The Road from Irishtown
I grew up on a dairy farm near Irishtown in the far north west of Tasmania (Australia). After boarding school in Launceston I studied Agricultural Science at the University of Tasmania in Hobart. With a B Ag Sci, I travelled overseas for post graduate study at the University of Adelaide. The idea was to obtain some qualifications to work with the Food and Agricultural Organisation or some such body to address the problem of World Hunger. This is a fragment of memoire from that time. However, it became apparent that the problem of world hunger was not really a problem of food production, so my thoughts turned towards sociology. By a stroke of good fortune my thesis supervisor and friend Keith Barley, was a fan of Karl Popper and he introduced me to The Open Society and its Enemies. We also published a paper, The penetration of clay by root hairs, from the work in the honours year. Academic Sociology turned out to be a false start, as described in this account of the evolving World Hunger program. After Sociology I worked in planning and research in health, anti-discrimination and economic policy. From time to time I returned to philosophical pursuits, most recently at the University of Sydney where I studied with Alan Chalmers and completed a Masters degree in the history and philosophy of science. Along the way, I encountered classical liberalism, especially in Hayek's essay Why I am not a Conservative. This means that it is no longer necessary to be a socialist to demonstrate that you have a heart, even at 20 years of age. My publications include reports, papers, reviews, books and newsletters in a great variety of subjects, from root hairs to the history of cricket and boxing.
In addition to my studies, most of my work has involved writing in some form. The result is a growing pile of yellowing manuscripts, many of little interest to anyone, even to me. Some of those concerned with the thoughts of Popper, Hayek and Bartley or closely related matters can be found on this site.
Another branch of writing has been a great satisfaction. This has been my involvement in Home Before Dark, with the leading writer Ruth Park and also, more recently, Ruth Park's Sydney. More information on these, please click here. I'm keen for all kinds of discussion, philosophical and otherwise. Please feel free to send me an email, and I'll get back to you.