Are there any new authors that have sparked your interest and why?
An author by the name of Vaclav Smil recently came to my attention as a result of a tweet by Bill Gates, who I follow from time to time. I am thinking of reading some of Smil’s work. He is a polymath, an emeritus professor at Manitoba University amongst other things, and he seems to be focussing on some of the same subjects that I have focussed on in my novels. I would like to compare notes with him when I finally understand what he is saying. It might take me a year or two to get up to speed.
How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter
They give people a platform to be heard, but I wonder who is listening? From one perspective, they perpetuate the questionably valuable practice of communicating superficially, and in sound bites. From another perspective, they allow truth (and nonsense) to be disseminated across the planet at the speed of light, which might turn out to be a great way of keeping the mainstream media honest.
What is your favourite quote, by whom, and why?
The quote below is from the Book Earth, by Frank Townshend, George Allen & Unwin, 1929.
The reason it is my favourite quote is that it reinforces my perception that there is dignity in difference and that we need differences to inform and enrich life. The tendency for people to think that “if you’re not like me then there’s something wrong with you”; or that “if I can’t aspire to be the same as you if I choose then there’s something wrong with the system” is pure foolishness. Gender, race, religion, why does everything have to be the same? Why do some black people aspire to be black white people? Why do some women aspire to be female men? Why do some Muslim extremists believe that they have a duty to Islamise the entire planet? It may be politically incorrect for me to say this, but it seems to me to be just plain foolishness. Personally, I place a high value on individuality and differentiation. I would have difficulty in feeling the same degree of tenderness and love towards my wife of 42 years if she was possessed of the killer instinct that she would need to have in order to succeed in a dog-eat-dog world. Could she succeed? Of course she could! It’s not a function of her ability. If anything, she is more capable than I am. But if both spouses in a marriage have a killer instinct, then what’s the probability of their nuclear family surviving for long enough to impart the same values to their children that Denise’s and my parents passed down to us? Well, maybe the answer is for the woman to be the breadwinner and the man to be the house-husband. But then we might have to produce babies in test tubes – which would sort of spit in the face of Nature, would it not? Should there be a law against any of these foolish aspirations? Of course not! Provided it doesn’t cause tangible harm to others. We certainly can’t allow people to go around blowing themselves up along with innocent bystanders. But what is likely to be the result of unfettered “human rights” is that there will be less than optimal happiness. There is balance in Nature. If you want to buck Nature then be prepared to pay the cost. You want to see the cost of screwing with Nature? Just read and/or watch and/or listen to your daily media. What proportion of the daily news is “good” news? Isn’t it time we faced reality?
“Of the three main currents of life, I observed
Energy, from the West;
Wisdom from the East;
Rhythm, from the South.
And all of these shall run together to inform life.
For energy without wisdom is blind;
Nor can they act effectively together,
Out of rhythm with the earth.”
What makes you happiest?
Hearing my grandchildren laugh with delight or watching a pod of dolphins cavorting in the waves.
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
I have an ability to sublimate my ego when a disagreement is not objectively important.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Conspiracy Thriller
Rating – MA (15+)
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