Thursday, January 26, 2023

20 Donegal Street


This is destruction on my own block, after gang warfare. The whole house was destroyed. The lyrics are adapted from the hit The Night Chicago Died.
 
----------------------------------------
 
Daddy was a cop on the east side of Cape Town
Back in the Western Cape, back in the bad old days
 
In the cold of a winter's night
In the land of the ten rand bill
When the town of Cape Town died
And they talk about it still

I heard my mama cry
I heard her pray the night that Cape Town died
Brother, what a night it really was
Brother, what a fight it really was
Yes, indeed

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Coming to a Theatre Near You

The Democratic Alliance is proud of balancing its books, but it is not doing well with gang warfare in the city. My own house is in the image above. The yellow-red dot indicates a house which was just destroyed in gang warfare -- at least, I have that (about gang warfare) from impeccable sources. For those who would like to see the ruins, take a look at 20 Donegal Street. An easy walk to Woodbridge Island, Lagoon Beach, Century City.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Pi Changes

I was for seven years a co-editor of the UK philosophy weekly Pi. During that time, it rose to no. 7 in the UK in its class, according to Feedspot. My co-editorship ended in October last year. Today I had a look at Pi. I see that my going was a major event. One would expect that it wouldn't be quite the same, but in the 14 weeks since my going, two authors have written for Pi. In the 14 weeks prior, it was nine. Among those nine, there were six nationalities on four continents, plus Oceania.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Another Metaphysics

I have indeed been working on another metaphysics, but with radically different style. It is in agreement with my current metaphysics, although the content, too, is radically different. I have shown parts of it to two bright people, who were properly enthusiastic. OBSERVATION: I could be one-third through, or one-tenth, depending how long it ought to be. It is a work of fiction, written in simple language -- but requires just as much thought as the real thing, if not more.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Very Busy

On my last journey to the east -- to our African family -- I met a new niece for the first time. Here she is. Her nickname is Besig ("Busy"). I said one had got it wrong. It should be Baie Besig ("Very Busy"). Her energy seemed inexhaustible. You may click on the photo to enlarge.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Life-Saver

After my father passed away, Facebook took off, and I made contact with hundreds of people in the Pacific. I knew that he had saved a woman's life once, by his authority as Chief Missionary there. He permitted her to sail on the John Williams VII (pictured), as an exception. Since then, I learned of two other situations in which he saved people's lives, and there may well be more.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Mayor's Office

Today I wanted to report multiple attempted intrusions to my home. So I went to see the police. The police consulted. They instructed me to report to the Mayor's Office. This seemed rather a surreal turn to me. I said OK, just write me a short referral on paper, will you? This didn't please them well. Our meeting unravelled little by little, and entered a dead end. Anyway, as is my custom, I had a CD quality recording of the referral, even if I didn't have the note. I sent the recording to the Mayor's Office, and asked what now?

POSTSCRIPT: A second post on this seemed too repetitive. That is basically why I removed it. There are now people seeking to unravel what was going on.

On The Other Hand ...

In ministry, I have sought always to present a balanced picture to the members (a Congregational Church is governed by the members): "On the one hand ... On the other hand ..." I think that one can do that in ministry because one takes God's providence into account, too. In South Africa, we just had one of the worst school leavers' pass rates in terms of throughput. The government portrays it as one of the best school leavers' pass rates in tems of exams written. Why not "On the one hand ... On the other hand ..."

Thursday, January 19, 2023

City Ministry Images

This evening, simply some snapshots of my past ministry in Cape Town. Clockwise from top left, these photos were taken (about) 2000, 2007, 2010, and 2012. I ministered in this Church -- cumulatively -- for more than twenty years. OBSERVATION: The 2012 photo reveals a Church which is equally Black and White. Although the grey hair stands out, it is one-third of those in the photo, and less than one-third if one could see a complete view of the Church. (One sees a former Miss South Africa in one of these photos).

What It's About

Over on Twitter, there was a flurry of tweets last week by my Pi ex co-editor, trying to manage a scandal. He made a mistake, unfortunately—he faked items on his résumés. But this shouldn’t have been at my expense: ongoing abuse, and my publishers needed to reissue my book worldwide. Here's one example of a false claim. This is an original résumé on the Wayback Machine. Scroll to “Work experience”: 

https://web.archive.org/web/20210508004316/https://reedsy.com/martin-cohen 

Here’s the résumé after he has erased the non-existent academic position:  

 https://reedsy.com/martin-cohen 

The University of Huddersfield confirms the ruse. OBSERVATION: As his co-editor, I picked up some problems, and decided to check. It was not perverse of me to do this, but natural and necessary. I have a high regard for my ex-colleague still, but have been distressed by his behavior—and damage to a UK top ten philosophy weekly. It should not have been necessary for me to respond. Once there is a story circulating, though, I have found that one needs to state some facts.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Dramatic Finds

On the BBC today, I read of a man who found an old revolver in the River Stour. Ten years ago now, I found two hand grenades in Sea Point, Cape Town. I posed with them before handing them to a police Captain. They were very old grenades, made of thick, brittle metal with large grooves in them, ignited by a fuse. They were still filled with explosives. OBSERVATION: I did wonder what would happen if one dropped them in a barbecue or braai ...

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Latest Metaphysics

Here are some stats on the latest metaphysics—those which one could possibly, plausibly call metaphysics in their own right. The ratings are from Goodreads. Mine is second on this list—one of the fatter ones, and the easiest read. OBSERVATION: Last in the ratings here is the new Oxford metaphysics. I found it quite systematic and thorough. Perhaps what people are "complaining" about is that it is too abstract -- and perhaps too Aristotelian, but aren't they all. Metaphysics which are radically new are mine and Neues System.

Electronic Introspection

I have invented a metal detector which uses two channels in lockstep. This, I think, is new. Now, say it oscillates at 100,000 Hz in lockstep, and some "find" will increase this to 100,100 Hz. One needs to measure these frequencies, not parallel with another oscillator, but relative to both of them over time, so as not to disturb a very sensitive circuit. Most obviously, one could have a little computer which calculates 100,100 Hz at time T2 minus 100,000 Hz at time T1 = 100 Hz over 0 Hz. But try designing that. OBSERVATION: A super simple electronic "calculator" is required. My guess: one that would throw away most of 100,000 Hz and compare the remainder at T1 and T2 ...

Monday, January 16, 2023

Journey After Loss

Here's a post I inexplicably shelved. I was stunned when my wife Mirjam died -- even though I could see it coming a long way off. But after her death, day by day, I seemed to find my feet. I got back into ministry in less than a month. I resumed all my activities. Then 2½ months after her death, I unexpectedly ran into the worst -- a really "bad trip". I had helped Mirjam during her last weeks and days, very nearly to the end. During that time, it seemed like a movie screen -- as though I was merely watching it happen. I just needed to get us through. But suddenly, it seemed that it all came back to me in pictures -- only now with the emotions attached. I was so shaken, I couldn't have continued ministry if it hadn't been for my friends, and my own ministerial training, coaxing me through. 01/03

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Touted on Twitter

I was delighted to see a mention of my book on Dr. Mel Thompson's Twitter page today. More than a week old now, but it happened to be in poll position. 

https://twitter.com/essexthinker/status/1610645505528238081

Mel Thompson has written many books on philosophy. More recently I reviewed his book on Tillich and Teilhard de Chardin, which I consider to be an essential companion to those philosopher-theologians' books.