I have a new book out on May 23 2013: Red Nile- biography of the world's greatest river. It's on Amazon for preorder. Otherwise I am writing about extreme places and extreme people in a new novel about the desert.
For a different take on exploration and new expeditions go to theexplorerschool.com
"No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit." Helen Keller.
The biggest failing in most novels and short stories is 'thinness'. 'Thickness' is obtained either through multiple sweeps adding material each time or getting into a 'thick head' so to speak. I find the feeling you have when you get up after an afternoon sleep ideal- no joke this- your head is dream laden, unflustered and focused on now not on the near future; looking even one sentence ahead is a sign of being too focused on the future.
It seems that being born by Caesarian means a five times higher chance of developing in later life common allergies such as dust and mite allergies, according to a new US Study. Is it any surprise that births by C-section have risen in the US from 5% in 1970 to around 33% now- roughly a six fold increase. And we're not far behind in the UK.
Recently in the news there has been an extraordinary situation where a British jury asked the judge to explain to them the meaning of 'beyond reasonable doubt'. I think they knew what 'beyond' and 'doubt' meant so that leaves 'reasonable'. In every 'proper' job you are snowed with guidelines and definitions. The words 'use your judgement' or 'do what is reasonable' are rarely encountered. People don't trust other people 'below them' to use their judgement.
That slippery and attractive way of thinking - relativism- has penetrated into the roots of society. If all behaviour can be deemed 'reasonable' from some perspective or another, is it any surprise that the jury seek guidance on what kind of 'reasonableness' is intended. When cannibalism can be viewed as 'reasonable' within the tribal structure of New Guinea then the march of relatavism has started. The way out of the beguiling grip of relatavism is to stop worrying about yourself and your precious moral schemas and look outward at contexts, situations, what is really happening in the situation you are really concerned with. I suspect the problem with the jury was that they weren't able to 'get real' and look at this crime within its real life context. We all know what reasonable means when someone doesn't acknowledge us for holding the door open for them.
What's the point of diversity? Of things being various? The sea is always different where I live; seeing the difference wakes you up. Which is the reason: diversity wakes us up. Once awake we see the unity.
Mostly we don't take turn-offs. We're turned off by them, the abruptness, the decisions required. Mostly we just keep driving along veering a bit left or a bit right as the road forks. That's mostly all it does- fork. One branch always has the sign MORE and the other LESS. Sometimes we take a whole lot of MORE forks and end up stressed, confused, wondering how we got here. Then we take a few LESS forks and it feels right, maybe a bit empty though. So soon we are tempted back by that lovely MORE sign. How did we get here? MORE or LESS on autopilot I'd say.