Thursday, March 30, 2006

awe, shucks. you people realy do care!

Thanks for your support everyone. I am still terribly frustrated and in fact, at this moment, am boycotting one of my classes. I realy appreciate what was said. I wasn't fishing for compliments, but I am greatful for what was given.

Today, like I said, I am skipping class. Actually, I will spend the morning researching for my Qualia essay. I really like the map/territory comment that was left earlier, and am considering using it. I still don't feel that I understand Qualia, but I know enough about it to write about it. In the afternoon, I will run some erands. What an exciting life? well, maybe not, but I like it.

Knitting- I have already started a cotton sweater set. I can't find a pattern for it, but I think I can manage on my own. Simple StSt with GtSt borders. I think I will adopt the free patern for a tank top from White Lies Designs for the under part. Also, last night I started one of the sock patterns I posted earlier. I don't know why, I don't really know what I am doing sock wise, but it is actually looking like how I envisioned it. weird!

If they don't turn out, I can always frogg them and use the yarn for something with a pattern. if they do turn out, I'll post pictures. I'll post pictures either way I think. Either way, you can blame my new found confidence on this book (see picture) - Knitting in the Old Way.

Back to the books. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Eric Lynn - Neighbors

Eric Lynn - Neighbors: "Eric Lynn - Neighbors on Transbuddha"

I don't know if I am doing this right, but here goes:

Eric Lynn - Neighbors on Transbuddha

Class time put to good use!

Some sock designs I am thinking of making with the left over sock yarn I have. I have never made argile before, but how hard can it be? really?

And here is a shout out to Jenshine - I just got your email, and replied. I like what you said. I miss you and hope you have fun.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What ever is to become of me?

So, I have completely lost all interest in my course work. I think I will blame it on the proff who called my work a joke and couldn't believe that my hard work was serious. But really, the problem is with me. I have been quite upset the last few months/year and my heart just hasn't been in it. I do love some aspects of my education, but there is a great deal that I wish I didn't have to deal with.

More specifically, I don't want to deal with people. I don't like myself around most people, and I like the people at the university even less. I suppose that it is funny to hear this coming from a self proclaimed academic. But, it is true. I am NOT A PEOPLE PERSON! These people are self contradictory, inconsistent, unpredictable, and I feel that I have to spell everything I say out for them because we are never coming from the same starting point. I am just so tired of dealing with them in this way. The people at work are not this bad, but perhaps I don't expect as much from them. This is a major problem with me, I am not satisfied with a diploma or a PhD; if you want me to take you seriously, you actually have to act smart (or at the very least, not stupid). less than 10% of the people I know qualify, and only about 2% of the PhD's. This, I have been told, makes me a terrible person. Perhaps she is right. It certainly does not make me feel any better about myself, in fact, I am miserable for being constantly disappointed by people who are in charge of my education.

I love learning new concepts and I enjoy researching. I also enjoy writing, but on my own terms. Word limits of less than three thousand words are too few for me. I have so much to say, and when I don't deal with ontology (even in Anthropology essays - who would have thought I need to spell out 200+ year old theories of reality and the correct definite of 'reification' when the proff explained it in class and I was already over my word count?) my work is misinterpreted. Also, what I want to research and what the proff is interested in seldom jive. I am restricted in my research by the proff's background. Yes, I can research on my own time, and quite often do, yet during the school term I spend on average 65 hours a week on class work. I am too exhausted after that to research what I am interested in.

I need some of the theoretical background the school provides, but much of what they teach is not directly relevant to my future research, and what is directly relevant is not taught at my university.

With all this and all my other personal and family issues going on the last 9-12 months, how can I be happy with school. It isn't getting me what I want fast enough. I find out now that I have two more years of this university before I can apply for graduate school. Then it is another year of instruction (at least) in a topic relevant to my research. and then, only then, and only if I am good enough, then do I get to research what I want. That is three more years of background education. It would be far more efficient if I was given the freedom to choose my path instead of jumping through hoops.

These hoops are designed to assist the average student so much that they end up not helping anyone.

Now that I have that out of my system (for the time being) I am going to go sit and knit (or sit and fret about German). I will hand in my incomplete German assignment tomorrow and fail my quiz as usual (where have my A+'s gone this year? I miss you so much!). I simply do not understand how the verbs are working. I do have one gilmer of hope on the horizon, but it is far off and I will have to wait and see how things turn out.

I'm excited about something - I can't say what.

