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 … Continue reading “Life, the Universe and Nothing New Under the Sun?”

Successful Pirsig Rethinks Life of Zen

“A Successful Pirsig Rethinks Life of Zen and Science” by George Gent, New York Times , May, 1974 After what he describes as a lifetime of humiliation that culminated in a mental breakdown, Robert M. Pirsig now faces the prospect of learning to live with success. Mr. Pirsig’s 20-year struggle against the forces of academic … Continue reading “Successful Pirsig Rethinks Life of Zen”

Citizens’ Assembly

This topic is doomed to forever remain a stub for a more complete piece as it is continually added to by events. Whatever we call it the Citizens’ / People’s Assembly (aka Standing Constitutional Convention) is an old idea whose time seems to have come. Citizens’ Assembly is the term Rory Stewart is using in … Continue reading “Citizens’ Assembly”

Pirsig meets Foucault and more besides.

The death of Robert Pirsig last month triggered a good deal of new correspondence on his work, his Metaphysics of Quality as well as his novels, “ZMM” and “Lila“. My own summary of his MoQ, or more correctly the world-view implied by his metaphysics, I have previously presented here: I’ve expressed my (limited) appreciation of … Continue reading “Pirsig meets Foucault and more besides.”

#Pirsig and the “121 Rejections” Mythology

It was cringeworthy that so many obituaries, and one-line social-media quotes linking to them, chose to lead with the quote that “121 submissions of ZMM were rejected by publishers before William Morrow’s single acceptance”. Cringeworthy because it’s not at all relevant to Pirsig’s work, simply part of #TheOutsider mythology created as a continuing part of … Continue reading “#Pirsig and the “121 Rejections” Mythology”

“Fee and Dividend” Carbon Tax

Heard Ed Atkinson of Citizens’ Climate Lobby UK speak last night at Teesside “Skeptics in the Pub”. Although they’re already a decade old, and I have long-standing interests in the energy business and in climate change science and policy, it was the first time I had really been aware of CCL and their very specific climate … Continue reading ““Fee and Dividend” Carbon Tax”

Mind and Body on @BBCStartWeek

I’ve claimed “Evolutionary Psychology” as my topic since I started this blog. Dominant schools of thought have evolved with the human mind, something that’s true for any “belief system” including modern “rational” science. I don’t use the term “Evo-Psych” too much since, like so many ideas named and hijacked by one flavour at one period … Continue reading “Mind and Body on @BBCStartWeek”

Brain Plasticity and Free Will – Really!

Been reading  The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force by Jeffrey M Schwartz and Sharon Begley, at the suggestion of an exchange between Dave Morey and Harvey Taylor on FB. Other than the two title topics being part of any complete brain-mind story, the only real connection between Neuroplasticity and Mental Force … Continue reading “Brain Plasticity and Free Will – Really!”