Europe’s Lost World (And The Megaflood That Ended It)

Solitude is not loneliness. Here’s the key philosophical difference.

You don’t have to be alone to feel lonely. Imagine there are two people sitting in the same busy café. One can feel quite contended, listening to music, tapping out an email, and people-watching between sips of coffee. The other can feel crushingly lonely, aware of how much they lack someone to share the moment with. This person watches the world not as some spectacle, but with a pining, longing ache.

“According to research done by Bowker et al., the conscious and deliberate withdraw from social interaction (solitude, not loneliness) is linked with increased creativity.”

There is a difference between loneliness and solitude, and both are highly complicated feelings. In any given day, we all have to spend a lot of time with only ourselves, inside of our head. That’s a normal part of life. But when does that become loneliness…READ ON

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Europe’s Lost World (And The Megaflood That Ended It)

Continuing this season’s theme of looking at our planet’s defining characteristic, today’s newsletter answers the hair-raising question “hey, so, that Zanclean Megaflood thing from 6 million years ago that you recently wrote about: I know there were no people back then, but – what if there were? What would it have done to them?”

Alarmingly, I don’t have to look very far in time and space for an answer to this – just a few hundred miles & back a few thousand years, to a day when the North Sea unleashed thousands of years of climate change upon Europe, all in one go.

Between May and August 1897, the British magazine The Idler published a three-part science fiction story from up & coming writer HG Wells.

The editors must have been delighted. Wells’s novel The Island Of Doctor Moreau had just launched the author’s career to great acclaim the previous year, showing him to be a speculative entertainer with a talent for asking uncomfortable moral & ethical questions. His next work, The Invisible Man, had only just been published (both as a novel and a serial in Pearson’s Weekly) – and in 1898 he’d release the work he’s now best-known for, The War Of The Worlds…READ ON

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