Friday, 22 March 2019

Herry's Journal Index

What is Poetry?
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam 
Favourite Poetry - The Four Quartets
Favourite Poetry - The North Ship
Favourite Poetry - Akhmatova
Favourite Poetry - Pablo Neruda
Edna St Vincent Millay - Love is is not All
Edna St Vincent Millay - Eight Sonnets V
Edna St Vincent Millay - Dirge Without Music
Favourite Poetry - Poesie Mondane, Bestemmia 619
Favourite Poetry - Wind
Favourite Poetry - October
Favourite Poems - Hiawatha
Favourite Poems - Horatius at the Bridge - Macauley
Favourite Poems - Ithaca
Favourite Poems - Kindness
Favourite Poems - Beloved Earth
Favourite Poems - C9th Chinese Poem on Old Age
Favourite Poems - Heraclitus
Favourite Poems - Beloved Earth 
Favourite Poems - Animals
Favourite Poems - Stag's Leap
Favourite Poems - The Wilderness
Favourite Poems - No Man Is An Island
Favourite Poems - The Wound in Time
Favourite Poems - A Shropshire Lad
The Patience of Ordinary Things
Favourite Haiku - Basho
Kei's Poetry - Ego Sum
Kei's Poetry - The Dressing Table
Kei's Poetry - For Obachan
Favourite Carols
Favourite Songs - Kathleen Ferrier 'Land of Hope and Glory'

The Story of the Fox (The Little Prince) 
Favourite Writings - Big Wolf Little Wolf
Favourite Writings - Louis 1, King of the Sheep
Favourite Writings - Beyond Euphrates
Favourite Writings - Ovid
The Dazzling Fluidity of Days
Favourite Writings - The Lycian Shore
Favourite Writings - More Freya Stark
Favourite Books - 'Wait For Me' by Debo Devonshire
Favourite Writings - Jalaluddin al-Rumi
Favourite Writings - Bruno Schultz 'August' 
Favourite Writings - Desiderata
John O'Donoghue at Glenstal Abbey
Things We Learn in Time
The River Test
The Stanzas of Dzyan
Astravakra Gita
I Am Shiva
The Other Song of Solomon
Blithe Moment
Jane Austen
Edith Wharton
The Song of the Weather
The Snow Country
The Forms of Love
The Scientist and the Universe
The Scientist and the Universe II
Ruskin on Pugin's Conversion to Roman Catholicism
100 Books Famous in Children's Literature
100 Books Famous in Children's Literature - the List
Vogue's Book of Houses, Gardens and People
A Study of History
A History of Intimacy
Wise Advice - Sally Brampton
More Wise Advice - Sally Brampton
Life by Biance Sparacino
The Five Signs of Lack of Intelligence
Cognitive Biases
The Book of Kells
Watching The English
De Profundis - Oscar Wilde
Isaiah Berlin
Favourite Quotes - John Ruskin
Bertrand Russell's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
Favourite Writings - Ecclesiastes
Favourite Writings - Friendship
Favourite Writings - Love Undetectable by Andrew Sullivan
Favourite Writings - The Tao Te Ching
Favourite Writings - Seneca - We Are All Chained to Fortune

Art and What it means to Me
Post EU Referendum Blues
Fracking - a Real and Present Danger
Stockbridge and the Storms of February 2014
Grave Threat to Longstock and Stockbridge from Developers 
Destruction of the Winchester College Wingnuts
Falloden Nature Reserve Closed to Walkers
The Curious Case of the Middle Lane
How to Become a Petrol-Saving Bore
The Curse of Road Noise
The End of Cadogan
In Praise of Fluting
The Poison of Bonuses
The Scourge of Intensive Farming
The Law of Unintended Consequences
Inequality - A Growing Problem
Illogical Arguments
Games People Play
Slideshows and The Little Prince
The Dazzling Fluidity of Days
Early June Morning
The Joy of Fly Fishing
The Big Issue
Geography and How We've Lost It
The Highway Code in 100 Words
The Joy of Cricket
Leonard Cohen The Master
Favourite Songs - Leonard Cohen
The Joy of YouTube
Thoughts on SOPA and PIPA
Farewell Tempo
The Rat Pack
The Lexus
Heron Wars in Stockbridge
Why I Prefer Pubs to Restaurants 
Slideshows and The Little Prince
Treasure Island and the Avoidance of Tax
The Part Played by Insurance in the Financial Crisis 2008

