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How can we deal with our region's growing litter problem?

Author profile picture Christopher Crompton
i
Recipient profile picture Andy Street
i
5 April
Dear Andy Street,
Where I live in Walsall, we have a constant and growing problem with litter. It feels like almost every street, every bit of green, is choked up with everything from cans to fly-tipped freezers. I see the same issue all around the region. There's an area of grass by the house where my grandparents lived and I clean it up often, but give it a couple of days and it's full of cans and bags of dog poo all over again. In the past, I've asked for help from the local council, but they are slow to respond and claim they don't have enough budget to keep up with street cleaning, and perhaps more importantly, council cleaning feels like a sticking plaster for what is clearly a cultural problem. There is a local community volunteer litter-picking group that the council oversees, and I have recently joined them, but from the outset, it feels like we are a frustrated minority, forever chasing the tail of another (perhaps larger) minority who create the litter, through what is known in economics as a broken window problem—our efforts are solely to fix something because someone else needlessly broke it—and that parable is employed as the very demonstration of unproductive activity. But, instead of just treating the symptoms, how about addressing the cause? I thought about different strains of education and enforcement, from leafleting to applying for a grant for signs and CCTV, but I'm not convinced that many of them would be effective. I'd prefer of course that folk clean up after themselves because they love and take pride in their local area, rather than because they fear consequences. I do think the fear side of the motivational coin has shifted over time: once, folk would fear to litter because others would think ill of them or berate them; now, folk fear to call out people who litter because abuse is the likely response. Quite a melting pot of cultural factors have merged into the milieu in which social responsibility has subducted beneath marginal convenience. The folk who litter do so because it's marginally more convenient than taking it home, just as those who wouldn't wear masks during even the worst of the pandemic did so because wearing masks is marginally less comfortable than not bothering, and so on. This individual tendency to optimise marginal convenience creates a “tragedy of the commons” in so many areas, where individual actions have a negative effect on society. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to change this, how to encourage people to care and take responsibility. It seems that for folk to value their environment, they first have to notice it, to feel what it is doing for them. Perhaps then it seems a slightly less convenient idea to degrade it. But then there is a challenge in figuring out how to encourage that kind of awareness. The Keep Britain Tidy organisation has done admirable work over the decades to run initiatives and create advertising to discourage littering, but the government withdrew their central grant in 2010, so they have been forced to do their best with independent funding and partnerships. It seems to me that the government absolutely should have a stake in influencing civic responsibility, in facilitating and encouraging the kind of culture that sees people respect and take care of their local environment. To this end, I was pleased that the government launched its national litter strategy in 2017, ostensibly aimed at improving awareness and education as well as enforcement and provision of cleaning and bins. However, in practice, I have witnessed zero visible improvement in the five subsequent years and in fact, the situation appears to be getting worse by the year. So what more could be done? I am open to your ideas on this, but I would start with four suggestions: 1. The West Midlands should set an example with a regional advertising campaign to discourage litter and encourage people to take pride in their local environment. This could encompass radio, billboards and other formats. 2. The region should also launch a community gardening scheme with funding attached for people to apply for grants to beautify their local communities. This could include decorative planting as well as community food projects in shared spaces. Such schemes would benefit community cohesion, encourage local pride and support wellbeing, discouraging littering in the process. 3. Citizenship has been back on the National Curriculum as a subject in schools since 2002. However, the issue of littering appears to be covered only in the briefest passing. For it to sink in, the topic should be strongly presented, then reiterated throughout school. Regular, practical sessions where children are taken out on walks to appreciate their local area and pick litter would reinforce the requisite awareness and responsibility. There is presently an Eco-Schools project that operates on a partial and voluntary basis, but a stronger mandatory curriculum component would surely effect a more positive influence at this crucial stage in citizens’ lives. 4. The government should restore central funding to the Keep Britain Tidy organization, in recognition and support of its longstanding commitment to fostering civic responsibility and reducing litter. The charity ran highly influential TV campaigns in the 70s and was able to do so again in 2011 with Defra funding; restoring funding would allow it to continue this work. As mayor of the West Midlands, as our advocate and ambassador, you have the power and influence to effect real change on this crucial matter of regional and local pride and transform our society and our community spaces for the better. I would be very grateful for your consideration of supporting these proposals and for any other thoughts you may have on the issue. Yours sincerely,

