Thursday, June 29, 2006
In my quest to win the Templeton prize I have invented the field of "spin theology". This is where I use spin systems to model the Universe and provide a framework to answer questions in theology. After living in the US, I know that one key theological question is the treatment of abortion. I don't know, and more importantly I don't see how to make any money out of the abortion issue. In my first plenary in the confernce on spin theology I will draw attention to the issue of abortion in the subject. Open questions are good in a virgin field.
The last couple of weeks I have not being out much, so the BLOG has been a bit insular. I am horrendosuly burnt out and need a holiday. Normally, I would book a flight to Eastern Europe and spend a couple of days exploring a new city. However, I am going to a conference in Moscow next month, and my passport is hopefully in the Russian embassy waiting for a visa stamp. So rather than going to Poland, I am going to spend the weekend in Aberdeen. Oh, the fun I am going to have. The magic of easyjet and ryanair tells me that I am probably going to spend the same amount of money to go to Aberdeen as Poland. Still, the fun I will have. Fucking visas.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Many people think that because I love eating sausage and chips that I am not some kind of master chef. Well, maybe but I have been experimenting with creating new types of food. I thought I would start with a cocktail. So I have created "deep tennents mars bar". This is a glass of tennents lager (local Glasgow lager) with a mars bar, a vitamin pill ( because beer is bad for you) and a pill my mum gave me (because pills from mothers are good for you). Anyway yummy.
I have been thinking about this Templeton prize all wrong. The solution is clear from the name. The Templeton name is very similar to the Knights Templar . The names are close. Coincidence, I don't think so! So the point of the Templeton prize is find the holy grail! The previous prize winners didn't understand this. They were just fooling themselves. The ultimate prize is clearly worth more than a measly million dollars.
I have just seen the rules for the Templeton prize. Nominations are due on July Ist. That is this Saturday! Too much to do before then. Oh well, I am at the start of a ten yera campaign to win this thing. Looking at the procedure: Nominators should consider that the Templeton Prize is not awarded for good works per se, but for originality in advancing ideas and institutions that have deepened the world's understanding of God and of spiritual realities. The Prize judges will ask:
 What has this person done that was entirely original?  Was this contribution primarily spiritual rather than primarily humanitarian?  Did this unique contribution result in an appreciable acceleration in spiritual discoveries?I have invented spin theology. That is very original. So I will have point 1 covered. What the fuck does point 2 mean? My guess is that you don't get thuis prize if you a good person, by giving to charity or working in soup kitchens. That would be regarded as "humanitarian". So I have to continue being mean and self centred, but I just have to cultivate my spirtuality. No problem, if I wanted to help the world, I would be trying for a Nobel peace price , just like Blair did when he ordered the invasion of Iraq. I will have point 3 covered because in 2000 years theology has achieved nothing. Just a bunch of old people trading quotes and insight they gained while they had a good crap. Spin theology will allow theology to be discussed on a scientific level. So progress will be much quicker. I can almost taste the cash.......
I have always liked Johnny Cash. I am an outlaw after all. However, the American recordings were so awesome, that I had to own all of them. Trouble after the film last year Cash was everywhere. OK, everywhere might be going a bit far, but they always seemed to be playing Cash in the DVD section of Virgin in Liverpool. Cahs used to sing to me personally, as I sat in the semidarkn gloom of my flat. His broken old voice soaring above the slow rythmic clicking as I opened and closed a lock knife with one hand. My other hand being on whisky duty. Anyway I am tempted out Cash CD buying retirement by the release os some of Cash's last recordings before he died. The new CD is "A Hundred Highways: American V" The trakc they played this morining sounded good, though his voice is more broken tha before. The CD is released on Monday. I probably will not get it then.
Monday, June 26, 2006
What struck me about the Polkinghorne book was that we need a scientific model to answer some of the theological questions. Note Polkinghorne is previous winner of the Templeton prize (you see I really am training to win the dosh). It does seem pointless to add some random quotes from some theological texts and mix in some modern science. Emerging theology from a simple tissue of lies. Umm, maybe not. To answer questions such as can their be free will with all powerfull God, wde need a spefic model where these questions can posed and answered. Yes, this is reductionalism, but what else can do. Randomly qoting from previous theology texts has noi produced any progress (or big book sales) in understanding God. That will have to be some simplications. I am thinking of a simple spin system, such as the Ishing model. Human beings would be modelled by an up or down state at a lattice site. God would then be a magnetic field. God is all powerfull, because he can flip spins. So something like the Ising model. So questions of free will could be discussed in terms of whether the all powerfull magnetic field can always flip a human being (modelled as a spin). I also want to the model like Conway's game of life. Then I could do a presentation, where two blobs come together and then three blobs leave - that is normal birth. But once in the model, one blob just comes from a single blob. See, that is the birth of Jesus. Umm, I am not very good at this type of model building. I have just checked on a physics site.