Obituaries and Eulogies
Dirge Without Music
The Rat Pack
Rosie Jenks 1943 - 2005
Gopika Fraser 1965 - 2009
Cmdr Colin Balfour RN 1924 - 2009 
Norman Buckingham 1918 - 2010
The Rev Hamilton Lloyd 1919 - 2011
Suzanne Lloyd 1923 - 2011
Sally Macpherson 1940 - 2012
Nick Duke 1945 - 2013
S Venkiteswaran 1941 - 2013
Joanne Louise Taylor (Jo Johns) 1939 - 2014
Ernie Stiles - 1941 - 1914
Lucie Skipwith 1942 - 2014
Annie May Spawton 1944 - 2014
Kate O'Brien 1953 - 2017
Bill Birch Reynardson 1923 - 2017
John Kay 1936 - 2019

Herry's Trinity House Retirement 2006
Herry's Tokyo Retirement 2006
Herry's Beijing Retirement 2006
Herry's Office Retirement 2006
Herry's 70th Birthday Party July 2015
Lawford Lunch at the Drapers' Hall 2014
Winchester College 50 Years On Dinner 2014
Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair at the Drapers' Hall 2016
Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair at the Drapers' Hall 2014
Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair at the Drapers' Hall 2013
Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair at the Drapers' Hall 2012
Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair at the Drapers' Hall 2011
Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair at the Drapers' Hall 2010
Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair at the Drapers' Hall 2009
The Royal Hospital Carol Service 2009
The Royal Hospital Carol Service 2010
The Royal Hospital Carol Service 2011
The Royal Hospital Chelsea Dinner 2010
Fine Cell at the V&A
Fine Cell at the Drapers' Hall
Fine Cell at the Leathersellers' Hall 2009
Fine Cell at the Leathersellers' Hall 2009
Fine Cell at the Glaziers' Hall
The Drapers' Almshouses
The Drapers' Almshouse Outing to Winchester 2009
The Drapers' Almshouse Teaparty 2007
The Drapers' Almshouse Teaparty 2008
The Drapers' New Year's Service
Thomas Miller Carol Service 2008
Thomas Miller Carol Service 2009
Thomas Miller Carol Service 2010
Thomas Miller Carol Service 2011
Thomas Miller Carol Service 2013
Thomas Miller Carol Service 2018 and the City
The Mission to Seafarers Carol Concert 2008
The Mission to Seafarers Carol Concert 2009
The Mission to Seafarers Carol Concert 2010
Stockbridge Christmas Evening Shopping 2014
Remembrance Sunday at Litchfield
Christmas at Blenheim 2016
Winchester Cathedral Carol Service 2016
Winchester Portrait Exhibition 2017
Dedication of 'Ascension' for the SAS at Hereford Cathedral

Travel and Places

Memories of the Taj
Timeless India
India - the Cradle of Language, Astronomy and Science
Favourite Cities - Beirut
Russia - The Wild East
Favourite Places - Palace Hotel, Tokyo
Favourite Places - Winchester Cathedral
Favourite Places - Wells Cathedral
Favourite Places - Coventry Cathedral
Coventry's Awe-Inspiring Cathedral
Coventry's Awe-Inspiring Cathedral II
Coventry Cathedral - the Sutherland Tapestry
Coventry Cathedral Golden Jubilee
Coventry Cathedral Carol Concert 2013
Favourite Places in Autumn - Japan
Favourite Places - Stockbridge
Old Swan House History
Christmas Scenes in London
Christmas Scenes 2008
Mottisfont Abbey in Winter
More Frosty Walks
Favourite Houses - Hinton Ampner
Favourite Places - The East Banqueting House
Favourite Restaurants - The River Cafe
Farewell Robert Le Pirate
The Murphy's and the French Riviera
Drapers' Almshouse Outing to Winchester 2009
Japan - Imabari and the Kurushima Strait
Japan - Early Morning Chimes
Hymn to Dear Japan March 2011
One of Hutton's Glass Screen Angels in Hampshire
The Great Churches of the City of London
The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry
The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry Reopening 2008
John O'Donohue at Glenshal Abbey
Elmore Abbey
Stockbridge Christmas Evening 2016
Favourite Places - Lime Wood

