This week’s theme is the streets of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city. I’ve only spent a day in Edinburgh with my camera to date, but instantly fell in love. It’s a much older city than Cardiff, with a richer history that the Scots have preserved in a way that the Welsh sadly haven’t. It’s also a much cleaner city than London, and in my experience the people are much friendlier too. There is much to explore through a lens, and I am looking forward to a longer stay there soon.
The slogan above the entrance to the Central Library at Edinburgh couldn’t be more apt: Let There Be Light. The only path to a better life, a better society and a better civilisation is through education. Without wide knowledge and deep understanding, the darkness of ignorance, shallowness, and simplisticness quickly falls, and very quickly the virtue of hard work is lost to the malaise of laziness.
This is a subject that I’m deeply passionate about, both as a practicing teacher and the Head of Engineering for one of the UK’s leading technology firms. Everything I’ve been able to do for others has come from my own education – not just the formal in school and university, but also the informal through the amazing people I’ve met along the way. The dumbing down of the last decade is already starting to haunt the United Kingdom, for at a time when we need to rebalance the economy and once again become a nation that makes things and exports to the world, the youngsters looking to enter that workforce struggle with anything more taxing than switching on their X-Box. We’ve got a whole generation which tragically has much less to offer than it should have, and if the libraries close, the generation that follows will have even less.
Let there be light. Keep the libraries open, and make our schools introduce the kids to them once more. Don’t listen to the people who say that libraries are irrelevant in the age of the Internet – they’re idiots. The alternative is darkness.
If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.