Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Lunatics Are Taking Over the Asylum!

     According to estimates, between one in 20,000 and one in 7,000 men, with a similar order of magnitude for women, are transsexuals, that is they are seriously distressed about their biological sex, and feel in their hearts that they are "really" members of the opposite sex born in the wrong body. Of these, only a fraction go on to have an operation. It comes as a surprise, therefore, that I have met three of them, and so am sympathetic to their plight. Certainly, as long as we permit "sex change" operations, legal anomalies will arise which need to be dealt with. Hitherto, this has always been seen as a social problem: how to permit these unhappy people to live with some sort of dignity and peace of mind. But lately there have been strident calls to treat it, not as a problem, but as an issue of "rights" - which are defined very broadly, despite the fact that they are not self-evident, nor the result of community consensus. That is a route which leads to madness, which will ultimately rebound to the detriment of those it is intended to help.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

What You Didn't Know About Books

     Have you ever wondered why most books do not start at page 1, and frequently have blank pages at the back? Are you aware that, if you add up all the pages, both printed and blank, they will nearly always come to a multiple of eight? Have you wondered why photos are not placed close to the section to which they apply? What about those mysterious numbers or letters you occasionally find at the bottom of selected pages? All of these have a perfectly simple explanation.