Rain journey

Easter provided the opportunity to work on some new music; a crazily difficult game called Dwarf Fortress provided the impetus. More on that later perhaps but suffice to say playing and understanding that game made music technology and child rearing both look simple. The soundtrack had a layered keyboard part that gave my fingers some ideas. […]

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Is there a self?

I’ve been following Robert Wright’s MOOC on Buddhism and Modern Psychology. One of the most interesting ideas at the heart of this course frames Buddhism as a rebellion against natural selection. Wright investigates whether by helping us to see the world more clearly, Buddhism, and particularly meditation, irons out some of the perceptual and affective […]

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Playtime

I’m just back from a terrific stag do. We were badly hungover on Saturday morning but just about made it to the weekend’s activity which involved tripping up people in giant costumes, penguin sumo wrestling and climbing a rope on a slippery, soaped up bouncy castle (ending up arse over tit). Computer games and books […]

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Katabasis

No army marches faster. Having beaten us, the clouds dropped their arrowfall into the bay, blessing our deepest failure. News reached me on the wind. Yet more ranks of salt and hate but there I was, sharing a mind with water after months of hard dryness. Stars gleamed like arrow wounds. There was great, roiling […]

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The faint blue glow of friendship

As we declutter our house prior to the big move, it’s been interesting to question what I need in my life. This doesn’t just apply to material stuff, of course, but other kinds of stuff too. For example: how I spend my time (temporal stuff). Unfortunately, it turns out that much of my temporal stuff […]

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The art of finishing

There’s an amusing book review in the TLS about Musorgsky and his fellow composers’ capacity for procrastination. Apparently, chief among Musorgsky’s offences was working on two operas at once, finishing neither. I generally think our passions are good at telling us when to work on something and when to let something else ferment. However, it […]

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Things as they are

Last night I read a fascinating essay in the LA Review of Books on Donald Richie, an expatriate writer in Japan. I was struck in particular by this quote from Richie’s The Inland Sea: The innocent does not look for reasons behind reasons. He, secure in the animal nature that all of us have and only […]

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