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Nik Allday 2000 or genetically engineered potatoe

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.



pebble in space

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.



Eleonor Allday circa 1998

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?



A version of my fractal pattern with pallet rotation

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 Hamming 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 Sente's download page.  The pattern is basically about parity - which is something we should all have.



Sunset over New Jersey from the World Trade Centre on Manhaten

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.



This is a quote I found on a gravestone:

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.

Thucydides



Christmas tree

And happy Christmas 2000



A poem on the effect of someone else's guilt

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)



This one I think is very important.  I had a dream when I was in my early 20ís and it was one of those dreams that you never forget.  Itís as if it has some intangible significance.  For years I didn't understand it although profound life events had echoed the dream.  Perhaps more significantly I had interpreted events in a way which was in strange harmony with the dream.  I am not willing to describe the dream in such a public forum at the moment, and its content is not pertinent to this point, just that dreams are very often a kind of clue to deeper issues.  I have, for several years now, been involved with counselling.  Particularly, for my sins, re-evaluation counselling [more].  As a consequence of this counselling something became very clear to me and I immediately understood the dream completely.  In our communal living we all experience the effects of others.  (Unavoidable really, given that we canít even arrive at this existence without two other human beings having a relationship.)  And we have good and bad experiences.  There is a huge amount of oppression that occurs between human beings.  Sometimes physically violent and sometimes emotionally violent.  Simply telling a child in a stern voice ďdonít do thatĒ is a very serious threat for the child.  Something we are all led to do is to engage in contractual arrangements with others for our own sense of security.  A very simple and physical example is dressing correctly for occasions.  Men wear ties in business meetings as a sign of recognition of certain conventions and an agreement to abide by them.  But rather like gravity, these contractual dynamics are everywhere.  And by engaging in these contractual dynamics we precisely avoid the open free expression and experience of life.
We sacrifice real life by complying with social contracts of oppression for our own sense of security.


More on gravity & emotions (and the price of fish).


On 7 June 1998 James Byrd was murdered in Jasper, Texas, USA.  I saw a news item on this and could hardly believe my senses.  I can see that the event has occurred and that it is a very sad and painful thing.  I donít think there is any question that James Byrd was black and that three white men (all in custody) killed him by dragging him behind their car.  On the news item that I saw, there were interviews with a white American sheriff and a black Christian vicar.  I didnít happen to be convinced by what the white sheriff had to say but the thing that astounded me was that the black Christian vicar spoke at length about the pain, distress, the non racist community, the confusion of the people and lots of softly spoken, considerate, Christian sort of things, but he stated quite categorically that the three perpetrators should, of course, be executed.  Now whether or not I think that someone should be executed, whatever the emotional feelings I might have, whatever sense it seems to make to conclude that someone deserves to be killed, whatever, there is an overt contradiction here.  What bewilders me is that a Christian vicar should express such a view.  I know itís hard - but Christianity is not about killing bad people.  I suspect that the three killers of James Byrd, in a very convoluted way, did think that he should be killed.  Otherwise they would not have done it.  What is the difference between their deciding, for their own fears, that Byrd should die, and the vicarís conclusion, for his own fears, that the three perpetrators should die?  I suspect one key difference is the breadth of the social contract.


Nik Allday 1977

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!



On the subject of genetically engineered potatoes: Monsanto have produced a genetically engineered potato and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture has concluded that these transgenic potato lines, and any new potato varieties developed from crosses with these transgenic lines, should be as safe to grow as potato varieties which are not subject to regulation.  And what do you suppose that means?


Nik and Eleonor Allday 2000
© Arthur Cowe 2001

Photo of my daughter and me by Arthur Cowe.



Unfortunately her legs were not long enough to reach the ground.


Example of a game of Go

And I play go.



View from Tussestua on Foynland near Notteroy near Tonsberg in Norway

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 motor bikes.



a strange ship with a question mark on its funnel

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's Role Play Blog

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 Kevathaídral by Kiyoko Silvers

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.

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

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© Nik Allday 2006