Gardens and Flowers
Favourite Gardens - The Buildings in Autumn 
Favourite Gardens - The Buildings, Broughton
Favourite Gardens - The Buildings August 2018
Favourite Gardens - the last of The Buildings, October 2018
Favourite Gardens - the Laskett Gardens
Favourite Gardens - Terstan
Favourite Gardens - Ashtall Manor
on form at Ashtall Manor
Favourite Gardens - Bere Mill in Spring
Favourite Gardens - Adwell
Favourite Gardens - Hinton Ampner
Favourite Gardens - Stockbridge Town Gardens
Favourite Gardens - Wherwell Village Gardens
Favourite Gardens - Bramdean House
Favourite Gardens - Dean House
Favourite Gardens - A Secret Garden
Favourite Gardens - West Green
Favourite Gardens - Mottisfont Abbey
Cascades Flower Arrangement Exhibition in Winchester Cathedral 2015
Winchester Flower Festival 2018
The Manor at Upton Grey
Heale House Garden
Adwell Garden Fair
The National Gardens Scheme
Glorious Gardens in the National Gardens Scheme
The Secret Gardens of Spitalfields
Autumn Colours in Kyoto
Autumn Beeches
The Orangery in Winter
Snow in April
Favourite Views - Koko at The Orangery
Favourite Views - Fields of Barley
Making the Garden at Old Swan House
Old Swan House Gardens Open for the NGS 2015
Old Swan House Garden Video in June 2014
Old Swan House Garden in Summer and Autumn
Old Swan House Garden in July
Old Swan House Garden in June
Old Swan House Garden in August 2016
Old Swan House Garden in September 2016
Old Swan House Garden Late 2016
Old Swan House Garden Video April 2018
Old Swan House Garden in June 2018
Old Swan House Garden in July 2018
Old Swan House Garden in August 2018
Old Swan House Garden in March 2019
Chelsea Flower Show 2007
Chelsea Flower Show 2008
Chelsea Flower Show 2010
Chelsea Flower Show 2011
Chelsea Flower Show 2012
Chelsea Flower Show 2013
Chelsea Flower Show 2014
Chelsea Flower Show 2016
Chelsea Flower Show 2018
Chatsworth Flower Show 2017
Garden Design - Vaux le Vicomte
Mottisfont Rose Garden June 2013
Mottisfont Rose Garden June 2015
Mottisfont Rose Garden June 2017
Mottisfont Rose Garden June 2018
Hilliers Evening Tour for the NGS June 2018

Paintings and Photographs
Art and What it Means to Me
St Laurent and Pierre Berge Collection
Saatchi Gallery - New Art from India
Saatchi Gallery - New Art from China
Saatchi Gallery - New Art from the Middle East
Emily Patrick Exhibition in Spitalfields 2008
Anish Kapoor's Exhibition
Anish Kapoor in Kensington Gardens 2010
Horst at the V&A - Photographer of Style
Van Gogh at the Royal Academy 2010
An Inland Voyage at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum
Ibrahim El-Salahi at the Tate Modern
Gaugin at the Tate Modern
Francis Bacon Exhibition at the Tate
The Tate Modern's 10th Anniversary
Picasso Exhibition at the National Gallery
Anish Kapoor at the Royal Academy 2009
Art Gallery of New South Wales - Frieda Kahlo
Lines of Thought - Isabel Seligman
How to Draw
The Garden Gallery Exhibition at the Grange
Turner - Painting With Light
Emily Patrick and Patience of Ordinary Things

Food and Wine
Favourite Restaurants - the River Cafe
Wine Writings
The Joy of Breakfast
Favourite Recipes - Dark Chunky Marmalade 
Dinner for One

Favourite Blogs
Favourite Blogs - Spitalfields Life

How to Become a Petrol-Saving Bore

Charles / Boodle with Annette on a Daimler V8

I had never taken much notice of how much petrol I used, probably the result of having it free from the farm in my youth, and I think that almost the first time I noticed that I was using a lot was in 2005 when I saw that the Lexus was returning 12mpg in London driving. And that was after I had driven Jaguars and Daimlers that must have been even more thirsty.

