Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Brief Update (or, A Tale of Two Majors)

I made the decision today that I will add philosophy as a double-major when I finish at Western and head to whichever university I choose.

It may seem to be an unusual choice with Cultural Anthropology, but each has a different type of critical thinking inherent to the education... and both have their uses outside the specifics of the fields.

Taking this introduction course has evoked a rather keen interest in philosophy and I'd like to explore it as far as the educational system will allow.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cartesian Fallacy (or, How Thinking and Being Are Not the Same)

Cogito ergo sum.

Almost everyone is familiar with this phrase that is, perhaps, one of the most important in the history of Western Civilization.

"I think; therefore, I am."

What, however, is the connection between thought and self-awareness? How does the ability to cogitate lead to the supposition of the existence of the individual?

I'm thinking as I write this blog. I can watch the characters appear on my display, symbols representing the form of the idea as best as they can. My fingers are engaged in their restless dance about the keyboard.

But are these real? Are my senses adequate or, in the same fears as Descartes would have, are my empirical senses being deceived?

Descartes had God to explain these fears. God wouldn't deceive us within his creation, so our senses must be valid.

I, however, am an agnostic. I find the arguments both for and against the nature and existence of God to be fallible. As such, I cannot make use of his/her/its existence to define the potential accuracy of my senses.

So, I think. I know I think because the thought processes are my own. I direct them, I guide them, I can shift them to a brief mental digression about the state of my flower garden and then return to the topic at hand.

I think. I know these thoughts are mine... or, at least, these thoughts exist. I can reason that as well as the Rationalists. Does thinking, however, birth awareness? Are we aware because we think or do we simply think we are aware?

The only absolute truth that comes from "I think" is that thinking, itself, is real.

"I think; therefore, thought is."

Of course, the dangerous pronoun of self-awareness still dangles at the beginning of the sentence.

This post may be the beginnings of an ongoing project.

Edit #1:

Thought, itself, cannot presume awareness in a physical sense. I "know" that this intangible psyche is somehow connected this this physical form, but I'm not certain as to the "how" of this knowledge. Beyond the fact I have a sense of self, what aspect allows to me to say absolutely, "I am and I do exist as an individual"?

Let's apply some basic assumptions for later contemplation:

1. There is thought which, by its action, proves itself as real. (Truth. Thought is present and, while intangible, is the only thing which cannot be doubted. It is happening outside of empirical senses, so there is no cause to blame the failure or inadequacy of the senses. Thought must be real.)

2. I have awareness. (Truth, to a degree. What is awareness, though? How do I have it? More important, how do I know I have it? I have this sense of self, but there is no explanation as to its conception or existence.)

3. There are physical sensations to which my thoughts respond. (Whether false sensations or not, I can interpret them. They exist in some fashion, either real or as abstracts contained within the process of thought.)

4. Because of thought, I have awareness. Because of this awareness, I know I exist. (Long form of Cogito ergo sum. Thought, in some way, has bearing on the awareness of self, which assumes existence of the self.)

Blog Reform (or, How to Create from Something Never Officially Begun in the First Place)

To say that I have been lax in regards to this blog would, of course, be an understatement.

Between an adjustment to my first semester as a non-traditional adult student, an addiction to Diplomacy Online, and the standard laziness one finds in a new blogger in their first few months of activity, I have let my posts slip into obscurity. Additionally, I have not offered any new topics. No fluff, no substance, just static and dead air.

To those who had been my regular readers, I apologize. I muscled my way into the local blogging community and then vanished behind vague promises to renew by activity.

I have now returned to begin the reconstruction of what I had attempted to build towards the end of the previous year. While working to balance my summer course load, it is time I learn to actually design a web page and personalize my blog. I must also find a direction, an ultimate goal for this project beyond my simple daily activities.

It will be a slow process. It will require a great deal of patience and, if there's anything I've learned as a parent, I have more patience now that I had prior to parenthood, though I find myself expending it with more celerity.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Brief Post (or, A Return to Business)

My game playing is officially finished... well, has been finished for a few weeks now. The first few weeks of school are now over, as well.

It's time to bring some attention back to the blog.

Now that I'm starting to gain some experience as a thirty-something student and pushing readily through my classes, I'll have a bit more to discuss. Additionally, I will also start posting some of my essay assignments here, but only after they have been graded. Hopefully, the "free writing" aspect of the blog will allow me to examine and learn from any mistakes I make during this first semester.

It's good to be back.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Brief Note (or, Yarr! Pirates Disrupt My Wedding Guest List)

My future uncle-in-law (if that is the correct term), is about to go fight pirates. Depending on the length of the operation and his ability to take leave around that time, he may or may not be able to attend the wedding.

While he will be missed at the service, would it be wrong to ask for "pirate booty" as a wedding present?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Congratulations, Auto-makers (or, Representative Democracy as an Oxymoron?)

The majority of the population was against a bailout.

We gave them one, anyway.

In all honesty, I can only imagine it was to simply make them shut up and go away. Unfortunately, they now know they can whine, beg and complain their way into an easy solution to their mistakes without ever having to admit their own responsibility.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fifteen Minutes of Anonymous Fame (or, You Never Really Know What Happens with What You Type)

Approximately seven years ago, I posted a sleep-deprivation induced comment to an IRC channel.

Tonight, I was bored enough to conduct a search on my old handle.

That comment is everywhere.

And, by everywhere, I mean either sex-related or computer geek least, those that maintain some sort of quotes archive.

It is also, apparently, a popular .sig file line.

Too bad I can't claim copyright and charge everyone who has used it... I could probably live comfortably for the next year or two.

If you're interested in the quote, just Google "nytwind" (yes, by god, it was cheesy, *CHEESY* handle... and it's still in use today on my livejournal, because there are just too many people who know to find me using that nym).

Editted: No, thankfully, not all the Nytwinds out there are me. Some are even a bit more silly than I was... and I wouldn't have thought that entirely possible. I just thought I'd state that for record. Some of them make me wish I had never used the nym.