arXiv.org Search Results Search titles in `cond-mat' in all years (1992-2006) for occurrences of `God' (0 matches) : Sorry there were no titles/authors containing the term God using the search criteria specified. You can return to the searching form by using the BACK option of your browser.I have just invented the field of spin theology. That must be worth something! I do worry that this may be hidden somewhere in: "A New Kind of Science" by Stephen Wolfram.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
This digital radio thing has been a revelation. I never thought I would ever listen to music radio again when John Peel died. Although in the last years of the John Peel show I didn't listen much because the show was at the time I was watching TV/DVD in a booze addled haze. So when I found radio6 I was amazed. I could listen to a music show at breakfast without wanting to vomit or burn down the radio station. Top of the pops is gone, all we need now is get rid of radio 1, and its clutch of Moyles like tossers. I like most of the shows on radio6, except the one by Russell Brand. He just annoys me in a way. Somehow he should be on radio1. I can't felp feeling that him and his "witty" chums are going to take over radio 6. The magic of the internet is that I am no longer forced to the radio 1 crowd of DJ training to be a talk show host. For the last hour I have been listening to 3WK Undergroundradio. So far there hasn't been a DJ at all on the show. There are a few adverts, but mostly on a Sunday at least. No DJ at all I am in heaven! I will probably explore some online radio stations.
It is becoming clear to me that I am not going to win the nobel prize in physics, so I am going to have to rethink my career path. However, I dco think that it is possible to win templeton prize.
The Templeton Prize is awarded each year to a living person to encourage and honor those who advance spiritual matters, including research in love, creativity, purpose, infinity, intelligence, thanksgiving and prayer.The prize is worth over a million dollars. Jesus, I could party, drink lots of fancy liqueur, and get the pick of many women with that kind of money. I like the idea of travelling first class. The stewardess would say, "more wine? Oh the wine is a bit cloudy. I will open another bottle for you." I would graciously reply ", thanks there are some Profs. in the economy class. Perhaps you could let them have the cloudy wine in a plastic cup." I have the humlity and humanity to win the prize I just need some angle to jump over the opposition. Umm, this is going to be a tougher than I thought. I only go to church for funerals. Hopefully, people close to me will not all start dying so that I don't become a regular attender. The only time recently I have felt spirtual is when I am holding a sword. One problem is that the templeton might see this blog entry and think that my reasons for winning the prize were not hounourable. I might be OK, because I doubt that I will get the money, until I am fifty. But I have to start to thinking about this now. I have read "Confessions: Confessions of St.Augustine". St Augustine liked to party and had a mistress, before he was saved by christanity. He seemed quite a fun guy before he entered the church. If the Templeton foundation see this entry, I will just say, I was lost then, drinking too much (oh busted) and depressed (sad but true). But I have chnaged, because I have seen the light. It might work. It is what everyone else does.
When I told my mother about new flat, her some what casutic comment was that "are you going to have lampshades this time." My first feeling was no way, that doesn't quite hardcore enough. There is nothing like watching the slow movement of a naked electric light bulb in a bleak white washed room to control feeling. As it happens my new flat has lamp shades and that gives the rooms a homely feel that too my surprise I find pleasant. The picture shows that view from my third floor flat. The next picture show another view. Those green things are called trees. When I stare at them it makes me feel restful. In the distance I can see the hills. I know that I can escape to the hills, when I need to free the stess beast. Someone was complaining to me that this blog was "mundane". An online dictionary, tells me that "mundane" means: "Relating to, characteristic of, or concerned with commonplaces; ordinary." Yes, it is an ordinary well adjusted post. Trouble is, at some stage I will get bored and I will slip back into the life of bare knuckle boxing matches and gun running.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
I have been reading the book called "science and creation -- the search for understanding" by John Polkinghorne. John was a theorist at Cambridge, but chucked it in to become some kind of priest. With out wanting to sound mean, the field he was in died with the birth of the standard model, so joining the church was probably a smart move. The book is a mixture of science and theology. I didn't really feel that there was a good synthesis between the physics and theology. The study of theology involves quoting large passages from obsure theology books. If you get in trouble, the writers mumbles somthing about "faith" and then another big quotation. The main thing I learnt was that the moto of the Royal Society of Science is "Nullius in verba". John translates this as "no more talking". I translate John's translation as "shut the fuck up." The latin does sound more classy. The book cost me a pound, because the previous owner had marked it with their questioning pen. For example, the phrase "the anthropic principle" is underlined with the question marks. Pretty good commentary.