You Are Blonde Highlights

Men see you as flexible and versatile - you fit in to every situation

You've got the inner glow of a blonde, the intensity of a redhead...

And the wisdom of a brunette.

You Belong in Rome

You're a big city girl with a small town heart

Which is why you're attracted to the romance of Rome

Strolling down picture perfect streets, cappuccino in hand

And gorgeous Italian men - could life get any better?

You Are a Skin Deep Sweetheart

You may be supermodel gorgeous or a plain Jane.

It really doesn't matter, because you're confident and secure.

You don't go out looking like a slob, but you are low maintenance.

You have better things to worry about than whether your nails are the right shade!

You Are A Woman!

Congratulations, you've made it to adulthood.

You're emotionally mature, responsible, and unlikely to act out.

You accept that life is hard - and do your best to keep things upbeat.

This makes you the perfect girlfriend... or even wife!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

A response to unenlightened (kind of reminds me of Socrates)

“What it is like” appears to be a linguistic account, not a separate ontological entity (some unique stuff non material or energy based that the soul/mind/&c. is made of). But you are right to talk about W. Have you read the bit about the beetle in the box? From what I can tell, qualia is like that, but my knowledge of W is sourly lacking.

unenlightened said... “we need to have some common, shared experience to liken things to”, I agree. I can describe the action of knitting as the repetitive motion of the hands and how it involves two needles and some yarn. I can go into more detail until you can imagine exactly what it is like, but you still would not have the experience of knitting. Qualia appears to differentiate between the experience and the description of the experience (the “what it is like”). It is impossible (apparently) to derive an experience from a description; yet, it is possible to arrive at a description from an experience. But, still that description lacks some essential nature inherent in the experience. Since descriptions are of cause, effect, potentialities, in short about physical things, people say that since the description is incomplete (you cannot go from it to the experience, one way causality, which leads to epiphenomenalism &c. see Jackson’s knowledge argument) then physicalism is incomplete. Therefore, there must be more than one basic stuff that the universe is made of.

But I don’t think this is a sound argument. Any account of experience must be linguistic, as that is the public method of communication and the general structure of rational thought. Yet experience do not take place in a linguistic environment (see Huxley on train of feeling vs train of thought). Therefore, of course any explanation of an experience, any attempt to describe ‘what it is like’ will be deficit in some way, but not because of an ontological deficit (a failure for physicalism to describe the universe) but because a deficit in the nature of language.

But that is just my take on things.

About knitting and philosophy – you are correct, only, all good arguments in philosophy are circular, in knitting, the ends are not tied together. Everything else is logically isomorphic (the same in structure).

The Gondoliers Plot Summary

The Gondoliers Plot Summary

It is all very exciting, the local Gilbert and Sullivan society is putting on the Gondoliers and today is the last performance and a somewhat unusual venue. Instead of playing at a community centre on the out skirts of town, they will come to the city centre and playing at one of the more high end theaters. I am rather excited, they only play twice a year and never before have they put on the Gondoliers.

For Jenshine, I'm going to purchase that eco-friendly bike for myself today. I know, it is a heck of a lot of money, but I am looking forward to the freedom it provides. You know me, I'm all about personal freedom.

The qualia essay is coming along surprisingly well considering I should be working on my Anthropology essay. I have no idea how I will finish my course work on time. I'll just keep at it and hope for the best, I suppose.

Knitting, I have started a summer sweater set for myself. I couldn't find a pattern, so I am not confident how things will turn out. It often seems that what I design myself is of a better size than what I knit from a pattern. Wish me luck.

You Are a Retrospective Soul

The most misunderstood of all the soul signs.

Sometimes you even have difficulty seeing yourself as who you are.

You are intense and desire perfection in every facet of your life.

You're best described as extremely idealistic, hardworking, and a survivor.

Great moments of insight and sensitivity come to you easily.

But if you aren't careful, you'll ignore these moments and repeat past mistakes.

For you, it is difficult to seperate the past from the present.

You will suceed once you overcome the disappoinments in life.

Souls you are most compatible with: Traveler Soul and Prophet Soul

Your Personality Is

Rational (NT)

You are both logical and creative. You are full of ideas.

You are so rational that you analyze everything. This drives people a little crazy!

Intelligence is important to you. You always like to be around smart people.

In fact, you're often a little short with people who don't impress you mentally.

You seem distant to some - but it's usually because you're deep in thought.

Those who understand you best are fellow Rationals.

