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Welcome Back

These pages are just the musings of a (newly) retired person, living in a small village in North Hampshire, England. The range of topics is eclectic, as reflects my life in general; I hope you find something of interest.

Energy Efficiency

When a home – or a factory or office – is built, it will probably last for at least 70 years. Over that time, a lot can change in what is considered to be best practice for energy efficiency. In the past, that hasn’t been considered important but these are different days. If we (collectively) do not address the energy efficiency of older properties, we are going to struggle to reduce global warming. But who carries the cost?

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Platform Bias

I thought it was a simple economic reality that producers of computer games would target Microsoft Windows in advance of any other platform. There are still very many more Windows PCs than other types. But there are other sources of bias, too. Even when developers use a cross-platform tool like Epic’s Unreal engine, they can hit problems. On the Apple OSX platform, for example, the underlying graphics engine (Metal) lacks certain features compared to the Windows platform. And although the games engine “copes”, there are glitches and performance issues.

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Magnetic Centre

One of the features of the system that was taught by G. I. Gurdjieff is the development of something that he called “Magnetic Centre”. This is not a true “centre of function” but rather a group of desires that all point in the same direction – towards the idea of working on oneself. These desires are of the same kind as other “ordinary world” desires, and they are different from person to person. They are formed when a person starts to see a possibility of personal gain within the teaching. It could be the idea of freedom; it could be the idea of “will”; it could be the idea of perfecting a higher body that will survive after death.

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“Reverse The Polarity”

The UK cult show, “Doctor Who”, was infamous for churning out weekly episodes of low-grade and low-budget sci-fi but it was also hugely popular. I loved it; I still do. And today, listening to the polarisation of the political debate on “social justice”, I found myself almost wishing that the eponymous Doctor would come along and “reverse the polarity of the neutron flow” once again. Because the more that each side pumps up the evil that it sees in the other, the harder it becomes for each to see the commonality of their visions.

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Why Chase “Salvation”?

One of the hardest questions to answer is “Why pursue a spiritual path to an unknown ‘salvation’ when ordinary life is hard enough? Dreams don’t pay the bills!” It doesn’t really help to say that ordinary life is hard because it lacks “soul” … In amongst the hurly-burly of life, one is only going to get a very dim and distorted vision of “soul”. But most people can recall at least one moment when someone did something nice to them – with intention but just, as we say, “out of the kindness of their heart”. That selfless act of kindness is an example of “soul”. If more people had soul, for more than just a fleeting moment now and then, the world would be a much better place for all life.

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Create Moon In Yourself

One of the sayings that P. D. Ouspensky relayed, from his time with G. I. Gurdjieff, was that men should try to “create Moon” in themselves – a phrase that has puzzled many. Gurdjieff himself used to say – and wrote in his book, “Beelzebub’s Tales” – that “man is food for the Moon”. As with much that Gurdjieff said, this was not meant to be taken literally. It was an opportunity to connect different ideas within his system. And, I suspect (though I wasn’t there), a source of amusement to Gurdjieff when people did take it literally.

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Young Poets

I think it is very important, for society, that we encourage youngsters to explore and to create poetry. It requires but also rewards observation and self-discipline. Poetry is verbal music, combining rhythm and rhyme. It makes words beautiful. It encourages the poet to explore the expressivity of language and – I think – makes them a better communicator: more receptive and more cogent. And if children are to be encouraged then parents and teachers must also show an interest and learn some of the skills of the poet. Of course, there is some encouragement already – special prizes and (in the UK) a children’s Poet Laureate – but it seems to hold a very low place in schools.

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Old Computers

Around 5 years ago, a trend began across the IT business. Prior to that time, businesses had largely wanted to “own” the IT on which they depended. There was a thriving industry providing them with data centres, filled with servers and storage. However, those businesses had started to question the economics of paying for a private data centre, versus renting space on a shared “cloud”. Basically, they started to trade a “guarantee” of reliability of operation for reduced cost – and particularly capital cost. But there’s a secondary cost to cloud computing and it’ll be starting to hit about now. I am out of the IT business, but I wonder how the impact is being addressed.

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Exact Remembering

Life can be very busy, giving us a great number of things to remember: items to buy, people to meet, tasks to perform. Some people make lists. Some people trust to their memory. There’s no right or wrong to this, in ordinary life, though any law enforcer will tell you that untrained memory is very unreliable. What makes it unreliable is that many important facts don’t get remembered, because they aren’t significant at the time. And the trouble with lists is that one could forget to add things, or even forget to bring the whole list. In ordinary life, that’s not really important, but in spiritual awakening, remembering is critical.

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Hate Crime

There is a growing trend, around the world, for people to react with various levels of violence against what they perceive as threats to their own, preferred way of life. Their feeling of threat becomes so great that what may have started as mere fear escalates into hate. Most would not call themselves hateful. Indeed, they may see what they do as simply what is needful, to protect and preserve what they value. But just because there is no malice, does not mean that there is no hate. Hate is simply the dark “negative” of any strong desire. Whoever has strong desires that are not gratified and resolved quickly will have hate.

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