Christopher Crompton

Author profile picture Christopher Crompton
9 May
Dear Christopher Crompton,

Thank you for contacting me on this important issue, which I agree is a priority for our region. Thank you also for your commitment to ensuring that our region is kept litter-free.

As you may be aware, local councils across the region are responsible for emptying our bins and keeping our public spaces clean and tidy. That said, there are still far too many parts of the region where litter, fly-tipping, and rubbish are strewn all over our streets, grass verges and green spaces.

Whilst this sits outside of my area of responsibility as Mayor, with the Commonwealth Games fast approaching I believe we’re going to need a significant effort to clean up our region so that we can be proud to host athletes, visitors and dignitaries from around the world, and ensure that the West Midlands is portrayed in the best possible light in the international spotlight.

That’s why we will be partnering with Keep Britain Tidy on the West Midlands Great Clean Up campaign. We will be working with the local authorities as part of this partnership, and will be encouraging the general public to sign up and volunteer to take part in this initiative, with a weekend of activity planned in June.

I’d strongly recommend you consider signing up, and encourage others to sign up also. More details about how to sign up to the campaign can be found here: https://beta.wmca.org.uk/the-mayor/wm-clean-up/.

Whilst the Games are our focal point, we must work towards long-term change, where communities come together and demand that their local area is kept clean, so that we can restore pride in the streets of our region.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Street

Andy Street

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    Dear Jamie Oliver, When I was in primary school, your ideas on healthier school meals were coming into force. We complained a bit, but that’s just a British cultural habit (drilled in from birth!); a few days later everyone had forgotten about the changes. So much so, ...

    Investing in affordable rail.

    Eleanor on 20 May
    Responses: 0

    Dear Jo Stevens, I have been a Cardiff resident in your constituency for around a year now, and am writing to you regarding my experiences of train price rises across Wales. I have not travelled by train in perhaps more than a year due to the constantly increasing pr...

    The notion of banning the importation of foie gras into the UK is an immoral affront to the human rights of a minority

    Michael Kraftman on 23 May
    Responses: 1

    Dear Zac Goldsmith, I am writing to strongly object to the notion of banning the importation of foie gras into the UK. British farmers have been banned from making this food since 2006, so those of us who enjoy it have had to rely on imports. I understand that a propose...

    Let the Lords see Burnley, for we are what Britain is truly about.

    Dale Joseph Ferrier on 25 May
    Responses: 0

    Dear Michael Gove, I hope this finds you well. I am writing to you as a hopeful resident of Burnley, for which you suggested as a potential location for the House of Lords whilst Parliament gets it's long over due refurbishment. I wish to offer my sincere support of t...

    To Professor Simon Armitage, Poet Laureate, in response to '70 Notices'

    Christopher Crompton on 26 May
    Responses: 0

    Dear Simon Armitage, In response to '70 Notices' You spent a long time looking hard to notice seventy things between greyscale streetlit troughs and Dark and White Peaks, saw a full moon bottled in a drop of dew, felt the full weight of Sheffield and Manchester come ...

    Re: The Ages of Uncertainty and Human Nature

    Tobias Lim on 27 May
    Responses: 0

    Dear Ian Stewart, Firstly, I wanted to thank you for writing your book Do Dice Play God?. I enjoyed the tour you took readers on across the “Ages of Uncertainty”. We forget sometimes that quantum mechanics and chaos theory are relatively new discoveries. And that mode...

    Responsibility and regulation on the internet.

    Eleanor on 27 May
    Responses: 0

    Dear Damian Hinds, I am writing to you with some thoughts on the practice and practicality of the Online Safety Bill, which is currently at Committee stage in the House of Commons. The subject of regulation and responsibility on the internet has long been of interest t...

