He was an eminent marine biologist and world expert on the taxonomy of barnacles

Alan Southward

There’s a man to have been. 50 years ploughing the same marine furrow. At work the day before he died. Deeply expert in a narrow and important field. Who would not want to be remembered as a world expert on the taxonomy of barnacles. It’s magnificent.

I liked that part of working in the Islamic world very much. The koranic education invites a very deep reading and re-reading of a small number of texts which is not intuitively an approach we value in other educations where breadth counts for more than depth. I’m not saying dismiss breadth, but I do think that without depth there can be no third dimension.

Of course this can go wrong, but there’s much to be said, koanically too, for an intense, repeated, experience which takes you to deep understanding.


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