Trump, the Cause of Forest Fire Carnage?

Is Trump right or isn’t he?

As I say, even a fuckwit is right half the time, but the “cause” of forest fires isn’t a simply binary (political poll) question.

Forest fires are natural, a natural part of the cycle of change that brings us evolution over time. The planet needs them.

The reason we’re having more forest fires, and more in previously cooler regions, is almost certainly to do with climate change. How much of that is a natural cycle of climate change (see above) and how much is “AGW” exaggerated by human activity is scarcely debatable. Whatever the proportion or form of human effects, it’s in the interests of “our” planet to work against them, to reduce and reverse our negative effects. They’re not negative because they’re human.

The reason we’re having more serious, more continuous, forest fires spreading closer to human populations more often, is almost certainly down to “light touch” eco-friendly forest management, choosing to do less maintenance for the benefit natural forest flora & fauna inhabitants  instead of the neighbours. The eco-warriors have a lot of human suffering to answer for.

These are not mutually exclusive positions. Both are likely true.


Post Note:

Later the same day 75/25 (usual 80/20 in my book) relative contributions:

It’s perfectly possible to think differently and not be in denial. The activists are fucking it up for all of us. As a spokesperson for XR said the other day it’s not contradictory that they are climate activists and a good old fashioned anti-establishment anarchists. Don’t be fooled into thinking they care more about the planet than they do about their anti-human, anti-establishment credentials.

And there’s more Mon 21st Sept, here in The Spectator

“How environmentalists destroyed California’s forests – Short-sighted eco-measures helped cause the devastation we see today”

“We couldn’t have created better conditions for devastating fires if we’d tried. ”

“Even if every single thing that [eco-warriors] claim about climate change were to be true, it wouldn’t undo the consequences of decades of mismanagement driven by their ‘advocacy.’”


Relational Triad

2020 update to my Epistemological Ontology from 2017/18
(Minor change of wording to emphasise the ontological reality.)

Ontology because it’s a world-view of what is deemed to exist.
Epistemological because it is based on knowledge.
Metaphysical monism because the stoff of knowledge is information.

Last formed part of a description of the informational monism here. First version published here.

Informational Panpsychism – a Dual-Aspect Monism

In many discussions of the work of the modern panpsychists (eg Goff and more recently (Bollands) a universal-lifer who posits no distinction between the actions of living and conscious things), I have pleaded for a pan-proto-psychism / pan-proto-living world-view where the proto-stoff is information.

One obvious reason is that information exists non-contentiously at all levels in the cosmos. No reason to posit that life and/or consciousness as we know them literally exist at fundamental physical / metaphysical levels.

The second reason is that it’s possible to construct both physical and (living) conscious things from that monist stoff and in doing so not give priority to either physicalism or psychism in the language of our metaphysics.

(I use information in specific ways – both ontologically syntactical form and epistemologically semantic or significant informing way – also in an entropy-complementary / information-theoretic Shannon way – and importantly in a process / active-verb-noun way, information as the act of informing one thing of another.)

Another feature of not having to make a physical / psychical choice at the outset is we can apply quantum (Democritan atomic) thinking to the smallest “particles” of this information stoff. With an information model these can be conceived of as small as possible. That is by definition it is not conceivable to posit or discover any smaller component. (I’ve always assumed that’s what Democritus intended a-tomically before physicists decided to give smallest chemical element particles the name atom.)

In this formulation the smallest things, the smallest (conceivable) difference (on any arbitrary dimension) between any two things (this-thingy and not-this-thingy) is a bit of information, smaller than which it is not possible to be. A good candidate for the ultimate atom if ever there was one?

Since I last wrote up my most comprehensive version of the above (presented here in 2019), several things have happened. I’ve made more considered readings of Whitehead’s Process Ontology concerning the coming together nexus of awareness between one thing and another (mirrored also in Smolin’s nads.) Pre-conceptual (qualitative) awareness & response – the conscious-and-life-like behaviour – is core to radical empiricisms. Also, in evolving my thinking along with Dennett, I recently discovered I’d forgotten earlier Chalmers ideas on information underlying consciousness.  (And a zillion other references in the blog.) However …

… this morning , I read a 2016 MPhil thesis by Nino Kadić, a student of Goff, who had also positively reviewed Bollands. A paper which so far as I can see on a first reading comes very close – in much more formal philosophical discourse than I – to the metaphysics I’m suggesting above.

