culture, history, literature

New Article: Reflections on Patrick White’s Nobel Prize and Australian cultural history My thoughts on Australian cultural history on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Patrick White's #NobelPrize were published by the team @johnmenadue for publishing. Thanks again to Aran, John and the team. You can also listen to my podcast on Patrick White to explore this topic further. The main episode was Why read… Continue reading New Article: Reflections on Patrick White’s Nobel Prize and Australian cultural history

literature, The Burning Archive Podcast

Podcast #119 Why read Patrick White, (1973 Nobel Prize), exile at home?

It turns out, despite his stern reputation, Patrick White can laugh, smile and even pat a purring cat. He was even once a spy, or should I say an intelligence operative. And the skills he learnt in that role during World War Two allowed him to field the questions of many inept journalists with consummate… Continue reading Podcast #119 Why read Patrick White, (1973 Nobel Prize), exile at home?

culture, history, literature

Endurance in War and Politics for Non-Political Souls

I wrote in my previous post about the rhetoric of “as long as it takes” on Ukraine. How it is a feature of stubborn decision-makers, and the opting decisions of war. How NATO aligned elites might detach from this doomed path, but I am not holding my breath, too long. I doubt they will, not… Continue reading Endurance in War and Politics for Non-Political Souls


Mindful History Online Course Available Now

I have now released my full Mindful History course on my Learnworlds academy. I am offering a special introductory price. You will get three hours of video content and some great resources, including a simple five step process to apply history to decision making in your life.

history, Personal story, the real world today

Day Four of 13 Days of Looking at a Bureaucrat: Governing the Drunken Commons

For 7 years between 2006 and 2013 I was directly responsible for alcohol and drug policy in Victoria (Australia). It is a contentious field, and it was a personally rewarding field. But it is a field in which many common problems of governing are revealed.


Polycrisis, Everywhere All At Once

The most interesting aspect of Tooze’s use of the idea of polycrisis is not that many big things are happening all together. That is pretty standard, messy human history, really. The more interesting part is how he identifies a mismatch between decision-makers’ mental model of social reality, and the facts of social reality.

the real world today

Money is the root of all collapse today

‘Money/, So they say,’ sing Pink Floyd in Dark Side of the Moon, ‘Is the root of all evil today.’ And money makes the roots of the multipolar world, the power of great states, and the grand illusions of Western dominance in the world.

the real world today

Virtual Reality State: news media, power and the Twitter files

If such fundamental deceptions, such as the USA President is 'a Russian agent' or Ukraine is 'the beacon of democracy', becloud the voting public, how secure are our political institutions, our halls of public reason, or our means of public choice?

Personal story

My new beginning as an independent author

This week was the beginning of the next stage in my new life, la vita nuova as an independent author. After a ritual week on the liminal beauty of the Bay of Lorne in South-Eastern Australia, I transformed from a government official, wounded and now retired, to become an independent author.

Personal story

On the Renunciation of the Political World – a choice for us all

I wrote this essay on the renunciation of the political world in 2019. It is even more true today as well all face our world we cannot control and choices about how to husband and not derange our minds and the gardens of our culture. I was editing it for my next collection of essays, Thirteen… Continue reading On the Renunciation of the Political World – a choice for us all

culture, history, literature, Personal story

From the Burning Archive – essays on history and culture

I have published From the Burning Archive: essays and fragments 2015-2022. You can buy it as print or e-book here at Amazon and also at other online retailers. Here is an excerpt of the introductory essay of that collection. It tells how a dream image became a poem became a blog became a podcast and then an author platform.


A relic of another time

The Russians with Attitude podcast released to their subscribers a feature this week on the Russian writer and mystic, Mikhail Bulgakov. Bulgakov made his way from a medical student in Kiev through the Civil War in Russia and Ukraine to a difficult life as a writer for newspapers, theatre and novels in the 1920s and 1930s. He wrote a great account of the Civil War in The White Guard, and of course the masterpiece for which he earned posthumous fame, The Master and Margarita. [Read more]....


The World Crisis, 2022, A Personal Record

"Everyone was dreaming, ruminating, full of foreboding, feeling his way." (Nikolai Sukhanov on February 1917 Russian Revolution). Does this not feel a lot like us today? Do we all not feel the world is unfolding in surprising directions, and among our more difficult tasks is to feel our own way through these events?

history, the real world today

Ukraine Crisis Shows Fault Lines of Multipolar World

We are not entering World War III, I think, I hope, I insist on believing. But we are entering the final phase of the Hundred Years Cold War of the Anglo-American Powers against Russia. My forecast is that the system of power that has led this war will collapse, perhaps surprisngly quickly, but likely over five to ten years. Seven great fault lines are cracking open during the Ukraine crisis that will shape the social, political, cultural and international orders we navigate through.

Flowers of the Mind

Flowers of the Mind 12

Omricon, fear and crowd psychology. Jay Bhattacharya and the catastrophic errors of public health. Grieving memories of Stuart Macintyre. Szymborska on what matters. Paul Kingsnorth on fear, tyranny and the vaccine wars. Elena Shvarts on both hopelessness and hope.

Flowers of the Mind

Flowers of the Mind 10

Robert Lowell on George Santayana. The silence of the doctors and the rule of public health. Virus gonna virus. Jordan B. Peterson on saying no to tyranny. The exposure of the RussiaGate and Steele dossier hoax. On prophecy. Bhagavad Gita and the sacrifice of the soul in the fire of the Gods.