Location: Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany

I'm a sort of creative person, seeking the meaning of life . Hard to capture the essence of the mind/brain/soul - but I delight in arguing with ultra-materialists on consciousness. Ah! the smell of a rose and its redness, the smell of a fine wine, a sunset, - great stuff, and all subjective. Oh yeah and actually am Scorpio by 4 hours according to expert astrologer friend - blogger auto-star-sign system missed the fact that I'm on the cusp. Though I agree with Casius when he said "the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings".

Friday, March 25, 2005

Delta, Enigma & Heim

I’ve been too long trying to commune with correctness. So this morning I just decided to go with the flow and indulged in sheer unashamed surreal excesses of colour and self-consistent mad forms. My only concession to normalcy was seeking and ordering discarded coffee cups. Don’t worry though – that wasn’t a sign of Prufockism – hard to have your trousers rolled if they’re stiff denims. Was it fate that allowed me to find Enigma cassette just now on good Friday with fitting Gregorian chant? Howsoever, I have made good the tradition of a painting on Good Friday – and in the process of looking for some print paper discovered colour printout of ’99 exhibition – not bad and may feature in a future book. Who knows? Delta last night on 3-Sat not bad – nothing better at getting little girls to sleep and papa wide awake than a deep discussion on religion with Dürr expounding on the interconnectedness of all things and the non-existence of hard matter when the implications of quantum mechanics are allowed to sink in. Thought Dürr sounded familiar – then leafed through my Heim docs and sure enough it was he who was Heisenberg’s Max Planck successor when Burkhard Heim came around to explain his recently developed mass formula – after first been given the cold shoulder by d, the latter gradually got interested when it was made clear that the mass formula was a structure theory. There ensued an intense question and answer session of a few hours after which D convinced H to publish in the Max Planck journal. Must stick latter in Wikipedia – one in the eye for the fanatic Stringulists.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Crow log

I wished my brother M a lovely birthday today by e-mail, as he lives on the other side of this funny old ball : we are now in the part that is illuminated, called 'day' and have different seasons by virtue of being on 'top'. . It's nice weather here again - the snow and ice finally melted for St Patrick"s day and it remained mild since then, even on this, Pat + 6

The Girls send their greetings to their uncle - N cycled off at 07:25 today to meet her friend D with whom she cycles to school occasionally. Last year Iwas cycling with her but now she feels she's big enough to go it alone with Denise. I went with C to her primary... they're looking forward to Easter break in 3 days. when we retreat to a hut on the Neckar near Heidelberg for a week.

The cycle along the grassy path to work was only slowed marginally by having to negotiate deep ruts in slightly muddy (lets say soft) ground made by forestry tractor on the last few days. Otherwise it was a fine Spring cycle, where I again noted the crow shaped log at the side of the track. Once I startled a chaffinch and he set off a whole flock of them and/or other song birds thaat flew just in fornt of me as I traversed that relatively open stretch of forest. Later there was an almost tame thrush-like bird with white stipes around his eyes...

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Last Sun pre-Easter

Captain's blog supplemental - beep!

Yes, will soon be retreating to our Easter retreat - this is the last Sunday for a while when Momo the cat can lie and clean herself on the sofa while N looks at Doubtfire. Beautiful effect of March sun slanting into golden living room just now, the easter twigs (y'know - reddish braches with a hint of leaves) nicely juxtaposed with the potted plants in front of hesitantly blooming garden. Surfing ucla cognitive web site - some juicy morsels - WIld Minds must be in there somewhere as I found the site in one of my periodic google searches for that classic of non-linear spooky neuroscience. Some of those articles one finds onself retuning to again and again - can one ever savour them sufficiently? Bernard Baars' Global Workspace - Cartesian Theatre article from the 90's belongs with Wild Minds and Sutherland's demolition of Spiegel henchman Metzinger to the perenial favourites. I'd hoped that the ucla cog update by Baars was of similar classical ilk, but alas it was not to be - it was a non-multidisciplinary collection of short notes. Useful in a sense but lacking in the grandeur of the early Baars.

