A Guide To The Main International Esperanto Events

So let’s say you’re learning Esperanto and it’s going well. In fact it’s going so well that you want to speak it with lots of people, not just those in your local group (if there even is one). Instead you want to go abroad to an international Esperanto event, but you don’t know which one. There is a complete list of all Esperanto events in the world here, but as you can see there’s a huge number. I had the exact same problem trying to figure out which of the alaphbet soup of Esperanto events were worth going to, so I’ve made a list of the main ones to help make it easier for you.  I’ll focus on the ones I have gone to for obvious reasons. Continue reading

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What To Expect At Your First International Esperanto Event

Just over a year ago, I went to my very first international Esperanto event and I can still remember how nervous I was. I was new to the language so I had no idea what to expect. I had been learning it for six months but had never spoken it with anyone else yet. I eventually mustered up the courage to book tickets to an event, but I was flying completely blind. I was afraid that no one else would turn up or it might even be a scam. As it turns out, it was a fantastic event where I made lots of friends and had a brilliant time.

There are probably a lot of Esperanto learners in a similar position. You’ve been practicising Esperanto on Duolingo and want to speak it but don’t know what the events are like. It’s a bit of a commitment to go to an event as they are usually abroad and cost several hundred euro. So I’ll give you a breakdown of what to expect. Continue reading

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Elections Are Not Won In The Centre

It seems that journalists feel it’s mandatory every time they discuss either Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn to declare that they can’t win a general election. According to them, there is a simple rule of politics and those who stray from it are doomed to defeat. It is almost a motto that “Elections are won in the centre”. This piece of perceived wisdom is repeated constantly to the point that a great many believe it without even thinking about it. It seems obvious that elections can only be won by avoiding divisive principles and instead only proposing watered down moderate proposals. To listen to political analysts, it would seem that you could have principles or power, but not both. Continue reading

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Why Don’t The Irish Speak Irish?

The Danes have Danish, the French speak French, the Slovakians talk in Slovak yet the Irish don’t speak Irish, but rather English. Almost all nations and people have their own language yet the Irish are one of the few nations who have a language that very few of its people can speak. Ireland is one of the only countries in Europe whose primary language is that of a foreign country. In fact, more people in Ireland speak Polish on a daily basis than Irish (and French is close behind). When I’m abroad I’m often asked if there even is an Irish language or if anyone still speaks it. Someone who only spoke Irish would have a very difficult time getting around in Ireland. But why is this the case? Continue reading

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Ido Not

As readers of this blog may know, I’m a big fan of Esperanto and how it simplifies language to make it more logical and easier to learn. However, some people thought this could be taken a step further and Esperanto itself could be reformed and improved. This reformed language is called Ido (which means offspring in Esperanto) and aimed to replace Esperanto as the main international language. This became known as “The Schism” and like all splits it was incredibly divisive and bitter, leading to a lot of vitriol being thrown around. Continue reading

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How To Debunk Most Conspiracy Theories

If there’s one thing that the internet loves (apart from porn, arguing and cats), it’s a good conspiracy. Wander away from the main path and you’ll quickly find yourself in a world where secret agencies are assassinating Presidents, who are Muslim, which is taking over Europe thanks to the EU, which is controlled by the Freemasons, who faked 9/11 so that the Illuminati (who were born in Kenya) could move into Area 51, which is covering up the New Alien World Order (at the bequest of the CIA) in order that the United Nations can take your guns away because they’ve uncovered a secret that will destroy big business. Also the Jews are in there somewhere. They always are.

As it hardly needs to be said, these theories are a load of nonsense. By simply playing sinister music, drawing absurd conclusions based on scanty evidence or valuing the opinion of some guy who writes in ALL CAPS above that of an actual expert, you can make a conspiracy out of anything. Also blaming the Jews is like the Swiss Army Knife of conspiracy theories, you can use it in any situation. Now, there is a good argument for just ignoring this nonsense, but unfortunately conspiracy theorists are a part of society so you will probably have to interact with them at some point. Or like me, you might have a morbid fascination with people who have the strangest opinions. Continue reading

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An Atheist Reads The Bible: The Fear Of God

If there is one strong theme so far in the Book of Deuteronomy (or the Bible in general) it is that you must fear God. God doesn’t want to be loved or praised or have a personal relationship with you, he wants you to fear him. Plenty of times the Bible explicitly says that God is to be feared by all. When the Israelites sin and beg forgiveness, God ignores their cries. He is not a God of mercy, moreover, he gives plenty of reasons for you to fear him. Continue reading

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