Short Story: Guillermo’s Words


I want to tell you a story about a friend of mine, well more of an acquaintance. A researcher here, his name was Guillermo, or something Spanish like that. Came from Bolivia, or maybe its Argentina, but he lived in Bogota. I can’t remember. Definitely a South American, but real Iberian features. But anyway-

He worked at the bioengineering department, splicing, sequencing, fluorescence imaging, bacteria, you know? Stuff like that. Well, he lost it. Continue reading


Flash Fiction: Not Forgetting

If I could lose one memory what would it be?

Does that seem like a bizarre question to ask myself as I sit here, beside this road, bleeding out?

Maybe such philosophical ramblings are common from the minds of dying men.

We need to know what we’ve left behind, what we’ve done.

So we’ll think we’ve mattered. Continue reading

The Duck and the Dame (VisDare 14: Normalcy)

My entry into the recent VisDare, a tale of microcosmic comedy and tragedy- and polite bestiality.

dame leads duck

The Duck And The Dame

I can assure you the duck is leading the dame. Continue reading

Flash Fiction: How Long Were You Alone In The Dark?

This is flash fiction about love and survival after nuclear war that I wrote because of all the Korean Peninsula madness going on lately. Enjoy and please comment.

How Long Were You Alone in the dark?

It’s an unanswerable question. How long we spent in darkness.

We (my wife, my brother, my neighbor and I) were down there for about two weeks till something happened to the lights. Continue reading

“Most Complicated Object in the Universe”: Untangling the issues of the BRAIN Initiative


Francis Collins and President Obama unveil the BRAIN initiative.

After eluding to it in his state of the union address President Obama announced this week his plan to pour an initial investment of $100m into a new research initiative from the National Institute of Health to map the active human brain, and it was immediately met with criticism from a wide range of scientists, journalists and bloggers. Who presented a blizzard of issues with the proposal. I’ve aimed here to try to tease out some of these questions and relate them to why, I believe, this is a worthy undertaking. Continue reading

The Case for Liberal Arts, by a ‘STEM’ student


Matt Saccaro’s post The Case For Removing (Almost) All Liberal Arts From College on

Though Catalog has raised a fair few eyebrows already, and although I’m not the most timely responder, seeing as it fits quite nicely into Fourth Society’s remit (namely that this is just the kind of faux economic idiocy that damages the interaction between science and the arts). Anyway, I thought I’d have a go: Continue reading

Thank you Jonah Lehrer

I’m unhappy. I’ve been made this way because someone I’ve admired has disappointed me. That person, as you can guess from the title, is Jonah Lehrer (I couldn’t find a picture in which he wasn’t trying to look thoughtful and rugged, so I’ve omitted one). Why I’m particularly disappointed with him is quite apart from the fact that he has (quite a while ago) been exposed as a lazy writer and a liar.

This is chiefly because I owe inspiration for the name of this blog and the founding idea behind it, to him, and his book Proust was a Neuroscientist. Continue reading