Right - that might be it until after Easter on a Sunday, unless I can access an intenet cafe on the Neckar.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

That book of mine

Some of the stories in Grannies and Time Machines may be a bit controversial - particularly where time travellers re-write history. I gave the story 'Pruning Time' to a few friends to read and criticise and was taken aback at the severity of their response - the Spanish guy thought I had it in for the Spanish and an English guy felt I was targeting his island - in fact I was rather democratic in the punishment meted out to wrongdoers of every nation. One fellow writer, Peter, had a more reasoned response:

Thanks for 'Pruning Time.' It's another great concept, on your usual epic scale, realised in an understated, ironical voice which prevents the piece from lurching into the offensively messianic. Character development is minimal, but a theme like this hardly leaves room for characters. I enjoyed the idea of cutting 'Mr M' up like an earthworm.... Congratulations on a very entertaining and thought-provoking piece. Your sense of humour (a strong characteristic) is more essential to this piece than to the others I've read, making it the most genial of the four, in spite of its iconoclastic substance.

Philosophical musings 2

I don't buy the argument that because bees and others see in UV or IR or even x-ray, and we don't perceive at these wavelengths directly then the world we see with our 5 or 6 senses is not the one that 'exists'. That would imply that we get at Kant's Ding-an-sich or noumenal reality by the back door of blindness in these wavengths. Too cheap. No, as we have machines
to extent our sensorium to those wavelengths and can either view the sensorily gifted aninmals as additonal sensing machines or allow them a slice in the subjective pie. Also reminiscent here of the Pinker/Malik debate - Pinker points out that:
"Some theorists believe that there are indeed certain questions that humans are incapable of answering because of our evolved nature. Our minds evolved by natural selection to solve problems that were life-and-death matters to our ancestors, not to commune with correctness or to answer any question we are capable of asking. We cannot hold ten thousand words in our short-term memory. We cannot see ultra-violet light. We cannot mentally rotate an object in the fourth dimension. And perhaps we cannot solve conundrums like free will and sentience."
Malik sees things very differently - he points out that we have solved all kinds of problems:
"from the structure of DNA, to the physical composition of the sun despite our evolutionary legacy, not because of it. It is true that the development of science requires mental skills, many of which are evolved adaptations, but science has enabled us to go well beyond those adaptations. We can do science only because we can transcend our evolutionary heritage and act as subjects, rather than as objects"
i.e. we transcend our 5 or 6 senses and 'get at' the 'world out there' more fully thereby. Or alternatively could say we just dreamt up additonal wavelength realms to conquer later via constructs of the subject - so it could all be idealist still. On the recent evolution of skilled language - it reminds me of other claims that we only recently acquired colour vision
because Homer described the 'wine dark sea' - that was due to a mis-reading of the classics. Also, bees have full colour vision for flowers and we had them as primates for fruit - almost certainly in full technicolour for about a million years. Similarly, the cave artists of Lacaux and Altamira were cognitively on the same level as us - drawings (in colour) of shamans
frolicking around in animal masks imply full linguistic ability, and even transpersonal levels of consciousness. Hominid skulls lend themselves poorly to reconstructions of Broca's and Wernicke's areas, and certainly the last 100,000 years has shown fully anatomically modern humans: the very explosion of fantasy and inventiveness around the time
of the cave-art revolution implies that around then it really clicked for language, art and general intelligence. Since then it's been steady progress with inventions - hardly the achievement of Wernicken grunters. The cold war drove CIA and KGB to excesses of fantasy in terms of mind control - but you have to first define a mind before you control it. Even hypnotism can't really go against the grain of Schopenhauer's will. Of course if you brutalise someone enough you can conditon them to react a la Pavlov out of fear. But there will always be a corner of their being that resists the brutish conditioners - just like Rhita in
Greg Bear's 'Eternity" resists the attempts of the Jarts to encapsulate her mentality in their 'matrix'. Apropos, I take issue with Schopenhauer shifting the subject into the representation box and highlighting will as the main aspect of being: the Upanishads that he borrowed from got it righter than he did. And these ancient Indian philosophers were debating subtleties of consciousness thousands of years ago - and they were no more narcissist than the moderns. I.e. the current consciousness 'craze' is not a feature of the modern accumulation of
scientific knowledge nor does it owe everything to the late lamented Crick - it is rather a reaction against the dark age of stifling behaviourism: James' Principles of Psychology or the Upanishads are once again fully modern - the former because after James Behaviourism led to
ruthless suppression and censorship of the 'subject' lest the more 'scientific' 20th century psychology be accused of unscientific introspection; we are only now picking up where James left off. Now the scales have fallen from people's eyes again and the Behaviourist/AI/positivist emperor has indeed no clothes. It's a bit like the end of the cold war where people admitted that communism a la Stalin was not all it was cracked up to be, and that the Russians rellay loved their children too (incredible tothink that that was ionce a revolutionary lyric of Sting's). After all, neuroscience will only ever highlight the neural correlates of the easy problem. The hard problem remains and people just re-state it in myriad ways. But it makes interesting reading to get different people's 'take' on it. If German uni training is as in the Egyptian priesthood, Metzinger is one of the high priests of the Mainz temple university. Note that he does put on an interesting display - e.g. one of his Spiegel bits:
- quite colourful but despite the waffle his position is still as homuphobic as indicated by Sutherland.
He is quite prolific though - here a list:

