Barry Pearson

I am an amateur photographer (and retired computer systems engineer and business analyst) living in the UK. I travel the world, meet interesting people, and shoot them. I shoot anything else that moves. I also shoot things that don't move. And if I'm not sure whether or not it moves, I shoot it anyway. Eur Ing Barry Pearson BSc(Hons) CITP CEng FBCS LRPS

Jan 212013
A message of support for Ophelia Benson and Natalie Reed

I prefer to stay out of on-line warfare. But sometimes you just have to stand up and be counted. These are two people within the freethought communities who for some reason have been attracting unbelievably vicious on-line attacks. Not from people who might be expected to be inherently opposed to the concepts of “freethought”, but from apparent insiders. I’m not objecting to the particulars of any disagreement. If you are on-line some people will disagree with you and criticise your position, and they have a right to do so. (I don’t claim to agree with everything these victims say). But . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 192013

I’ve just finished watching the 3 Swedish-made movies in the Stieg Larsson “Millenium Trilogy“: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo The Girl Who Played with Fire The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest I was gripped by the character of Lisbeth Salander, and not only because of the mesmerising acting by Noomi Rapace. I couldn’t help wondering what her Myers-Briggs Type Indicator would be. And I suspect INTP. Others think INTJ. But INTJs “tend to plan their activities and make decisions early; they derive a sense of control through predictability”. Yet I think she “tends to withhold judgment and delay . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 182013

I’ve just read a super article by Valerie Tarico about the challenges that the Internet (and especially the Web) poses for religion: Religion may not survive the Internet. It reminded me of an article (that Valerie Tarico won’t have seen or known about) that I wrote on my website some time ago: Religions in future. One of my themes was similar. Global communication undermines a number of the methods that religions rely on to sustain the ignorance and delusions of their existing and (more importantly) their future followers. Here are some quotes from my article (there is a lot more . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 142013
Review of "What Did The Baby Boomers Ever Do For Us?" by Francis Beckett

I have just bought and read “What Did The Baby Boomers Ever Do For Us?” (subtitle “Why the Children of the Sixties Lived the Dream and Failed the Future”) by Francis Beckett. I’ve reviewed it at, giving the book 1-star, the minimum. Here is that review plus 2 diagrams and Further reading. “This is an autobiography in a historical context, not about baby boomers!” The author makes it clear from the start that the baby boom he is discussing is not what others talk about, and that his sources are very narrow and unrepresentative. This book says much more . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 102013
Some baby boom myths

Lots of people talk about “the baby boom”. Lots of people make claims about “the baby boomers”. Here are some of the myths held by lots of people. I have written this article as though I am having an informal argument with you about these myths. I accept that you may not believe them all, or indeed you may not believe any of them! Please forgive my style. Myth 1: There was a baby boom from about 1945 to about 1965 Myth 2: The weight of numbers of the baby boomers gave them undue political influence Myth 3: The baby . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 092013
Percentages of various groups in the electorate over the last 35 years

I have been gradually adding to an earlier article “Baby booms in the electorates of the last 6 Prime Ministers“. The latest addition warrants this article of its own. The context is that the above article shows the population and electoral graphs for Prime Ministers from Margaret Thatcher in 1979 to David Cameron in 2010. One objective was to show that the 1945-1965 cohort didn’t dominate politics and elections over the last few decades. This is simply an exact copy of that latest addition: Electorate percentages of various groups Here is another way of looking at the same information, once . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 042013
Why are people born 1945-1965 called baby boomers?

In the UK there wasn’t a baby boom that started about 1945 and ended about 1965. Yet the belief that there was is embedded so deep in the nation’s psyche that people casually assume it in conversation without needing to justify it. The people they are talking to probably also believe it. (If you also believe it, have a look at “Further reading” at the end of this article. The evidence to the contrary from credible sources such as the Office of National Statistics is overwhelming. And I am not the only person to have pointed out this error). These . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 032013
In praise of "NIMBY"!

I haven’t previously thought much about the attitude of NIMBY (“not in my back yard“), except to recognise the term as pejorative. I’m not currently threatened by developments close to my house. (Even the nearby  A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road proposals which I’ve studied and responded to). Then I saw this on Twitter: What a nasty attitude! There is nothing hypocritical about defending your own property from deterioration and devaluation. (And I’m sure James O’Shaughnessy would defend his own lifestyle against deterioration; his job once didn’t exist, so is that a reason why young people can take over some . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Dec 312012
Review of "Jilted Generation" by Ed Howker & Shiv Malik

Here are the comments I promised. (I’ve provided a review at too). This book is unashamedly a polemic rather than an unemotional analysis. This provides the emotional energy to carry the topic, and no doubt resonates with many young people today. It is a rallying cry for “something must be done!” (And perhaps “heads must roll!”) But more analysis would have revealed that things are not always as stated, and seeking solutions (rather than debating problems) needs a more focused identification of underlying causes so that they can be fixed. The book is better at casting blame (sometimes wrongly) . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Dec 302012
Baby booms in the electorates of the last 6 Prime Ministers

There is a commonly-held (but erroneous) view that: There was a baby-boom in the UK starting about 1945 and ending about 1965, and … The size of this baby-boom had a disproportionate influence on government policies. To examine this, here are populations-graphs for the years when each of the last 6 Prime Ministers first took office. (I’ve included estimates for the expected 2015 and 2020 elections too!) The graphs were generated from the animation published by the Office of National Statistics. For each year, the height of the graph indicates how many people born that year were alive when that . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]