Rough Notes:

Phenomenal Bonding – Goff’s idea as used by Kadić – seems to be very much the solution to new objects emerging supervenient on others without direct (conventional) causal link. Always key to patterns emergent upon patterns. (Sure, the information patterns must always have an embodiment but the new patterns emerge independent of the embodiments. A car / motorcycle is not the sum of its parts, it’s the arrangement. ‘Twas ever thus, just ask Theseus (or Trigger).)

(And many more notes of Section 4 Phenomenal Bonding, Information and Panpsychism.)

The Review at the End of the Universe


This is probably as close as I’ll get to an actual review of Tim Bollands “Life the Universe and Consciousness”.  I’ve made significant comments and references here three times already:

And in that time there have also been half a dozen Twitter threads, and as many personal message threads, attempting to unpick or clarify one aspect or another. Twitter is not the best medium for such dialogue. Brevity means a blurring between explicit questions and cryptic rhetorical statements and my own style (after Dennett / Rappaport) is to test (my own) understanding by making statements of what I think I’ve heard / read “in my own words” – only to elicit the amusing response “nowhere do I say that”. Oh well. This difficulty is compounded for me by my own prejudiced position to cut to the chase and compare what I’m reading with positions I’ve already taken on much the same source references. But we got there in the end and I’m sure it will prove to be worth it. So here goes:


For such an all encompassing topic – the “Life the Universe and …” meme is a clue –  the book is comprehensive in scope and meticulous in structure and detail. Sure, for every source quoted to support some aspect of Bollands’ solution or argument, or illustrate some problem he’s describing, you might consider an omission you would have chosen as an alternative yourself, but this is one 400 page book where whole libraries have been written; whole civilisations have arisen and fallen.

The meticulous nature is embodied by Bollands’ methodology that runs through the entire first half of the book and which involves repeated use of the same 4 part syllogistic structure. He proceeds by progressively changing the premises and the wording of apparent conclusions as he works through the 12 problems he is seeking to solve with his Universal Life thesis in the last 3 chapters.

The strictures of the chosen structure cry out maybe for some matrix or graphical representation, a map of the territory we’re traversing. As it is, the near repetition demands concentration on what exactly is being said differently at each iteration. Another consequence is that so many of the statements developing the argument along the way, of what might be said from some philosophical or scientific position, are not assertions Bollands is positing. The mix of bold and italic emphasis helps but, in the first half and second chapter, even much of that represents extensions to the problem statements and not necessarily the assertions Bollands is in fact wishing to make. I had to double check a few of my readings of those, I can tell you.

At the risk of labouring this difficulty, the structure of the work is crucial to understanding what is being said. As Bollands has tweeted – publicly, not just in response to my clarifications – it really is necessary to follow the entire logic as laid-out in order. Fair to say it’s not a book for the casual reader, nor any faint-heart challenged by reading many statements they disagree with along the way.

Bollands is addressing “the big problem” with science in the 21st C – enumerated as twelve distinct problems across Life, the Universe and Consciousness. I reviewed these in the “Problems Problems” piece so won’t repeat here, even though they are obviously elaborated in a great deal more detail in the text. So here, what of his Universal Life solution?

The idea that objects in the world exhibit qualities of life and conscious awareness is not new. Intelligent-life-like. As “a way of talking” the intentional stance is applied routinely  to objects we wouldn’t conventionally think of as alive or intelligent in any biological or wilful, purposeful sense. Some (eg Dennett) would go beyond seeing this as simply a way of talking, and insist we suspend disbelief in the reality of conscious will as we evolve our understanding of what it really is. Bollands goes further and posits that life and consciousness, as we know them intuitively, really are much more universal in reality. That is, they’re not just a feature of more highly evolved complex structures, but extend right back to those things we might think of as (fundamental physical)  particles, (chemically elemental) atoms and (chemically compound) molecules. Components of the world more generally.

Two things are apparent about Bollands’ position very early on. Firstly, his intuitive conception of life, despite also addressing many different incomplete and overlapping – and hence never fully agreeable – scientific definitions of life, is fairly conventional, concerning maintenance of the individual and species in the face of environmental attrition. His Universal Life definition goes beyond this, but this core feature is non-contentious, if hard to pin down objectively.

