Nik's personal page
my books and cds page
Toxic Drums a website for all sorts of paraphernalia
This is a photocopy of me.
But whilst I was egocentrically contemplating the image I was considering
it as a vast cosmic formation and thinking about the distances between
stars and atoms. If this was a huge cosmic formation of galaxies
and it had consciousness, what exactly would that consciousness be?
What would it be conscious of? God and the meaning of life spring
to mind. Though this may seem a non sequitur, I was then led to thinking
of mud. You see, when you trudge through a wet muddy field, staring
down at your feet with the wind and the rain in your face, you see mud.
The very stuff from which your material existence is formed. So there
you are, mud, looking at yourself. Aware of your substantial self.
Self-aware mud. But are you conscious? That, of course, is
another question. But the long and the short of all this is that
I concluded the following:
Earth is a living conscious entity in the universe with multiple personality disorder.
I once found a pebble on
a beach. I was looking at this pebble and wondering where it fitted
in the great scheme of things. Thereís me looking at this pebble.
I have a concept of the pebble which is my reality. I donít suppose
the pebble has a concept of me. Not in the same sort of way.
But due to the structure of things, this pebble has an outside edge which
I recognise as the pebble. It defines the pebble. Everything
inside that edge is the pebble, and everything outside the edge is the
rest of the universe. This is true of each atom within the pebble.
All things are boundaries to the universe. The boundaries define
the thing, and the rest of the universe. And since this is true for
every atom, sub-atomic particle, ad infinitum, then ultimately all things
define the universe and are in it.
The edge of the universe is an infinite complex boundary which gives rise to our experience of living.
When one tries to conceive
of the edge of the universe in the conventional manner of using familiar
experience to try to imagine an unknown thing, one soon realises the problem
because, to recognise an edge necessarily recognises the outside as well
as the inside. So most of us leave this problem alone most of the
time. The idea that if you travel far enough in a straight line you
will eventually end up back at the same place seems unintuitive.
It is clear why that idea seems incorrect when people considered the world
as flat. However, it is equally clear, as soon as you conceive of
the world as spherical, why you will always end up at the same place if
you travel in a straight line. My suspicion is that the warped space-time
continuum has a similar consequence and that the universe does not have
an edge as we would conceive of it. I suspect that it has to be true
that if you travel far enough in a straight line that you would end up
in the same place. But you would be in the same place at a different
time. So, perhaps:
If you travel consistently through time, you will eventually arrive back at the same time but in a different place.
Are we all the same people?
I have discovered or invented
a pattern. It was conceived in 1978 and was the result of weeks of
pondering. It is a phenomenally simple idea and gives rise to the
most interesting results. I have encountered examples of this pattern
on two occasions over the past 20 odd years (and they have been pretty
odd). Once as a mosaic on the wall of Tottenham Court Road tube station.
The mosaic was designed by Eduardo
Paolozzi. I tried to contact him regarding this pattern and got
nowhere. The second occasion was on an Open University program about
distances. They are used to construct bit patterns for information
communication where the error rate is high and error correction needs to
be very good (like things they send to Mars and they still want good pictures
back - you know the sort of thing). But more than that I cannot find.
The pattern is philosophically simple and is fractal in nature. By
applying the simple rule in different ways (axis, scale, colour etc.) the
most amazing results arise. A friend of mine, Martin
Rootes, provided me with an insight into the mathematics of the pattern
which has proved valuable in computing images based on the idea.
Above is a sample of one of its millions of manifestations. The pallet
shuffling is a bit naff. If you want to know more, please feel free
to email me at
. Incidentally you
can download a screen saver (only 7k bytes) based on this pattern from
download page. The pattern is basically about parity - which
is something we should all have.
Over the years I have noticed
that there seems to be a fundamental difference in the underlying assumptions
about the edge of the universe and the smallest indivisible thing.
It seems that the idea that the edge of the universe does not exist as
such, and that the universe is somehow infinite, is more easily taken on
board and accepted than the idea that there is no smallest indivisible
thing. Maybe it has something to do with our own physical existence.
Maybe it has something to do with how we respond to every day things.
Out in the middle of a vast land, it seems to make sense to build a shelter
and to deal with the ďthingsĒ that are here, before we move outwards to
explore. Maybe itís almost inherent that we have more conviction
about the substance that we hold in our hand than about what is over the
horizon. But whatever the reason, it has struck me that that is a
tangible difference in perception between these two extremes. But
it seems to me that there is no more sense in assuming that there is a
smallest indivisible thing than that the universe has an edge. It strikes
me that infinity works both ways. Things are infinitely divisible.
If the edge of the universe is a complex boundary defining all infinitely divisible things, then the edge of the universe itself will be infinite.
THE WHOLE EARTH IS THE TOMB OF HEROIC MEN, AND THEIR STORY IS NOT GRAVEN ONLY ON A STONE OVER THEIR CLAY, BUT ABIDES EVERYWHERE WITHOUT VISIBLE SYMBOL, -WOVEN INTO THE STUFF OF OTHER MENíS LIVES.
And happy Christmas 2000
And here is some excelent labeling software for those endless address lists --> SenLab labeling software
You can go directly to their web site here --->Sente Limited (labelling software)
And this is a picture of
me when I was 19 years old. A bit different from the upside down
genetically engineered potato picture of me at the top of this page!
Photo of my daughter and
me by Arthur Cowe.
And I play go.
This is a view from what was our
cottage in Norway. How it came about that we had a cottage in
Norway is another story but this makes a good picture. The cottage
is situated on an island called Foynland (multimap
currently has it named incorrectly as Husøy) near Nøtterøy
and is only a few miles (kilometres) from Tønsberg. Several
thoughts have just crossed my mind. This page is getting so big I
should start drilling. And itís too diverse for its own good.
And the older I get the more I think that we donít make decisions in the
way we think we do. Free will and determinism have been a paradoxical
puzzle for a long time. I do not have a concise theory about this
but I am beginning to suspect that the real decisions we make are about
our attitude to our experience. The rest follows. And I ride
This 'ere ship wer wot I
used to work on. More than that, I painted the funnel. The
owner wanted a logo for his shipping company. It was called Boston
Offshore Maintenance Company Limited. I came up with several ideas
including the obvious, but aesthetically uncomfortable, variations around
BOM Co Limited. But in my visual renderings, I had doodled a question
mark in dismay. This, Captain Joseph Allan Renton, the owner, liked.
So it came to pass, with buckets of paint and dog's leg brushes in hand,
I painted the funnel you see before you. Now Herbert Higlett (Bert), a regular
engineer/mate on the ship, didn't like this one bit. I think he found
it hard to deal with other folks questions when we arrived in strange ports.
When the ship sank, hit by a Russian trawler (all hands were unharmed and
returned to land fairly dry and safe) Herbert Higlett reckoned that
was the best place for it. Huh - well each to his own. But
at least I have a picture of her. The ships name was the Judert II.
More exploits from my time at sea.
Setari does a lot of roll playing and keeps a blog with all her stuff on it. It makes for interesting and entertaining reading.
It is called Setari's RPs.
Blood of the Kavatha'dral is a new book by Kiyoko Silvers. It is a teen fiction about a fiery princess who is out with three other more cultured and possibly naive princesses when they are ambushed and set about by bandits. The story follows their adventures of escape and recapture many times as they are sold into slavery and captured by pirates. Kess, the fiery princess, whose full title is Princess Kesshi Faikana, Storm Maiden of Valgate, is no pushover and fights her way out of many a tight corner. All four of the princesses' learn valuable lessons as they struggle for survival against the odds. An engaging and gripping story from beginning to end. Well worth a read.