Occupy St Pauls Cathedral!

Occupy St Paul’s! This isn’t the slogan of those who have followed in the wake of the Wall Street protestors, but London’s eponymous cathedral is now surrounded by a tent city of anti capitalist protestors.


In truth, there just isn’t the room outside the Bank of England, or the ‘Old Lady of Threadneedle Street’, as the institution is known. Nor are there open parks adjacent, so St Paul’s Cathedral, the Christopher Wren masterpiece is surrounded by a multi coloured Bedouin village.

It began well enough. Protesters were welcomed by the church, their sometimes inchoate demands echoed by the church which wants to be seen on the side of the people rather than Mammon. The British protests have largely been peaceful, nor have there been the scenes of violence visited on New York or Portland, Oregon. The British media largely began by watching the gathering with a sense of detached resignation. But it wasn’t long before the protestors found themselves being bombarded with the question; ‘so if you don’t like the system, what’s your alternative?’ Then some enterprising journalists discovered that some of the tents were empty during the night, as some less hardy souls returned to their homes, and now the church authorities, goaded by Mayor Johnson have decided it is time for the protestors to move on.

All is not without potential hazard. One churchman has resigned in protest at the cathedral authority’s apparent change of heart, while some protestors are refusing to budge. The stage is set for some kind of stand off.  The mood of the media has hardened as well, although it is difficult to remember many of the same newspaper critics turning their ire and questioning on the bankers and speculators as they rifled the Western economies.

That said the protestors do know what they don’t like; a kleptocratic capitalism run by and for plutocrats, but as yet they haven’t reached any kind of consensus as what could be done to change our economic system so that it is both dynamic and provides equally for all. We are some way from all of that, but it will come.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less
Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.

Keep reading Show less

Harvard: Men who can do 40 pushups have a 'significantly' lower risk of heart disease

Turns out pushups are more telling than treadmill tests when it comes to cardiovascular health.

Airman 1st Class Justin Baker completes another push-up during the First Sergeants' push-up a-thon June 28, 2011, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Participants were allowed 10 minutes to do as many push-ups as they could during the fundraiser. Airman Baker, a contract specialist assigned to the 354th Contracting Squadron, completed 278 push-ups. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Janine Thibault)
Surprising Science
  • Men who can perform 40 pushups in one minute are 96 percent less likely to have cardiovascular disease than those who do less than 10.
  • The Harvard study focused on over 1,100 firefighters with a median age of 39.
  • The exact results might not be applicable to men of other age groups or to women, researchers warn.
Keep reading Show less

U.S. reacts to New Zealand's gun ban

On Thursday, New Zealand moved to ban an array of semi-automatic guns and firearms components following a mass shooting that killed 50 people.

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Gun control supporters are pointing to the ban as an example of swift, decisive action that the U.S. desperately needs.
  • Others note the inherent differences between the two nations, arguing that it is a good thing that it is relatively hard to pass such legislation in such a short timeframe.
  • The ban will surely shape future conversations about gun control in the U.S.
Keep reading Show less