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. 

War and Peace

The third of three essays I wrote in Chile 2023 to clarify my thoughts. I think patriotism was and will be the last unquestionable faith whose validity I have discarded.

Funny really, because GBS had done so long before.

Life the Universe and Everything

The second of three essays I wrote in early 2023 to get my ideas straight on a few things.
This is a biggish subject, The title is a nod to the genius of Douglas Adams.


The first of three essays I wrote in early 2023

Scar Tissue

More of a short story than an essay. But there you go.

My Daughter’s Wedding

Since I put more work into writing this than I did most other stuff, I am putting it here.

I don’t know how the hell I thought those first lines were in iambic pentameter. They aren’t.

I was quite nervous and so I lost my notes delivering the whole thing from memory – hence the places I have queried what I said.