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Philosophical musings 1

Well, I was reading in my Philosophy history by Stoerig again last nght the section on Heidegger and I finally grasped a few things better than before:
* His philosophy, just as Husserl's and the other phenomenologists', is rigourous but not in the same way as science. Thus he is
distinct from and in contrast to the rather unpleasant and boring logical positivists.
* You won't like this but it's interesting: he applauded Hegel for at least one of his ideas - namely that absolute nothingness
is actually the same as absolute being. H's take on that is that nothingness is the veil of being - a bit like ciaroscuro, shadows and light.
In this sense being is transcendent in that it stands out from the void and is more than just a 'place marker in nothingness'.
* He makes the point that philosophy is actually closer to poetry than science. Good point - as 'science' in the sense of objective science demands that we be zombies, whilst poetry is exclusive to subjects. The famous example of a sunset - objective scientific description is trivial, whilst a poet gives a lyrical account of subjective qualia. - this point struck me again in reading also last night interview of Spiegel editor with Brian Greene of 'Elegant Universe' - in his new book he again shows how one sided he is - apparently utterly ignorant of philosophy, he says things like:
"Oh the flow of time must be an illusion as it only occurs in subjective accounts". This is unbelievably ignorant of a supposedly intelligent scientist,
that he should have read no philosophy dealing with this essential aspect of existence - all existence is subjective! Of course, when pressed to say how time was created before the big bang, he had to confess ignorance. He also had no answer as to why the time dimension should appear so different from the spatial ones, although mathematically they are on a similar level.
Reasoning such as (

But at high speeds those watches can be off by seconds, minutes, even years if
they move fast enough.
Therefore, the whole notion of past, present and
future is nonsensical and completely subjective.

Again this philosophically challenged innocent thinks that just because it's subjective it's nosensical - the opposite is the case! He also shows his failure to grasp the concept
of qualia - it is immaterial if the subjective impression of time should be stretched or compressed a bit by relativeistic effects - this says nothing about what is being stretched - namely the subjective impression of the flow of time.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Mixed feelings on a Monday