But in those days, apart from looking at the mileometer and working it out from when one filled up at the pump, there was little way of knowing what mpg the car was doing. In any event petrol was then relatively inexpensive and few had connected climate change to the use of cars.

Kei in the Lexus
I would like to report that it was my concern about its mpg that persuaded me to change the Lexus to a Prius, but it was more the fact that insuring the Lexus for Kei to drive at 18 was prohibitively expensive. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the fact that the Prius had a clear read-out of how much petrol one was using and that showed that I was driving more frugally. However, that obscured the fact that I had maintained my fairly swift driving style and the average 52 mpg that I was now getting (in my third Prius) was not particularly good.

The Pruis on Old Winchester Hill

It was the drumbeat of climate change reports in early 2019 that caused me to look again at the mpg that I was achieving and think about how to improve it. It turned out to be less difficult that I imagined. I set the car to 'eco' and drove more slowly, and found that I could maintain an mpg of about 62 in normal conditions and up to 65 mpg on long journeys, a marked improvement. And of course my gentler driving style scarcely altered the time taken to reach my destination, and indeed it became obvious to me that the time taken to reach anywhere hardly matters. What matters is when one sets out.

I would now like to further improve my mpg by getting a plug-in hybrid or even a full electric car, but will wait until my car needs changing before making the switch. In the meantime, I am enjoying the challenge of getting tbe best mpg I can out of the Prius while becoming a petrol-saving bore.      

Monday, 18 March 2019

Old Swan House Garden in March 2019

The gardening year always begins sometime in March; in Old Swan House garden it started on 13th March when the grass garden was cut down.

Before that, the garden was mostly asleep, guarded by the dark yew hedges and the still darker box, apart from the astonishing Daphne that has been casting its scent over the pond since January.

The Daphne scents the garden from January to April
The grasses have been marvellous all year and are no less interesting in winter.  The tallest, Miscanthus 'Prof Richard Hansen', throws a bright shaft of light nine feet, drawing the eye from all over the garden but particularly from the house.

The garden in February with Miscanthus 'Prof Richard Hansen' throwing up its beam of light against the dark hedge
The wildflower patch is cleared in the autumn but retains intrigue behind its rusty fencing.

The wildflower area

And then the grasses come down, along with the sedums and other small plants that dot the gravel garden, and the whole area feels refreshed and new. 'Stipa gigantea' is already throwing up masses of sharp green leaves, while the pheasant grass (which is not cut down) shows its pleasing colouring now that the most prominent grasses have gone. This year two of the tallest grasses have been removed (leaving one) as they were becoming somewhat 'thuggish' and beginning to crowd out others. 

With the clearing of the grass garden, the 'borrowed landscape' over the wall comes more clearly into focus and will remain so until the grasses return to draw the eye back to the area in May and June. 

One plant that does beautifully almost all year is my favourite, euphorbia. Not only are the acid-green whorls of 'wulfenii' out already, but its creeping cousin, 'myrsinites' is brightening the gravel with its fascinating spread of octopus-like arms.  


Thursday, 7 March 2019

John Kay 1936 - 2019

Hazel and John at Litchfield
John was a most interesting man; born to schoolteachers in China, as a child he was interned by the Japanese for three years in Shanghai. After school, he joined the navy and flew from aircraft carriers. A clever man and a fine natural mathematician, he later joined IBM where his coding skills were greatly appreciated.  A lover of classical music, he had a fine singing voice, as I knew well, since we usually sat together at church at Litchfield, when he could always be relied on to lead us through the trickier psalms. 

Sylvia Haymes, who among other things plays the organ at Litchfield, gave this lovely eulogy at his funeral at All  Hallows, Whitchurch, on 7th March 2019:

John was a dear man and a wonderfully integrated combination of opposites. He was vague, particularly about trivial aspects of life that some might give much attention to – what to take on holiday, for instance – but he was also astute and determined about things he thought important: Hazel, Mathematics, the liturgy, friendship, beekeeping and, of course, music.
He loved music and had not only a fine voice but also a fine appreciation of good music: he loved stirring hymn tunes and choral music as part of the liturgy.  I think he had a feeling for the poetry of the earlier hymns and he certainly loved the cadences of the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. It was always a treat to hear him read from the Bible in his distinctive brown-bear voice. Despite all this natural ability and discernment, he didn’t, latterly, find sight-reading music easy (as he often said) but he could still pick up – or make up bass part with the best of them.  He could also find his way through the pointing of the psalms – a virtue not accorded to many.