    Keeping Cardiff tidy and litter-free.

    Eleanor on 3 June
    Responses: 0

    Dear Sue Lent, I am a local resident in Cardiff, under the purview of your council appointment, and I am writing with regard to the persistent problem of litter around my area. I moved to Cardiff approximately a year ago, and have noticed that there seems to be a r...

    On Systemic Racism in Police Shootings

    Matt Thornton on 7 June
    Responses: 5

    Dear Ali Rizvi, Is systemic racism causing American police officers to disproportionately kill black suspects? George Floyd’s death on May 25th [2020] angered a nation. Everyone on all sides of the political spectrum agreed what the officers did was abhorrent. In t...

    I was surprised by some of your recent comments on Twitter, which struck me as decidedly backward looking.

    David Sloan Wilson on 7 June
    Responses: 7

    Dear Massimo Pigliucci, We go way back and share a love of philosophy in addition to biology. I was proud to be included in the “Altenberg 16” workshop that you organized to explore the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis, a term that you coined. I have always regarded you as ...

    The future of Britain's food security

    Christopher Crompton on 8 June
    Responses: 0

    Dear Jim McMahon, I am writing to you in your capacity as Shadow Minister for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs about the critical issue of our nation’s food security. In a time of short-termist, sticking-plaster politics, we need a serious, credible, long-term ...

    Arts and creative industry development in Cardiff.

    Eleanor on 12 June
    Responses: 0

    Dear Peter Wong, I am a Cardiff resident in your Council area, and I noticed recently that the Cardiff Council website notes that you have had some involvement with the organisation Artes Mundi, which is of course an important charity in supporting and developing the...

    A public thank you to the Rt Hon Valerie Vaz MP

    Christopher Crompton on 14 June
    Responses: 0

    Dear Valerie Vaz, I’d like to take the opportunity afforded by the Collate platform to thank you publicly for the excellent work you have been doing to represent your constituents as Member of Parliament for Walsall South. I contacted you in 2020 on behalf of my loc...

    The resources and will to solve climate problems are finally emerging

    Ellie Young on 16 June
    Responses: 1

    Dear Bill McKibben, I’ve been following your work since my early days of climate activism. Back in college, when I was first exposed to the unbelievable reality of what we so nicely call “sustainability challenges”, I remember 350.org as one of the only climate organiza...

    The meaning and legacy of humanism: a sharp challenge from a potential ally

    Andy Norman on 17 June
    Responses: 4

    Dear Yuval Noah Harari, My name is Andy Norman, and I count myself a fan of your work. I admire your clarity, your passion for big ideas, and your commitment to clear, accessible writing. I think your books—Sapiens and Homo Deus—are landmark achievements, destined to stimul...

    'Painting is also about patience.'

    Eleanor on 19 June
    Responses: 0

    Dear Tracey Emin, A long-time fan of your work, I was struck recently by the words you quoted on Instagram from your friend David Dawson: ‘Painting’s not just about painting but it’s also about waiting.’ I completed my MFA at the Slade School of Fine Art in 2020, wit...

    Panpsychism, the combination problem, and Sufi mysticism

    Christopher Crompton on 20 June
    Responses: 0

    Dear Philip Goff, I am intrigued by your support of panpsychism and would love to run some things past you. I enjoyed your exchange with Massimo Pigliucci on Collate, although I could sense your frustration that some of his key objections seemed to be based on what ...

    Space, NASA, and the Problems on Earth

    Tobias Lim on 23 June
    Responses: 0

    Dear Mae Jemison, As you know, the Biden-Harris administration has requested an annual budget of $26 billion for NASA in 2023 (with similar sums projected for the years ahead). [1] While this is less than 0.5 percent of yearly U.S. government spending, it is not an in...