Friday, June 23, 2006
I just finished reading "the spprentice" by my good buddy Sir Alan Sugar. This is the spin off of the reality TV show where contestents try to win an executive position at the company called Amstrad. Yeah, like many people I thought Amstrad used to make computers, and then went bust. Apparently there are still around making varous things. In a typical English way the company does OK, but it is not like they are google or anything. The book has useful advice on marketing/people issues type things. Not really a good book for a technology start up. Yiu are more likely to hire Sir Alan to do the marketing rather than to come up with new creative ideas. As he admits, Alan doesn't haved a good feel for software. I think this TV series is causing science departments at UK universities all kinds of problems. I see the vice chancellors watching the TV program, trying to learn how to be an "executive", but their partners are nagging them to do the washing up. Later as the VC stands at the sink with his frilly apron on scrubing dishes, he is thinking "I will show her how powerfull I am". So the next day, the VC goes to work and orders the head of the physics department into his big plush office. The head of the department enters the romm. The VC glowers at him, points his finger and says "your fired and I am closing down your department too". So my theory is that physics and chemsitry departments are getting closed down because VCs can't afford dishwashers.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
I have been watching more of this season's big brother TV program. I don't always watch with the sound on, because I am not that interested in what they are saying. I can't help feeling this is the cool crowd -- that I was never allowed to join. I was never that interested in that type of crows and they never noticed me. One male contestant said to another "what were your first impressions of me?" When I was younger I would have said "I thought you were a dick," and then hope they didn't ask "so what do you think of me now?", because the wrong answer to that type of question tends to sour friendships. In a book on soft computing issues, it noted that it takes a lot of work to be cool and this doesn't leave time for much else. This strikes me as true from the small amount of time I have watched big brother. Anyway beeing cool takes work. In my new flat, I having to decide what DVDs stay in boxes and what gets put on shelves. I find that I am choosing titles that in my opinion my impress someone. (It is clear that "the toxic avenger" and "the killer nun" DVDs are not going to make any vistor think I am a cool cat. Here is a quick list of cool DVDs: 1 "Battle Royale" (kids killing kids in this game) 2) "Memories of murder" ( great Korean police story. I didn't understand the end) 3) "Violent Cop" (The cop in question is a total nutter, but I am trying to walk the same way as him). 4) "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" (stylish Korean film) 5) "Audition" (insanity on film. I never date womwn who have been involved in ballet because of thuis film). 6) "Babycart at the river Styx" (This film convinced me that one day I could become a parent. looks easy enough). 7) "Unforgiven" (There is just something I like about this film, even though it is not as intense as the asian stuff.) 8) "Shaolin soccer" (The greatest film about football ever made).
Monday, June 19, 2006
My faith in satire is shaken. Even the southpark movie could not stop the second gulf war. The fantastic book Focault's Pendulum by Umerto Eco did not stop the templar rollercoaster of crap books. I finished "the last templar" over the weekend. It was a page turner as we say, and much better than any Dan Brown stuff, but still I did wonder how I ended up buying the book, (Ok, it was advertised very high up on the amazon home page). I liked the pre-ending where they were at rest on a small island, but I didn't see the need for another chase scene. Also, the hidden templat document was lost to the world, because the "heroine" wanted to marry the catholic FBI agent. What about the truth? It also shows a fairly deep lack of understanding of the academic world. As long as they wrote their papers in journals, rather than calling press conferences. No one would have noticed. I have read what the king of France wrote about the templars when he started to lock them up. I thought it was very funny and over the top in a camp sort of way. My own book on the templars is based on the phrase "as drunk as a templar. The secret documents of the templar knights will be their bar bill (that is where all the money went) and a line of very twisted sex toys. I like the idea of the two scholars looking at the diagram in the secret templat document, that six people have died trying to find, and saying "but what is it for", while their street savy guide giggles. I was planning to have a gullible American author, perhaps called Han Grey, get confused and believe everything told him. But, the sex toy angle? Opus Dei. Perhaps I have misjudged the great man. (I don't want to get sued).