In love, you tend to approach things with logic. You seek a compatible mate - who is also very intelligent.

At work, you tend to gravitate toward idea building careers - like programming, medicine, or academia.

With others, you are very honest and direct. People often can't take your criticism well.

As far as your looks go, you're coasting on what you were born with. You think fashion is silly.

On weekends, you spend most of your time thinking, experimenting with new ideas, or learning new things.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

And the winner is...

Qualia has won the opportunity to be my essay topic. It was a tough choice, and there could only be one victor. Congratulations Qualia, you have now the opportunity to be badly misinterpreted by me in essay format. Don't that just make you feel good?

There isn't much else going on, so here are my long promised pictures of my Eris Pullover.

Your Brain's Pattern

You have a dreamy mind, full of fancy and fantasy.

You have the ability to stay forever entertained with your thoughts.

People may say you're hard to read, but that's because you're so internally focused.

But when you do share what you're thinking, people are impressed with your imagination.

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to obedience and warmth.

In love, you feel the most alive when your lover is creative and never lets you feel bored.

You'd like to your lover to think you are stylish and alluring.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was insecure and in constant need of reassurance.

Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future... one you can grow with.

Your risk of cheating is high. You can't resist desire and lust.

You think of marriage as something precious. You'll treasure marriage and treat it as sacred.

In this moment, you think of love as something you can get or discard anytime. You're feeling self centered.

What Your Sleeping Position Says

You are secretly sensitive, but you often put up a front.

Shy and private, you yearn for security.

You take relationships slowly.

You need lots of reassurances before you can trust.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Philosophy of Mind, Huxley, Dennett, Foss or something supervienent?

My Philosophy of Mind professor, in his infinite wisdom, choose not to assign any preferred topics for the essay, thus making it extremely hard to know what to write about.

There is the subject of Qualia which disturbs me greatly. Qualia (see Nagel’s What it is Like to be a Bat) is the ‘what it is like’ to be something. To put it in knitting terms, it is not the experience of mastering a rather difficult lace pattern, but the experience of the experience of mastering a difficult lace pattern. So, if a non knitter came up to you and said, “what was it like knitting that?” you would attempt to give an account of the experience. Yet, many experiences do not lend them selves to being described with language (rational train of thought is dependent on language, see Huxley and Dennett, if you actually care, leave a comment, I can give you a more specific source. This is opposed to what Huxley describes as a train of feeling, which is how animals process their experiences and experience consciousness.) Now, if I were to work from the theory that experiences (which animals, and humans, and human animals, &c. all have) is reliant on a train of feeling but to give an account of your qualia or more specifically a description of “what it is like” to experience an event, is reliant on a train of thought (language), then, there is a huge gulf between your train of feeling (experience) and your train of thought (ability to describe the experience to yourself and others). This inability to account for what it is like leads one to believe that there is a something (*a what-cha – which is short for what-cha-ma-call-it) indescribable above and beyond your experience. Your conscious qualia. --- the paper I would write would touch on how we are trained culturally to be accountable for our actions and our experiences, though it would make no direct claims about the nature of reality in general (no ontology or metaphysics today folks, sorry) nor what the mind actually is (material, dualist, phenominalistic, &c.), rather it would simply take a Dennett or Foss stance about the nature of Qualia being greatly misunderstood. If I had space, I would take a run at Chalmers Hard Problem, but perhaps I should save that for a later date.

One of my favourite 19th century personalities is Thomas H. Huxley (the inventor of the science of Biology, agnosticism, &c.). He is also accredited with inventing the view of epiphenomenalism, or the idea that physical states of the brain give rise to experience. This is often taken as a dualistic philosophy of mind, in that consciousness is made of some different kind of stuff than brains, but is not able to interact with the physical realm. It is a one way kind of relationship, where the brain affects the mind and the mind just sits there and takes it. My paper on this would take a look at what is epiphenomenalism, why people say it doesn’t’ work, and what would this theory need to be successful (it is not so popular these days). The great thing about writing this essay is that I can talk about dissecting frogs, every girls dream.

The last essay idea I have involves supervenience. This is a topic that has caused me a great deal of frustration in my efforts of trying to come to grips with it. (Don’t believe I’m frustrated? Here are some former entries: one, two and three). I am beginning to suspect that it doesn’t make sense, but then I think about knitting (obsessive much?) and wonder if aggregate theory would work and it simply relies on different levels of meaning.

