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Are Smokers Rational? (December 2011)

With the date of the Bronze Anniversary coming around on Monday, I have chosen to close this celebratory baker's dozen with a little bit of philosophical aikido using the work of Derek Parfit. Even though Parfit himself argues that there is a “decisive reason” to not smoke, I use arguments from both On What Matters and Reasons and Persons to suggest that Parfit’s philosophy actually allows that smokers are indeed rational.

Are Smokers Rational? (December 2011)

Moorcock's Metaphysics (April-May 2008)

With Chaos Ethics almost out in the world, I could hardly let the Bronze Anniversary celebrations come to an end without making reference to the serial that paved the way for my next book, Moorcock’s Metaphysics. If you have any interest at all in the work of Michael Moorcock and you haven’t already read this, give this six-part serial a go!

Moorcock’s Metaphysics (1): Michael Moorcock (April 2008)

The Blind Captain (February 2006)

Trying to work out how we were going to reach a wider audience seven years ago, I speculated on an entirely new approach to videogames I called blind captain. Then, sadly, I renamed the post in question with the much more boring title Interaction Models (you can see the original title in the http address, though). Although I certainly got some things wrong, I still think this piece offers a really insightful perspective on both the state of controls in games, and the untapped possibilities. Best quote: "Since I do not want to see game development slow to a trickle of sequels, I'm not keen on this as a solution." How prescient! (The error at the end is from the code for the Blogs of the Round Table, which no longer functions).

Interaction Models (February 2006)

Allen Wood on Ethics: Political Realities (November 2012)

Although the first part of my interview with Allen W. Wood was well-received, the second part was lost in the noise of the US Presidential Election. A shame, as it contains some really interesting material. I always enjoy the interviews, and my discussions with Professor Wood here were extremely stimulating – with his political views (pre-election) being particularly strident!

Allen Wood on Ethics (2): Political Realities (November 2012)

Doctor Who and the Paradox of Fiction

Just submitted a paper to the British Journal of Aesthetics discussing Walton’s quasi-emotions in the context of my childhood hiding behind the sofa to escape from Daleks. It’s a lovely piece, but I have no idea whether they will take it! I suppose it is too much to hope that they will both accept it and publish it in time for the Doctor Who golden anniversary in November. Well, dreaming is free, right?

Reality, Optional (January 2007)

It was a great pleasure to briefly meet Robert Anton Wilson while I was living in London, shortly after his death had been (erroneously) announced. I joked that we were getting tired of celebrating his passing. After his actual death in 2007 I wanted to leave a fitting tribute so I came up with the idea of a post-mortem interview, which seemed to be very much in the spirit of his work.

Reality, Optional (January 2007)

Just a Game?

Over on ihobo today, I complain about those gamers who lazily “defend” games by asserting that such-and-such is ‘just a game’. Here’s an extract:

What is actually at task here is the meaning of the fictional content of videogames, the interpretation of fiction within game worlds. Yet to assert that this does not matter because its just a game is to claim – implausibly – that fiction in games doesn't matter because the fact of it being a game allows the significance of the fictional world to be ignored. And this is precisely an argument that games don't matter, they are artistically unimportant, and that they are second rate to novels and films.

You can read the entirety of Just a Game? over on

Moore's Paradox and the Belief in False Things (December 2009)

Although I’m perfectly competent with logic – the only exam in which I earned 100%! - I tend not to place much trust in its application outside of the realm of mathematical abstraction. This discussion of Moore’s paradox brings together an episode in my life with a challenge to the assumption that ‘belief tracks truth’.

Moore’s Paradox and the Belief in False Things (December 2009)