Secondly, pretty much everything we can say about life, we need to say something about consciousness too. They go hand in hand. Problems with the one, in some sense, involve solutions with the other. In (my) summary:

    • The stuff we call life (and indeed consciousness) resides universally in many of those things we rational and scientifically-informed inhabitants of the 21st C would call physics and chemistry, not just biology.
    • The nearest thing we have to an objective science-friendly definition of that stuff we call life (and consciousness) – beyond conventional incomplete definitions about its reproduction and maintenance against environmental attrition – is the fundamental circular process idea that living things create themselves from other living things.
    • (Taken together, this doesn’t say every “thing” is alive, simply that every living thing is in some real sense self-assembled from other living things, for its living purposes. Other non-living objects are structured from the same components but only via the action of external forces and processes, for no purpose attributable to the thing.)

So what is the point of a review? Sell more books? Criticise the intellectual content?

Bollands is in good company in that there is many an important book where turning my critical annotations into coherent sentences would result in a critique longer than the book itself. To what end?

Bollands is in good company also in that I’d place him firmly in the “close but no cigar” camp. A category that includes: the modern panpsychists, Goff, Kastrup and Strawson; many an evolutionary philosopher Dennett, Hofstadter, James, Whitehead, Pirsig, McGilchrist and the EES crowd; some of the free-thinking scientists Smolin, Rovelli, Tegmark, Deutsch & Marletto, Verlinde, England and the IIT crowd. Am I saying that if Bollands, like all these other illustrious people, were to change their theses to accommodate words to suit me, then we would have the one true metaphysics, the one grand unified theory? Nope.

What I’m saying is I 99% agree with Bollands both in terms of the problems with 21st C science and in terms of the validity of his proposed solution. My important criticism is primarily linguistic. It’s about the audience that needs to hear the message in order to consider modifying their world-view as a result, and it’s about what they will hear in the choice of words. It’s not about being right, it’s about successful communication, understanding and outcomes. Bollands first objective is understanding.

In  the same way as I say to the panpsychists, I could agree with everything you say if you said it was proto-conscious-stuff that permeates the world (pan-proto-psychism) rather than “consciousness” itself, I say to Bollands why not say universal-proto-life rather than purposeful “life as we know it” that permeates the whole world? The fact I have my own pet-theory, built on the shoulders of giants who’ve said it all before, about what that proto-stuff really might be, is neither here nor there.

The language problem is how will 21st C century scientists respond when a philosopher tries to tell them life and consciousness are more fundamental than the objects of their science? Ridicule. (Even Dennett, a hero of mine on the right side of this topic has been known to respond with ridicule in the name of “pan-niftiness”. He nevertheless entertains pan-proto-psychic ideas. Strawson tries the opposite linguistic tack, suggesting all will be well if simply use the familiar word “physical” to describe conscious life, then the physical scientists will give the idea an easier ride. He’s nevertheless transparent that this is simply a tactical, linguistic convenience; your equally valid choice may differ.)

Life, like consciousness, is problematic in science in achieving a single agreed objective definition not because it is vague, but because it is many different things evolved on multi-variate spectra in many layers of increasing complexity (*). I happen to think it’s more honest to acknowledge this before projecting intuitive human scale experience of life and consciousness on prehistoric, primordial elements of the cosmos.
(* One difference of understanding and credibility here, despite the evolutionary model, Bollands appears to suggest the same “infinite complexity” at all levels.)

Like Bollands, and like Hofstadter and Dennett jointly and individually, I have no problem with “circular” definitions either. Knowledge and understanding of the world, like the world itself, evolves through “strange loops”. True definitions, like all species, arise only with hindsight.

Also, like Bollands, I see that life and consciousness, whatever they are in any definitive sense, they go hand in hand. Bollands explicitly posits there is no distinction between the behaviours of living and conscious things. They are inseparable. Although distinct from fundamental / metaphysical considerations of life and consciousness, imagined applications of AI and A-Life often turn up in thought experiments about what we really mean by them. Unsurprisingly Bollands also mentions some aspects of these. I have been of the firm opinion that we will never have anything deserving of the name Artificial Intelligence (beyond complex self-learning algorithmic behaviour) until we also have Artificial Life. And, when we do, we will have created or helped to evolve new instances of real life and real intelligence. But we digress.

