About this blog…

Magic bullets? … It’s a temptation of the foul fiend. You cast seven of them at a time; six hit the mark for sure, but the seventh is the Devil’s and he makes it go whither he will.
Der Freischutz, English translation by Dent E (1948).

Magic bullet

\ ‘mædʒɪk bʊlɪt \ noun

: A magical solution to any vexing problem

History, tells us that magic bullets are mythical entities, confined to folklore or sacred prose. And while many of those stories warn us of the temptations of a quick fix – that mouth-watering magic bullet – they have not been enough to temper our search for them.

The aim of this blog is to explore why magic bullets always miss their target and why the concept still captures our imagination in the context of the systemic challenges we face today – the climate change, resource scarcity, a boom and bust prone economic system,  growing inequalities, political instability and conflict. It explores why we seem to insist on ignoring the human-scale solutions that are right in front of our eyes and how contrasting ways of perceiving and resolving problems has the potential to foster, maintain or amplify the precise problem we are trying to mitigate.

‘Why the Magic Bullet Misses’ was the result of a slightly drunken brainstorm in kitsch South London watering hole, the Balham Bowls Club with some wonderful colleagues from the new economics foundation. I wanted to find a way to develop my thinking on the role of technological fixes in responding to climate change, without necessarily having to publish in any official way. So the blog is just a space for me to try out my ideas, develop my writing and share with anyone who is interested.

Obvs all the views expressed on this blog are my own, and have nothing to do with organisations I have been or am associated with. I thought you’d like to know.

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  • May 2021
    M T W T F S S
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