Monday, September 18, 2006

Around the World and Home Again...


I'll be away from BlogLand for a few weeks.



I have lots of socks to knit while I am away,

and hopefully,

many stories to tell when I come back again.

'Till then, yours faithfully, E'Bert.

Friday, September 15, 2006

On Reason


Dr Undercomb says, ""Reasoning is presumably a process that we go through to arrive at truths."


It seems to me, a rather deficit explanation of rational though. In fact, I would say it's the most pointless one I have heard this year.

On the other hand, I haven't blogged about knitting much lately. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to play with my digital Cam. before I head across the pond.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I had two highly entertaining classes, followed by a horrific hour of listening to Dr. Undercomb (so named because his comb over is decidedly lacking the desired effect) blither on about John Locke. Dr. Undercomb has some knowledge, I’ll give him that, but I find him particularly offensive, unlike Dr. K---- who is brilliant and offensive in a “I don’t want to bother about politically correct hoo-ha so I’m just going to say it as it is”. I can get along quite well with Dr. K----‘s style, but Dr. Undercomb on the other hand – well, he’s just not right.

At one point in Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke refers to the stupid nature of country folk. By this, I suppose he means the uneducated nature of people who live in the country during his time. It is an offensive statement by today’s standards, but acceptable in Locke’s time. In an attempt to be funny, Dr. Undercomb’s lecture was permeated with constant references to the stupidity of Country Folk. Perhaps it was the monotonous tone of his voice, but I found the way he presented it, just wasn’t funny.


After that lecture, I cycled to my allotment garden. Madam Manyticks (the politician responsible for stirring up most of the dissidence among the gardening community and I suspect responsible for over $4,000 of missing money) was there with a city surveyor. I was leaving when she tried to get my attention in that tone of voice that I take to mean “I’m going to blame you for something someone else did in a passive aggressive manor in hopes that you will gossip with the others and fix this problem.” I told her I had to go, tight schedule, all that. She says, it will only take a second. That means that I’ll be there for an hour listening to her jabber on about nothing directly related to me.

This Garden thing is really getting bad. Money is going missing, there is no strong power structure in place for which to use for things to get done. People are vandalizing each other’s gardens. I should learn that it’s not worth trying to do something for the betterment of the community. Thanks a lot Madam Manyticks.

Monday, September 11, 2006

You Knit What - Part 2

You Knit What - Part 2

I didn't know this, but You Knit What has gone the way of the electric three wheeled delivery vehical. Thankfully there is a reincarnation lurking around the net.

All you Fuggers (lovers of Fug) out there, keep up the good work. We all need something to laugh at.

Which God of Laughter did I Please?

I enter the class room as part of a herd of nervous students. It is the second day of classes and for most of the people who surround me, the second day of university. I’m getting to be quite an old hat at this; for me, it’s just another day doing what I do best – being a student.

While I listened to the two boys behind me have a conversation regarding where one can purchase fake ID’s because they are too young to go out drinking, I realized that I’m getting up their. I’m not old, per se. but I am noticeably older than the majority of the classroom. Being confronted with ones actual age is a bit unnerving for that early in the day.

Mr. Um comes into the room, stands at the front of the class, and begins to lecture. Watching Mr. Um, a graduate student of some quality, talk was an insanely hilarious experience.

I call him Mr. Um because... um... precisely that. Um, ah, mm, let um, me, um mm, um let me um, give you, um, you an um example, um, accurate um, ah, um ... example. For every one word he managed to vocalize there were at least three non verbal utterances. Yes, Mr. Um (former communications director for some big companies in these parts I might add) was nervous, but this behaviour went far beyond any normal level of nerves.

It was so absurd, all I could do was keep from laughing. I stopped paying attention to his lecture and kept counting how long he could go without saying a real word. Only, I couldn’t laugh because he was trying so hard. It was very pathetic, but made even funnier for the wretchedness of the situation. It felt like a Monty Python sketch designed for my own personal amusement. And, what made it even better is listening to the other students in the class talk about how good he was – "like, I mean, he’s just so much better than Mr. B---- I had for high school math last spring."

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Wrong I tell you, it's just wrong!

My apologies. Something seems to be going terribly wrong with Blogger lately. When it finally allows me to add photos to the blog, my profile &c. fall to the bottom of the page. Hopefully it will correct itself on its own.

One other note, postings will be less frequent *(yes that is possible) for about a month. I'm heading to the UK to check out Warwick University. If I like it, I'll do my MA there. Else, it's back to the drawing board.

John Locke, and this is just Ch. 1

John Locke has a terribly narrow view of the capacities of the human mind. He chirps that we should be content with what little understanding we are capable of and not to complain that we cannot know more.

Instead of enjoying the sunshine of understanding, “the candle, that is set up in us, shines bright enough for all our purposes” (Essay. 1-1-5).

It infuriates me to hear (or in this case read) that the human intellect can only reach so far.





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Thursday, September 07, 2006

I wasn't going to do any more of these, but school just started, and I needed something to do while I don't study.

This entry is AKA: How-come photo option don't work on blogger this week?


FEBRUARY
Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. (I don't feel like I am these, but people say I am, so whatever) Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizes dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.