Life the Universe and Consciousness is worth the read, and Bollands’ Universal Life is worth the effort it will take to understand. Even if ultimately you don’t agree with it and can’t see how empirical evidence could ever bring it into the body of objective scientific knowledge, I would hope some of the more open-minded scientists and scientific philosophers give it head-space. Like Dennett’s last epistle to the scientists, we need you to read this, and then read it again … we need it to change your world view.

Without that change of world-view it’s hard to imagine how any scientist could entertain a sentence like this from Bollands’ final summary of Universal Life being applied to things living at the level of physical science:

“When a living thing acts freely,
selectively and purposefully,
it is acting consciously,
motivated by its experiences,
values and beliefs.”

Even a sympathetic reader such as myself might baulk at beliefs, at a level below higher evolved intelligence. You can already hear the updated mocking response “What, you’re not only saying an electron is conscious (and alive) but now you’re saying it has beliefs? Pull the other one.” This linguistic issue remains my main – only – reservation. Pulling so many words from the level of existing human experience – with all their baggage – into this fundamental physical / metaphysical space seems to greatly diminish the chances of successful communication to its target audience. (I shall probably come back to this sentence in a future post, relating it to the similar work of others.)

Unlike quite a few of the books I’ve put in that “close but no cigar” category, Life the Universe and Consciousness is not “a book I feel I could have written”. If nothing else, I wouldn’t have had the patience to construct it so carefully and follow it through. Indeed, I almost ran out of the patience to properly read it.

It’s not as much fun to read as Douglas Adams, but I’m glad Bollands wrote it. I hope enough will take it seriously enough to follow the logic. It’s a valuable extension to the current panpsychist movement.

Life, the Universe and Nothing New Under the Sun?

Although I’ve not being doing much original writing recently – very busy at work, home & garden, and learning some semantic-web programming(!) – I’m still following the panpsychism traffic via twitter and via hits on the blog. I still owe Tim Bollands a considered review – he’s in good company with my “close but no cigar” verdict. He’s really looking for understanding rather than agreement so he deserves at least that. (Update, review done.) However, some old blog links getting hits the last two days, that joined-up some dots in my evolving evolutionary information thesis. Spooky, as I used to say.

A piece that intrigued me way back in 2002 – like the “e to the i pi =-1” (Euler’s Identity) linking 3 irrational “numbers” – a thought that linked quanta, information and life. (Not to forget that same identity is very close to the integration of singularities in turbulent flow – Navier-Stokes – at all scales.) Anyway, Apoorva Patel’s first piece linked above was Quantum Algorithms and the Genetic Code. On a re-read today, as well as that initial “Wow!” at the linking of quantum mechanics, DNA and information processing, it is fascinating in its own right on evolution as an information processing algorithm. Something that has since become central to all of my thinking.

Despite all the consciousness “hard problem” and “zombie” distractions with David Chalmers work, or other people’s interactions with it, recalling in 2005 that his important book on the topic “The Conscious Mind – In Search of a Fundamental Theory” actually made a big impression on me in terms of the fundamental nature of information. A name-check to David Deutsch in the same piece. All roads lead to IIT, EES and Universal Constructionism (UC). I suspect Bolland’s Universal Life (UL) may in fact be close to UC, despite quite different philosophical gestation, since ultimately his definition of life is about living things “making themselves” (not just reproduction and sustenance but assembling from increasingly “atomic” but equally living components. The distraction for me in all these things is choosing baggage-laden words like living and conscious, to describe the “lower” levels).

David Lavery’s (2004) “Evil Genius” time-travel narrative idea to explore different philosophical metaphysical views of consciousness, especially the Cartesian turn where it went off the rails into scientism and objective dualism. A story which strangely links to this other book idea of my own which started here as “Ishmael’s Daughter”. (I have quite well-developed off-line versions of this project as a bio-travel chautauqua in the manner of a Pirsigian but watery US “buddy-movie / road trip” – Lila meets Zen and the Art?Oh, wait, Pirsig already did that.)

Life the Universe and Consciousness #2

I previously devoted a whole post and made several other references to a new book by A T Bollands “Life the Universe and Consciousness.

Although addressing many of the same issues, problems with physical science, which are driving other current philosophers in the direction of panpsychism, Bollands is a “Universal Lifer”. In his book we find out for the first time what that means.

As a self-published project Bollands has made good use of Twitter to market his thinking into many of the discussions clustered around Goff and Kastrup. As well as the on-line extracts we have been treated to his Twelve Intractable Problems as a thread of tweets. (The topic of my previous post.)

