Not quite a blog…

This not-quite-blog is written by writer and philosopher Dr Will Buckingham. My main, public-facing site where you can find out about my work is over on This is more a scrappy notebook for ongoing thoughts and work in progress. Coherence is not guaranteed. But some visitors may find this interesting nevertheless. Find out more on the About page.

Strange Happenings in Japan

A Translation from Taiwanese

I’ve been having fun learning a little Taiwanese lately. And because there are not that many materials around, I’ve been rummaging around online to find some older texts that I can translate. This is language-learning by diving in at the deep end. And it’s all largely for my own entertainment. The text here comes form the Digital Archive Database for Written Taiwanese. It is a story about fox spirits and swindlers in Japan, first published in January 1886 in the Tainan Prefectural Church Newspaper (台南府城教會報第7張, 1886年1月). [Read More]

On a Shoestring

Running a bunch of websites and newsletters... on a shoestring.

For various reasons, I’ve not updated this site for about six months. The second half of 2022 was super-busy, and so I didn’t have much time to post here. But in the background, I’ve been making a lot of changes. And one of the things I’ve been doing is overhauling a lot of the stuff I do online. Consolidating the empire By early last year, I’d accumulated quite an empire of websites. [Read More]

Playing with Prognostications

On Taking the Yijing Seriously

This paper was written for the 2022 Yijing World Summit Forum. It’s about play and divination, and it won the 2022 first prize for essays on the Yijing (优秀易经论文一等奖).

This is a draft of the paper that I gave as a recorded video, so isn’t in final form. I could find a place to publish it, but I’m too lazy and/or have other things to be getting on with, so I’m going to just share it here.

[Read More]

In pursuit of Baba Vanga

The blind seer of Petrich.

I’m back in Bulgaria for a few weeks this summer, and — because I’m thinking a lot about divination at the moment — I find my thoughts turning to the enigma that is Baba Vanga.

Vanga is Bulgaria’s most famous prophetess. And not just famous in Bulgaria: a few years ago in Myanmar, I saw a series of books about historically notable lives in a bookstore, all in Burmese. There were four books on display: Confucius, Elton John, Adolf Hitler and Baba Vanga. It was an bizarre conjunction of names. And Vanga’s inclusion was particularly striking.

[Read More]

Wisdom, love and philosophy

Is philosophy the love of wisdom, or is it the wisdom of love?

Returning to some old notes on wisdom and love in the philosophy, for a class I’m writing. And they still seem relevant to my interests.

Is philosophy the love of wisdom? Or it is, as Levinas says, “the wisdom of love” (or “the wisdom of love in the service of love”)? — Serres, too, argues the latter in his pamphlet En Amour Sommes-Nous des Bêtes?

[Read More]

Future, fate and free will

The universe surprises itself....

Divination is not just about knowing the future in advance. It’s also about knowing how to manage the present — and perhaps also how to manage the past.

And if we anxiously use divination to see what the future will be like, it’s not clear that — in our own minds at least — we’re asking to know something preordained. Nor do we want to know exactly how things will be.

Instead, we want to know the kind of thing the future will be like. And we want to know how we can offset or avoid the bad stuff and how we can increase the amount of good stuff. We want to play the future to our advantage.

[Read More]