Category Archives: General

Discourse Ethics, and a possible solution to the Paradox of Tolerance

Discussions, debates, and arguments, are among the most ancient and most useful ways in which people sharpen their intellectual skills and learn from each other. Yet many debates quickly become useless shouting matches or festivals of hate. Online debates are … Continue reading

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A game development studio in my house? And other questions.

A few weeks ago I posted this question to my social media followers: “Hypothetically speaking: if I were to create a games development team, would you or someone you know be interested in joining?” Lots of people said yes– many … Continue reading

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Whatever happened to the romantic life? A personal question.

When I was a teenager, my favorite film was Terry Gilliam’s “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” (1988). It’s about the nature of fantasy, and argues that a life of romanticism and imagination is better than a life of science and … Continue reading

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From whom must civilization be ‘reclaimed’?

I’ve been asked this question, because the title of my books is “Reclaiming Civilization”. Who, or what, am I saying civilization needs to be reclaimed from? It needs to be reclaimed from several world views of cleverly-disguised misanthropy which, if … Continue reading

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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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