Sunday, June 24, 2012

Kindle

I have eventually decided, well, I was given a Kindle - and what can you do, I have been using my knidle for about a week now and it is perhaps time to 'confess'.

Perhaps the best thng about having a kindle is that you can think about, decide and own a book within minutes. There is no doubt though that a kindle book is fundamentally different to the traditional book. Whilst you can't hold it or turn a page on the other hand you can bring 10 books with you on the bus and read them all. There are also free books available to download, a variety of classics, plus you can transfer in pdf books that you never got a chance to read before.

I'm a bit worried about the security aspect, basic things like leaving it down, dropping it etc. There isn't even a hole to add a strap. What happens when you go to the beach, old fashioned books still have their uses (!) Plus it is not very easy to lend a book or give it to a second hand bookshop.

I have been reading 'Steel boat, iron hearts' by Hans Goebeler. It is proving an admirable escape. It is the true story of life on U505, a german U-Boat. It is almost like Hans was sitting in front of me telling the story, and WWII from the german perspective is fascinating.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Voice

Violent Men part 1

This is an experiment. If you open the above link you will hear my voice (!) This is from a book called 'Violent Men' by Hans Toch. He has just explained that when police become nvolved in a violent incident, no matter what is going on, or how frail the victim is to other members of the public they percieve the police as an 'unfair intrusion' and often the victim as well as other witnesses attack the police whilst they are being rescused. This is what is happening in the incident I am reading, (in the background is the Foo Fighters).

Let me know if you want to know what happens next.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Trust

Anyway you look at it, the world is in a bleak situation. We are facing a potential 15 years of blame pointing and financial stagnation unless someone can diagnose the problem and suggest a way forward.

I would like to suggest that the problem is trust. We do not have the ability to trust what is being said by a bank, multinational organisation, anyone. Until we can establish basic accountability self interest is going to rule and the system is going to go into a steep downward spiral.

At the moment I don't have a solution but I would welcome any comments that you have ...

All reality is one

The idea that unites Teilhard and Whitehead is that there is one essential unity in all reality. When we get down to basics physics tell us that everything is made up of the same essential particles. The old idea of a three-fold view of the world - matter, mind and spirit is out and as we shall see God himself is to be found within this one reality.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Conversation pt 3

I have spent a frustrating day wading through a book trying to ignore science that is 40 or more years out of date. The problem with reading a book primarily on science and religion is that they are going to talk quite a bit about science (?) whilst I am trying to get to the little tentative bits where he explains about Whitehead and process philosophy.

On the plus side I do recognise now that some of the science I was taught 20 years ago was cutting edge science 40 years ago and in order to get in to a book it probably took the author another five years to study. I found that quite funny but completely irrelevant to what I was talking about yesterday. Hamilton is 'supposed' to be quite good on Whitehead' and I don't think that explanation will date itself quite the same as the science.

He has started to explain creativity and consciousness. I haven't quite managed to grasp everything yet so I'm probably not going to write about it. Sorry, the update really isn't that informative.

The idea of 'self-now' is quite liberating though and radical and I'm still thinking about it.

A big 'Hi' to all my readers, stick with me, this should be good.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Process philosophy - conversation pt 2

How do we find our personal identity? According to classical metaphysics it can be summarised thus:

'The world is many things I am one you are another.'

I think it could be said that this is how most of us start to approach this issue, it is the general view in society. We have a 'self' that persists throughout life from birth to death.

Process philosophy suggests a radical alternative:

'Our identity changes from a self to a series of successive 'self-now' each moment of self is a new actuality'

Process philosophy is influenced by quantum mechanics which sees the world as consistig not of things but of events.

Thus a persons consists of a series of momentary selves but they are connected and there is an element of permanence called personality.

But let us not let self-interest exaggerate the degree of permanence that we have. I think we can all understand the idea of being a new self in the 'now'.

The traditional view of the selfhas led to the idea there is only one person who matters - yourself, an attitude that has probably caused a lot of problems. The new idea also seeks to equalise, ourselves and others are a new identity in every moment, our past does not predict our future.


Conversation pt. 1

The readers of this blog are the few members of a community that I have and I would like to invite to participate and join the conversation. I have started reading 'The Living God and the Modern World' by Peter Hamilton and it has brought several issues into my mind. Although the book is essentially Christian, these are issues that we all face:

What is happening to us?

Do we have real conversations?

What about community?

Notice how when people want to make an important statement they say 'we are at a critical point' - the last twenty years have been a critical point! This is a critical point.

'Everything changes and in the end it remains the same' a wise man said this.

What is change, how can we get the best understanding and take the advantage out of change?

Teilhard said that evolution is not a fact it is a general condition. Process philosophy is about evolution, everything evolves and changes.

I would encourage you all to respond, I will try to keep this updated as much as possible.

Monday, June 04, 2012

The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll by Alvaro Mutis

Just started reading the above. Unusual, very well written, certainly looks like I am in for a very interesting read. This book won the Cervantes Prize in 2001.