If you made it through this entry, you are a real trouper. You deserve a gold star. Are there any thoughts on which is the better essay?

Just a few more, then it's back to philosophy homework.

Just a little more fun. Some is totaly off base, but others are quite enjoyable.

You're An Alcoholic

Time to go back to step one.

Your Dating Purity Score: 98%

You are an innocent dater.

You're either lacking in dating experience or have had a long serious relationship.

Either way, there's still plenty of fish in the sea out there for you to sample!

You Are 45% Addicted to Blogthings

You're a Blogthings fiend - addicted but not totally dependent.

So what if you know your personality type by heart?

And while you may feel like Blogthings is crack...

There are people much worse off than you!

The Movie Of Your Life Is Film Noir

So what if you're a little nihilistic at times?

Life with meaning is highly over-rated.

Your best movie matches: Sin City, L. A. Confidential, Blade Runner

Your Blog Should Be Green

Your blog is smart and thoughtful - not a lot of fluff.

You enjoy a good discussion, especially if it involves picking apart ideas.

However, you tend to get easily annoyed by any thoughtless comments in your blog.

You Should Get a PhD in Liberal Arts (like political science, literature, or philosophy)

You're a great thinker and a true philosopher.

You'd make a talented professor or writer.

Your World View

You have a confused, half-baked sense of values.

You are erratic and stubborn.

You are inclined to get angry or sulk when you don't get your own way.

You tend to think women are inferior to men - even if you are a woman.

You see women as fickle, flaky creatures.

You got most of your life views from your father.

Friday, March 17, 2006

and some more, thanks April.

Your results:
You are Thor

Daniel Jackson
Samantha Carter
General Hammond
Dr. Frasier
Jack O'Neill
A Goa'uld
You are a very intelligent and
benevolent person and you try to
make sure that people are treated fairly.

Click here to take the Stargate SG-1 Personality Quiz

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

Green Lantern
Iron Man
Wonder Woman
The Flash
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

So, I'm wondering, for those of you who know me, how much truth do you see in these?

You Are Scooter

Brainy and knowledgable, you are the perfect sidekick.

You're always willing to lend a helping hand.

In any big event or party, you're the one who keeps things going.

"15 seconds to showtime!"

You Are 34 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Slow and Steady

Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy.

They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder.

It'd really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment.

They expect you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then usually decide against it.

You Are 58% Evil

You are evil, but you haven't yet mastered the dark side.

Fear not though - you are on your way to world domination.

You Are Barney

You could have been an intellectual leader...

Instead, your whole life is an homage to beer

You will be remembered for: your beautiful singing voice and your burps

Your life philosophy: "There's nothing like beer to give you that inflated sense of self-esteem."

How You Life Your Life

You are honest and direct. You tell it like it is.

You say whatever is on your mind. Other people's reactions don't phase you.

You prefer a variety of friends and tend to change friends quickly.

You tend to dream big, but you worry that your dreams aren't attainable.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I really should start some German Homework soon. oh well...

I've updated the Knitted UFO Siting blog with my tale of the Monk's Travel Satchel (adapted). If anyone out there would like to join the UFO blog/hall of fame, I have been informed by a blogging genius that I need your email address to add you/invite you to join the blog. Until I have time to research a better way of doing this, you can leave a comment on the UFO blog letting me know if you would like to join up and share with the world your tails of Objects UnFinished.

Coming soon to this blog, pictures of a Finished Object, my Eris pullover. I would post them today, but I actually have homework to complete before the weekend is out. (that will teach me to take German 100 - it really cuts down on my knitting and researching time.) Until then, a preview:

I am really looking forward to this summer vacation. Four months of knitting, working, and researching my own project (hint, it is Kierkegaard related, but at this rate will take about 3 years to complete).

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I owe an apology...I should have posted this sooner. Sorry.

Now, I should have posted this sooner because I feel that is very important to give credit to people when they do something great. But since I forgot last day, I’ll dedicate this entire post to it as my way of making up for my shortcomings.

April, of Coffee Crazy Knitters, and her sis designed these fantastic buttons for the Simply Lovely Lace Socks KAL. They also attached the code to the pictures, for which I am also very grateful.

The theory is, if I do this correctly, you can simply copy and paste which button you like. Here goes:

border="0" width="91" height="100">

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Note to self, when giving class presentation, don't get in argument with proff. especially when he is head of department and your future!