Sunday, June 18, 2006
As I slowly unpack my stuff, I keep finding books I had forgotten about. I have a reasonably large collection of books on martial arts, although I have not trained for a couple of years. I also found my tonfa. I don't really know why I got these. I never trained in a system where tonfa were used as weapons. So I am not so sure how to use them. An important aspect of self defence is looking cool. If I get attacked my masked burglars, I expect that they are more likely to die of laughing, while I try to hold the tonfa in a way that I can give them a proper smack. Its not clear to me that learning some karate kata will help me out.
After proudly telling people how many boxes I needed to move my books from Liverpool to Glasgow, I find that I have filled one bookshelf with unread books. I did know that I hadn't finished many books, but in my shappy flat in Liverpool, the unread books were scattered over the various piles of read books. It just looks so bad when I have a large bookshelf full of unread books, starting down at me and judging me when I open a beer or watch a DVD. I am such a faker on the book front. Also, the cult band the nightengales played on 31st May in Liverpool. If I had been more organised, I would hgave arranged things so that I could have seen them on the last night I was in Liverpool. But alas, I lacked comittement to the cause. The nightengales were a very important late 70s and early 80s band that John Peel supported. I recently got nightengales CD at the same time as I got the artic monkes latest. I mostly played the nightengales. I am a faker on the music front. When I was in Glasgow to looks for a flat, I could have arranged things to see the film about daniel johnston, but went for a curry instead. Lack of comittment again. I am an all round faker.
I went out to the Glasgow barfly on Friday night. It is different to the Liverpool barfly because in Glasgow the bands play downstairs, while in Liverpool they play upstairs. Although going to the barfly is meant to be about seeing new cutting edge bands, perhaps the venvues should all be exactly the same. Brand management and all that. Anyway I drank way too much, so getting home was a bit of a challenge. If people want to know what living in Glasgow is all about then I can say that it involves going up and downstairs. This is reelated to the barfly post, because as usuall going to the toilet involves going up two flights of stairs. I don't think I have been up and down so many stairs before I came to Glasgow. Perhaps, the scots like to relive their highland past lives. I think they have taken in very hard that Scotland are not in the world cup. So we all have to go up and down stairs os that the Scotish team can qualify in 2010 for the world cup. The band I went to see called "Vincent Vincent and the villans". Can't say they did much for me. Perhaps, the beer and stairs had done me in.
Yesterday I was sitting at home watching a DVD, when I heard drums and whistles from the road outside. When I told someone that I lived on Maryhill Road, then told me that this is a road used in the marching season. When I looked out there was the orange order march going down the road. There were about 50 to 100 people and a bunch of old dudes, that my memory want to mislead me in saying that they were wearing bowler hats. I am a very lapsed catholic, but still, I thought I better make some effort. So I was just about to open the window to throw an empty beer can at them, when I listened to what the band where playing. They were playing oki-cokie! I don't know much history, but I am pretty sure this is not a traditional protestant marching song. For some reason, I always thought the orange oredr were religous bigots, but clearly if they play good honest karoke music, there are clearly sweet innocent people. Perhaps, I should join and I could join them in a joly sing along.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
I read something on slashdot about companies using myspace profiles to screen job candidates. People who put on their profile that their hoppies include "smoking big pipes of weed" had problems getting interviews. I can believe that youngish people in human rescources are looking at myspace profiles to screen people and probably prove to upper management that they are cool and hip but still sensible (and keeping the hipper druggie crowd from upstaging them). Luckily I read about this in a book my Esther Dyson maybe about 5 years ago. The book by Dyson was called something like "release 2.?". It had a lot about the importance of online presence. I am very carefull not to say anything controversial on this blog.
As football fever sweeps the nation I can now releal that I too have an idea for a football song, even though I know next to nothing about the game. Also I don't actually have any lyrics-- just a concept or two. This football song is sung like a captain beafheart or the fall. The song starts with me rambling on that "Liverpool needs to be united.". "There can only be one". So that is the idea behinf verse 1. Verse 2 offers a solution. "I am going to burn down Goodison Park" to help Liverpool unity. " I repeat this a couple of times. This is the second verse. Then the third verse gets a bit clever. I sing about how some nice scousers take me in their car to the ground with a boot full of petrol. The journey takes 40 minutes. I burn the stadium down. Verse 4 starts with me getting up the next day. In fact, I had been tricked and I had accidently burnt down Old Trafford instead. The song ends with the happy people of Liverpool being united by the scorched ground of arch rivals of Man United. Even sitting in a third floor flat in Glasgow 200 miles from Liverpool, I can't help feeling that I would get beaten up when I start to sing the seond verse. Fair enough I suppose, but Liverpool is meant to be the capital of culture. It would make a chnage to another boy meets girl type of song.
