will never do so for factual content.
British Jordanian: spent most of his formative years living and working in the UK as a management consultant and trainer, during which time he authored a book introducing Arab Culture to Western readers. He resettled in Jordan in 2004 and since then has been heavily engaged in the Information Technology market in the Middle East, focussing on Iraq. In his spare time, besides mentoring young Jordanian entrepreneurs, his main hobby is writing on social media, on which he has a reasonable following, and reading.
Living in South West France since 2006, John identifies himself as European. He is a retired chemical engineer and project manager, a part time plumber and electrician and a full time inquisitive human being. Among subjects that he writes about are energy and climate change, music and opera, cosmology, science, politics and the natural world.
British, living in Kenya: scientist, botanist, ecologist and rationalist. Proud to have mixed-race family of various nationalities. Anti-nationalist, anti-racist, anti-imperialist, pro-science, pro-Dawkins/ Krauss/ Sagan/ Hitchens/ SJ Gould/ de Grasse Tyson/ Lovelock. Pro EU, pro-Jew (but rather anti-Israel). Deeply alarmed by the Anthropocene extinction, and global heating which he doesn't believe can be stopped without geochemical engineering.
British: started as theatre director; now actor and film-maker. In between was consultant for 20 years on communication in international business, co-authoring The New International Manager. Also designed and ran courses on Creativity, Self-Management, Team Building and Change Management. Fluent in French, German and Spanish.
British: Early years in East Africa, international career with large corporates, followed by 15 years as a roving international senior interim manager. Live mostly in UK but have a house in New Zealand to escape the English winter. French graduate but a not uncritical Francophile, with a keen
interest in politics and international affairs, as well as food, wine, rugby & travel.
British: looked forward to a warm billet when he joined an old fashioned merchant bank in the City of London; then came Big Bang and the heat was really on. Since then he has travelled mainly in Europe and the USA, read widely, pondered deeply, and writes, he hopes, incisively.
Spring: thumbing around the Med and Middle East, as life-guard, exotic dancer, deck-hand, army cleaner, spy, painter of mermaids on Aegean fishing boats, teacher in Teheran. Met partner Vince.
Summer: Kensington: English for Business gigs, designing grammar visuals, rebuilding Kentish cottage. Bore last-minute daughter.
Autumn: Scottish seaside: acting, singing, painting sets, loving daughter.
German, lives in Germany after 14 years in Japan. Officially retired but still active in the fields of marketing and intercultural educational management.
Scottish-born, Fife/Yorkshire-raised son of coal miner. Inter alia bank clerk, gardener, secondary school teacher, casino croupier, UK diplomat. Then 5 years helping British Telecom develop their international business before moving to France to work for multinational companies in the development and financing of projects in telecoms, power generation and transport, and the management of global IT projects. Post-retirement in France has worked with various start-ups
Who Are You?
To start off with you will be friends and family of our writers. So, initially most of you will be British. However, since most of our regular writers live outside the UK and we all have friends from around the world, we hope to make the readership much more international very soon. You have the time and inclination to read articles of as much as 1500 words - a “long read” in the era of Twitter. This probably means you are over fifty and may be retired. Good. That means you have loads of experience and knowledge which should be shared with other readers. Let’s hear from you.