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The Highland Clearances: Reading History and Dispossession

This is not a history of Scotland, this is a history of much of the world where people have been displaced from ancestral lands and commons by bullies. People have been dispossessed from lands at various places and at various times by others who have stolen it by force or by cunning, but it all too often amounts to the same thing – sorrows and harms being unfairly visited upon those at a disadvantage. Read more

The Lapps by Robert Cranwell

The people we call the Lapps are known by a variety of other names, including Lopar, Sabine and Sami amongst others. The origins of our name for them has also provoked a number of explanations; some say it comes from the old Swedish “lopar” – meaning “to run”, and presumably referring to the speed of their movement on skis, achieved with a loping action. Still others say it comes from the Mongolian “lu-pe” – going northwards, or from the archaic Finnish term “lappes” – meaning “banished”. Read more

Opinion Piece: Teaching; How Society Gets Taught History by Books and Media and Politics by Maurice Frank

Older generations writing up history such that everything used to be better and slagging “young people today” has been around cyclically for thousands of years, and is a regular failing of emotionally divided societies. But But I can see no other case in history, of generations having their whole era, including in what is believed possibly can happen, and their status in history, rubbished with the media’s approval and active taking part, as the present generations living after WW2, at the hands of oldies who also believe every epic problem imaginable was fought, won, and solved forever, entirely by them, entirely in the 1940s. Read more

James Braid: Father of Modern Hypnotism by Stephen McMurray

The word ‘hypnosis’ comes from the Greek god of sleep, Hypnos. Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation, increased suggestibility and narrowed focus. Hypnotherapy is when hypnosis is used for therapeutic purposes. The hypnotherapist helps the client in entering a state of hypnosis and then makes suggestions that help the subconscious mind achieve the desired therapeutic goals. Read more

Thoughts on the Structure of Language

In the writings of Gottfried Leibniz can be found many elements relating to the possibility of a universal language. Specifically he was working on a constructed language as a concept which would gradually come to replace that of rationalized Latin as the natural basis for a projected universal language. Leibniz conceived of a ‘characteristica universalis’, an “algebra” capable of expressing all conceptual thought. This kind of algebra would include rules for symbolic manipulation, which he called a calculus ratiocinator. Read more

Educational History: The Hedge Schools of Ireland

The Hedge Schools came about as a direct result of the suppression of schooling in Ireland. This history speaks of the innate need of humans to share and learn, and how central a part of social fabric it is. This history also speaks of the dark side of dominating powers to withhold knowledge and the means of mutually improvement from whole populations to deliberately undermine people and their chances to live rich full lives. Read more