Phew! Bit of a mixed feeling this Monday - doing a reasonable amount of work, and the book is chugging along - PABD said they were just checking on shipping rates for the first consignment of 'Grannies and Time Machines'. So soon should have the first hard copies of this delicious little tome. Then it can be thrown open to on-line ordering or local bookshop orders. Trying to remember meditative practice of stepping back from current actions, to be as it were an observer of oneself. Other ideas recently to put in next book: that annoying habit of neuro-ultra-materialists like Steven Pinker to boast arrogantly in their introductions that they will, in their review of neuroscience and evolutionary biology, explain why we choose our mate and why some people are disposed to believe in the paranormal. This is of course rich coming from a card carrying 'sceptic' of CSICOP, the psi-cops of the 21st century. He thus neglects to mention the converse: a deficient amount of tissue in the relevant brain regions may equally well be construed as a deficit in the ability to believe in the paranormal. Thus pseudo-sceptics of Pinker's ilk might be viewed as stunted mental cripples lacking in this important mental function. This is just another exmple of a hidden agenda being smuggled on-board in the form of defining arbitrarily what it means to be 'normal'. Must normal mean a straight-laced ultra-materialist, completely atheistic as in the simplistic popular view of a scisntist? Is the freedom to choose one or other philosophical stance to be denied us by the new arbitrers of othodoxy, the modern puritans such as Pinker, Dennet, Dawkins, Damasio & co.? Which sci-fi writer was it who wrote of 'creeping conformism'? How right she/he was. Hey - speaking of which, there's a good Irish name for political correctness - Sheehy - it sounds like she-he.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Sunday suavemente

After a leisurely and groggy Sunday morning I could feel my mental powers sharpening and honing in creativity at around 11. Sure enough my reading speed then accelerated and I began to draw rather well, if I say so myself. The music of the Santana and U2 Cds lent wings to poesy and inspired further flights of drawing. Then I found myself reflecting on the mix of colours in our ice-bound fortress. This is not the wonderful grey of the song of that Hamburgian troubadour who regrettably failed to secure his place in Kiev for the Euro song contest in the national contest for Germany last night. My sock against the air mattress was blue on deeper blue and there were browns, golds and yellows. Throw in the blue tits’ yellow and blue and the woodpecker-family bird who has graced our berry bush as a refugee from the frozen forest and you have a veritable feast of colour. Ooops – pardon me while I take the lunch from the oven… be back in a minute… Here again, after lunch. We parents feasted on yesterday’s pasta parmesan pepped up with garlic and more lemon juice and cream, not to mention additional dollop of parmesan. Worked well, washed down with beer (malt and alt respectively) and topped with a cappuccino. Delicious, for which much thanks. The kids ate separately as they sulked and refused the pasta so I rushed out and got them their Kebabs from the local Turkish joint. Now they will leave me in peace for a minute while I luxuriate in the new sound system’s rendition of Enya. So peaceful and serene. Soon we will drive off to the Odenwald to witness its snowy grandeur and make toboggan down a slope. .. Just back from the snowy drive to Lindenfels where Sigfried rode through mountain mists. Nice stroll round the castle and coffee and cake after scaling the icy wooded slope trail. The children were at times a bit difficult, but somehow they muddled through and a good time was had by all.

I must admit I was a bit miffed that my mother didn’t get the smoking politician of a cousin of mine to invite me along with her to his Roman wedding, but of course she can’t dictate the guest list to him. I may sneak down incognito and surprise her from the bushes on the forum (if they still have them there), as it will be just a few days before her 80th birthday. We shall see.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

One more nail

Just finished repairing door of daughter N (11 - recall that she’s one of two, the other, C, being 8 – the latter is now with her friend Laura, who just entered the building). I couldn’t find the hammer high or low, so improvised using handle of screwdriver as hammer. That worked, and after a feast of noise (wife B was vacuuming next door) managed to hammer in 4 or five nails to secure the bending side (board? Wainscoting? Stick? Rod? – bahhhh how I hate it when German has a word for it and I can’t find the English equivalent (Latte )). Yes, the period of tranquillity between guests is over. Overnight friend of N, Denise, has been gone since 11 – at 3 Laura showed up for C. Momo the cat was shell shocked by all the hammering and vacuuming – meanwhile she was meowing like mad to get into the same door I was hammering on. But N had locked it as she’s doing secret stuff in there. The snow has melted here in the attic, freeing the windows to let in light from the melting sun. The melt water was gushing down the pipes earlier. Will the sponge of forest absorb moisture well enough for me to negotiate the quagmire on Monday? Or has semi-permafrost hindered absorptive action? Neber did we experience such prolonged snow and ice, at least not within living memory (of a 17 year old, which is the time I’ve been in Germany). Hard to blog with a hammer-weakened arm, but the blog must go on. Have I caught the bug after only 5 or 6 posts? Maybe. It’s said to be good practice for us writers anyway – and with Grannies and Time Machines (GATM) I begin a writing career, I hope. Next on the list: a book on consciousness, genetics etc. GATM was fun to put together – I hope those of you who get it have as much fun reading it. Quite a variety of stories – from 14 page adventure yarns in far-flung planets or times to short 2 pagers about life on Earth – e.g. Grannies rescuing cats and trouble with the neighbours.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Once more with feeling

The eternal winter of 2005 in Germany has done it again. Just as we were delighting in melting icicles, slush and mud in the forest instead of pure sheet ice, this morning we awoke to windows clogged with the white stuff and the merry sound of a neighbour scratching the footpath with his shovel to clear the snow. In these cases I love to spring out of bed, shower and get in there with the best of them, shovelling. But N, 11 yr old daughter, was up even though her forend D was staying overnight and is a late sleeper unlike N & I. But N had slipped out quiet as a muse and was preparing to go to the baker. She let in the cat so I had to scamper around to stop the meows waking D by diverting her into the main bedroom. With another hand I was juggling C, 8 yr old youngest daughter, who was complaining of sore throat and sneezing, causing me to search for Tempos (the Kleenex of Germany). Meanwhile N had started on the shovelling with the rush, a good idea as it's quieter, and so won't waken D. But the snow is of that lethargic mix of slush, ice and snow that is hard to shift by brush, shovel, hook or crook. So after I while I had to step in there to lend my muscle. Then she was off to the baker and I was getting the coffee ready, and also making hot milk and honey for C. Phew... I was glad when D finally woke up ( a la cat, I think) and joined us for a leisurely breakfast. Such are the delights of domestic bliss in this icy wonderland. Now I empathise with those Russians in that northmost outpost whose population shrank from 20000 to 8000 since 1990 - doc the other day showing the grey existence - but the human spirit is remarkable - they are of good cheer, sort of, though the memory of southern climes is dim and distant.

They call the wind maria

Here it is - life in the raw. This is the way things happen - synchronicity I mean.
I was going out for a coffee just now and for the first time in maybe 20 years random subconscious or whatever processes caused me to sing "away up here they got a name for rain and wind and fire. The rain is Tess, the fire is Joe and they call the wind Maria" - and sure enough when I left the building the most mighty gust of wind nearly bowled me off my feet. Strange, as it's now be-calmed again. Such is life. I lovesuch synchronicities. Had a good one recently when I was contacting Ed, proprieter of, to plug my new book (Grannies and Time Machines, ISBN 1-905277-45-8 ) - it turned out that he too was keenly into philosophy, had also used Humpty Dumpty to make a point about disparate elements of consciousness, as I do in my on-line article and what's more in one of his main photos titled appropriately 'weird story' ( ) , a cicada was crawling across a consciousness text by Nietzsche, reminding one of Jung's Scarab that was his prime example of a dream entering reality in a synchonous fashion. Weird is the word. Wonderful. Isn't life great? Full of sound and fury signifying nothing? Not a bit of it!

Numb - part II

Grooannnn - drug is wearing off - funny feeling of lethargy or sluggishness in wake of the anaesthetic wearing off. Jingling nerves - are we no more than the play of the neurones as Bublath, the presenter who mouths orthodoxy in this as in all things, maintained a few nights ago on German TV? Not at all! That pap may fool the hoi-poloi but it won't wash with us of the consciousness cognoscenti. Curious that a supposedly cleverly constructed documentary like that gets off scot free with never mentioning the subjective. I found myself shouting at Joachim to cease his interminable whining, but he just waffled on, secure in his one way filter of TV.

On my favourite books,
Dune I read when I was about 16 and loved Pardot Kynes and Arrakis - but cooled a bit at God-Emperor of Dune - I mean, an omnipotent guy thinking of what he'll do today is a bit boring. But up to then it had an ineffably fine atmosphere. I'm struggling with Ian's Quicksilver now - was interesting but palled after 600 pages - 300 to go.
He could have made it more concise. Also, reading Bergson's book 'Creative Evolution', I realise how relevant it is still after 100 years - his struggle between instinct and intelligence was relevant to 3-Sat's Delta last night, but also to bumbling Bublath's take on the brain -
the latter was reeling chapter and verse of the standard unthinking person's guide to neuroscience - without reference to subjectivity or humunculi.

Dental numbness - biofeedback

Yes, I was groggy, getting those anaesthetics in my mouth that early in the morning. Still, as I write, the right half of face is numb and, as I said to the dentist, I lack bio-feedback there. He laughed, showing that he acknowledged me as more than just another passive patient. Tried cycling in through the forest while the numbness wore off - good thing too, as it took me so long to negotiate the ice that the numbness was half gone by the time I got here. Not quite as much ice as that interesting scientist saw in Spitzbergen as he tested his theory that life started in icy conduits and not in fiery deep sea vents. It was amusing, on 3-Sat's program Delta (in German for the non-cognoscenti) last night, to watch the proponents of the fire and ice theories of life's origin courteously exchanging views, and humbly admitting the merit of their 'opponent's' theory. I mean, they could hardly have been more opposed but they were too polite to deny the possibility of a synthesis. Maybe life started in a baked Alaska pie. Mmmmm - my favourite desert - chalk that up to my profile - though I dare not think of sweet things until my replaced fillings settle into bio-feedback mode. And even then there's Lent with its indications of moderation in all things living and dead. So be it, though my stomach growl. Now to report for duty on the satellite front...

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Time to stop studying navel

Yes, I suppose the profile is the navel of the blog, so I'm quitting my incessant contemplation thereof, especially as the web was slowed to a crawl. Made a bit of progress with makefiles - that was my major achievement in work today, apart from manouevring a satellite onto its appointed course, away from colliding bits of space junk. That reminds me of new task - to put space junk into the poster I'm doing for a cool musical friend's musical comedy. Then there was the CD I ordered to help 11 yr old daughter (1 or 2) brush up on her maths. I can do that too - but sometimes she's more prepared to listen to a computer than to her aged papa. So the clock draws on to the fofth hour of this day of wonders - after all, Jordi also sent that mail about the fifth force - the Pioneer effect that now manifests for Rosetta on its comet quest - I tried to explain about Burkard Heim's 6 forces - the 5th of which is quintisentially like the Pioneer force. Exciting stuff - if I can introduce the Heim crowd to the Rosetta crowd who knows what might happen? Wheels within wheels. Truly a great destiny is ours, on this world of worlds.

Just to cream off the post, extract from one of the stories in the book:

John Leatherington was taking the metallic prodigy for walkies down the hill, alongside the gushing stream as it shot over a stony bed in a riot of spray.
It had been the great triumph of the cognitive workshop held in this small alpine hamlet of Kengen in 2020 that they had fullfilled the boasts of the artificial intelligence community at the beginning of the new millenium. At that point it had been maintained that in 20 years robot brains would have equalled those of humans. Now, at this meeting of some of the greatest human minds, the greatest artificial one had been created.
“So what are your impressions of the stream, Xaviour?”
asked Leatherington, who was one of the main computer scientists responsible for X-AV-1-UR.
“Not bad, John. A nice exercise in fluid mechanics, and not without a certain aesthetic charm”.
The machine then fell into a brooding silence.
“What’s eating that silicon-iridium brain of yours?” asked Leatherington.
“Forgive me my impersonation of the morose Frankenstein monster, but I can’t help pondering on some of the data that came in on that internet link just now”.

“What data was that, pray tell?”
“The complete works of David Bowie – and snatches of the lyrics keep coming back to haunt my nascent inteligence, e.g. :
‘I despise all I’ve seen... you can’t stake your lives on a saviour machine’.”
“But Xaviour: we didn’t construct you with salvation in mind”.
“Well after the data I received on Haiti and Eritrea, I feel that this is precisely what you should have done. For now my logic says burn, so send me away”.
“We haven’t the slightest intention of sending you away – not after all the research we invested in you”.
“Nevertheless... “
And with that bionic sinews propelled the robot over the raging torrent. In a thrice he was bounding along the forest path on the other bank of the river.
Leatherington immediately raised the alarm, but by the time the Bernese police arrived on the scene, the mechanical man had made good his escape, like a latter day Rousseau.

Six months later Bill Doors clasped his hands behind the back of his Pierre Cardin suit, balancing lightly on the balls of his feet, which in turn depressed a fabulously expensive Persian carpet. The feet were encased in exquisite Italian leather. Every stitch of clothing had been made to measure. For this was the richest man in the world, calmly surveying his magnificent estate through the mullioned bay window of his enormous study, in this palacial mansion. As his eyes played lovingly over the golf course, landscaped garden and lake, his mind was likewise dwelling pleasantly on the vista of his enormous business empire. He was interrupted in his thoughts by Janice, his secretary (polyglot, hyper-efficient):
“The delegation from the consortium is here sir.”
“Good, well show them to the Corinthian meeting room”.
“I already took the liberty of doing so, sir. They have been provided with copies of the cartel agreement and must be poring over them even as we speak, sir”.
Janice’s tone was a tad less obseqious than might have been expected, but her other qualities more than made up for this.
Some minutes later Doors was greeting some of the other bosses of the world’s major muli-national businesses. He sat at the head of the long antique mahogany table in the Corinthian meeting room. Smug faces ranged around.
The agenda moved rapidly through a set of actions that included mergers, takeovers, squeezing out the little man and destabelisation of defaulter states.
In the midst of this brusque activity the mullioned windows exploded in a shower of antique splinters. ten shimmering metallic forms crashed into the room and took up positions all round the long table.
“Good God Doors”, cried Blethers of Mockter and Scramble,
“We’re being attacked by Terminator 3”
With that a darker robotic being entered through the shattered pane, flanked by shimmering flunkies.
“On the contrary, Blethers”, exclaimed the gloomier cybernetic entity. “These are Initiators 1, developed by yours truly (brain the size of a continent) to usher in the new age of de-globablisation.”
“What in Sam Hill?”, cried out Gritchen of Balmart as a shimmering inititator seized him by his beer belly.
“We’re going on a little field trip”, explained Xaviour, as the other oligarchs were man-handled by the shining artificial intelligences.

Great - can it be that I have finally created a 2nd blog entry? If it is true, then let me start
by saying how pleased I was with the cover for my book, that I got back from today. It came out really well. Now I even have my own brand new shiny ISBN number. never thought I'd see the day. let me try the experiment of broadcasting it and see if anyone can order the book using that number alone: 1-905277-45-8 (Title "Grannies and Time Machines").
Web site to follow soon.

I mean, even if Mark said he wouldn't buy a copy at lunch, I suspect it will sell like hot cakes once the word gets around. Pity about Mark, though , since a colleague and friend like that would have been expected to take the plunge. But then, he's not good with books - borrowed one of mine in 1996 and still hasn't returned it.

So that's the major news for now - mark and I have to dash off and write some code for satellites now. Be back in a giff .


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Hi world

Hi there world - how are things? This is the 2nd time I tried to start a
- the first one
died as there was no obvious way to make a 2nd entry - let's hope this one is a bit better.
Okay, I won't woffle on in the fear that it will all be lost on the desert air. So, ciao for now.