Category Archives: General

Thinking about Civilization (the computer game) and what it says about Civilization (the human phenomena)

Every time I play Sid Meyer’s Civilization, a moment arrives when I stop playing, look at the map, and think about what the game is saying about nature and essence of civilization as a human phenomenon. The game was thus … Continue reading

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My writing plans for Autumn 2017

While I was in CZ this summer, not only was I editing my scifi novel and my logic textbook, I also started two new works of fiction, intending both of them to be short stories that I could finish in … Continue reading

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Brendan’s Socratic Dialogue Game

Last week, while working on the second edition of my logic textbook, it occurred to me that Socratic Dialogue, the method of philosophical reasoning used by Socrates, is a kind of game. Or, it could be turned into one. Of … Continue reading

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Earthquakes, Hurricanes, and the Problem of Evil

On 1st November 1755, a Sunday that year, a powerful earthquake struck Lisbon, Portugal. The quake itself and the wildfires and the tidal wave caused by it destroyed most of the city, and killed an estimated 60,000 people. Lots of … Continue reading

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Is Optimism Still Possible In the Age of Trump?

Timing is sometimes everything. When I finished the final draft of Reclaiming Civilization and submitted it to my publisher, the US presidential election campaign was still in the party primaries. It looked likely at the time that Bernie would win … Continue reading

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Twenty-seven days of solitude

Two years ago, I came to visit friends in Krenicna, Central Bohemia, and to look after the gardens and the dogs while they were away. I wrote the first 20,000 words of Reclaiming Civilization here. I returned again this summer, … Continue reading

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Ray Bradbury’s “Dandelion Wine”: A novel for all time, yet also of its own time.

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury is a world. It’s the author’s fictitious Green Town Illinois, but it’s also a fairyland where boys are young forever. It’s a town where a new pair of tennis shoes can make boys run and … Continue reading

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Can book launches be as big as weddings? Some (slightly selfish) thoughts about celebrating books and writers

While attending my brother’s wedding last week, I had a rather selfish thought: no one has ever celebrated my life and accomplishments on a scale that big. Of course the reasons for this are obvious. I’ve never been married; I … Continue reading

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An expedition to the lake, and thoughts along the way

As often as I can, I like to walk from my house to Pink Lake and back; my usual route is about 12kms long, and I love every inch of it as much as I love my library and my … Continue reading

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Kenny Klein: Guilty on all charges

Kenny Klein: pagan celebrity musician and songwriter. Arrested and charged for possessing child pornography; today, found guilty on all counts. Here’s the court docket. Not that there was ever any serious reason to suppose the conclusion would be otherwise, beyond … Continue reading

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