    Apple Trees and the Future of Science

    Tobias Lim on 23 June
    Responses: 0

    Dear Pamela Gay, I’m marveling at the wonderful breakthroughs, discoveries, and achievements that scientists and engineers have made recently. Over the last few years, we’ve had the COVID-19 vaccine, CRISPR technology, and AlphaFold structures, just to name a few. A...

    How do we talk about economics?

    Eleanor on 26 June
    Responses: 0

    Dear Paul Krugman, During my undergraduate studies at the University of Oxford, I attended a talk that you gave there on the response of various governments to the 2008 financial crisis. I was not a student of economics — my knowledge of economics comes from reading, l...

    An attempt to 'canonise' young adult fiction.

    Eleanor on 4 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Jacqueline Wilson, I read your books widely as a child and teenager, and they were very impactful in helping me grow up. Now an adult, I’m a musician and artist, and was struck recently by the development of ‘Poptimism’ within music criticism, and wondered whether a si...

    The Grey Ethics of Pet Ownership

    Tobias Lim on 10 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Cheryl Abbate, I was walking through my local university recently and noticed something peculiar. Their student union had organized a petting zoo for students who were about to sit their college exams. It was a nice gesture in some ways. An opportunity for young pe...

    Some Thoughts on Social Media and Collate

    Tobias Lim on 11 July
    Responses: 1

    Dear Oliver Kraftman, I hope you will not mind some of my ramblings here. As an early adopter, I’ve been using Collate for many months now, and I’ve enjoyed my time with it so far. Since joining, I’ve written letters to athletes, scientists, economists, and people in bet...

    Re: How Do We Talk About Economics

    Tobias Lim on 12 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Eleanor, I’m not Paul Krugman. But I enjoyed the letter that you wrote to him on ‘thinking about economics’. Perhaps I can share a few thoughts with you because I am curious as to what you might make of them. (For context, my background is in economics and fi...

    The public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously.

    Rishi Sunak on 14 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It is with deep sadness that I am writing to you to resign from the Government. It has been an enormous privilege to serve our country as Chancellor of the Exchequer and I will always be proud of how during the pandemic we protected people’s jobs an...

    Prime Minister, you have lost my confidence

    Sajid Javid on 14 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It was a privilege to have been asked to come back into Government to serve as Secretary of State for Health & Social Care at such a critical time for our country. I have given every ounce of energy to this task, and am incredibly proud of what we ha...

    Tonight I handed in my letter of resignation to the Chief Whip.

    Simon Hart on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, I had desperately hoped that I could avoid writing this letter, but alas there seems no other option left but to step down from my role as Secretary of State for Wales. You will be remembered as a Prime Minister with energy, vision, determination an...

    A decent and responsible Government relies on honesty, integrity and mutual respect.

    Brandon Lewis on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It is with regret that I submit my resignation from the Government. It has been an incredible honour to serve in Government over the last ten years under three Prime Ministers, most recently as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Through the ch...

    With great sadness I must resign from government.

    Michelle Donelan on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It has been the privilege and honour of my life to serve for our country in the department which I believe is the most important, the true engine of opportunity, the Department of Education. I have spent my career dedicated to trying to create oppor...

    With deep regret I am resigning from the government.

    John Glen on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, After much thought and with deep regret I must inform you that I have made the difficult decision to resign from the government. It has been a great privilege to serve as Economic Secretary to the Treasury under three Chancellors, but I can no longe...

    I cannot defend the indefensible.

    Alex Chalk on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, With great sadness I am resigning as Solicitor General. To be in government is to accept the duty to argue for difficult or even unpopular policy positions where that serves the broader national interest. But it cannot extend to defending the indefe...

    I have no confidence in your leadership

    Mims Davies on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It is with deep regret and with a very heavy heart that I tender my resignation as Employment Minister. It has been a privilege to serve in your government and in particular this role where I have helped give work opportunities to many thousands of ...

    A jocular self-serving approach is bound to have its limitations.