John was a clever man but never arrogant. He enjoyed solving puzzles and mathematical problems. Conversations with him were always rewarding and you never quite knew where they would lead.  He had a unique perspective and a fund of stories which enriched the discourse. He would really listen.  I think that he also had that gift of making the person he was talking to feel that they were clever too. One friend who cannot be here today said that talking to John at parties was something she always enjoyed.

Church services were important to him, as were those in the congregation – many of us here today count ourselves as friends.  He was acutely aware of the presence of spirituality in places where worship was sincere and Christian love apparent.  To see John, smiling as he came through the doorway, gave you the idea that all was right with the world: he was happy and at home in his local churches: All Hallows, St Mary’sTufton and St James the Less, Litchfield all benefitted from his voice in their pews. However, I think he also appreciated the grander scale of things in the cathedral at Winchester and he and Hazel went for several years to the beautiful and uplifting services held each summer in Edington Priory with professional singers and players.  In other situations he might, at times, be inattentive, but watching him listening in church, particularly if Hazel was preaching, there was no doubt that he was fully engaged.  He was, of course, so proud of her: ‘Wonderful! Wonderful!’ he would say of her sermons.

Although they lived in separate houses for so many years, it was, and is, impossible for many of us to think of John without Hazel. They might have been separated by a wall but there was no doubt that they were together. ‘Hazy’ was his anchor and his pride and joy. (There is a pleasing irony in the name as she is unfailingly clear although John might not always be so.) The sheer happiness of their wedding day is something that those lucky enough to be there – and there were many – will never forget. John naturally inspired love and affection but he was especially lucky and blessed to have found Hazel.  Love, true friendshiptravel and the million little incidents that make up daily life could be shared.  Towards the end of his life, her care and devotion were almost super-human.  Perhaps most significantly, she thoroughly understood him.  One of my favourite instances of this was her observation apropos the remarkable array of vacuum cleaners lined up against the wall that John liked to have one of each sort.

He achieved this good and full life despite his life-long struggle with deep depression.  Recently he seemed to shed the cloud, finding some sort of equilibrium even in the midst of his trials.  As Hazel says, ’he never complained.  Quite simply: he was happy.

There is a lot that I have left out: the bee-keeping, for instance (he was known to some locally as ‘The Bee Man’ and I know Mark Christian learnt a lot from him) I have no details of the allotment, apart from being grateful for an excellent crown of rhubarb that with typical generosity, he gave me. There is nothing here about John’s family, his working life and his early internment as a child in the Japanese camp to mention just a few aspects. I don’t understand enough about them to begin to give an accurate picture: others will be much more competent.  However, I do know that John had a stature and a presence that made me proud to know him.  

As I said, he was a dear man. I am glad, as are so many other friends, to have such happy memorieswe have been enriched by his life and are profoundly grateful for it

John was buried at Litchfield. 

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Cognitive Biases

The 17 Cognitive Biases That Explain Brexit

It’s all in our heads. Unfortunately

I was reading an article in the Guardian the other day, in which the author suggested that the current problem of #fakenews relates to a specific new type of cognitive bias, called Tribal Epistemology — that is, that truth no longer corresponds to facts or evidence, but rather whether a specific assertion agrees with the viewpoint of the tribe one belongs to.
I like that term, Tribal Epistemology. It seems like a nice term to define the cognitive and social constructs behind the fake news phenomenon.
It got me thinking, are there any other well-known cognitive biases that could go some way to explaining Brexit and all that shite?
Well, as it happens, yes. There are. 17 of them, in fact.

