Category Archives: Pondering

Islands, church trips, and the delay of gratification

Last weekend was a bit of a flop, in many ways. At least that should mean things have more potential to get better! I had been meaning to go to OSSbarcamp, and thought I had booked the hotel for my stay, but it turned out I’d forgotten, and all the ones I could find with […]

Some thoughts on consciousness

Since Weizenbaum’s `Eliza’ experiment in 1966, in which a computer was programmed in a parody of a Rogerian psychotherapist, people have been holding conversations with programs that mimic shallowly a simple counselling session. These days, the threshold for the Turing test is higher, and few people (I think, or at least hope) would be fooled […]

Religion, science and pseudoscience

In my line of work (computer science research and development) it seems that a fairly secular outlook is common, and as my outlook includes religious faith, I think it makes sense for me to put up some notes on how I think religion and science (and pseudoscience) fit together. The standard scientific view works with […]

Some theological thoughts

Many years ago, when on retreat at a friary, I was working through a book of meditations, and it raised the question “What is most valuable to you, and could you give it up [for your faith] if you had to?”¬† Rather piously, I thought “My faith is most valuable to me,” and it was […]

Back from holiday

I’m back from a short holiday in West Kerry, including my first two visits to the Great Blasket Island — I wish I had discovered it earlier, I would have been there many times by now! And I still have the angiogram hanging over me (Thursday) which will be the highest-risk half-hour or hour of […]


On a recent trip to the UK, I saw a roadsign that made me stop and think: I like signs and symbols to which I can attach unexpected meaning. I remember visiting a friend who was spending a year in a religious community, and getting into theological and philosophical discussions, as one does. I had […]