    Jo Churchill on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It has been an enormous privilege to have been asked to serve my country as a Minister. I was honoured to be a Health minister during the pandemic and to work collectively with others to deliver care to the vulnerable and drive solutions to the chal...

    There comes a time when you have to look at your own personal integrity and that time is now.

    Stuart Andrew on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It is with real sadness that I write to tender my resignation from HM Government. I have been honoured to serve in a number of roles within government over the past few years, most recently as the Minister for Housing. This is a role, although havin...

    There are only so many times you can apologise and move on.

    Helen Whately on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, With sincere regret I am resigning from HM Government. I stood for Parliament because I want to make our country a better place to live. I am grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to serve as Arts Minister, Care Minister and Exchequer Secret...

    Government simply cannot function with you in charge.

    Guy Opperman on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It has been the honour of my life to serve as a government minister, under three successive Prime Ministers, including these last five years as Pensions Minister. My view is that it is important to work as a team and deliver on the priorities that m...

    It was difficult to put aside previous transgressions. It must now be obvious that this is no longer even remotely possible.

    James Cartlidge on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, I write to resign and, with regret, to leave the post of Courts' Minister. I felt duty bound to remain in post given the very challenging circumstances facing the criminal courts. I took the view there had to be some semblance of Government in this ...

    More important than any government or leader are the standards we uphold in public life.

    Damian Hinds on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, With regret, I must resign from the government. I was grateful to you for asking me to return as security minister last year. It has been a particular privilege to serve in this role, and to have the opportunity, alongside dedicated officials, to su...

    The chaos in your Cabinet & No10 this month is destroying our credibility. It can’t go on.

    George Freeman on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It is with huge regret that I am writing to let you know that I no longer have confidence in your leadership of our country, Government or Party and am writing formally to Sir Graham Brady to register my support for a change of Conservative Party lea...

    The cumulative effect of your errors of judgement and domestic actions have squandered the goodwill of our great Party.

    Caroline Johnson on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, It is with deep sadness that I am writing to you to resign as Vice Chair of the Conservative Party. This is not a decision I have arrived at lightly, and it has been an honour to work as part of your team. I have been loyal and supported you through...

    Loyalty is directed to the party, our values, and ultimately the communities we represent, not any one individual.

    Luke Hall on 18 July
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, I write to resign as Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party. I had taken the view that there must be parliamentary oversight of the inevitable leadership contest. However, there are others who can provide that. The current situation is clearly unten...

    hxjfjdj

    Benji 🌞🌿 on 10 August
    Responses: 0

    Dear Boris Johnson, hxbbxbxhx, nfjxjx jdjdjdj hdjxjxjr jdjdjb. hhxjdj chhd, bdjjd hhd. xhjd hsss. Jshdjxbd uxhdj lfidhe hdjdj, jshsgd hxhd khsg hd. hdjd. hdjdjd jdjs jshsg ixh, did ;hfdj, hdhusi idh hdhs kfhd. hudi udhdb kfhdh hdj. hdjsudd jcjjd hshdhm kfhd. ifh, ifh...

    Three or Four Questions About Writing

    Tobias Lim on 11 August
    Responses: 0

    Dear Natasha Brown, This may sound strange, but I am learning how to write. While I know how to form words, sentences and paragraphs, I am yet to construct anything with rhythm and warmth.  I realized a few years ago in my dreary life as a management consultant that so...

    Is 'better' music production always better?

    Eleanor on 14 August
    Responses: 0

    Dear Liz Harris, I have been a fan of your music under the name Grouper for a long time, but I think it was only when I came to record my own songs and make my own album that I began to understand the intricacy of your ‘less is more’ approach to building soundscapes....

    Never a matcha whisk in or on-site.

    Eleanor on 26 August
    Responses: 0

    Dear Pano Christou, I am writing to you as someone who has spent a while working in the food and drink industry. I have done many a busy shift making the types of drinks that you sell at Pret, and I don’t think that your staff are given adequate training, resulting in v...

    Is Instagram Instagram again?

