Saturday, August 26, 2006

And People Ask Me Why I Don’t Want Children

These people simply cannot get along. It’s like babysitting teenagers.

My co-worker, Kaptian Crybaby (KC) asks me to settle a problem between himself and another person. This conflict has been on going since KC’s arrival four months ago.

I am not KC’s boss, I am not responsible for solving this conflict, but I have a sympathetic manner which leads men to believe that I am a good listener and that I actually care. (You are on the job less than a week and you believe that you work better than those who have been here over 10 years, perhaps you need to re-evaluate a thing or two. Definitely, you should not be bitching to me.)

The Boss-Men say that Kaptian Crybaby is in the wrong, and that he needs to learn to live with it. So now, KC comes to his other co-workers and asks them to solve his problem for him. It really gets my goat when someone believes they can get away with being this obviously underhanded and manipulative.

Honestly, you are simply not trying hard enough.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Interactive Johari Window

Saw this personality assessment on a friends Blog and thought I might give it a try.


E'Bert's Johari Window Imput

Please give it a go.

To View the results, visit E'Bert's Johari Window

Yours Interestingly,
E'Bert

I am rather concerned about triangles.






My philosophical obsessions this week include curiosity about triangles and Hegel’s ontology:

Why did the ancient Greeks like triangles so much? Why did they choose the triangle as the most perfect geometric shape? Triangles always came across as so artificial to me. They seem more like a human construct than an actual natural phenomena. Personally I would have gone with something more circular – but what do I know?

What I have read so far about Hegel seems to suggest that in his organic world view, there are increasing levels of organization (apperception, or self-aware self-awareness being tops). When I am knitting or lately, when I am spinning, I see the change from one structure to another that has more levels of organization. I need to read more on this view of reality. It is curious.







HouseGuest, R-- and I went to visit the local castle last week. It’s more of a manor house really, but it’s tall and almost a hundred years old. I took some photos of the clothing they had on display, in hopes of finding some inspiration for my textile adventure. Nothing came of it, but I did start my first toe-up socks ever using a new twisted rib pattern. I’m happy, happy, happy.... albeit, concerned about impending school.
Oh, and here is one from my trip to Vancouver with M--L--. Very fun.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Rational Thought

Rational Thought is the domain of philosophers. It is said that the capacity for rational thought differentiates humans from all other thing in the world. It is perhaps the most valued capacity of humanity. But what is it?

The other day, HouseGuest (I think I need to find her a better nickname) asked me “what exactly is rational thought”? At first I knew it simply. It was an easy question and I needed no time to organize my thoughts to answer such a fun question. In the time it took for me to draw breath and open my mouth, I realized that I did not know the answer. I had no definition of rational thought. This got me thinking...





Today’s pictures are from my recent trip to Salt Spring Island. They have some of the most amazing things there, including an old style spinning mill. I bought some yarn from a sheep farm on the north end of the island and I hope to visit the mill next time I’m over there.
















.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Do you remember inspiration?

Trampled by Geese: If something does not inspire you, it is not worth having in your life.

This was my first major entry on Trampled by Geese, I feel that I have stuck fairly close to my goals for this blog thus far. It is interesting to note, every summer my blogging undergoes transformation.

Honestly?

How does one define honesty? At what point does acting contrary to your desires become dis-honesty? Can a person be said to lie if nothing said was untrue but every action, every intonation, screams untruth?

A song asks if people see the ‘real you’. What does it mean to say that there is a ‘real you’ and an ‘unreal you’? What is the difference between public and private personas?

I often forget how much I put on when I interact with others. It is not until I have the opportunity to ‘be myself’ – to interact openly and honestly – with someone, that I notice myself. When I am with most people, I am guarded with my behaviour. I talk a great deal about irrelevant topics in hopes of avoiding topic that are important to me. I try to never lie with my words, but I wonder how much truth I present in my mannerisms.

It is interesting how quickly one can become comfortable with another person. A friend (currently known as HouseGuest -- there is a pun in that name) came to stay. We had the most amazing conversations. We were able to discuss things I have never been able to share with anyone else before. Perhaps it is because we share similar backgrounds. I didn’t know her very well before she came – though I am acquainted with her family – but it quickly became easy to be open with her. There are very few people in the world that I have been that open with, and never anyone so quickly.

Now, I notice the disparity between my openness with HouseGuest and my guardedness with people I interact with on a daily basis.

At what point does the definition of honesty fall in to obscurity? Why can’t I phrase this entry the way I want to? I’ll publish it anyway, but I don’t think I’ve said things right.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Trampled


Went out to the park today and found some Canadian geese. I finally hope to revamp my blog to reflect the title. I'm also taking votes on which one of these three photos you think would most capture the spirit of being Trampled by Geese.

