All Posts by William

The Selfish Planet

Have you ever caught a cold, and perhaps had a sore throat?

It’s not the cold virus that makes your throat sore—it’s your immune system carpet-bombing the cells that line it.

There will be collateral damage, to be sure—healthy cells wiped out along with those that are infected. But your body’s defence mechanism considers the losses to be acceptable. Or, rather, that is how it is so designed, whether by evolution, or by some other authority.

The point is that, in order to be effective, our immune system also has to be dangerous. Dangerous to us. Indeed, it is even capable of turning on us, as is the case with autoimmune diseases.

Even so, we would not want to be without it—it’s our ticket to living long enough so that we may perpetuate our species.

With that in mind, it would not be unreasonable to suggest that what is good for one system is good for another.

A proven design, as it were.

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Carbohydrate Conspiracy

Carbohydrate ConspiracyLike many in the New Year I went on a diet—to shed weight accumulated over the past decade. I say ‘diet’, but actually I just changed what I ate. It was one of the low-carbohydrate variants—Low Carb High Fat (LCHF).

Whilst there are many low-carb diets out there, they all appear to work around the same principle—take the carbohydrate out of the diet and the body shifts from a fat storage orientation to a fat burning orientation. The variants seem to be all about what you substitute the carbohydrate with to make sure you get enough calories.

The theory behind it is that our metabolism evolved in a naturally low-carb environment—there was no abundance of grains and starchy vegetables 200,000 years ago; as hunter gathers humans sustained themselves on meat, fish, vegetables, nuts & berries—with larger fruits being a seasonal treat.

So, largely fat and protein.

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Telling The Future

I was recently asked by a reader how I go about writing the future—to have a narrative in a world decades from now, and be convincing as such. In reply I asked whether they thought for one moment that they were not in the future when reading the story (Seen And Not Seen), even if only the relatively near future. Well, obviously it’s the future—it’s science fiction. And there’s a spaceship…and stuff…

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Dream Dreamer Part 2

tvor cover thumbThere are amongst us devotees to lucid dreaming. I am not one of them, but what, exactly, is a lucid dream?

The prominent definitions to be found seem to focus on the ability to control the dream, rather than what the name itself suggests—lucidity. That is, one would expect that experiencing a lucid dream would be to be fully aware within the dream, to feel fully awake and to have a complete sense of self.

As we shall see, the problem is that lucidity would appear to preclude the ability to control the dream. So what are those that have a level of control actually experiencing? Continue reading

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