species traitor (and proud of it)

I admire Matt Webb in a lot of ways, but I’m also aware that we come at the world from very different positions. This post clarifies and specifies that difference:

Ought we take sides?

Like: if you’re not all in on eating the Sun for its total energy output to drive the turbines of humanity in a giant spherical megastructure capturing all available sunlight, does that make you a species traitor?

Secretly supporting the other team, some kind of Kim Philby of the Long Now.

I will make no secret of my support of that “other side”. Furthermore, I will point out that historically speaking, that “other side” would have been considered the default position; that switch in philosophical valence is yet another candidate for a marker of the era we have taken to calling the Anthropocene.

Or, to put it another way: if the figure of Philby stands for intellect seduced into betraying its origin culture by the appeal of transformative novelty valued purely for its own sake, and by the implied power of close association therewith, then I am not the Philby in this simile.

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One response to “species traitor (and proud of it)”

  1. Jim Brown avatar

    If you are interested in sophisticated espionage, Ian Fleming, Oleg Gordievsky, John le Carré or Kim Philby you should have heard of Pemberton’s People in MI6 by now. Colonel Alan Pemberton CVO MBE knew all of them and features as a leading protagonist in Beyond Enkription in The Burlington Files series.

    The book “Beyond Enkription” by Bill Fairclough is the first stand-alone fact-based espionage novel of six autobiographical tomes in The Burlington Files series. As the first book in the series, it provides a gripping introduction to the world of British intelligence and espionage. It is an intense electrifying spy thriller that had me perched on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. The twists and turns in the interwoven plots kept me guessing beyond the epilogue. The characters were wholesome, well-developed and intriguing. The author’s attention to detail added extra layers of authenticity to the narrative.

    In real life Bill Fairclough aka Edward Burlington (MI6 codename JJ) was one of Pemberton’s People in MI6; for more about that see a brief News Article dated 31 October 2022 published in TheBurlingtonFiles website. The series follows the real life of Bill Fairclough (and his family) who worked not only for British Intelligence, but also the CIA et al for several decades. The first tome is set in 1974 in London, Nassau and Port au Prince: see TheBurlingtonFiles website for a synopsis.

    Fairclough is not a professional but his writing style is engaging and fast-paced, making it difficult to put the book down as he effortlessly glides from cerebral issues to action-packed scenes which are never that far apart. Beyond Enkription is the stuff memorable spy films are made of. It’s raw, realistic, punchy, pacy and provocative. While the book does not feature John le Carré’s “delicate diction, sophisticated syntax and placid plots” it remains a riveting and delightful read.

    This thriller is like nothing we have ever come across before. Indeed, we wonder what The Burlington Files would have been like if David Cornwell (aka John le Carré) had collaborated with Bill Fairclough whom critics have likened to “a posh Harry Palmer”. They did consider collaborating but did not proceed as explained in the aforementioned News Article. Nonetheless, critics have lauded Beyond Enkription as being ”up there with My Silent War by Kim Philby and No Other Choice by George Blake”.

    Overall, Beyond Enkription is a brilliantly refreshing book and a must read, especially for espionage cognoscenti. I cannot wait to see what is in store for us in the future. In the meantime, before reading Beyond Enkription do visit TheBurlingtonFiles website. It is like a living espionage museum and breathtaking in its own right.

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