I’d not completed my read yet, so as usual the start of this “review” post honestly lays bare my own prejudices and pet-hates on initial acquaintance. My main reason for reading, as ever, is to find convergence with my own cybernetics agenda, how systems regulate their own existence in their environment, and my own pan-proto-psychist thinking towards that. That self-regulation is very close to definitions of life, and the response to the environment is very close to definitions of consciousness, from good-old thermostats upwards. So the fit is clear.

As well as the Twelve Intractable Problems which take up half the page count and a chapter each, the short introductory chapter is a selective potted history of world-views from Aristotle to Copenhagen and Kuhn. His point is to set out a blueprint for how problems with existing knowledge get resolved and solved. This he bases on the enhancement of the Copernican revolution by the likes of Descartes, Kepler and Newton questioning and fixing the beliefs on which earlier models were based. Seems straightforward enough, so we await how these are applied to each of the 12 problems and his eventual Universal Life conclusions.

The Douglas Adams allusion which originally caught my attention in the title is continued in chapter epigraphs so far, Dirk Gently as well as H2G2. I also like his “bag of beans” allegorical tale as individual beans become aware of their fellow beans and their bag.

There are inevitably pet-hates too. More of the Galileo mythology. And despite references to Chalmers, Smolin and (later) Dennett, they are limited so far as I can see to their earlier works. Chalmers (Hard Problem, 1995 and 2002), Smolin (Trouble with Physics, 2006) and Dennett (Consciousness Explained, 1991). The latter two in particular have been part of my own co-evolving thinking right up to the last couple of years, along with Rovelli, Verlinde and the IIT crew.

To be continued …

The Quality of Being

It seems Goff and Kastrup have fallen out. With a great swell of interest in pan-psychism and idealism stoked by these two in the last couple of years it was no surprise they came together to compare notes recently.

They’re not new to each other. Goff was actually an academic referee to Katsrup’s PhD I believe. I’ve had them both in the “close but no cigar” camp for a while. Much common ground with each other and with my own position in terms of the issues they are resolving in “science-informed” orthodoxy of current philosophical views of the world, both ontological and epistemological. Each making their own needlessly but importantly different choices in framing their metaphysics. Pity. But from my perspective much scope for narrowing those differences to the insignificant. Close but no cigar, as I say.

I’ve not really diagnosed their falling out, other than noting the Twitter traffic arising.

My own position I’d call “pan-proto-psychist” in these terms, but I’d call the metaphysical proto-stuff “information”. Significant difference between things, the stuff that gives things identity, is information (in the von Neumann sense), knowledge in the participatory awareness sense of one adjacent thing with the other. Very much Whitehead’s creative process reality, as I discovered in the last year or so.

What I didn’t expect to find was people making reference to Galen Strawson as a positive source of views on pan-psychism. I had him in the analytic, logical-positivist camp, wrongly it seems.

Reading Strawson’s “Mind and Being—the Primacy of Panpsychism” I further didn’t expect to find him translating “Sein und Sosein” as “being and quality“. I’ve a lot more reading to do, but this sparked another great synthesis for me.

The radical empiricism of Wm James was dubbed “Quality” by Pirsig – the pre-conceptual (in-the-moment) sensing of one thing by another. It’s this inter-objective sensing that gives rise to possible thoughts of psychism. Adjacent things being “aware” of each other even if neither is “conscious” in the orthodox everyday sense. It’s that process, an event of one detecting a coming together – a nexus – with the other that is the most fundamental “atom” of anything else physical or psychical. Hence pan-proto-psychism for me. Pirsig built his whole Metaphysics of Quality on this. I’ve simply arrived at the same view calling this property of the Whiteheadian nexus “information”.

[Hold: Need to come back and link references. Needed to capture the thought for now. Adding detail below:]


After that reading …

Mind and Being – The Primacy of Panpsychism ( Strawson 2016)

[First 19 pages – need to extract notes – admits to significant recent change of position from Strawson since (say) 2003 – explains my confusion.

Very like Whitehead approach to “doing metaphysics” – setting-up a few axioms then arguing why these provide “best” explanatory solution to known situation and known issues.

Being is as being does – and all science is about observation of what things do (external), never about any intrinsic (internal) nature – a la Goff – so readily denied by scientists.

A very important new read.]

