Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Monday, October 12, 2020

Three years ago today,

a honeybee favoured the cosmos

Four years ago,

it was Trump and Mrs. Clinton, slugging it out.

The general feeling over here was that Mrs. Clinton was a shoo-in. Indeed, her supporters called her "the only qualified candidate." But while she was certainly the most experienced candidate, I wondered at the time whether her experience would disqualify her, in the minds of a lot of the voters. Would they not feel that her two terms in the East Wing meant that her standing for president went against the spirit of the Constitution (amendment 22)?

To see why, suppose it had been Mr. Clinton in the East Wing for eight years, and that he had later stood for president. And further suppose that he had won two terms, in the second of which he had divorced Hilary. If he had remarried, and the new Mrs. Clinton had become president, he would certainly have looked like President (for ever) Putin.

As it is, of course, Trump won. "Will the same thing happen again this time?" the liberal elite wonder. Now, I don't see how it could. Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Biden have been president before. Nevertheless, if the liberal elite of America do not even know how America thinks about the unity of married couples, then how qualified could any of them be, to embody America, as its (necessarily short-term) president?

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Five years ago today,

this Painted Lady butterfly was on this butterfly bush:

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Five years ago today,

this duck was ducking for pond-weed in the village duck-pond:


Saturday, August 29, 2020

Six years ago

this month, this honeybee was covered in hollyhock pollen:

Four years ago 

last month, this bumblebee was covered in the stuff:

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Variant of Clark's Third Law

Richard Dawkins, in The God Delusion, page 235, observed that cargo cults were an example of Arthur C. Clark's third law, which is that: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
It seems that [...] the islanders were bowled over by the wondrous possessions of the white immigrants to their islands [...] The islanders noticed that the white people who enjoyed these wonders never made them themselves. When articles needed repairing they were sent away, and new ones kept arriving as 'cargo' in ships or, later, planes. No white man was ever seen to make or repair anything, nor indeed did they do anything that could be recognized as useful work of any kind (sitting behind a desk shuffling papers was obviously some kind of religious devotion). Evidently, then, the 'cargo' must be of supernatural origin.
The islanders' culture included belief in the supernatural, but did not include much technology, and so they developed a cargo cult. But our culture includes knowledge of technology, and disbelief in miracles. So, if aliens arrived from another planet, we would be more likely to explain what they were capable of doing in terms of their superior technology. Clark's third law has not been true for a while now.

And what if the aliens had also developed superior social structures to ours? Who knows what such things might actually be like. We all have our political views, which we take to be true, but science has shown how different the truth can be from our expectations. So, such alien explorers might, just possibly, be saintly missionaries, who could perform miracles. Of course, Dawkins would hardly believe that to be possible; but he should not forget Clark's first law, which is that: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

I suppose that we would try to explain such miracles in terms of the aliens' superior technology, as though it was now true that: Any sufficiently advanced spirituality is indistinguishable from technology. Some evidence for that variant of Clark's third law is von Däniken's infamous Chariots of the Gods: Was God an Astronaut?


of the book I'm writing:

            The Telling Impression
 Left on the Logic of Numbers of Things
by the Creator of Each and Every Thing

1. Introduction
discovery | the new math

2. The Way of Things
proof | paradox | probably | puzzles

3. Extraordinary Evidence
a lot of things | too many things

4. An Extraordinary Existence
new possibilities | an authorial authority

5. No Reasonable Doubt
checks | sets | doubting reason

6. Extraordinary Logic
heaps | Russell | truth