Dyson Spheres, Sam Harris and skillful free will

What do Dyson Spheres and the philosophical discussion have to do with one another? In this talk Damien has fun with a response to Sam Harris’ denial of free will, as widely debated on Clubhouse in the week of this recording.

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Workshop 4 – Advanced Scifi and Fantasy

Every story has two levels – the Surface and the Archetypal On the surface every story is unique. But beneath the surface level all stories explore the same basic patterns of human life – the archetypes. The fourth workshop in Advanced Scifi & Fantasy : writing the 21st century myth, begins with a deep diveContinue reading “Workshop 4 – Advanced Scifi and Fantasy”

The hidden meaning of Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 creates arguably the most intricate and fascinating allegory in contemporary cinema. But despite thousands of essays, fan theories and YouTube videos interpreting the meaning of Blade Runner 2049, most of the audience is blind to the movie’s hidden allegorical meaning. An allegory that, from the threads of science fiction, weaves an intenselyContinue reading “The hidden meaning of Blade Runner 2049”

Terry Pratchett fans will love The Watch…eventually

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Star Wars – addiction or recovery?

My major teaching project for this year has been Advanced Scifi & Fantasy : Writing the 21st Century Myth. This new course is my journey to try and understand what myths are doing in our lives today. I’m happy that almost five thousand students have so far enrolled on the course to join that journey.

A highlight of the course – and of my year – was interviewing John Vervaeke, Professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Toronto (where he teaches alongside Jordan Peterson) on the meaning of myth. And of Star Wars.

A member of John’s community created a brief edited video from out 90 minute conversation. In just a few minutes, it captures the whole meaning of our discussion.

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How Blade Runner constructs an empathy test…for the audience

The science fiction author Philip Kindred Dick believed that humans were defined – not by our intelligence or our technology – but by our empathy. The human capacity for empathy – our ability to place our self into the experience of the other – is what makes us truly human. It’s our capacity for empathyContinue reading “How Blade Runner constructs an empathy test…for the audience”

The book that inspired the Culture of Iain M Banks

Long time readers will know I am a super-fan of the Culture novels by Iain M Banks. I’ve essayed and videoed them half to death already, and in recent years have read or re-read almost Banksy’s entire output. Great artists steal, goes the saying, and Iain Banks was something of a magpie for cool ideasContinue reading “The book that inspired the Culture of Iain M Banks”