Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Vigorous Sieve


The remarkable Hilary Mantel is currently giving the BBC Reith Lectures.

In the advert for the lectures, Mantel offers a wonderful metaphor, suggesting that history is what is left in the sieve after the centuries have poured through.

I envisage that the sieve is not static; there are times when it moves, when it shakes or vibrates.

The shaking has several effects.  It breaks up some existing big lumps of stuff. It accelerates the rate of flow through the mesh. And, because the stuff is sticky and viscous (it consists, after all, of the doings of humans) it forces new lumps to come into being.

Vigorous shaking breaks up old big lumps, and creates new big lumps.

We are living through very vigorous times.  Be careful what you stick with, and what you stick to.



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