West ham

The call of a blackbird’s full-throated song

Speaking pretty good English, Dr Tayeb came straight to the point. Was I eligible for the ground breaking new cancer treatment? He was afraid not. The radioactive test scan had illuminated the bone tumours very nicely, but the more dangerous one in the liver had remained occluded. So in my case the new treatment – a series of targeted infusions – could have only a ‘suboptimal outcome’. He was therefore not recommending that we go ahead. This was at 8.30 in the morning. I’d been in a taxi since 6.30. I’d hardly slept the night before, due partly to anxiety about what Dr Tayeb might or might not say, and

A tale of bitter brotherly rivalry

For early humans there was no distinction between spirit and matter. There was no idea of self; no barrier between consciousness and the world. Eventually, evolving self-consciousness and thought put a barrier between the two. Object was irrecoverably divorced from subject. Or so I’ve read somewhere. Something like that anyway. Very recently yet another barrier has been erected between human consciousness and the world in the form of the smart phone touch screen, putting us at not one but two removes from reality. No wonder everyone’s lost the plot. On Sunday, at the very forefront of the evolution of human consciousness, I took human evolution a step further by watching