Friday, 15 August 2014

Welcome to Honest Common Sense

Honest Common Sense is my second book. The first was a science fiction novel, called Going Galactic; you can find out more about it by clicking the “Going Galactic” tab on the home page of the site.

My new book is very different. It follows on from a number of essays, which I wrote and published on various websites in the years since 2001. Most of these essays were on political or ethical subjects, though some touched on other areas, such as economics. What this book does is to assemble these ideas, which I developed over more than a decade, into a (hopefully) coherent whole. The result is what I, tongue in cheek, call “a Philosophy with a capital F.” Paperback and e-book editions should be available in September 2014.

Why have I written this book? Because I sense that the social system we human beings have used for the last several thousand years – for want of a better word, politics – is failing. In fact, I think it’s already failed. And I know that lots of people are starting to see and to understand this, and are becoming very concerned about it. My view is that we need to move forward to something new and better. And I want to do what I can to help along this “Resurgence,” as I provisionally call it.

Why have I written a Philosophy? And why do I start at the bottom, with basic but very hard questions like: Is the Universe real? Do we have free will? And, what are we here for? My answer is, that you can’t build anything without solid foundations. So I try, firstly, to deal with the basics, before moving on to Politics, Ethics and Economics, and trying to build a comprehensive structure to help us address the problems we face today.

Why is this book authored by Neil Lock, whereas the novel was written by Neil Humphrey? Because I have chosen to use the former name for my non-fiction work, and the latter for my fiction.

Why have I written the book in as plain English as I can, rather than in the jargon or gobbledygook which many academics seem to like to use? Because the people I am aiming it at are “ordinary,” honest working people, who prefer ideas clearly expressed to clever sounding obfuscation or bullshit.

There’s another reason why I’m aiming the book towards honest working people, too. It is because most academics and broadcasters, and many teachers and even journalists, have become establishment people. They are heavily wired into the political system. The most likely reason for this, I think, is that few dare go against their paymasters. So, the impetus for change must come from somewhere other than these vested interests.

Why is the book so short – only 150 pages? Partly because I write very slowly. And I’m a compulsive reviewer and re-reviewer, always trying to nudge my work towards a level of perfection which is almost certainly unattainable. But the main reason is that the people I’m aiming the book at don’t much like big, scholarly, hard-to-read tomes. They prefer something which takes hours to read and understand, not months!

Who – and what – am I? There’s a section in the book, starting on page 5, where I address this question in some detail. For a little more, try the “About Me” page in the Going Galactic website.

And lastly, what are my plans for this blog? In the short (one year) term, I plan to re-publish some of the essays – mostly from between 2001 and 2009 – which were the sketches for many sections of this book. I will also add new essays as I write them, so this blog will become a repository for my “serious” work. In the longer term, I may be looking to move “Honest Common Sense” more in the direction of an organization, dedicated to promoting exactly what its title says.

I aim to allow comments on this blog, but I will only accept comments which are both on topic and civil in tone. And moderation won’t be quick.

I hope you enjoy this blog. And I hope even more that you buy the book, and find its ideas (to quote the Author’s Note at the end): instructive, edifying, uplifting, useful or even entertaining.

Neil Lock
August 16th, 2014

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