December 20, 2002

Divine Endurance

And while we're on the theme of losing contact with religious faith, I don't particularly recommend that you visit, but suggest instead the website of science fiction author Greg Egan. Egan has a penchant for deconstructing (but also constructing) the marvellous within a tightly rational materialism. I'm not sure if contemporary religion has come under his steely gaze, but in Oceanic, he cruelly disects experiences of religious euphoria generated by physical distress and anoxia, albeit in a post AI rehumanised world 20,000 years from now. Thought provoking stuff, and more emotionally involving than some of Egan's other work. Available as an e-book (it was my first experience of the form), or full text available online here.

Posted at 11:56 PM

December 18, 2002

Losing my religion

I'm just coming to the end of a happy secondment with the high priests of the economy. It'll be strange to be back in the real world, among people who may not know the theology, the litanies, or the approved responses.
At least I will have the web to guide me through the dark days. One source of illumination is Samuel Brittan. Not that he's especially complimentary about those of us who earn their crust within the public sector, but there's loads of good stuff on this site, and it's fairly easy reading. Good articles include this one concerning Economics as religion, and this defence of cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker.

Posted at 12:18 AM

December 15, 2002

Holding infinity in the palm of your hand

Oh well, a busy week with little time for sensawunda. And then it hits you in the face.
It started when my young daughter contrasted the world of The Clangers with Earth, which led us to trawl the web for astronomical views, including the excellent Powers of Ten. My 5 year old accepted that these were proper representations of the Earth from space, but she was distinctly unimpressed by the lack of choice in where you travelled. So we moved on to more earthbound marvels, like Santa's Village in Lapland, videos of the Aurora Borealis, and unresolved questions as to the exact appearance of elves.
Later, my wife chanced upon Celestia, an astonishing simulation of the known universe in real time. Go see. Just try not to be moved by tracking Despina across the surface of Neptune.

Posted at 01:48 AM

December 03, 2002

Hello World!

And so I make my first assay into the blogiverse. Slowly, ponderously, as befits my totem animal.

For the moment I shall content myself with building up my blog reading base. Linking to blogs as I go. Maybe paying special attention to those which expand my view of the marvellous. Or not.

Posted at 08:57 PM