I figure that if Ludwig van Beethoven had been around today, he’d have been a shred-metaller. You know – a guitar virtuoso who churns out 500-note-a-minute solos on top of complex polyrhythmic backings built around augmented minor chord progressions. Think Yngwie Malmsteen. That’s basically how Beethoven’s stuff was viewed back then by a generation bought … More I figure Beethoven was a shred-metaller. No really.
Human reality is a funny thing. Society, as a whole, behaves differently from individuals – yet is made up of them. Understanding people, individually and en masse, is the raison d’etre of the social sciences. And it strikes me that conceptual realities of human nature often emerge in front of our noses, often in microcosm. I … More Learning the dark truth of the human condition
My recent short book Dreadnoughts Unleashed has picked up its first review – five stars. Very cool! I’ve got high hopes for this one. It’s an experiment in format: eleven essays that run the gamut from the story of the man who invented OMG – Fisher – and the way he took down the British … More Five star review for ‘Dreadnoughts Unleashed’ – cool!
Over the years I’ve written a fair amount of stuff on my various interests – which range from the human condition to astrophysics to ship engineering and, inevitably, the people behind all those things. Normally such things disappear from view and that’s that, including blog posts – although it would be hard to beat the … More Dreadnoughts Unleashed – unleashed on Kindle!
It’s a century, this June 7, since the British blew up Messines Ridge, part of the front line of the Ypres salient where they had been wedged against the Germans since the end of 1914. The blast involved most of the 1,307,800 pounds of ammonal, dynamite, gun cotton and blasting gelatine TNT, amatol and other explosives … More ‘Blowing’ Messines ridge – a century ago today
The other month I had an interesting discussion about historians and history. The issue came up of enthusiasts who style themselves ‘historians’ – but whose qualifications are in a totally unrelated area. What was the difference between their stuff and what I’m doing? There is a huge difference, I explained. Anybody with an enthusiasm for … More Why history is all about trends and vectors
I’m very excited to present the new cover of my book Blue Water Kiwis, New Zealand’s Naval Story 1870-2001. Blue Water Kiwis was first published in 2001 by Reed NZ Ltd, marking the sixtieth anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s founding – though the book itself was about a good deal more than that, tracing … More Blue Water Kiwis: a new cover unleashed