Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's Alive! (?)

Hi Everybody!
( Hi Dr Sam!)
This is completely inaccurate, as I'm not yet a doctor, though eventually I'm sure that some will argue that I, like Dr Nick, am not a 'real' doctor.

Anyway, things have been quiet here for too long, but as most of our members are studying at at least a 4th year/Honours level or above, as well as working, they probably don't have much energy left for this. Never mind.

I am considering a range of updates to put in place over the summer. One is a move to Wordpress, which appears to offer a better service than this. But'm going to test it on my personal Blog first, so we will see how that goes.

The second thing I'm woking on is a detailed list of what philosophy and related courses our University offers, which will link to course and program information on the Uni site. If people are looking for a place to study Philosophy in Australia, I want them to find us.

And, on a more personal level, I'm going to try to be nicer, in an effort to not scare so many people away next year. This probably won't work, but then at least I can say that it wasn't my fault.

-Sam.

33 comments:

MH said...

What I want to know is, if you're not a real doctor, are you a real worm?

Samuel Douglas said...

I am a real worm, I am an actual worm.

MH said...

Do you like to play the drums, because I know that you can't handle criticism ...

Rowan Blyth said...

The real question is are you interested in things?

MH said...

Doesn't that go without saying? Sam is a worm.

MH said...

And Dr Nick is a real doctor!

Rowan Blyth said...

Just because I say I'm a real doctor doesn't make me one, these fancy clothes do.

Virtualprimate said...

Mayhap Sam is one of these earth worm gods that defecate that Ernest Becker the existential pyschologist talks about?
:)
Yay... I think my log in to blogger is working again.

Samuel Douglas said...

Hi VP, this is a cause for celebration - lets drink some beer!

MH said...

Rowan - have you put tweed patches on your leather jacket?

Samuel Douglas said...

I think what I really need is a hat

Rowan Blyth said...

Once I had a hat and it was a gas

Soon turned out had a hat of glass

Beware Sam, no good will come of you having a hat.

MH said...

Should we be starting to worry about the amount of time you're spending with Dr Wright (who may be a real doctor, but is definitely not a real worm)?

Rowan Blyth said...

Have I missed something, or is Martin targetting Sam like he knows something interesting?

Samuel Douglas said...

I was just thinking (in the interests of being a real philosopher) that I either need a hat, or distintive hair - long luxuriant flowing, semi-balding untamed etc. In the event of hair loss I won't be able to rely on the luxuriant option, and I think that Alex would leave me if I attempted the 'semi-bald unkempt', so really a hat is my only back up plan.

On the other hand, I could get rid of my hair altogether like Foucault.

Enough of the innuendo Martin, you clearly have too much time on you hands.

Rowan Blyth said...

Well I'm claiming pork pie so if I see you with one, then I know you are little better than a common plagiarist and no philosopher at all.

I might also claim the retro-Nietzsche moustache and cowlick while I'm at it.

MH said...

Yeah, I do have a bit of time at the moment ...

So, how about those natural law theorists? I reckon they could take on the logical-positivists any day.

Rowan Blyth said...

What is it with you and natural law these days Martin? I don't care about natural law, Sam doesn't care about natural law, nobody does. You can go and shove you're natural law up some scotsman's arse Martin.

And yes I think you probably can classify Kant as a natural law theorist considering his aesthetic theory and his notion of reason/morality.

Pete said...

What I want to know is if Sam is REALLY serious about being nicer to people???

And is it really necessary? After all a lot of people who wind up studying philosophy are there as a result of sitting in lectures of some other university course and thinking "Hey this lecturer is a dope! I know more than they do! I'm going somewhere where I can find some people with academic integrity, where the real questions get answered". And then they wind up studying with us. I know that this is no doubt a disapponting result for people with such ambitions but the point is that it's usually the people with enourmous intellectual egos that come to do philosophy (If you don't believe me then just consider Martin for a moment). As such philosophy is really like "Top Gun" for nerds. A place where we can flex our egos and vent some steam....

Samuel Douglas said...

Logical positivism vs Natural Law, not much of a choice is it.

Note that I said "Nicer", not "Nice". The chances that I'll be able to contain my bilious contempt for these bloated know-it-alls that think they are the re-incarnation of Socrates, or think that Philosophy is a fashion movement, are pretty slim.

If anything, my effort to go easy on people comes from the fact that I consider most (but not all) philosophy undergrads (and undergrads in general) coming through too intellectually and emotionally piss-weak to have a real argument, and I don't want to scare them off philosophy totally.