    Eleanor on 31 August
    Responses: 0

    Dear Adam Mosseri, As someone who is both an Instagram user and deeply interested in the internet, I have been (along with many other people) disappointed in your recent changes to the platform. Not only do they make the platform less enjoyable, but I am concerned that...

    Population Collapse and the Prophecies of Musk

    Tobias Lim on 5 September
    Responses: 0

    Dear Elon Musk, [highlight=transparent]I am intrigued and alarmed by recent reports on your comments regarding ‘population collapse’—the notion being that we risk economic catastrophe if we do not take measures to increase the number of earthlings on this tiny blue ...

    The role of grow-your-own in Britain's food production and security.

    Christopher Crompton on 7 September
    Responses: 0

    Dear Ranil Jayawardena, Congratulations on your appointment as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Among the many weighty responsibilities of your new position is the oversight of Britain’s agricultural policy and food security strategy. You will alr...

    Community reporting for more effective policing of drug crime

    Christopher Crompton on 7 September
    Responses: 0

    Dear Simon Foster, Your remit as West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner of course encompasses a broad spectrum of crime prevention, mitigation and policing, so it must be a challenging task to decide where to prioritise attention and resources. I appreciate that y...

    Channel 4 privatisation: ideology and reason

    Christopher Crompton on 9 September
    Responses: 1

    Dear Michelle Donelan, Congratulations on your appointment as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. You must be all too aware that two of the key issues you have inherited with the office are the privatisation of Channel 4 and the question of the future...

    On the death of Her Majesty the Queen

    Christopher Crompton on 9 September
    Responses: 0

    Dear Internet, I alternate my car radio between Classic FM and Planet Rock, as the mood takes me. Yesterday evening, as I headed off to a music event in Birmingham, the radio was still set to Planet Rock from the day before. Yet rather than soaring guitar solos or ...

    Let the Train Go, We Want to See Our Queen

    Dale Joseph Ferrier on 13 September
    Responses: 0

    Dear Internet, [h1]Let the people see their Queen[/h1] [justify]The passing of Her Majesty last week marked a time of collective sorrow for the nation, a time where we have put aside our petty differences, and shelved our ongoing worries over inflation to simply re...

    This letter is about the socio-political consequences of knee-jerk reactions to increased violence in communities in NYC.

    Jawanza James Williams on 13 September
    Responses: 1

    Dear Internet, To New Yorkers, and Conscientious People Everywhere, I wrote this in February 2022, and subsequently published on Medium. I am adding it here on Collate because I sense this is a place being constructed with the most useful powers social media in mi...

    What can you teach us about drought-resistant gardening?

    Christopher Crompton on 21 September
    Responses: 0

    Dear Tom Brown, I was interested to read recently about your experimentation at West Dean Gardens near Chichester in creating a garden that is drought-tolerant and requires minimal watering. It was particularly intriguing that you said you have tried out using crush...

    Harley Benton guitars – compliments and a request

    Christopher Crompton on 21 September
    Responses: 0

    Dear Hans Thomann, I am writing first of all to extend my compliments on your excellent Harley Benton guitars. I really feel your brand is transforming the guitar industry for the better. I bought my first Harley Benton last year after reading many superb reviews, in...

    Christianity and Me

    Dale Joseph Ferrier on 22 September
    Responses: 0

    Dear Internet, [justify][highlight=transparent]A few weeks ago whilst at our usual Saturday night excursion to the village local, our conversation somehow got onto religion. Someone in our group said something seemingly insignificant, but it sparked a small epiphan...

    Farming, fungi and the future

    Christopher Crompton on 23 September
    Responses: 0

    Dear Ruth Jones, I am writing to you in your capacity as Shadow Minister for Agri-Innovation and Climate Adaptation. At present, Britain clearly has a long way to go to arrive at a sustainable system of farming. While piecemeal changes are being made, we are not seei...

