On this last day of 2022, we thought we’d look back over the themes and ideas we’ve covered, and see what might offer clues as to what 2023 may bring.
The year began with our usual themes, which carried on through the year. Antibiotics has been a consistent entry, starting on January 20th and appearing intermittently ever since. Other health topics included the intriguing thought that viruses such as Epstein Barr may lie behind certain dreaded neuropathologies (LSS 17 1 22) It’s an idea whose time may yet come.
Then on 24th February came one of those pieces of news that was to change the world forever. As if Vladimir Putin hadn’t had enough fun throwing people from windows and shooting down airliners, he decided to invade Ukraine. We started out with a piece based on the superlative Catherine Belton outlining the way that Putin has been at war with democracy from the start of his career. (LSS 23 2 22) Once again we’ve had quite a few pieces on this topic. All we can say is that things haven’t gone as well as the brute imagined. The example of the Ukrainians will go down as one of the great struggles in human history, and we urge our readers to to continue to send support to this heroic People.
Normal service continued with looks at AI and quantum computers, as well as more speculative pieces on the deeper significance of curious mathematical phenomena like pi and Euler’s number. (LSS 14 3 22) What happens if those computers get better at this than we are?
Women and their plight are a constant theme. We looked at how they fare under repressive regimes like Iran and Afghanistan (LSS 20 4 22) and also ways that shelters can stem the tide of abuse in more enlightened countries. We’re glad for the support several of you gave us in this mode, as we believe that the Emanicipation of Women is not yet complete, but will bring unequalled prosperity to the world
Global warming and climate change were never far away. We stared on 14th February with a tale of the dangers of methane emissions. Despite the war, the issue hasn’t gone away, gentle readers, and we urge you to do all you can both as consumers and citizens, to mitigate it.
Meanwhile, there were nods to all kinds of current affairs, with characters like Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss making infamous appearances. How much better the world would would have been if these characters had been allowed to rise no further than a junior role in a Southend eel and pie shop! But as the great golfer Bobby Jones once explained-“you have to play the ball where it lies”.
And every Friday, or nearly every Friday, came our Cocktail Hour piece, with its riffs on mixed drinks, a little style, and all things convivial.
We could name several candidates for Person of the Year. The steadfast Joe Biden of the United States. The courageous President Zelensky of Ukraine The teams of scientists who have done so much to advance the cause of Nuclear Fusion. But we at LSS admire intelligence above all else . And so our vote goes to President Xi of China. Whose cunning and stealth has allowed him effectively to annexe the whole of Russia and turn it into the status of a humiliated satrapy. With all of its resources, mineral, people and land at his disposal. By Chinese standards, he has played a blinder. What an outcome for the foolish Putin, who thought he could Make Russia Great Again!
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