I started reading George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire reluctantly. My expectations were low. The book didn’t start well, with a confusing jumble of voices, and an omniscient point of view that added to the sense of dislocation. But by the end of the first chapter, Martin’s hook had caught me. It wasn’t the action that drew me in, although the first chapter does contain a dramatic sword fight. It wasn’t the characters, who were not particularly well drawn, nor long lived. It was the prose. The words were magical, delicate, full of mystery and power. They conveyed much more than the literal flow of events.
I tried multitasking. Really, I did. I focused my full attention on it, to the exclusion of all other things. Yet even that couldn’t make it work. Continue reading
Don’t worry. This isn’t about Trump. I’ve returned to my first love – science fiction – with two new novels in the pipeline. The first is a conspiracy thriller set in the near future, the second an apocalyptic blockbuster set in the present day. Continue reading
Posted in Books & Films
Tagged Books, Computers, Creativity, Prediction, Religion, Science, Science fiction, Technology, Words, Work, Writing
Each one of us is blessed with 24 hours in every day. But what we do with those 24 hours varies enormously. Continue reading
Posted in Life
Tagged Blogging, Creativity, Democracy, Economic growth, Equality, Feminism, Freedom, Happiness, Health, Human rights, Philosophy, Politics, Poverty, Technology, Wealth, Work
Do you prefer Donald Duck or Donald Trump?
Seriously, I’d love to know. And I have more questions for you. Like, do you prefer Dinosaurs or Cheese Burgers? And, do you prefer Vampires or The Muppet Show?
You can answer all these questions and more at a new website called Xory (pronounced “zory” – short for X or Y) which my family has created as a summer project. We hope you like it.
We’ve had lots of fun making this, using my wife’s management skills, my own web programming expertise and the accumulated useless knowledge of our kids.
What we need now is your help to spread the word. So why not try it, and if you like it, tell your friends and family. They might like it too.
In days gone by, we used to peer over other people’s shoulders on trains and in public spaces to read their newspapers. Flitting headlines would parade before us, grabbing our attention, as history unfolded before our eyes: Continue reading
Posted in Life, Technology
Tagged Creativity, Democracy, Equality, Facebook, Freedom, Internet, Language, Technology, Twitter, Words
Morality, it is sometimes said, represents the way that people would like the world to work. And Aesthetics could be said to represent the way people would like the world to look.
Ethics and Aesthetics can be grouped together in philosophy under Value Theory, the implication being that the two principles derive from the same fundamental instinct; from the same part of the human mind.
As Wittgenstein put it: “Ethics and aesthetics are one and the same.” (Thanks to Michelle Joelle for this.)
Now a moral world where no one suffered would be a beautiful thing for sure, but there’s a strong negative aspect to this correlation between ethics and aesthetics too. Continue reading