1/ Tribal Epistemology

Information is evaluated based not on conformity to common standards of evidence or correspondence to a common understanding of the world, but on whether it supports the tribe’s values and goals and is vouchsafed by tribal leaders.
The one that started me on this thought-trail.
How does Tribal Epistemology explain some of the reasoning behind fake news, and as a result, all the weirdness/awfulness in politics right now?
Well, if information is not considered factually true based on evidence but rather whether it conforms to ideals of the tribe, then you arrive at the silo state we’re in now, whereby any news or evidence that goes against your tribe’s beliefs is shunned as “fake news” , considered biased, or ignored entirely.
Only trusted sources count and so what effectively happens is that we double down on our beliefs — we believe something is true because our news source of choice tells us that, but our news source tells us that because we think it’s true.
A very neat explanation of the total shitshow we’re in, don’t you think?

2/ Dunning Kruger Effect

The tendency for unskilled individuals to overestimate their own ability and the tendency for experts to underestimate their own ability.
Most people are pretty stupid.
Before you get all aggy about that statement, do the maths. At absolute best anyone of average intelligence or below is by definition, pretty stupid. Depending on which average we’re talking about, that means potentially at least 50% of the population are thick as shit.
Maybe that includes you. Maybe that includes me (hint: nah).
The Dunning Kruger Effect suggests that people unskilled in intelligence (stupids) will not recognise just quite how unskilled they are in intelligence.
So you arrive at a situation whereby, let’s say 52% of the population (ahem) think they know more than the experts. We’ve had enough of experts, after all.
There might just be a slight relevance to Brexit in this one. Just a tad.

3/ Availability Cascade

A self-reinforcing process in which a collective belief gains more and more plausibility through its increasing repetition in public discourse (or “repeat something long enough and it will become true”).
Brexit means Brexit. No deal is better than a bad deal. We’ll just trade on WTO terms
All either tautologous or literally not true. But people fucking love the sound of ‘em, eh?

4/ Confirmation Bias

The tendency to search for, interpret, focus on and remember information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions.
I’m definitely guilty of this. In fact, I found a series of tweets I posted that totally backs up that assertion.
Not often you get banter of that quality about cognitive biases. I looked for other examples but I couldn’t find any.
Example Brexiter’s view: all the projections about Brexit destroying the economy haven’t come true; PROJECT FEAR.
Me, an intellectual (and Remainer): it’s not actually happened yet you shithawks. Wait til next Christmas when you’re bartering your last tin of Heinz beans and sausages for a blue inhaler.

5/ Backfire Effect

The reaction to disconfirming evidence by strengthening one’s previous beliefs.
The IMF predicts the economy will collapse post-Brexit — TRAITORS
Almost every economist, every lawyer, every business leader, everyone with even one iota of understanding of what Brexit will actually mean is against it — PROJECT FEAR! TALKING THE COUNTRY DOWN! BREXIT MEANS BREXIT!

6/ Curse of Knowledge

When better-informed people find it extremely difficult to think about problems from the perspective of lesser-informed people.
The cross we must bear.

7/ Empathy Gap

The tendency to underestimate the influence or strength of feelings, in either oneself or others.
People really don’t like the EU. Brexity people I mean. I never realised quite how much they dislike it. I do now. I still can’t understand why, but I know they do. My empathy gap has got smaller. Go me.

8/ Illusory Truth Effect

A tendency to believe that a statement is true if it is easier to process, or if it has been stated multiple times, regardless of its actual veracity.
No deal is better than a bad deal seems to make sense right? A bad deal is a bad deal, how can anything be more bad than a bad deal?
What that, quite frankly brilliant piece of propagandising doesn’t take into account (though is fully aware of) is that no deal is a bad deal.
But that’s confusing, isn’t it. No deal is a bad deal and is as bad as a bad deal and really there is no good deal, just bad deal. Fuck that shit, I VOTED LEAVE…

9/ Irrational Escalation/Sunk Cost Fallacy

The phenomenon where people justify increased investment in a decision, based on the cumulative prior investment, despite new evidence suggesting that the decision was probably wrong.
Count the number of times you’ve seen a positive ramification of Brexit appear in the news since the 2016 referendum that hasn’t immediately been shot down as total bollocks.
Literally, every piece of evidence points to it being a ridiculous, awful, suicidal decision for our country.
But we’ve done it now, will of the people, so we can’t change our minds. Article 50's in, can’t back out now (not true, fyi). We’ve opened the alt-right fuckwit can of worms, can’t stop now or they’ll be angry.
We’ve sunk a lot into this already, but that doesn’t mean we can’t cut our losses now. It’s Irrational Escalation/ Sunken Cost Fallacy holding us back.

