Archive for December, 2012

The Resilience of Diaspar: Thoughts on “The City and the Stars” by Arthur C Clarke

December 20, 2012

Over the last year or so I’ve started reading more science fiction again, as I’ve discovered old genre classics in handy ebook format at reasonable prices.

I thought I’d read most of Arthur C Clarke’s novels as a teenager, but “The City and the Stars”— an early effort, from 1956— slipped the net. Spoilers follow.



New blog name

December 18, 2012

I was never completely happy with “Geodoctor”, but it reflected two big topics that were preoccupying me three years ago: health and geosciences. I believed that without some narrowing of the remit, I would find it impossible to sit down and write anything focused. Perhaps restricting the areas of interest would make the whole blogging endeavour seem more manageable, and bringing together two seemingly disparate subjects seemed like a good project.

I think it worked, to a point. I’ve kept it going intermittently and more or less on-topic, although stunning insights and big audiences have both been lacking. At least it’s allowed me to continue writing when other outlets have dried up. In blogging terms I’ve dipped my toes in the water, and even paddled a little in the shallow end.

But things have changed over the last three years. Health and geosciences remain important concerns— expect further posts on these topics, if only because one area remains central to my working life, and the other still figures as a major interest— but with a more accommodating title I should feel free to put fingers to keyboard on a broader range of topics. The new title gives me permission to wander around a little more, and I hope this will lead to more frequent posts. With only a very limited amount of writing time, I can’t afford to limit myself to particular subject areas.

Having said that, part of me hopes that some unifying thread will emerge over time. If it does, it wouldn’t surprise me if the human health/ geosciences intersection is part of it.

Let’s see how it goes.

Is Our Weather Getting Worse…?

December 11, 2012

…Is the title of the Channel 4 documentary I’ve just finished watching.

I should be pleased in that it basically makes the same points I made in my last post. The recent weather we’ve been getting is exactly what we’d expect in a warming world: more heat leads to more moisture in the atmosphere, more heatwaves, more rain, more floods, and more unstable weather generally.

Only it’s a Channel 4 documentary, like The Great Global Warming Swindle, so I was predisposed to hostile suspicion from the start.