* Pick your birth month.
* italic anything that doesn't apply to you.
* Bold the five-ten that best apply to you.
* Copy to your own journal, with all twelve months


JANUARY
Stubborn and hard-hearted. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Always looking at people's flaws and weaknesses. Likes to criticize. Hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Resistant to illnesses but prone to colds. Romantic but has difficulties expressing love. Loves children. Loyal. Has great social abilities yet easily jealous. Very stubborn and money cautious.

FEBRUARY
Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizes dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.

MARCH
Attractive personality. Sexy. Affectionate. Shy and reserved. Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses others. Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling. Loves attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decors. Musically talented. Loves special things. Moody.

APRIL
Active and dynamic. Decisive and hasty but tends to regret. Attractive and affectionate to oneself. Strong mentality. Loves attention. Diplomatic. Consoling, friendly and solves people's problems. Brave and fearless. Adventurous. Loving and caring. Suave and generous. Emotional. Aggressive. Hasty. Good memory. Moving. Motivates oneself and others. Sickness usually of the head and chest. Sexy in a way that only their lover can see.

MAY
Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.

JUNE
Thinks far with vision. Easily influenced by kindness. Polite and soft-spoken. Having ideas. Sensitive. Active mind. Hesitating, tends to delay. Choosy and always wants the best. Temperamental. Funny and humorous. Loves to joke. Good debating skills. Talkative. Daydreamer. Friendly. Knows how to make friends. Able to show character. Easily hurt. Prone to getting colds. Loves to dress up. Easily bored. Fussy. Seldom shows emotions. Takes time to recover when hurt. Brand conscious. Executive. Stubborn.

JULY
Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people's feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. Always broods about the past and the old friends. Likes to be quiet. Homely person. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Prone to having stomach and dieting problems. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.

AUGUST:
Loves to joke. Attractive. Suave and caring. Brave and fearless. Firm and has leadership qualities. Knows how to console others. Too generous and egoistic. Takes high pride in oneself. Thirsty for praises. Extraordinary spirit. Easily angered. Angry when provoked. Easily jealous. Observant. Careful and cautious. Thinks quickly. Independent thoughts. Loves to lead and to be led. Loves to dream. Talented in the arts, music and defense. Sensitive but not petty. Poor resistance against illnesses. Learns to relax. Hasty and trusty. Romantic. Loving and caring. Loves to make friends.

SEPTEMBER
Suave and compromising. Careful, cautious and organized. Likes to point out people's mistakes. Likes to criticize. Stubborn. Quiet but able to talk well. Calm and cool. Kind and sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal but not always honest. Does work well. Very confident. Sensitive. Good memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look for information. Must control oneself when criticizing. Able to motivate oneself. Understanding. Fun to be around. Secretive. Loves leisure and traveling. Hardly shows emotions. Tends to bottle up feelings. Very choosy, especially in relationships. Systematic.

OCTOBER
Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to take things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn't pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves children.

NOVEMBER
Has a lot of ideas. Difficult to fathom. Thinks forward. Unique and brilliant. Extraordinary ideas. Sharp thinking. Fine and strong clairvoyance. Can become good doctors. Dynamic in personality. Secretive. Inquisitive. Knows how to dig secrets. Always thinking. Less talkative but amiable. Brave and generous. Patient. Stubborn and hard-hearted. If there is a will, there is a way. Determined. Never give up. Hardly becomes angry unless provoked. Loves to be alone. Thinks differently from others. Sharp-minded. Motivates oneself. Does not appreciate praises. High-spirited. Well-built and tough. Deep love and emotions. Romantic. Uncertain in relationships. Homely. Hardworking. High abilities. Trustworthy. Honest and keeps secrets. Not able to control emotions. Unpredictable.

DECEMBER
Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Choices - Which bed do you lie in?

It is important to me that we do have a choice. Even when it is apparent that we are committed to a particular course of action, we do in fact have the opportunity to act in a way that would change our circumstances. Perhaps it is something in our culture that teaches us otherwise.

Imagine a course of events that lead you to being on a small boat going from point A to B. The boat has a pilot whose job it is to ensure that the boat and its passengers arrive at B safely. You realize at some point along the trip that you do not want to go to B, but you are committed to the journey. There is no way to convince the pilot to change course. You have no other choice but to go to B.

The statement that “you have no other choice” is inaccurate and false. There are a great deal of choices available to you – not all of them pleasant.

What do you control in this situation? No much. You control your thoughts and to some extent, your actions. There are several solutions open to you:

Firstly, the easiest solution is to modify your wants. Instead of not wanting to go to B, you can want to go to B. This may seem difficult, but you would be surprised as to how easily one’s wants can be manipulated. Have you ever heard of advertising?

Secondly, you can jump out of the boat. You will most likely die, that is unless you are a fantastic swimmer. Not a pleasant choice; however, it is one available to you.

Thirdly, you could attempt to over-power the pilot and commandeer the boat. This course of action may be successful; but, even if it is not, your situation has changed considerably.

There are several other choices you can actualize, but we do not. Either our need to go to B is too strong to over come or our desire to remain an acceptable member of society out-ways our drive to act. It does not matter why we do not act, simply that we believe we have no choice but to accept what we have. They say, “you have made your bed and now you have to lie in it.” Perhaps instead we could simply lie on the floor.


This is the problem with many philosophical thought experiments; in particular, moral philosophical thought experiments. They do not take into account all the choices that a person does actually have.