Open Thinkering


Tag: TeamGB


“Well, you do come across as a bit sullen.”


“And you do whinge a lot on your blog.”

The Sullen Cow

I suppose I do.

Not everything is broken. Not everything has a dark, fetid underside. Not everything is a commoditised, market-influenced mess.

What I try to communicate (here and elsewhere) is the importance of recognising how inter-connected and inter-dependent we are. I think it’s far too easy to focus on the former without recognising (and acting upon) the latter.

For example, I’m delighted that TeamGB has met with so much success at the 2012 Olympic Games. But it’s far from merely a collection of individual performances. There’s infrastructure involved. There’s interdependence. There’s solidarity.

Many of our athletes┬árely not only on British infrastructure, but that of other countries – for example British Somali gold medallist Mo Farah, who trains in the US alongside American athlete Galen Rupp. There’s a complicated, tangled, inter-dependent web of human relationships that allow elite athletes to succeed.

Let’s take another example. Breakthroughs in science and technology rarely take place solely because of an individual moment of genius. Rather, they occur because (in Newton’s phrase) individuals and teams “stand on the shoulders of giants”. Researchers, academics, technologists – people who work primarily with their brains rather then their bodies – also rely upon a network of human relationships.

So forgive me if I complain about journal articles being behind paywalls. Forgive me when I point out that access to the best facilities is reserved for those with privilege, status, and money. Forgive me if I come across as sullen. Somewhat paradoxically, it’s because I care so much about others.

Image CC BY-NC theunquietlibrarian