Is it number one...


number two...


or number three...


?

Please leave me a comment and let me know. If you don't like any of these, I have over a hundred and twenty left to choose from.

There is of course this one...


... but I'll let you decide.


BTW - if anyone is good with photo shop and would like to play with these pictures to make them in such a way that a book or some knitting is being 'trampled by geese' for me, I would be eternally grateful. I could even send you a skein of mystery yarn from my stash as a reward.

Suicide by Cancer

Why does an active or passive roll in their own death make a difference to us?

Ophelia, our favourite Shakespearian crazy girl, jumped into the river and allowed the water to come to her when jilted by Hamlet. She is blameless for her death both because she was crazy and because she took no active roll in drowning. Instead, if memory serves, she sang as she slowly sunk into the water. Her suicide was a passive act, and therefore we hold her blameless.

Juliet stabbed her self upon learning of Romeo’s demise. Albeit distraught with grief, she still took the dagger in hand, and with a few poetic words, plunged it into her heart. She may have been crazy with teenage despair, but that is no excuse for the simple selfishness of suicide. Her death was all her own, she actively took her own life. We blame her for her selfishness.

You might remember, not long ago, I met a man with cancer. Instead of surgery, he decided to let the cancer kill him slowly over the course of 2 to 4 years of pain and suffering. The surgery would have been simple if done soon after the diagnosis, but instead he decided to die by cancer. There is something about this that angered me. I still feel dirty when I think about it, and I think I know why.

I hold people accountable for their actions. Not all actions, of course. I acknowledge that people are as they are made; given a similar history people can develop similar personalities. But I still believe that a person has a choice to how they react to their situation. I feel that given time, a person can over come their past conditioning and choose to be the person they want to be. And I believe that suicide is suicide – no matter how it is accomplished.

But then again, perhaps it doesn’t matter. Perhaps this world is something other than we imagine it. But I would like to believe that it is something more than just prep work for deciding which afterlife you get to experience. I want the world to be something more than just an illusion. At times I have fought so hard to stay in it, both against the world and against my own inclinations. How can someone be so selfish to exit this world by their own hand?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

To Simper and Smirk and Make Love to Them All

When I am at work, I simper and smirk and make love to them all. And when I tell them that I do not like people at all, and that I particularly dislike someone I was just then nice to, they are shocked. It bothers them that I am not as I portray myself.

How can we say that we are not as we act. If we define ourselves by our actions, then we only be as we act. If we define ourselves by how we feel we are, then actions take a secondary roll and no one can say they know another.

Because I am kind at work, people think I like to be kind.

I do not know how I am, but I know that I am contradictory in how I act and how I feel. This can’t be good for one’s health.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Education from a behaviorists point of view

"Fault

"If students do not learn, is it their fault? No, their teachers have not arranged effective instructional contingencies. Is it then the teachers' fault? No, the culture has not arranged effective contingencies for them.

"Is it then the fault of the cultures? By the time we reach this question, the notion of fault is at fault. How shall we punish a culture? In moving from student to teacher to culture, we move steadily away from the feasibility of punitive measures - from the cane for the student, to dismissal for the teacher, to - what for the culture?

"A culture could be said to be punished if it does not survive (this is the ultimate selective consequence), but we change it, if at all, through other means. We look for alternative measures. Similarly, we can look for other ways of improving the behavior of teachers and students - as by designing contingencies under which productive behaviors are reinforced."

B. F. Skinner
1980 Note books. Prentice-hall Inc.: Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Friday, August 04, 2006

wondering

Language is a surprisingly inefficient method of communicating complex ideas; yet unfortunately, it is the only one we have.
The trifecto of teaching, learning and education seems at first a beautiful way of conveying knowledge from one generation to the next. They say that teaching can only happen if the other half learns; however, learning is not dependent on teaching. One can learn independently of an instructor. Education on the other hand, is supposedly the most efficient institution for managing the learning process.

We can see what happens when the education process is more concerned with money than with people. Instructors teach by habit, but care very little about the students in their classroom. They give no opportunity for questions and offer impossible office hours in order to avoid students. Yet, I don’t mind that.

Learning institutions have become cookie factories. If you can conform to the cookie-cutter shape that give the university the highest profit then you can be successful (at least academically). It encourages students to collect degrees like candy and fills up the campus with people who have almost no reason for being there. They have no love of learning.

The university has become a production line. No longer concerned with acquiring wisdom; but rather, with turning out career ready individuals with no actual marketable skills.