Curation for the blip - mostly The Times newspaper this last weekend.- Sept 16th

* Am I the only one with mild paranoia?

Matthew Parris - For good Darwinian reasons something within all of us keeps a wary eye out for the false friends, concealed danger, for persons unknown who are trying to compromise us, poison us, steal our secrets or undermine our security.

This seems slightly over the top, a bit serious for individual suspiciousness. But it's about.

* Dominic Sandbrook - 'the country is broken' - Declinism - apparently we've been here before on several occasions, often following a good spell of Tory government, such as 'you've never had it so good' Harold Macmillan in the 60s and John Major in the 90s. John Smith in 1993 said there was no suprise that hotels were falling into the sea (a Scarborough reference). Today I think broken is global, but there is no need panic. We've won two world wars, live longer healthier lives and have more opportunities.

* Professor Arthur C. Brookes, renowned social scientist who's baseline mood defaults to gloom and anxiety. He has pioneered a course on 'Leadership and Happiness' which worked for him. Natural positive and negative settings exist together in various proportions. High doses of both is the mad scientist, two lows is a judge, otherwise cheerleaders and poets. They are present in family, friends, work and faith and comprise enjoyment, satisfaction (accomplishing goals) and purpose (a sense of direction). Faith is not religious, but more a recognition of our place in a much bigger picture than ourselves. Social media and the pandemic have reduced human connection (eye to eye, touch). He goes on to detail some tactics, but they have mostly been covered in pieces dealing with successful ageing.

So, a bit of 'same old'. Don't expect to be happy all the time. Live with unhappiness, it can be a source of energy. Think of it as work in progress.

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