I made some notes this morning as I was having my coffee and granola. I’d been thinking about today’s perihelion before I was diverted. The sun, if you see it, is five million kilometres closer than it will be in July though it’s not much closer than it was yesterday or will be tomorrow. So don’t expect it look any bigger.[Read more…] about On Feeders and Dots
Book of My Year
Despite the challenges, I consider myself to have been very lucky this year. I have lots of reasons to be cheerful. One of these is that I have reliable sources of book recommendations. So many people have made such excellent book recommendations that have I haven’t yet read them all. And the lockdown is the primary reason I was able to read as many as I did.[Read more…] about Book of My Year
Yachts, Leaks and Bacteria
One night last week, I’d had a bad night’s sleep, broken by rain pounding on the roof. There were also sheets of wind-blown water crashing over the side of the house. I knew I wasn’t on a leg across the roaring forties in a round-the-world yacht race because the bed wasn’t rocking. But I wondered about the strength of water, the power of the ocean while remembering the damage I’d seen on the keels of maxi yachts on a hard stand in Fremantle. And the cataclysmic noise just above my head simultaneously prompted thoughts about the end of time, which for us as individual sailors, would be the same as the end of our lives.[Read more…] about Yachts, Leaks and Bacteria
’20 Favourites Short List
It should be a simple thing, to know which is my favourite book that I have read this calendar year.
Because I keep an idea of my favourite books over time, a relative assessment always brings with it the question of absolute best. Absolutes refer to testable truths but what is truth?
I tend to read a lot of books about science. The extraordinary thing about reading recent books on science is the number of times that you read phrases like ‘no one knows if this will prove to be the case’. I find this uncertainty very reassuring. The demand, indeed the onus, on us all is to keep reading to keep learning.
Watching The Watchers
‘… there is as yet no consensus on why religion arose nor on why it has so tenaciously remained. And not for lack of ideas: coopting the naturally selected brain, driving group cohesion, calming existential anxiety, protecting reputations and reproductive opportunities’
― Brian Greene Until The End Of Time.
Does religion persist because it confers an adaptive advantage? Could it be that faith is a byproduct of the evolution of cognition? Could there be better things waiting for us in the future than we are experiencing now? Once you start asking questions like this, potential answers are legion.[Read more…] about Watching The Watchers
Ants and Stories
The ant has made himself illustrious
Through constant industry industrious.
Would you be calm and placid
If you were full of formic acid?