I admit, I am suspicious of any craft that involves pointy things. Not pointy in the way a knitting needle is pointy, but more in the way that, ouch, my finger is bleeding again, pointy. I still don’t get along with my sewing machine – you know the reason – pointy thing moving very quickly in a threatening way. Yet, when I saw the groovy patterns on Sublime Stitching, I thought, “gee, this doesn’t look too hard. I bet even I could do it.” So I ordered a starter kit, half believing that it would be some backwater half-ass company which would probably take my money and never talk to me again. I was wrong.

I checked the post box every day for almost three weeks, and finally, yesterday, it came. I tell you, I am very happy.

As you can see, my kit from Sublime Stitching included everything they promised, including instructions for which I am grateful – I’ve never embroidered before. Also, I received a hoop, some thread, patterns (very cool), a needle, a towel, um...other stuff that I can’t think of off the top of my head. I am looking forward to spending some time trying it out this weekend.

Now, on to my new project – UFO’s (insert spacey sounds here).

There are UFO’s in my closet. For all you non-knitting or new-knitting or just-don’t-know-what-UFO-means-knitting friends out there, UFO’s are UnFinished Objects that go neglected for months or years on end before someone gets around to finishing them. UFO’s are not WIP’s (Works In Progress – aka, active knitting projects), and therefore are often considered the source of much shame and embarrassment for many a proud knitter. Now, UFO’s have various reason for being left in the dark, but until now, I have never seen anyone celebrate them. So, this is the plan: Why not make a blog where people can join, post pictures and tell us about their very own UFO! Then, people will flock from sites all around the internet to be inspired by, sympathize with and admire the bravery of those who post on the Knitted UFO Sitings page (yes, I know sighting is spelt wrong, it’s a pun, get it? no? too bad, but I still love you anyway).

I even did the first part, I made a blog. I made a Knitted UFO Sitings blog. Now I just have to figure out the rest of it.....or someone really, really smart can tell me how to do it....either way, I’m just happy to do my part.

Last, but not least, my Simply Lovely Lace Socks are coming along swimmingly.




Pst. The middle picture is not a UFO, it's my cat. Sorry for the confusion.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

And then, I realized like a rabbit who just spied a carrot, I've never done YO's before!

You see, the fact is, I do very much enjoy going to university. It is just, the classes that I don't agree with. What I like best is learning new things, and having the oppertunity to research and write about a topic that interests me. I can even be temporally interested in topics that I wouldn't normally be like if I have to. I don't mind. But all this class work, all this doing what the teacher says, having to respect (beep) holes who are called upon to teach in areas they have no background in because the department is short staffed, this is not what I signed up for. At least it is not what I thought I signed up for.

I want to be left alone to research and write, I understand that I need background in order to do this, but when there is no one at my university qualified to teach me, for example, Hegel (which I need a good foundation of in order to pass the entrence exams for the grad schools I am considering not to mention the remainder of my accademic career), I get frusterated at this.

I feel that there is something wrong with the way that acadamia works. I just wish I could see what it was, because, maybe then, I could see how to fix it.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

aqin't no one here but us chickens

Two things thismorning:

First off, I got something called a Frapper Map. It is at the bottom of my blog if you would like to participate. I don't know if I like it all that much, but I want to give a test drive. Feel free to take it for a spin.

Secondly, to my dismay, I don't have the needles I need to knit my Simply Lovely Lace Socks. My swatch knit up too small (thank good ness for swatches, *now* I know what they are for) and it took for ever. So I will head to the second hand shop after class this morning with my trusty needle gage to pick up as many double points as I can find. There is one shop here that usually has a vast selection of sticky and bent needles. I can wash them and bend them back, no problem.

I found out that I have some needles that are less than 1mm in diamiter. now that is tiny.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I want chickens.

I picked up the yarn today. I think I ordered far too much of it, but that means I can make more socks. right? Pictures pending. I'll try to get them out this weekend, but for now I have far too much homework to work on. If I don't get at least 40% on my German exam, I fail the class. Right now, I can get about 20% right and I have two days left to improve myself. German is really hard. Give me philosophy any day.

I also ordered Confessions of a Knitting Heretic by Annie Modesitt. So far the book looks amazing. I have a few new Kierkegaard books as a gift from my Dad, Thanks Dad. Too bad I won't have time to read them just yet. Don't tell anyone, but I have plans to do reasearch on Kierkegaard on my own this summer. I found an area that no one has written on and I really want to be the one to write on it.

But for now, back to German. I know I can do it. :~ Wish me luck.