Hello, and welcome to my blog.
I’m Jim Steele [firstname.lastname@example.org] a Scot, but living in England for the past 46 years. You’ll gather if you read my Twitter bio that my training was as an Engineer. Professionally, I’m into maths, physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, thermodynamics and structure of materials. I’ve been retired now for about 4 years, from a career in the Chemical Industry and Energy, mostly production of steam and power. My extra-curricular academic interests include languages, ecology, palaeontology, biology, biochemistry, and cosmology, but anything to do with the furtherance of human knowledge and understanding gets my attention. I am also highly practical, and pride myself on being able to fix, design, or build anything: joinery, metalwork, cars, plumbing, electrics, electronics, IT – you name it.
I am fairly selective with social media. I did flirt with Facebook for a while but found it too much of a waste of time, so don’t have an account any more. I don’t use Instagram, but have got quite intrigued by Twitter, and the ability to exchange and debate ideas with a wide variety of people across the world. Religion and politics feature heavily in my TL.
Despite retirement, life is very busy, not only with family (my partner and I have 5 grandchildren already, and we hope more to come) but also indulging my passion for travel and photography, particularly wildlife. We do lots of other stuff as well, including playing bridge (playing bridge together is a good test for any relationship!), ballroom dancing (we started about 9 years ago and it’s more fun than I’d ever have imagined), and hill walking. With 5 grown-up children, there is also an unending stream of demands for practical help.
I am not religious, but “atheism” doesn’t define me, any more than I am defined by my non-belief in unicorns or Santa Claus. However, I am endlessly fascinated by religions, the claims made by religious people, and the impact (usually very negative) that religions have on people’s attitudes to others, and on human societies. I prefer to think of myself as Humanist, and I am a member of Humanists UK. Twitter has really stimulated my interest in challenging anti-science bullshit and irrational belief, wherever I find it, especially where people think it gives them the right to insist on how other people should behave, how the law should be framed, and what children should be taught in school. I am vehemently an advocate of free speech, and abhor blasphemy laws. The ability to challenge, and if necessary ridicule, ideas is one of the greatest forces for human progress and freedom.
This got me into starting this blog. I hope you enjoy it. It’s more a collection of essays than a quick-fire record of my thoughts, so it tends to be a bit wordy with lots of references. I always welcome ideas and suggestions on how to improve it, and how to gain readership. I’d like to think it could help as a resource to others who are wrestling with ideas.
I’m also an environmentalist, but not quick to jump on just any bandwagon, especially if I feel the implications haven’t been thought through.
If I think you’re wrong I’ll tell you so, and I expect you to do the same to me.