Monday, June 12, 2006
I was proud of myself because I had been living in Glasgow for a whole week before I went in to the CD shop called "fopps" and got some Cds. I was hoping to download more stuff, but that requires my broadband supplier being capable of changing my address before a month is up. Anyway I started by buying a Scott Walker CD for six pounds on Wednesday. By Saturday I had blown 27 quid on CDs. The reason I went into fopps on Saturday was to get a CD by the streets. I did find a copy of "a grand don't come for free" by the streets. This is an almost spoken word rap like CD. Some guy loses a thousand pounds in his flat, then he loses his girl friend. It is a very clever concept album. The singe was on the Jools Holland show maybe two weeks ago.
The West End festival started on Saturday. As this is near my new HQ, I went down to watch the parade. It was a nice sunny day, as this is fairly unusual for Glasgow, Bryer's Rd was packed with happy smiling people. I wasn't really in the mood for a great crowd of joy filling the streets. I tried to get into the spirit of thing, by eating a burger. I could have murdered a beer, but alas there were no beer tents. I could have gone to the supermarkets for beer, but it didn't seem like. I missed most of the bands playing too, because I didn't see the signs until I had escaped the crowds. It may appear that I am some kind of miserable git, but I had to go so that I could listen to the feakzone on radio6 music. This week the show was about krautrock. This is some kind of late 80's German thing. I wasn't really enjoying the music until Julian Cope came on and played some tracks. What a clever chap. He had written a book on Krautrock. He did say it was not available in the UK. I thought I could get a copy from amazon for under a tenner, but the reviewer kindly pointed out that this was the German translation. The English is version is selling for 140 pounds. I couldn't find some of the bands featured on the show, such as cam?, speend?, and scorpions??. The band "cam" were apparently a big influence on the happy mondays. Anyway, why would I want to stand in the bright blazing sun with the masses, when I could be at home listening about obscure German bands, that no one I will ever meet will have heard of?
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Before I went out to buy some cans of Tennents large last night I watched a program where a doctor helped a guy who was drinking the equivalent of 10 pints a night plus snorting 5 thousand pounds a month of cocaine. Apparently all he needed to clean himself up was to do some excercise. I did wonder what job he had that allowed him to afford to party so hard. I know he was living in London, but still the money is not that good down there. II was going to clean myself up, but the cafe here no longer serves smoothie fruit drinks. So I have to drink cold coffee drinks...
I am slowly reading a bokk called "the last templar". This is yet another book about the templar knights. I can't tell whether the hidden templar treasure is about the secret blood line of Jesus or some hidden treasure. Anyway it is an exciting read. It is better written that the de vinci code, but that is not so hard. I am not so sure wht I am readin yet another book about this tired subject. The gnostic spirit used to be an important part of the books written by Lawrence Durrel. It is also the theme of the books like the subtle knife. Both those types of book are well written. Also I don't have a lot of interest in the scret blod line of Jesus, but I have liked the idea that the universe was made by the devil, while god was not looking. This is also part of the Templar canon of bullshit. Umm, I can see an idea for my own brand of badly written blockbuster... A bit of theology, and a lot of sex and killing.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
When ever I have visitedGlasgow it has always struck me as being rather posh. There are a lot of wine bars and smart eating places. After living in Liverpool I am used to buying my booze from people hidden behind bullet (and thieving child) proof glass. An off liscence close to me sold me my beer through a small windos in the glass. The little gate was shut straight after I took hold of my beer. A bit paranoid. It looks like I am living near a big bingo hall again. But why?
I have succesfully moved my HQ from Liverpool to Glasgow. I now live in a third floor flat off Maryhill Road. The view is great. I can sit in my leather chair and stare out above the skyline of the West End of Glasgow. Perhaps, I will think great thoughts here. Last night I looked out of my window down into the gentile sprawl of Glasgow. Out there, I thought, are: pimps, drug dealers, whores, gangsters, underworld types, drug fiends, and hard men. I punched my left fist into my hand. I will make this twon my own. Perhaps one of the freaks will be my friend.