I have subscribed to The Week since its launch in 2001. It provides a handy summary of what’s going on across the planet, with a balanced stance that credits a range of viewpoints.

Maybe the upstream and downstream orientation of the fishes in my star sign is at play here but I also dip into The Perspective, a website with the uncomplicated strapline: ‘There are at least two sides to every story’.

It is becoming less acceptable, however, to believe that truth can lie at both ends of an argument, that it is possible to hold coherent but mixed opinions, that a change of mind is tolerable and healthy.

In a year of political elections and conflict in all directions, the airwaves seem to be dominated by polarised voices, amplified by the endless, hostile shouting that inhabits social media.

On the other hand, to cope with an overwhelmingly complex world, our natural inclination to simplify has never been more important.

This dichotomy was discussed by author and journalist Oliver Burkeman in his 2020 BBC radio series ‘The Death of Nuance’. Worth another listen, in my view. “A slide into black and white thinking”, failing to recognise that small differences can be important, is indeed happening.

One cause appears to be that our addiction to technology is reducing our attention span. In response, the media target us with more, shorter messages. And our attention becomes even more fragile. Classic vicious circle.

A related casualty of mental overload, and a further inhibitor to broad-mindedness, is that we can find it harder to take a pause, to sit quietly, to explore shades of meaning.

Summer is almost upon us and there is no better time to reflect. If you are interested in an experience that will wind you down rather than up, I can recommend a short break with The Slow Cyclist. We spent six days in Transylvania, in a group of 10, with a wonderful host and two exceptional guides.

Ironically, the e-biking wasn’t particularly slow but our total immersion in this historical and magical region pretty much stopped the clock. Captivating, thoughtfully planned days exploring Saxon villages and epic countryside delivered therapeutic dosages of mental and physical roaming.

Back to Burkeman, he concluded that nuance has not died completely but that it does need assistance from us all.

Without taking the time to consider what we think, potentially to re-draft this in light of what others think, our tendency towards simplification will blind us to reality and drive us down rabbit holes where darkness awaits.

Enjoy the sunshine.