A great splurge of ecstasy over Maradona. It seems devoid of perspective and serious assessment of his actual achievement. He had extraordinary skills and some incredible moments, which lend themselves to clips on the internet - above all from the 1986 world cup. He was also a media dream. Always a story, often lurid. But let's look at his record. Won one world cup. Pele won three. Two league titles in Italy, none in Spain. An average of 0.47 goals per game in Europe. Internationally his average was 0.37. Not in the same league as a goal-scorer as Messi (int ave 0.5) and Rinaldo (0.6). Charlton's ave was 0.46 from the midfield. Not as great as Cruyff as a reformer of the game. This assessment does not involve the 'hand of god' goal. Most professional sportsmen in team games cheat to one degree or another - and I support Scotland.
Thursday 26 November 2020
The search for vaccines should be a great international endeavour, in research and not least in delivery. To see the promise of the "Oxford Vaccine" highjacked for crude nationalistic and political purposes by the beastly Boris is sickening. It resembles Trump's insistence on referring to the "Chinese virus". As emeritus prof at Oxford and I am delighted for the university but I am not interested in waving some kind of parochial flag. Teams of researchers in major Oxford labs are invariably international and multi-ethnic. They are part of a worldwide human thrust to control the virus and to save our lives.
There is of course the related question of whether British labs will be as rich with international talent after the disaster of Brexit.
Wednesday 11 November 2020
Two talks on the internet. Rather different subjects. It's a funny medium, not at all comparable to a live audience in the same space. I find it lessens fluency. Not tv. Not radio. Maybe a conversational tone would work better than my rhetoric.
Re. the Dante lecture. As usual, my first talk on a subject was bit experimental (i.e. not under control). I am also out of practice, not match fit.
American Chemical Society talk on microscopic geometry and representations of the Corona Virus:
Leconfield lecture of the British-Italian Society on Dante and the Art of Divine light
Thursday 5 November 2020
Well, perhaps.... maybe... But even if Biden is elected, the fact that Trump can have such a level of near-success means that things are very bad in the US. The electoral college system needs reform, along with much else in the constitution.
I will only believe that Trump has vacated the presidency when he and his baggage (human and material) are seen actually leaving the White House. If he does,
The UK is heading in a comparable direction with the centralised corruption of the Johnson regime, above all in its outsourcing of huge contracts to cronies.
Wednesday 4 November 2020
The rape of the planet, the rape of reason, the rape of democracy, the rape of decency, the rape of morality, the rape of equalities. This will be the consequence. The whole of the US electorate must take the blame. That the Democrats have abjectly failed in the last two elections to promote a candidate who offers any level of inspiration and freshness makes them partners in the crime. We are confronted by men and women bristling with prejudice and guns. A truly sick society.
Tuesday 3 November 2020
If I believed in a God I would pray. If Trump wins, this will prove that God does not exist / does not care. If Trump wins, I will almost certainly boycott America. I have resisted doing this because it discomforts only people who for the most part are not Trump supporters. But in a supposed 'democracy' the whole electorate must be held responsible for making the same gross mistake twice. And, by the way, the catastrophically out-of-date American constitution needs radical re-casting.