From violence to violins, and the conversion of horror to heartbeats; romance has a lot to answer for.
But don’t let that stop you. It’s why we are here and offers a joyride second to none.

Energy Gradients, Entropy and Life

Calcareous Spicules

I have wanted to write this one for the past fifty years or so. It’s still a bit over-complicated because there were so many little stories that I couldn’t bear to drop, so let’s call this a first draft.


Artificial intelligence is one thing, but artificial self-awareness? That’s quite another and probably quite a scary concept, even more so for the computer model who has it than for us.

Free Will

Can we choose between alternative courses of action? Yes of course we can. We do it all the time. But do we make those choices under the control of our own spirit, or are we robots acting mechanically?
One thing’s for sure, because it’s already happening – the robots of the future will have something that looks pretty much like free will.
So will they really have it?
Do we have it now?


In which our proto-philosopher looks for the meaning of life and discovers that cartoons are the highest form of art.

New Year’s Resolution: Write an Essay a Week for ‘24

Before I go any further I’ll say this.

I doubt anyone else will be interested in this one. It is pure navel gazing, and it’s only here to stick my peg in the sand.  I won’t promote this one on LinkedIn. I’ll just stick it here on my site and Substack.

You can stop reading now and start again next week. Next week’s will be the first essay that adds value.

Thank you. 

Good Taste

Four years after I wrote the Taste of Rat, I thought I should extend it to discuss microbiotic food production. I didn’t get very far with the project, but there are a few nice lines here, the Kilgore Trout : Champagne reference for example.

The Taste of Rat

The first poem I had written in 36 years – see also “Good Taste”

Ode to a Short Bored Pile

The winning entry for the Maltings Free Press first edition poetry prize. The only entry so far as I know and the first poem I had written since school.

The Epic Tale of Ted and Brock

I can proudly say the un-illustrated version of this poem is complete drivel. The illustrated version however is a work of multilayered genius imho.