Saturday, 30 December 2017

Literary References To Popular Fiction

See Batman.

Jerusalem also refers to Daleks, which are as much a part of the British landscape as the supermarkets that Alan Moore names, and, again, Moore has contributed to that fictional universe. The Daleks are enemies of the Time Lord known as the Doctor and Moore wrote back-up stories about other Time Lords in Doctor Who Magazine.

The BBC's the Doctor and the Daleks are successors of HG Wells' the Time Traveller and the Morlocks. Wells incorporated an ironic reference to Morlock's in one of his mainstream novels:

"There's an incurable misunderstanding between the modern employer and the modern employed," the chief labour spokesman said, speaking in a broad accent that completely hid from him and the bishop and every one the fact that he was by far the best-read man of the party. "Disraeli called them the Two Nations, but that was long ago. Now it's a case of two species. Machinery has made them into different species. The employer lives away from his work-people, marries a wife foreign, out of a county family or suchlike, trains his children from their very birth in a different manner. Why, the growth curve is different for the two species. They haven't even a common speech between them. One looks east and the other looks west. How can you expect them to agree? Of course they won't agree. We've got to fight it out. They say we're their slaves for ever. Have you ever read Lady Bell's 'At the Works'? A well-intentioned woman, but she gives the whole thing away. We say, No! It's our sort and not your sort. We'll do without you. We'll get a little more education and then we'll do without you. We're pressing for all we can get, and when we've got that we'll take breath and press for more. We're the Morlocks. Coming up. It isn't our fault that we've differentiated."
-copied from here.

Thursday, 28 December 2017


(Hyde Park, London, like Central Park, New York. See:

Gods And Central Park
In Central Park
Times And Places.)

A recent post and links have taken us from the center of Northampton to the center of Lancaster, then of Preston. These are three of our Great Cities, which can be contemporary, historical or fictional. Other contemporary British cities on this list are:


More will be added if and when there is anything to post about them.

See also Cities In Anderson And Gaiman.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Walking Through Northampton

Both Alan Moore in his Voice Of The Fire and Alma Warren in the same author's Jerusalem:

walk through the center of Northampton;
pass the statue of Charles Bradlaugh (for the statue, see here);
reflect on what they see;
impart information about the history of the city, its buildings and people.

See Streets And Cities II.

Lancaster has a statue of Queen Victoria in a square in front of the Town Hall. See Today In Lancaster. However, I cannot write either as entertainingly or as informatively about a walk through Lancaster. See The Spider And I Are One.

Fiction is easier to appreciate than to emulate.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

The Blogverse III

At this time of year, I usually take a break from my main, Poul Anderson Appreciation, blog and try to promote the blogverse, i.e., several cross-referring blogs, thus:

The Blogverse
The Blogverse II
Blog Crossovers
Posts About Alan Moore's Jerusalem
Posts On Christmas Day In Previous Years On Different Blogs

Posts about Alan Moore's multi-faceted works sprawl across several blogs.

Another feature of this time of year is books received as presents. In Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind (London, 2014), Yuval Noah Harari argues that Homo Sapiens conquered the world because a Cognitive Revolution enabled our ancestors to create unifying myths and legal fictions facilitating cooperation between strangers across continents. This fits with recent discussions on Poul Anderson Appreciation and with Alan Moore's description of
religions as "higher fictions."

Lion-Headed Time has been discussed on PAA here. Harari discusses the Lion-Man.

See also:

 El Jabato;
The Haertel Scholium Connections;
Year 2018!


Line of thought continued from here.

In Platonic-Cartesian mind-body dualism, a mind or soul not only interacts with a human body at each moment of that body's existence but also directs that body to speak and act as it does in that moment whereas, according to the world-view summarized by three authors here, a mind/soul/mental existence/consciousness/awareness merely observes what the body is doing at each moment and furthermore the mind etc makes these observations successively. Thus, there is some sense in which it is true to say that, when the mind etc is in one moment of the body's existence, all of that body's other moments simultaneously exist without the mind etc being present in them. Thus, the latter view removes consciousness even further from its active role in the life of an organism than Platonism does.

There are many facets to Alan Moore's novel, Jerusalem. I have focused on this facet because I am a Philosophy graduate. I will continue to read about Alma Warren's experiences.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Organisms And Environments

Organisms interact with their environments. Plants interact unconsciously; animals and human beings consciously. Naturally selected organismic sensitivity to environmental alterations quantitatively increased until it was qualitatively transformed into conscious sensation.

Alma's brother, Michael, presents a different picture. See here. (It is Michael's thoughts that are reported in the concluding quotation.) A human body, extending along the fourth dimension from its birth to its death, appears to speak and act consciously. However, this body is merely a "tunnel" with an "awareness," existing independently of the body, passing along it. Thus, before and after the passage of this "awareness," the body is unaware. The awareness is fancifully described as "...a ball of coloured light." However, if we observe such a ball, e.g., in the form of ball lightning, then we have no reason to suppose that it, the ball of light, constitutes awareness or consciousness. Psychological/mental processes (awareness, consciousness, sensation, perception etc) occur within/emerge from cerebral neural interactions and do not (I think) consist of some other entity passing along the world line of the brain.

If Michael's account were true, then we would have to ask: why do human bodies behave as they do, speaking etc, if awareness merely passes through them and is not an integral part of their responses and how did awareness arise if not as part of an organism's interactions with its environment? Michael has revived an unacceptable Platonic-Cartesian mind-body dualism.

An Everlasting Solid

Alan Moore, Jerusalem (London, 2016), Book Three.

Walking down Kettering Road, Northampton (see image), Alma Warren contemplates:

"...a simultaneous eternity...time as an everlasting solid in which nothing changes, nothing dies." (p. 790)

(But "everlasting" means lasting forever through time...)

HG Wells and JW Dunne notwithstanding, I no longer accept Alma's view of time but let's consider its implications. The temporal solid contains within it the world line of every conscious organism. While life exists, a three-dimensional cross-section of the solid contains cross-sections of world lines. A three-dimensional cross-section of the world line of an organism is what we usually call just an organism. However, in the present context, we must differentiate between a four-dimensional organism and its three-dimensional cross-sections. Each such cross-section of a conscious organism is conscious of its three dimensional surroundings although not of the four dimensional totality. It follows that consciousness is not separate from the organism but, on the contrary, is a feature of each cross-section of the organism. It follows further that this account is invalid:

Alan Moore, Jerusalem (London, 2016)
"It was as though while people were still living they were really frozen motionless, immersed in the congealed blancmange of time, and simply thought that they were moving, when in truth it was just their awareness fluttering along the pre-existing tunnel of their lifetime as a ball of coloured light." (p. 363) (copied from here.)