    The Importance of General Aviation

    Dale Joseph Ferrier on 28 September
    Responses: 0

    Dear Anne-Marie Trevelyan, [justify][highlight=transparent]Firstly, I congratulate you on your appointment to the Department for Transport - a cornerstone for our Levelling Up agenda. I want to write to you to highlight a small but highly important area of the transport sector...

    Fermat, Pascal and Letters

    Tobias Lim on 29 September
    Responses: 2

    Dear Internet, [center][i][highlight=transparent]“I should like to open my heart to you henceforth if I may... I plainly see that the truth is the same at Toulouse and at Paris.” — Pascal to Fermat (1654) [0][/highlight][/i][/center] [highlight=transparent]We migh...

    What do you have to say to the people of Birmingham?

    Eleanor on 1 October
    Responses: 0

    Dear Jacob Rees-Mogg, As preparations for the Conservative party conference are underway in my home city of Birmingham, I am writing to you in your position as Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This is a very salient time for me to write to you, as your party’s co...

    What are your views on the state of American politics and leadership today?

    Tobias Lim on 2 October
    Responses: 0

    Dear Erik SuarezΦ, [highlight=transparent]I saw your tweet about Collate a few days ago. [1] As an early adopter of the platform myself, I have to agree. I’ve been using Collate as an opportunity to reach out to public figures, to improve my writing, and to muse about ...

    Dealing With Our Gelatinous Ignorance

    Tobias Lim on 3 October
    Responses: 0

    Dear Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, [highlight=transparent]Firstly, I want to say thank you for your newsletter. For basketball fans around the world, your achievements, both on and off the court, have achieved a sort of mythical status. So it makes me happy that one of the greatest-of...

    RLD party is continuously committed to fight for the rights of farmers.

    Yash Chaudhary on 9 October
    Responses: 0

    Dear Internet, I am a politician of RLD party and this party is the party of the thoughts of former Prime Minister of India, Chaudhary Charan Singh ji. We are working to take these ethical ideas to the masses. Our party is continuously fighting for the rights of f...

    Bridges to Infinity and God

    Tobias Lim on 10 October
    Responses: 0

    Dear Michael Guillen, [highlight=transparent]A few weeks ago, I bought a worn copy of your book, Bridges to Infinity, from my local bookshop. The intriguing cover and table of contents caught my eye immediately. And having read the book, I can see why you won awards as a ...

    Nurturing a Child’s Lifelong Love for Books

    Tobias Lim on 13 October
    Responses: 0

    Dear Jan Hasbrouck, [highlight=transparent]I’ve been wondering about ways to improve global education outcomes around the world. In an ideal world, such a policy or initiative should: (1) help students to discover and unlock their potential; (2) not drain the public cof...

    Solitude, Obligations, and a Rewarding Life

    Tobias Lim on 18 October
    Responses: 4

    Dear Fenton Johnson, [highlight=transparent]I want to thank you for writing At the Center of All Beauty. I appreciated your reflections on silence, solitude, and the creative life. I also enjoyed the serenity you evoked as I moved from page to page. More importantly, yo...

    Truss was the first Tory leader in decades to wrap herself in the image of Thatcher. But would the Iron Lady have approved of Trussonomics?

    Sir Anthony Seldon on 24 October
    Responses: 3

    Dear Lord Charles Moore, [color=rgb(34, 34, 34)][highlight=transparent]It is an honour to be corresponding about Lady Thatcher with the most distinguished authority and interpreter of her in the world. [/highlight][/color]   [color=rgb(34, 34, 34)][highlight=transparent]Brit...

    Alternative Technology for Biomedical Waste Disposal, Govandi Deonar Mumbai

    Govandi Citizens #𝑺𝒂𝒗𝒆𝑮𝒐𝒗𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒊  on 28 October
    Responses: 0

    Dear Internet, Story of the residents fighting to shut down the biomedical waste treatment plant in Govandi. It was during the COVID-19 pandemic that I realised that I must join the fight for clean air. As biomedical waste increased tenfold at health facilities an...

