Friday, November 27, 2020

Organ Donation Change

I haven't caught a bus now in over eight months, due to the ongoing pandemic, but the other day I saw one of these posters at a bus stop and wanted a picture for my lecture on organ donation (as part of my ethics of public policy).


This isn't actually the one I saw originally. I didn't have my camera on me then, so I went out specially to get a photo today and it had gone. Thankfully, I decided to walk along to the next stop on the route and found what I was looking for there.

I previously blogged quite a bit about organ donation here, as part of a project that I was running in Stirling. I don't know whether my work had any impact on the recent changes - probably not demonstrable impact anyway - but I'm glad to see this change at last.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Boris Johnson on lockdown and freedom

An interesting section of Hansard (22nd September 2020 - vol. 680, column 814) that was brought to my attention today:

I thank the Prime Minister for his statement. He is right to say that it is the co-operation and good sense of the British public that has seen the spread of this difficult outbreak curtailed. My constituents will continue to do exactly what is required of them, but the truth is that Cornwall has a very low rate of covid-19, and that has been the case throughout. What message of hope can the Prime Minister give to teenagers going to schools and colleges who are being asked to wear face masks when not in class, to churchgoers who have been blocked from freedom of worship, and to businesses that have yet to open and are continually frustrated from doing so?

Churchgoers will continue to have freedom of worship under the proposals. We want life, as far as we possibly we can, to keep going as normally as possible. We want the economy to keep moving. The best hope I can offer my hon. Friend’s constituents, for whom he fights so valiantly, is that we get this virus back under control, take the country forward and keep the economy moving. That is the best prospect for our country.

Does the Prime Minister think that the reason Germany and Italy have far lower covid rates than us, with life continuing more or less normally, might be that they have locally and publicly run test and trace services that actually work?

No, I don’t, and I think the continual attacks on local test and trace and what NHS Test and Trace has done are undermining and unnecessary. Actually, there is an important difference between our country and many other countries around the world: our country is a freedom-loving country. If we look at the history of this country over the past 300 years, virtually every advance, from free speech to democracy, has come from this country. It is very difficult to ask the British population uniformly to obey guidelines in the way that is necessary. What we are saying today is that collectively—I am answering the right hon. Gentleman’s question directly—the way to do that is for us all to follow the guidelines, which we will strictly enforce, and get the R down. That is the way forward.

This semester, I've been teaching freedom (as part of our introduction to political theory module) and will be teaching about pandemic responses (as part of my ethics of public policy module). This exchange is relevant to both.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Winter is Coming...

 I wouldn't say I'm a big fan of autumn in general, but the colourful trees do look nice.

The woods are getting pretty muddy now though, so - along with the shorter days - I guess we won't get as many of these walks in as we have been over the summer.


Monday, November 16, 2020

Did she die in vain?

 Via a friend in Nottingham, I see this story of a bookshop that's resisting the lockdown, citing Article 61 of the Magna Carta.

For the record, it seems this doesn't justify a general right to dissent - certainly not for everyone and not one that's still in force today either.

Still, I've been discussing lockdown protests with some of my students, so this is another nice example for the file.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Frostgrave: Alchemical Monstrosity (solo play)

A quick write-up/report of my first attempt at solo-play Frostgrave.

Warband: wizard (unaligned), treasure hunter, crossbowwoman, archer.


Table set up: