Showing posts from March, 2010


"rectify times 3.12.83 reporting bb dayorder doubleplusungood refs unpersons rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling" George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four I always found Winston Smith 's work at the Ministry of Truth one of the most fascinating parts of Orwell 's Nineteen Eighty Four (since before I worked in an office so it's not just empathy). I first read the novel at the age of thirteen; and despite what my parents might have thought, I did indeed read the whole thing in a few days, including The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism . Since its publication the book has always been a byword for the dangers of totalitarianism, and even back when I first read it many adults were doom-saying about how it was All Coming True. On closer questioning however it turned out that all they were really bothered about was the introduction of the metric system and the 24 hour clock. Never mind a boot stamping on a human face forever; the worst thing in the world was

Dimensionally Transcendental Confession 9: The Death of Doctor Who

1985. So, no more Doctor Who, at least for the time being. What was I going to do? To be honest, it couldn't have come at a better time for me. I was about to finish my second year at university and so would probably benefit from being able to concentrate on my coursework in the third year without obsessing about some old TV show. However, instead of knuckling down to my studies I started obsessing about sex and drugs and rock'n'roll instead. On the final day of my second year I lost my virginity; thinking about it in the context of this memoir I wonder if the universe was trying to tell me something? Was I being advised to put aside childish things in exchange for this new world of sensual experience? Probably not. Like all human beings I am seeing patterns in things that aren't there. For good or for bad I spent the hiatus year enjoying myself, and thanks to a conveniently timed bout of glandular fever, didn't even have to sit my final examinations. I ent

Chewing the Fatwa

It's very rare that I read a non-fiction book and agree with virtually everything therein. Even popular science books (of the more philosophical type that I read - I'm not for a moment suggesting that I would take issue with the theory of acids and bases) sometimes express opinions or hypotheses that I'm not 100% convinced by. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins is different. Reading through it I couldn't find a single fact or well reasoned argument I disagreed with. That's not to say I think it's a fantastic book - it has many flaws, but thinking about them I have come to the conclusion that a lot of them are unavoidable and come about as a direct result of having to deal with the subject matter. Firstly, the tone can come across at times as rather shrill and overemotional rather than measured and calm. But have you ever accidentally got embroiled in a so called discussion with fundamentalist godbotherers? There are only so many times you can coolheadedly s

Nil By Brain

Kernel Panic Tomorrow morning is when I go into hospital to have a general anaesthetic for the very first time. It's an interesting concept. Looking at the operation of the brain as analogous to that of a computer it's more like a hard reboot, actually being switched off and on again as opposed to mere sleep which is more comparable to being in stand-by or, well, sleep mode. Will I feel any different afterwards? I'm hoping that such a restart will clear out any unwanted program loops, neuroses that have been running unchecked ever since a random combination of circumstances and input set them off. Mentally I should feel better, that is once I've stopped feeling nausea. And, most interestingly, what will happen to my consciousness? I have heard that by all accounts it's as if no time has passed; as the inhabitants of the Dollhouse say " Did I fall asleep? " This makes sense from a materialistic point of view. No new data is entered or data sorting takes