Turing Church newsletter 9/3/2021

First newsletter!

I haven’t fully decided yet how to structure this newsletter. I guess I’ll just follow Rumi and trust that the Way will appear after I start walking. Suggestions welcome.

I’ll try to write fast and refrain from overthinking.

Following a discussion in the Turing Church Facebook group (link in the About page), I’m considering the idea of doing a podcast (one of the many nice features of Substack is that it supports podcasts). I almost never listen to podcasts or watch videos, because I like to read text. But I understand that and why many people prefer to listen to voice. But I have a thick foreign accent (those who have listened to me will confirm), do I really want to inflict that on the world? Perhaps I should have a co-host or guests? Thinking…

Comment policy: just two points.

  1. This is no safe space.

  2. But be nice to everyone or I’ll kick you out.

In other words, controversial opinions are welcome, but personal attacks are not.

Having said that, please feel free to comment and say whatever you like. Substack has a clean and usable comment system, and I hope discussions with and between readers will be a strong feature of this newsletter.

Interesting discussions on Twitter

Reading list

I never finish a book because I keep going back to the books I like all the time. Also, instead of reading one book a time I read many books in parallel. Some of the books I’m currently reading or reading again are:

Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession” by Anne Rice. The 2008 autobiography of one of my favorite fiction writers. Rice returned to the Catholic faith and church after decades of voluntary exile. “The world of atheism was cracking apart for me, just as once the world of Catholic faith had cracked apart,” says Rice. “I was losing my faith in the nonexistence of God…” Very well written like everything by Anne Rice. “Thy will be done” - but what is God’s will? I think God’s will is what pulls the universe up in time and consciousness toward God, and we can participate.

The Revelations” by Erik Hoel. The muscular and powerful debut novel of young neuroscientist Erik Hoel, a former student of Giulio Tononi of Integrated Information Theory fame. Hoel has very interesting ideas on life, consciousness, the universe and everything, and his ideas transpire from the novel. I guess the readers who haven’t done much reading on consciousness studies and theories will miss something, but since the story is good they will google and learn. The novel is a page turner with strong characters and hypnotic unforgettable scenes.

Home is Where the Wind Blows” by Fred Hoyle. The 1994 autobiography of one of my favorite scientists. See my book chapter “A for Almighty.” I keep going back to the last chapter of Hoyle’s book, where he speculates on scientific theology and our possibly being agents of a grand information center. “At present, it is but a speculation, but, come another thousand years of understanding, it may not be.” Is there life after death? According to Hoyle, “whatever the end may be for each of us, it cannot be a bad one.”