small text files that are placed on your computer to help websites
provide a better user experience. In the case of this site, from
the reader's perspective they remember and autocomplete details
when comments are posted, and for my purposes, they provide
completely anonymous data to help analyse how many readers
there are, where they're based in very general terms, and what they
appear to be most interested in. The site works more
smoothly with them, and the information they provide helps me.
You are totally free to refuse them, though, and to read
without them: the easiest way to do this is to disable cookies in
your browser - your browser help section or the About Cookies
website should be able to talk you through it.