    Learn from Liz Truss’s mistakes, but don’t let them put you off economic growth

    Jason Reed on 28 October
    Responses: 0

    Dear Rishi Sunak, In taking over as prime minister from Liz Truss, you have inherited a difficult economic and political situation, to say the least. As a Tory who leans libertarian, I opposed your leadership bid over the summer and was thrilled by Truss’s refreshing ...

    test to kevin

    Kevin P2 on 30 October
    Responses: 0

    Dear Kevin P., [justify]Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas et suscipit purus. Sed placerat augue et ullamcorper imperdiet. Donec nec hendrerit tortor. Curabitur viverra sapien non leo lobortis iaculis. Duis ullamcorper risus et porta ...

    Please, can you tell us how to protect democracy?

    Tobias Lim on 7 November
    Responses: 0

    Dear Jennifer Dresden, [highlight=transparent]I am an ordinary citizen who is concerned about the future of democracy. You know better than I that the US midterm elections will be a bellwether for things to come.[/highlight] [highlight=transparent]You gave a fantastic int...

    Edit Buttons, Selfies and Life

    Tobias Lim on 8 November
    Responses: 0

    Dear Internet, [highlight=transparent]I have sometimes wished for an edit button on this platform. I even went as far as to send the founder of Collate a request for this very feature. I happen to be a clumsy perfectionist, you see. I have an uncanny knack for find...

    Thickheaded Corporations

    Tobias Lim on 14 November
    Responses: 0

    Dear Internet, [highlight=transparent]A few months ago, a family-friend who we will call Valerie bought two tickets for herself and her friend for travel long overdue. They were excited to visit someplace exotic after extended lockdowns and closed international bor...

    An Addendum to Gelatinous Ignorance

    Tobias Lim on 14 November
    Responses: 0

    Dear Internet, [highlight=transparent]A few weeks ago, I wrote a short letter about the “[/highlight][color=rgb(17, 85, 204)][highlight=transparent][url=https://www.collate.org/closed_letter/dealing-with-our-gelatinous-ignorance/sender]gelatinous ignorance[/url][/h...

    Why are video games so violent?

    Tobias Lim on 15 November
    Responses: 0

    Dear Michael Kasumovic, [highlight=transparent]I came across an interesting article on [/highlight][color=rgb(17, 85, 204)][highlight=transparent][url=https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/science-tech/why-do-we-play-violent-video-games#:~:text=Kasumovic%20says.,to%20satisfy%20...

    Love, Terror, and Brainwashing — How can we stop cult-like politics?

    Tobias Lim on 15 November
    Responses: 0

    Dear Alexandra Stein, [highlight=transparent]In light of recent political developments, I was looking for books and papers to better understand the nature of human organization and social structure. I found your research on cults especially illuminating. So t[/highlight]h...

    What are your plans for Cressbrook Dale?

    Christopher Crompton on 21 November
    Responses: 0

    Dear Rachel Elnaugh, I have been visiting the Peak District National Park for many years and regard Cressbrook Dale as one of its gems of natural beauty and biodiversity. The woodland and wildflowers through the seasons are a particular joy, and as National Park access l...

    A question about the mindful athlete

    Tobias Lim on 21 November
    Responses: 0

    Dear George Mumford, [highlight=transparent]I bought my second copy of The Mindful Athlete a few days ago. This time, I plan to give it to a friend as a Christmas gift. You see, this friend of mine is facing a series of setbacks and personal hardships. But I am hopeful t...

    In Praise of Classical Music

    Dale Joseph Ferrier on 22 November
    Responses: 0

    Dear Internet, [justify][highlight=transparent]Our culture around the world is immensely varied with a myriad of arts, traditions, and literature. But possibly the most defining of these for each of our societies is music. The various ways we generate what would or...

    Letters to Tarkovsky

    Tobias Lim on 4 December
    Responses: 0

    Dear Internet, When a nobody like myself writes in letter form to a public figure, there is only a small probability that she will see my words amidst the flood of mail and messages that she inevitably receives. Beyond that, there is an even smaller chance that she...

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