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Ian Bertram
I can't pin my life down in one line!
Interests: photography, painting, collage, printmaking, digital art, mosaic, gardens and garden design, history, politics, philosophy, poetry and literature, film, science and technology, writing, music, genealogy, science fiction
Recent Activity
I can’t deny that the outcome of the election is a huge disappointment and also a huge worry. With the most right wing government in years, Brexit now inevitable and the consequences of climate change looming over us, we are... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2019 at Without the state
It isn't undemocratic to oppose government policy. That includes the policy of leaving the EU and it certainly includes the terms on which we leave. Despite the garbage like 'Brexit means Brexit' or the shouty 'you lost, get over it'... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2019 at Without the state
If the sort of chaos we've seen in the Commons and in Government over the past months had been reported as happening anywhere else in the world, you can be sure that Messrs Gove, Johnson and Farage would have wasted... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2019 at Without the state
Back in 2016, I argued that we needed to tackle reducing the demand for energy as if it was a major infrastructure project. Now the Independent Committee on Climate change have reached a similar conclusion. Of course, translating that report... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2019 at Without the state
The graph above is taken from the recently published report by Shelter. It shows the parlous state of social house building since 1923. I've written quite a lot about housing on this blog but this report makes it clear that... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2019 at Without the state
I've been reading science fiction since I was about 11. When I was about 13 or 14, a cousin gave me a pile of what I now know were Pulp magazines (sometimes just "pulps"). These were inexpensive fiction magazines published... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2019 at Without the state
I've been looking at the Ocean Park series of paintings and prints by Richard Diebenkorn (via this book, but also here.) There is something about them that keeps drawing me back. They are deceptively simple with subdued colours, apparently just... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2019 at Without the state
Back in 2014, I wrote a post looking at the dominance of London and the disproportionate spending on infrastructure in London and the SE compared to the rest of the country. Since then things haven’t improved. The bill for Crossrail... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2019 at Without the state
I'm an artist printmaker, I took this up on retirement (for the second time) but even before then I was always taking photographs and have done so for over 50 years now. The visual arts have always been important to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2019 at Without the state
Probably not known outside the UK, but a great comic actor with perfect timing. Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2018 at Without the state
Up to now this has been a Brexit free zone, but inevitably as I disengage from Facebook, that must change. A frequent mantra from the leave side has been the call for an 'end to free movement of people'. It's... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2018 at Without the state
Will we ever have significant settlements of human beings living off-planet? Not according to this post at Crooked Timber. The author, John Quiggin says bluntly " humans will never go out to explore this universe, or even le ave Earth... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2018 at Without the state
Facebook usage declined in 2018 for the first time ever - at least in the US. It wasn't just a small decline either, but back to 2015 levels from 67 percent of Americans aged 12 and older to 62 percent... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2018 at Without the state
I used to use Sage, but that is no longer supported on Firefox, so I've just installed FeedBro. I'm in the process of rebuilding my list of sites.
Toggle Commented Dec 29, 2018 on Reboot at Without the state
1 reply
One of my aims when I opened my Etsy shop selling vintage graphics was to have as wide a variety of images available as possible. It took me a while before I realised this was tapping into something called the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2018 at Without the state
I'm on Facebook less and less these days. I left almost all the groups I was in. many of these were innocuous, like local history groups but despite that they seemed almost as bad as Twitter with unthinking aggressive and generally nasty posts everywhere. Brexit hasn't helped. As I disengaged there I came back to reading blogs much more and that's led me to restart my own.
Toggle Commented Dec 28, 2018 on Reboot at Without the state
1 reply
Thanks for this - I didn't realise you were on Etsy.
1 reply
Thanks for the comment - and the post at your own site, which I've only just found. I didn't recognise the site at first but recognised the name, then I realised I remembered it as 'Irish Eyes'. I don't get to Ireland these days sadly, the contract that brought me there stopped with the financial crisis followed by some health issues that stopped me travelling.
Toggle Commented Dec 26, 2018 on Reboot at Without the state
1 reply
In an earlier post, I proposed an adaptation of the core-housing approach adopted in developing countries, with serviced plots on which would be constructed a basic unit of one living room, a kitchen and a bathroom. The plots would be... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2018 at Without the state
For the nth time, I'm going to try to restart this blog. I spent a while going back over some old posts and decided I don't want to let it go. I'm not going to change the name this time.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2018 at Without the state
I haven’t posted here in a long time. I’m reluctant to close the blog though. There is a lot here that I am proud to have written and don’t want to see it simply vanish into the ether. My reasons... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2017 at Without the state
Back in the late 1960s, while still a student, I came across a book by Charles Abrams, a UN advisor on housing matters. In that book, Man's Struggle for Shelter in An Urbanizing World, Abrams describes how people living in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2016 at Without the state
Hinkley decision is a disaster for UK The decision to go ahead with Hinkley C is I think pretty disastrous. It ties us, probably for the next 40 years, to a nasty, poisonous, highly centralised and potentially vulnerable system of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2016 at Without the state
It's over a year since the last post. Since then I've been so wrapped up with other things, the blog has been neglected yet again. I'm still writing, but mainly as an adjunct to my online Etsy shops to promote... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2016 at Without the state
I didn't write anything about the Independence Referendum. This was in part because I was quite conflicted in my response. As an Englishmen (albeit with Scots ancestry) living in England, I didn't relish the prospect of a near permanent Tory... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2015 at Without the state