You don’t have to call it ‘materialism’ (‘physicalism’) if you don’t want to.
(He does, because as he says, even “physics” is just an abstract set of rules – structural relationships – with no such thing as intrinsic physical nature behind it. I don’t because “physics” comes with all that baggage of misplaced concreteness. As he says several times, these are just terminological differences – what we choose to call things. Closely related to the  things I say about the reality of memes relative to the (much more intangible) reality of (say) genes and species readily accepted by most.)

[22] In the case of experience, the having is the knowing.
(James / Pirsig “radical empiricism”. Foucault “savoir”. Knowing in the “biblical” sense. Directly acquainted … he says … any non-experiential concrete reality is, by contrast, wholly ungrounded … radically and irredeemably verification-transcendent belief. A “posit” (* See figure here). We know the experiential is real and we also  know—about as well as we know anything in science—that it’s literally located in the brain)

[23] human experience is neural activity.
This is by now far beyond reasonable doubt.
(Mostly neural. Mostly brain. Neural/brain plus other endocrine / biochemical interactions with the physical.)

(a given that… ) pure panpsychism is the most parsimonious hypothesis about the nature of concrete reality?

We think in terms of things comprising stuff in spatio-temporal pictures, even though our physical models tell us everything (even our brain) is 99.999% vacuum (plenum).

From one intuitively natural perspective matter is quite astoundingly insubstantial, an intricately shimmering almost-nothing … When we go on to consider a brain we find many further layers of staggeringly
intricate organization—in an almost entirely empty space. Such is matter. Such is the material brain. It helps to maintain this picture when we’re wondering how experience can be physical. It helps to resist the picture of a mammalian brain as … a piece of meat that can be diced and fried with garlic; although it’s also that. Terry Bisson’s thinking meat anyone?

Those who (like [Strawson’s] former self) can’t shake their commitment to the idea that we know what space (spacetime & matter) is in some truly fundamental respect may simply be unable to engage fully with the ‘mind-body problem’
(Hallelujah! There’s an element of letting go existing certainties – allowing a crack, a crack in everything, it’s how the light gets in. The anthemic theme.)

17 No Mystery – Many say that experience (consciousness) is a mystery (it sells a lot of books) . But what is mysterious? We know what experience is. We know exactly what certain types of experiences are simply in having them.

That – [E] a plurality of subjects can’t possibly combine to form or generate a single subject – is merely conjecture.
I can’t feel any deep difficulty in the subject combination problem
(Me neither. This is about a proper appreciation of evolutionary emergence of species – it’s not magic. Many experiencing subjects combining to form an experiencing whole. Why is this any more of a problem than a zillion quarks combining to form a box of meat, or 100,000 rivets – or starlings – flying in close formation? Simply show me how.)

I also believe (with William James et al) that there’s a metaphysically primordial way of thinking about what a subject of experience is given which there is, in the case of any particular episode of experiencing, no
real distinction between the subject of experience or experiencer and the experience or experiencing. (Yay!) This may contribute to my failure to feel worried by the combination problem. I don’t, however, think that this particular belief is indispensable to the lack of worry—except insofar as it’s linked to the Sein ist Sosein (Being is Quality) claim.
(You and me both.)

A Keith Turausky reference on this page too!
40 I’m mindful, also, of Turausky’s suggestion that particular experiences may be formed by subtraction—reduction—sculpting—of a base of experiential ‘white noise’ (cf. Turausky unpublished).
(It’s Free Wont, rather than Free Will. Consciousness – creativity – is about structuring not construction. Turausky, previously on Psybertron.)

P30 (Final page, before references)
[30] We should favour panpsychism(*) over all other substantive theories of the fundamental nature of reality.
(* ie everything is experiential – that the intrinsic (non-structural) nature of the energy that is widely agreed to wholly constitute physical reality is experientiality. Works for me using “experiential” rather than “conscious” – which is why I prefer pan-proto-psychism to panspychism. The crude suggestion of everything being conscious confuses many otherwise intelligent thinkers.)

The Twisted Campaign for Gender Self-Identity

I’ve been documenting my own takes on the Self-ID Trans-activism story for 6 or 7 years now – last summarised here with many footnotes added.

Like prof Alice Dreger, doctor Sarah Rutherford has been a professionally engaged researcher for much longer. She’s done the research and recently published a historical deep dive into how the current (2020) reform to the (2004) Gender Recognition Act got to be the mess it is.