10/ Negativity Bias

Psychological phenomenon by which humans have a greater recall of unpleasant memories compared with positive memories.
Remember bendy bananas? Or the fish that we used to have or something? I dunno, whatever it is that the EU took away from us. Sovereignty or whatever.
What about all the stuff the EU gave us:
EHIC, freedom of movement, environmental protections, multilateral trade, right to reside, roaming-free mobile networks, enshrined human rights etc.
None of that is as juicy for our ape brains to grab hold of though, we just remember that they took our bananas. The bastards.

11/ Normalcy Bias

The refusal to plan for, or react to, a disaster which has never happened before.
Why did David Cameron’s government not have a plan in place to deal with a leave win?
How come the current government is only just now beginning to cotton on to the fact that no-deal is the most likely outcome?
Normalcy bias. None of this has happened before. No point planning for the non-happeny.

12/ Planning Fallacy

The tendency to underestimate task-completion times.
Linked to the above.
Wonder if Theresa May wishes she’d just given herself a few extra months to negotiate?
Wonder if David Davis still thinks negotiating a deal will be “the easiest thing ever”?
Or I wonder if perhaps, they were subject to Planning Fallacy?

13/ Reactance

The urge to do the opposite of what someone wants you to do out of a need to resist a perceived attempt to constrain your freedom of choice.
Somehow, the most backward, inward, regressive vote in generations managed to get branded as an anti-establishment, kick-up-the-arse-of-the-status-quo vote.
This was mostly because certain types of people will often turn to Reactance when making decisions. What do the people who control things not want to happen? Fuck it, let’s do that then.
Also explains why so many thought voting leave would simply be a protest vote. Few thought the establishment would let it happen.

14/ Semmelweis Reflex

The tendency to reject new evidence that contradicts a paradigm.
What if I was to tell you we could have had blue passports all along? What if I was to say we could have had stricter border controls this whole time?
Well, we know that now. But Brexiters don’t seem to accept that.
That’s the Semmelweis Reflex in action. To accept these facts as truth would destroy part of the image of the EU as the big bad dictatorship they have in their minds. So they don’t accept them.

15/ Third-person effect

Belief that mass communicated media messages have a greater effect on others than on themselves.
Vote Leave cheated and broke electoral law. Russia interfered in the campaign to steer the direction of the result towards leave.
Well, you might have.
There’s a reason why advertising and PR exists. Because it works.
You might think it doesn’t work on you. It does.
You probably voted leave because you saw loads of Russian bots spewing fake news on Twitter.
Sorry, but it’s true. You are just that easy to manipulate.

16/ Parkinson’s Law of Triviality

The tendency to give disproportionate weight to trivial issues. Also known as bikeshedding, this bias explains why an organization may avoid specialized or complex subjects, such as the design of a nuclear reactor, and instead focus on something easy to grasp or rewarding to the average participant, such as the design of an adjacent bike shed.
I love this one. To me it sums up Brexit perfectly.
How do we go about renegotiating trade deals with each individual EU member state on 100s of different areas of trade without breaking world trade rules?
We just leave and trade on WTO terms.
…erm, yes, but I mean, how do we do that, specifically, without drastically increasing the price of existing consumer goods or flatlining our manufacturing industry?
We leave, and they’ll come to us. It’s simple, they need us more than we need them.
No I don’t think you… oh forget it.

17/ False Consensus Effect

The tendency for people to overestimate the degree to which others agree with them.
Sometimes I think everyone has come to their senses and realised Brexit is total bullshit. That doesn’t last long.
I think a lot of Brexiters believe most of their fellow countrymen, even if against Brexit before the vote, now back it. They don’t.
Strange to suggest that one of our problems is that we believe we agree on more than we do, but I think that’s actually the case here.

Hopefully you understood that this piece was an attempt at a humorous explanation of Brexit through the lens of cognitive biases, and if you didn’t, well I’m afraid you’re probably guilty of all of the above. Lol.

See also The Five Signs of Lack of Intelligence