Now look what you've done, I'm agitated from thinking about my pet hates!

MH said...

As an 'enormous intellectual ego' I'd like to inform you that, according to googlefight, natural law wallops logical positivism. So take that Wittgenstein ...

Why do I care about natural law theory? Well, it is slightly more interesting than reading Mill, and considerably more interesting then reading legal positivism (aka HLA Hart). Why should you care Rowan? Well, an answer to the questions that you raised regarding the criminalisation of drugs involves a consideration of certain aspects of natural law jurisprudence, alongside positivist and realist jurisprudence. (Yes, I am still trying to articulate a reply to that post.) Why did I bring it up initially? This is still a philosophy blog isn’t it? I thought it might lead to an interesting debate. I was wrong. Sorry.

I think that it is admirable that Sam aspires to be ‘nicer’. But Pete is right – why bother? The reincarnated Socrates’ and fashion students need to be put in their place as soon as possible. Do you think that Socrates would have been nice to them? Or Plato? Simply, the sooner they are taught their place the sooner they cease to waste your valuable time Sam.

Pete said...

I'm not sure that I agree with your last comment Martin. No offence but all I was doing was raising the question about whether or not we should try to be nicer to the newbies, not advocating the position that we should be presenting our usual agonistic front.

My position on this issue is that of being undecided. I do think that it is an interesting question though and have recently been spending a bit of time dwelling on how best to present ourselves these days. On one hand I clearly agree with the view that studying philosophy is just not for everyone. After all how many people out there would really benefit from studying stuff like Kripke? I feel that lessons like that are really only useful to people who consider themselves to be vocationally philosophers and thus should not be forced onto the majority of people who sign up to lectures thinking that it'll be interesting, insightful but not a career path.
Yet on the other hand I can't really see any serious objection to people wanting to learn a little philosophy, broaden their minds and maybe even find a few things that benefit thier lives in some way or another. People like this aren't looking to make a career of it and probably don't want to spend years out of thier lives doing it but are interested in listening to what the gurus, sages and wisemen have to say. I can't see a problem with this either. So I'm guessing that the trick would be to identify the serious students from the groupies and learn the knack of reserving philosophy proper for those who are genuine while belting out some pop philosophy for the rest...

So the answer I'm trying to work out would be something like, "sit on your rocks, meditate underneath waterfalls and do some other cool stuff while uttering wise sayings at passers by. But only be merciless with your colleagues"

michael said...

You can get arrested for presenting yourself, your worm in particular, as it is not considered to be acceptable. And that's the Queen's law: far more effective than any of those other products of an over-inflated ego.

Handling criticism is a whole nother kettle of fish, but we won't drum that out here; we'll try to keep a hat on it.

Which seems to sum up the divide nicely, if not prettily.

Rowan Blyth said...

Yeah Martin, I was more just trying to bait you because I was bored.

So is the 'reply' ready yet, as the suspense is getting to me as I now know there will be one.

Just got a place in Glebe on Glebe point road. So will be moving in on the weekend.

Pete, the fatal flaw in your argument is that very few people think such antics as meditating under waterfalls is particularly 'cool' outside of its obvious refreshing nature. I do like the 'top-gun for nerds' idea.

Anonymous said...

nicer to people? does sam miss ziggi so much that he has resolved not to mouth off at his ilk?

(i'm sam b btw. i forgot my password, so please send me another invite)

Samuel Douglas said...

.

Pete said...

Well stated Sam. And yes that is more than a fair point Rowan. Tricks like meditation, along with the avocado and painting your house brown & orange, do seem to have lost thier appeal...

Rowan Blyth said...

Well I have a new hat. Avocados are so 2004. Contemporize man. Grunge ended 14 years ago and it really only lasted 2. Also, you have had to spend a period of your life living with Ming.

MH said...

Before I say congratulations on the new hat, one question: what sort is it?

Rowan Blyth said...

Its a chequered cap from New York, and by cap I mean a propper cap, ala John Wright.

MH said...

Then congratulations. With a cap like that you might - one day - be able to write a book like 'The Story of Philosophy'.

David Stefanini said...

www.americanlegends.blogspot.com

Zig said...

If you'll have me I'll return from self imposed exile, suitably chastened.

The thing about retrospect is that you have perfect clarity for things that you can no longer change. It was pointed out that I thought far too highly of myself without any basis or substance with which to back it up. The truth hurts. Anyhow I'd like to sit in (again) and just listen to others until I can form an understanding of my own. I'll shut up until I have something genuine to say, in the mean time I'd very much like to learn.