Kester Brewin
Kester Brewin is a teacher and writer living in London. He recently gave a TED talk based on his book Mutiny - Why We Love Pirates and How They Can Save Us.

Entries by Kester Brewin

When Democracy Delivers the Abyss, We Need More Democracy

(0) Comments | Posted 27 June 2016 | (20:53)

'We must respect the democratic will of the people.' So said Chancellor George Osborne this morning, after just shy of 52% of the 72% of the British population voted to leave the EU. A vote was held, the results were counted, and the fundamental principle of democracy requires that we...

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From Off-Shore to Off-Planet - The Rich Are Lifting Away

(0) Comments | Posted 11 April 2016 | (16:06)

Where is JG Ballard when you need him? In a scene that seems to jump perfectly from one of his novels, just as the political and financial elites polished their best justifications for not paying tax like the rest of us, Richard Branson has unveiled his new Virgin Galactic spaceship...

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Out of Nothing, from a Frozen Land: Santa Claus and the Disaster of Unlimited Consumption

(0) Comments | Posted 11 December 2015 | (11:17)


As decorations have been put up around town this week, in the north of England floods have hit Cumbria, while over in Paris leaders from island nations have pleaded with rich countries like the UK to do more to act over...

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Refugee Religions: The Complex Relationship Between Poverty and Power

(2) Comments | Posted 7 September 2015 | (09:23)

(Photo credit: Bettmann/CORBIS)

The Pope has been at it, and so has the Archbishop of Canterbury. Christian-minded columnists such as Giles Fraser have been doing it too - all of them laying out the religious imperative for offering refuge to refugees.


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Hackers Helping Disabled Musicians Show They Have Soul

(0) Comments | Posted 17 June 2015 | (00:00)


The other weekend I spent time with the Research and Development team at Drake Music, a charity committed to giving all people - disabled and non-disabled alike - the same opportunities to express themselves through music, to affirm that they...

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'You Will Not Surely Die' - Art, Consciousness and Immortality

(0) Comments | Posted 24 January 2015 | (14:12)


The above picture was going around Facebook the other day, posted I think as a kind of spiritual pick-me-up, an encouragement to live life to the full and get out there and create wonderful things. The problem is, it's absolute bullsh*t of a...

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Which Secondary School? Ten Pointers from a Teacher for Making a Smart Choice

(0) Comments | Posted 16 September 2014 | (09:11)


My son is in Year 6, so my diary for the next few weeks is full to bursting with open mornings, open days and open evenings for the local schools we're looking at. It's a huge decision to be making, especially if this...

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Macbeth's Ghost: No-Notice Ofsted Inspections Risk an Educational Witch-Hunt

(0) Comments | Posted 11 June 2014 | (13:00)


After the 'Trojan Horse' scandal that has hit some of Birmingham's schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, controversial head of Ofsted, has been given the go-ahead by Michael Gove to allow no-notice inspections. Wilshaw had pushed for their introduction around 2 years ago...

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Meatspace by Nikesh Shukla - Learning to Dwell in the Possible

(0) Comments | Posted 9 June 2014 | (20:47)


About 6 years ago - back, one might say in Internet terms, in the late-Jurassic stage - Mark Edmundson, a Professor of English at a well known American university, wrote a rather beautiful essay that explored the effects ubiquitous online access...

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Library as Church, Bookshelf as Altar: Why I Gave Up Praying, and Carried on Reading

(2) Comments | Posted 8 May 2014 | (13:19)

Around 18 months ago my best friend died of cancer. He was early 40s, and left a wife and twins. Like me 'the son of a preacher man,' we'd collaborated together on projects exploring the outer edges of what our faith was becoming.

When I'd first met him we used...

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Oculus, Virtual Reality and Why Books Must Win the Battle for Our Eyesight

(0) Comments | Posted 27 March 2014 | (17:34)


The bookshop Waterstones tweeted a joke yesterday in which Mark Zuckerberg went into their shop on Oxford Street:

'What's this?' he said, holding up a book. 'It's a book,' I replied.

He looked at it for five minutes before asking what...

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In Memory of Bob Crow - Why I Remain a Committed Trade Union Member

(1) Comments | Posted 11 March 2014 | (15:47)

"Who will replace him?"

These were the words that a colleague in education spoke when he heard about the sudden death of Bob Crow. Not an administrative enquiry, a question concerning who will put their name plate on his office, and who will take his place at meetings - no,...

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The Trauma of Accepting the Truth: Why Climate Sceptics Are Like Religious Fundamentalists

(2) Comments | Posted 3 March 2014 | (08:42)

There's an old joke about how many climate change sceptics it takes to change a lightbulb, the punchline being of course that it doesn't take any: more research is needed to see if the thing needs changing. When I was first told this pun I realised I'd also heard the...

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Apple and Wearable Technology: A Warning From History

(0) Comments | Posted 30 January 2014 | (10:59)

Picture the scene - you are completing an application form for life insurance and a page comes up giving you the option to upload data from your always-on fitness monitor, outlining your exercise, work and sleep patterns for the past 6 months, with the incentive that reduced premiums may be...

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Tractors, Trolls and What a 1950's Philosopher Says About Twitter

(0) Comments | Posted 24 January 2014 | (08:05)

There is rarely anything new under the sun. It's useful to remember this when there is great furore over new technologies and the effects they are having on us and the world we live in - especially when the stories are as serious as a teenager taking her life because...

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Peace and Goodwill for Bethlehem in London?

(6) Comments | Posted 5 January 2014 | (20:49)


As the season of peace and goodwill to all, it's amazing just how much division and hatred Christmas can throw up.

Earlier this week I attended a fantastic meal put on as part of the 'Bethlehem Unwrapped' festival put together by...

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The Future Is Ours to Decide: Putting Our Mouth Where Our Money Is

(0) Comments | Posted 3 December 2013 | (10:24)

A couple of months ago an esteemed educationalist - a Knight of the Realm no less - came to the school I teach in to do some training. One part of his remit was inviting us to think about the future of education, and he began by excitedly delivering a...

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The Pope on Capitalism: The Same Goes for Catholicism

(2) Comments | Posted 27 November 2013 | (13:06)

There's a scene in the 1991 filmThe Silence of the Lambs where Agent Starling - played so beautifully by Jodie Foster - is interviewing Hannibal Lecter. In his trademark creepy way, Lecter is telling Starling all that he sees of her - things that are true, but uncomfortably...

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Reborn as a Woman: A Radical Review of Gravity

(1) Comments | Posted 14 November 2013 | (13:10)

--Warning This Post Contains Spoilers--

I saw Gravity last week. It's a very good film that has stuck with me since, but the question that has bugged me is this: what is the film actually about? Here's my radical view: Gravity is a new creation myth for the USA, one...

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Twitter - Better Cooperative Than Corporation?

(3) Comments | Posted 7 November 2013 | (10:39)

News outlets have been covering the story of Twitter's flotation on the stock market, with a valuation of $18bn. Shares were offered at around $26.

A couple of these recent flotations - I'm thinking of Facebook and, in the UK, the Royal Mail - have given me pause for thought...

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