Clouds, Daffodils, and Jam That Will Not Come Together Again: A Series Index

I have been gradually trying to work out–on? through?–the consequences of defining and understanding reality as reliable emergent patterns; while this seems too obvious a point to belabour, I’ve been getting some surprising results and thought it would be worth writing about.

This is an index or table of contents, which I will update as I post more on this topic.

  1. Reliable, Therefore Real – Making a definition of the word real that I find useful
  2. On Santa Claus and Hofstadter’s Souls – Expanding on Hofstadter’s discussion of consciousness and identity and considering whether Santa Claus or the Greek god Apollo are real
  3. Digital Phylacteries and the Simulated Afterlife – Extrapolating from the above to simulations that might be afterlives and afterlives that might be simulations
  4. Tzimtzum and Inherent Vice: A Personal Myth of Pattern – Writing a cosmological myth to see if and how what I’ve discussed above can cohere with my pre-existing religious (and library science) beliefs
  5. Moral Error Theist – Taking a detour into moral error theory to prepare for further talk about patterns, persons, and ethics
  6. Magnanimity – A look at one virtue in a world where people are patterns (upcoming)
  7. Eudaimonia – A look at a second virtue in a world where people are patterns (upcoming)
  8. TBA – Discussing Lois McMaster Bujold’s Paladin of Souls and The Hallowed Hunt (upcoming)
  9. Harmony – A look at eudaimonia on a social level, using a word I really quite loathe
  10. Courage and Criticism – A look at a final pair of virtues that intersect with the others
  11. Declaring Allegiance to Pattern – A more theoretical overview (upcoming)
  12. Reassessing Three Controversies – How I’ve changed my mind, and haven’t, on three controversies typically linked to religious worldview: homosexuality, abortion, and euthanasia (upcoming)

The title of this index comes from two different sections of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia:

The ordinary-sized stuff which is our lives, the things people write poetry about—clouds—daffodils—waterfalls—what happens in a cup of coffee when the cream goes in—these things are full of mystery, as mysterious to us as the heavens were to the Greeks.


When you stir your rice pudding, Septimus, the spoonful of jam spreads itself round making red trails like the picture of a meteor in my astronomical atlas. But if you stir backwards, the jam will not come together again. Indeed, the pudding does not notice and continues to turn pink just as before. Do you think this is odd?

4 thoughts on “Clouds, Daffodils, and Jam That Will Not Come Together Again: A Series Index

  1. Pingback: Moral Error Theist | Accidental Shelf-Browsing

  2. Pingback: Magnanimity | Accidental Shelf-Browsing

  3. Pingback: On the Wonderful Properties of My Rabbit Aswan | Accidental Shelf-Browsing

  4. Pingback: A Glut of Tradition | Accidental Shelf-Browsing

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