Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Francis Siefken
groks board games, cellular automata and life's meaning
groks board games, cellular automata and life's meaning


Post has attachment
One of my blogs of ages past was called Anamnesis... remembering...
Add a comment...

My pick of books astronauts take with them to the International Space Station [1]

* The Eye of the World, Robert Jordan
* The Years of Rice and Salt, Kim Stanley Robinson
* The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Robert A. Heinlein
* Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold
* Shards of Honor, Lois McMaster Bujold
* Atom: An Odyssey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth and Beyond, Lawrence M Krauss
* The Schopenhauer Cure, Irvin D. Yalom

My current favorites:
* Aldous Huxley - Island
* Michael Ende - Momo
* Tonke Dragt - De Tuinen van Dorr
* Frederik van Eeden - Van de koele meren des doods
* Herman Hesse - Siddharta
* Richard Bach - One
* Joseph Jaworski - Inner path of synchronicity
* David Zindell - Neverness
* Peter Hamilton - The Night's Dawn
* Pamela Sargent - Earthseed
* Bernardo Kastrup - More then Allegory
* Alex Polari de Alverga - Forest of Visions
* Ken Wilber - Grace and Grit

My to reads:
* Farseed - Pamela Sargent
* The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life, Michael Puett
* Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility, James P. Carse
* The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times, Pema Chödrön
* Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha. Tara Brach
* The Struggle with God. Paul Evdokimov
* Word and Silence. Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Spiritual Encounter between East and West. Fr. Raymond Gawronski, SJ

1. From: The Book List: What do astronauts read on the International Space Station?, Alex Johnson. Independent. 31 July 2018

What are the books you are fond of?
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Enabling business at the speed of a thought with Kafka. Axual, good people, good company located in The Netherlands.
Meet Axual
Meet Axual
Add a comment...

Ascension day, do you know what Ascension means? Can you sense it?
A theologian explains:

“The newness which has come into our sphere through Jesus’ arrival with God and through his new coming to us, is traditionally called ‘heaven’, borrowing from the language of myth. Heaven means originally the upper place (the empyrean), the floor which is above the earth (the empyrean). Usually this heaven is imagined as empty space into which Jesus was taken up and into which the saints will move in solemn procession at the end of time.

These are more or less mythological ideas: theologically, heaven is the dimension which arises when the creature finally arrives with God. To go to heaven means to come to God; to be in heaven, means to be with God.
Heaven is an eschatological phenomenon; it does not simply exist; it comes into being, more precisely, at the moment when the first created being is eschatologically and finally taken up by God. Heaven takes shape therefor in the Resurrection and Exaltation of Christ. Jesus is not actually taken up into heaven, but in being finally accepted with God, heaven starts to exist. Heaven is the pneumatic resurrected body of Christ.

The whole of reality arrives at its apex in God with the body of Christ. Heaven projects into time. It is only logical that the Church as the place where Christ is present in faith, hope and love, should be called the body of Christ.
When Paul says our home is in heaven (Phil 3.20) and that we are taken up with Christ in heaven (Eph 2.6; cf Col 1.5; 3:3), that heaven is first of all there where men are ‘in Christ’ in faith and love as well as in hope and patience and commit themselves with their world to the finality which has come with Christ.”
Walter Kasper, Jesus the Christ. p. 152-1
Add a comment...


After months of deciding between getting a copy of Mage Knight, Magic Realm, Star Trek: Frontiers or Gloomhaven (which gets raving reviews by solo boardgamers at the moment) I tracked down the perhaps last European copy of the unconventional and underrated out-of-print game 'Shadows of Malice' by former professor Jim Felli. He has some interesting scientific publications by the way.
Relative (!) rule simplicity, design esthetics, smaller table space and emergent game play were key decision factors for me. He is working on a second expansion for the game, which is set in the fantasy world of Aethos and is in part inspired by Babylon5 and the Zelda series.

An interview with him about the game can be read in these links:

The three sisters of Aethos dancing on the tunes of the dark ambient Midnight Syndicate (never heard of it, but it sounds great).
Priestesses of Shadow, Sha'Sylin and Sha'Mirim
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Thoughts on the ancient relationship between games, ritual and divination by Wim van Binsbergen (Leiden University), expert on the Sanoma religion and African spirituality in general.

* Time, Space and history in African divination and history
* "Board-games and divination in global cultural history, a theoretical, comparative and historical perspective on mankala and geomancy in Africa and Asia
* African divination across time and space: the typology, intercontinental connections, prehistory, and intercultural
epistemology of sub-Saharan mantics
* African Spirituality, an Approach from Intercultural Philosophy
Add a comment...

Post has attachment

Already 5 years ago Jozef Zycinski died of a heart attack aged 62. One of the great minds who had something to say on modernity vis-a-vis religion.
Fr. Adam Boniecki, editor-in-chief of the Catholic weekly Tygodnik Powszcechny, said the archbishop was “a face of the Polish Church.” “Listening to him, many people breathed a sigh of relief that one can think in this way,” he said.

God and Evolution: Fundamental Questions of Christian Evolutionism
Jozef Zycinki (2012)

God and Post-Modern Thought (2010)

The Philosophical Vision of Jozef Zycinski. Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture Vol. 15, No. 1. Winter 2012
By Heller, Michael

Talk: Joseph Zycinski: Nature, Humanity, and God
2012 Darwin in the 21st Century

Evolution and Christian Thought in Dialog according to the Teaching of John Paul II. Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture. Volume 9, Number 1, Winter 2006. pp. 13-27

Talk: Rationality or Pure Pragmatism?
The basic role of human values in the transformation of contemporary culture
April 9, 1999 The Catholic University of America

Joseph Zycinski: Metropolitan Archbishop of Lublin Grand Chancellor of the Catholic University of Lublin and Professor of Philosopher Science.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment

Claudy and I were watching 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' a day before David Bowie died. While not about David Bowie it had great scenes 'ground control to major Tom' and I recommend watching it. It's one of two movies inspired by a short story (1939) by James Thurber.
As a generation X'er - another clip I remember is David Bowie as resistance fighter in the French computer game Omikron: The Nomad Soul (1997) and lead singer of the underground band 'The Dreamers'. It was such a surprise 'meeting' David Bowie "in game" and having a private concert! While the 3D graphics are nothing compared to today, the immersiveness was there through the great art and story - and that's all that matters in gameplay.
Another Bowie moment important to me occurred my twenties ('97) and was watching an incredible selection on MTV. One of the 'little wonder' - I was "so far away"! Thanks David and Floria Sigismondi (video art).
As a teenager I bought the dvd soundtrack to the fantasy movie Labyrinth. No idea where it is now and if it's still playable but the memories are still there, until they inevitably fade as well.
There are more personal greatest bowie hits to be found, but time is almost up. I end with a link to the greatest tribute ever by commander astronaut Chris Hadfield in the ISS:
Dankon Jareth, Major Tom, Little Wonder!
Add a comment...

Post has attachment

Ending 2015 A.D. with a 'Mission Red Planet' with three competing industrials from the steampunk era of 1888 while the kids are asleep. All the best in your futures fellow astronauts on spaceship earth!
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Tried it out at the pool yesterday... I have to work at holding my breath and stay calm.
Add a comment...
Wait while more posts are being loaded