An Interview with Dead Dick

(Speaking of UBIK, here’s an interview with Dead Dick. Courtesy of the Bardotown Gazette.)

Bardotown Gazette Reporter (BG): Dick, how do you like being dead?

Dead Dick (DD): Tell me the truth, did you really like your first beer or cup of coffee? Didn’t it take a bit of getting used to? Death, like beer and coffee, is an acquired taste. As it is now, I wouldn’t want to live without being dead.

BG: Have you been working on any new books since your terminus?

DD: I have made some furtive attempts at ghost writing. So far I have not been able to find any Lightsiders that could put themselves and their own interests aside long enough to get even a novella out. I shouldn’t make it sound so negative. I have a coup
le of good prospects even as we speak. The trick seems to be to let them think that they are stealing my ideas and style for their own purposes. You may see some pretty interesting material during the next few years. I only hope they can learn to spell, punctuate and use grammar. Don’t you know that it must be a law somewhere that “those who are able are not willing and those who are willing are not able.”

BG: Were you satisfied with your recent lifetime, Dick?

DD: As you know, I am many different authors scattered throughout history — much like fingers poking through a piece of paper. From one perspective they look independent. But, when one is aware of the “hand-ness” that connects them, the synchronicities of action and cooperativeness of efforts no longer looks miraculous or mysterious. It is taken for granted that the fingers of a hand will work in concert. My most recent sojourn into the Lightside was quite useful. However, I think the most satisfying was
that cave thing in France. To tell a story within the constraints of a single wall was quite invigorating. I just wish we’d had a better blue to work with.

BG: Do you have anything that you would like to relate to our Lightside readers?

DD: First of all, has it occurred to you that your experience of me is just ink on pressed wood pulp? If you look too closely (as with a magnifying glass) even this black and white existence is shown to be a semi-organized chaos of dots. It’s all in the reading.


Each sculpture may be a communication

Each sculpture may be a communication.

That communication may be from you to another, you to yourself, another to you, or another to another, or any combination or all of the above.

The language of sculpture is rich with possibility.

Look, it’s real simple. When you are making a sculpture it does not matter whether you choose to work in abstract, post modern, or realism. As long as you are true to the materials and to the essence of the sculpture you can’t go wrong.

Admittedly some forms have different requirements of the materials. Let’s face it, if you are aiming to create a bust of “Joan of Arc” then working with bricks, sponge and wire mesh is not the way to go – unless you intend to create a rather large abstracted piece.

Cognitive Mindful Meditation


In a recent online workshop as part of a larger topic, E.J. Gold mentioned that there are many different types of meditation. This should not have come as a surprise. When presented with the notion, it is obviously true. Of course there are many different types of meditation. Thing is, until this invisible elephant is brought to light it is all too easy to fall into the trap of treating all meditation as the same.

Well, of course they are not.

Different meditation forms can have different methods – obvious enough.

And, different meditation forms can have different goals and results – hmmm, now this is interesting to mull over once or twice.

Contrary to what this foreword may be suggesting, this article is not about the variety of meditation types. Nor is it about different possible goals and results.

I just thought it would be useful for the reader to be notified that not all meditation is the same and that, in fact, different forms of meditation can have quite different goals and aims.

This article will address one specific form of meditation – Cognitive Mindful Meditation. Continue reading

What is RL?

RL in virtual parlance typically means “Real Life.” Nothing surprising about that.

Thing is, we carry a persistent assumption that real life is more “real” than virtual or pretend. Here’s an experiment that calls this into question on a biochemical basis: Effects of gendered behavior on testosterone in women and men (PNAS abstract). (Randy Dotinga’s summary from full article here.)

The study appears in the Oct. 26 2015 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Van Anders et al noted: The varying differences between average male testosterone levels in men versus average levels of testosterone levels in women got me interested in whether there was some social influence on the variability.

In the new study, 41 trained actors (male and female) performed monologues in which they wielded power by firing a subordinate. On one occasion, they were told to do so in a stereotypically male way (more dominating). On another day, they were instructed to do the firing in a stereotypically feminine way (“trying to be nice,” van Anders said, “and feeling unsure about what you’re doing”).

Testosterone levels were measured before and after the performances using saliva samples.

Both kinds of strategies boosted testosterone levels in men and women — the boost in testosterone levels was more pronounced in the women. But for both sexes, performing in stereotypical male or female ways didn’t seem to matter. What did seem to matter was performing the monologues acting in a manner wielding power. Continue reading

Gateway and Tipping Point Actions

For the most part, wherever you are, you were somewhere else before that. And, you can bet that sooner or later you will be somewhere other than were you are now.

In order to get the beginnings of a handle on gateway and tipping-point actions let’s use the following example: While making your way through an otherwise ordinary day you suddenly find yourself sitting on the couch with spoon in one hand and an empty container of Ben & Jerry’s in the other.


In spite of the fact that these types of moments might seem to sneak up on us, they don’t actually ambush us the way it seems. Continue reading

Wandering Mind Is Not A Happy Mind

In 2010 psychologists Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert (Harvard University) published a paper in Science magazine called: A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind

The abstract of the article is: “We developed a smartphone technology to sample people’s ongoing thoughts, feelings, and actions and found (i) that people are thinking about what is not happening almost as often as they are thinking about what is and (ii) found that doing so typically makes them unhappy.” If you’d like to read the full article check it out on You’ll need to register — but it’s free. Continue reading

Substance in our Life

“What once motivated me seems to have fallen away.”

The substance of our life that gives it meaning is false. The imperatives that drive you forward are imposed from your environment — in one way or another.  This provides a false substance. “I’m driven therefor I am.”

There are occasions when this false substance may fall away. This can be as a result of accident, illness, shocks, or special forms of self work. At first glance we might interpret this as a lack of substance. Continue reading

Alan Alda Helps Scientists Get Their Mojo

In his 2012 Wired article “Cultivating Genius” Jonah Lehrer speculates that the key to cultivating genius is the presence of meta-ideas that create a breeding ground. (See article here)

The meta-ideas discussed in the article are:

  1. Human mixing: diversity, and open immigration.
  2. Education: open, experimental, and universal.
  3. Support from risk-taking backers.

As usual the key to solving the problem is not to meet it head on. Instead of direct attack on the problem, zig when zag seems indicated. Or zag when zig seems indicated. This is not an effort at being a contrarian. Rather an acceptance of the truism that some problems are better handled by inspiration rather than perspiration. Continue reading

Embrace — The Sculpture

EmbraceHey, just showing an artist friend how easy it can be to post a picture of their new artworks. In this case, my sculpture Embrace (see above) is not actually new. You can see many images at different angles by checking out my other website

Well, that’s it for the little demo. Hope you visit my art website.