As a guide to help you find your way around this place, here are some reading lists. The first is a list of key articles. The rest provide signposts along specific trails — topics I tend to pursue over time.
If you’ve stumbled onto this page, but haven’t read the About page, this would be a very good time to do that!
[February 2019: This section is seriously out of date and needs attention. The links all work, but nothing here reflects recent posts (as in “for quite a few years now”).]
Here is a list of articles that are either important or favorites of mine. They also lay the foundation for topics I plan to explore in detail in this blog.
- Hello World! — The very first post. It sounds the key notes: thinking, existence, consciousness, meaning, words. That is what this blog is about: the fundamentals of existence.
- Cogito Ergo Sum — One of the great questions in human experience involves the nature of our consciousness. (My second post; consciousness is a key interest of mine.)
- Yin and Yang — One fundamental aspect of our existence is the idea of opposing pairs, some of which are true polar opposites and some of which are more “glass empty/glass full” opposites. (The third post; another beginning into a key area of interest.)
- Death: The Sandbar — Death is existential and inevitable. A reflection on the loss of loved ones and an interesting metaphor for the arc of life.
- God is an Iron — “If a person who indulges in gluttony is a glutton, and a person who commits a felony is a felon, then God is an iron.” For some reason, irony has always ruled my life (or maybe I’m just more aware of it).
- Barrel Wine; Barrel of Sewage — A basic principle of existence: perfection is a small mountain top; chaos is a vast plain. Entropy always wins. Perfection is hard! And stew is good.
- What is Art? & Breaking the (Art) Rules — A look into the definition of Art and what it means to be creative.
- What is Science Fiction & SciFi: Two Important Things — A similar look at the definition of Science Fiction and how I judge it.
- Bang, Bang; You’re Dead! — A few thoughts about gun control.
- Venus & Mars — Some thoughts about one of my most favorite topics: women!
- Storytelling, Chapter 1 — The beginning of a series on storytelling, a uniquely human activity.
The Spirituality series
This is a series of posts exploring the metaphysical aspects of our existence:
- Big Bang? Let there be Light? — The creation of the universe and all that exists in it is fantastic no matter how you look at it!
- God: Universal Apprehension or Delusion? — Why is it that every civilization seems to have some apprehension of the Infinite?
- Existence and Consciousness — What, if anything, does it imply that we exist and are conscious beings?
- God: Three Questions — A flowchart to zero in on your metaphysics.
- Doesn’t Look Like a Duck! — An illustration of the difference between science and an inflexible dogmatic approach to reality.
- Decisive Agnosticism — A riff on Atheism, Theism, Agnosticism and Gnosticism: the continuum of belief and non-belief.
- (more to come)
The Phase Space series
This is a series about how ideas and thoughts exist in a phase space that consists of many judgements defining a given point:
- Vector Thinking #1 — About a way to escape the trap of trying to decide between apparent opposing ideas.
- (more to come—very soon, I hope!)
The CS series
This is a series of posts exploring various Computer Science (or just plain computer programming) topics. I have over 40 years of experience with software development, so I have a few things to contribute:
- Computer Programming is Hard! — we haven’t really glommed on to just how difficult a task computer programming really is.
- Computer Programming Ducks — we are an odd sort of duck!
- CS101: Easy to Hard — about ways of breaking down and visualizing processes.
- CS101: Clarity Trumps Everything — it’s even more important than the code actually working!
- CS101: Always Use LT — always use less-than to structure your code in a way that helps reduce bugs.
- CS101: Four Principles — my four key guiding principles of programming.
- Sideband #41: CS Jokes — a few of my favorites.
- Computer Haiku — some lovely, poetic error songs from your PC.
As it turns out, I created a separate blog for computer programming posts: The Hard-Core Coder. Retirement seems to have reduced my desire to talk about programming as much, but I get the urge to post there every once in a while. If you’re interested, follow me there.
The Star Trek posts and pages
I’ve been a Trekker (not a Trekkie) since the first shows aired in 1966. Therefore I’ve accumulated a few opinions on it along the way! I started listing those posts here, but realized they belonged on the actual Favorites: Star Trek page—you’ll find the full list maintained there.
Here are a few key favorites:
- Why I Hated the Holodeck
- Captain Shatner
- It’s Dead, Jim
- Berman’s Vulcans
- Sideband #39: “Star Trekking It”
- ST:TOS, TAS, TNG, ENT
- ST: Edge of the Galaxy
- ST: Transporters & Replicators
The Baseball posts
Baseball is a new love of mine. I’ve written a bunch of baseball posts.
- Baseball is the Best! — Why baseball is the best sport!
- Target Field: First Time! — A new baseball fan visits a new baseball park for the first time.
- Baseball vs Other Sports — You can say a lot of things about baseball. It is sedate most of the time, but it isn’t boring!
- Baseball Old School — The MLB Now program and the difference between “old school” and “new school” baseball.
- Baseball before Baseball — Ruminations on the nature of baseball, in particular the darker or rougher sides of the game.
- Twins: Another Bad Season — 2012 was another bad year for my team!
- Let’s Go Nats! — The Nationals made it to the 2012 playoffs, but fell to the wildcard Cardinals.
- Oops, Yes & Oh, No! — Detroit beats the Yankees in the first 2012 ALCS game! (And Derek Jeter is injured!!)
- Giant Monday! — The Giants beat those pesky Cards and head to the 2012 World Series!
- Baseball is coming! — Looking forward to the 2013 season. Also looking at the World Baseball Classic and the movie, Moneyball.
- Midsummer Night’s Baseball — Gushing over the 2013 All-Star Game.
- Baseball Joy — Gushing over the 2013 Home Run Derby (which is part of the All-Star Game celebration).
- Baseball Stories — A post-2013-ASG rumination on baseball stories in literature, poetry, movies, and music. (Plus a riff on baseball numbers.)
The Skydiving posts
Of all my hobby pursuits, skydiving was one of my very favorites. I loved skydiving, and I still have dreams of returning to it (maybe I’ll be better at it this time). I’ve written a few posts about it.
- My First Skydive!
- My Second Skydive!
- My First AFF Skydive!
- AFF Graduation!
- The CASA Boogie
- Ground Rush
So, enjoy the blog!!