David B Thomson
on a beautiful but troubled world
and observations from 50 years of travels and involvement in development
and management projects in over sixty lands and five continents.
Youth longs, and mankind strives,
but age remembers, and sits by
the raked-up ashes of the past …
Wendell Holmes The Iron Gate
Images captured in the present
become reflections from eternity
David Malin & Steve Patterson Cosmic
These memoirs and observations are
dedicated to the millions of small farmers and fishers, the food
producers of the world, it has been the writer’s privilege to serve, in
five continents and on their seas and inland waters.
contains a fascinating kaleidoscope
of first hand impressions of peoples and lands around the globe. They
are the thoughtful account of a Scot who left school before he was
fifteen years old, and spent the next 7 years on trawlers and seiners in
the North Sea and East Atlantic. A few years later he became a lecturer
in the College of Fisheries, Newfoundland, and an Assistant Professor in
the University of Rhode Island, USA. But his heart was set on doing
something for the millions of poor fishing communities in Africa, Asia,
South America, and the Pacific. So, he took up assignments with the
United Nations Agencies and bilateral organizations, which saw him serve
in over 60 countries, in both marine and inland fisheries. Thomson was
deeply touched by peoples he lived and worked amongst, and sought to
grapple with the economic, social and environmental issues they faced.
This led him to question some conventional approaches, and to study how
imperfect aid efforts could be improved. He was particularly influenced
by thinkers like E. F. Schumacher of
Small is Beautiful,
and by the range of ideas and
initiatives he encountered among development workers, educators,
politicians, students, and artisans in each country visited.
Few will agree with all of the
conclusions and ideas promoted in the book, but most readers will find
them stimulating and thought-provoking. The writer hopes that the
observations will also be entertaining and even wryly amusing in places.
While deploring current militarist responses to differences between
nations, yet acknowledging the threats to freedom and democracy of
terrorist activity and attempts by some governments to control the press
and judiciary, David offers a measure of hope and encouragement based on
personal experience and events witnessed in troubled lands and in
Electric Scotland Note:
We're delighted that David has decided to launch his book on our site.
Of course at some point he'll be getting it published in hard cover and so
he'd be happy to get any comments on what you think of the content and
also any errors that you may spot. Please email him at
* Note on
poetry and quotations: Most of the quotations from books, poems and
songs, are selections only. I have made slight amendments in places for
the sake of grammar or clarity, and occasionally altered a word or phrase
that did not accurately reflect my train of thought. Where such liberties
have been taken, the quotation is marked by an asterisk. I trust that the
few deviations from the originals in no way misrepresent the esteemed
writers whose works are quoted.