Thursday, September 15, 2005

The illusion of emotions

This is all based on assuming everyone is like me, if you don't like that idea then why the hell are you here?

Think about it.

Emotions are one of the main driving forces behind our actions. They help us make quick decisions about things and they even free us from not having to consider many alternatives in a situations.

So why is it that drugs can control them so. Even just blood sugar levels can control the intensity of them.

I don't mean 'why is it', I mean isn't it strange that, given their importance, that drugs can influence them.

In the end drugs are all part of the world, all part of what influences our choices and as with all things neither negative nor positive.

So it all resolves into a neat ball.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Quotes, The reason for

I've just been trying to track down a quote which I can only remember the meaning of; I can't remember who said it or word for word what it was. This makes finding it on the internet difficult! To paraphrase it it's:

When all is done in our lives the important things we leave behind are not the works we have carve in stone but the ideas we weave into others.

Which is very fitting for what is playing on my mind at the moment. It is considered proper academic form to quote your sources as well as giving an accurate quote. Now in an academic context this makes sense; particularly when there is a big scope for interpretation of some statement. However it doesn't make much sense when communicating face to face.

So why do we ever quote people when talking face to face. I doubt it is just force of habit from when we write more formal discussions of ideas. I believe it is because we wish others to quote us, to have our ideas laid down in stone, rather than to have them woven into others. If it's all about the fame then the words words could lose all meaning and you'd still quote it.

So from now on I'm never going to mention my sources unless asked, so paraphrasing is best for communication, exact quotation is best for interpretation of works.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Slightly missing the point

Just read this article (via Boing Boing) and I can't help but think that it's really not the right way to go about things.

If you don't want to read the article the summary is that some gay marriage advocates in California are going to publish the names and addresses of people who signed an anti-gay marriage petition on the internet.

I really strongly disagree with this. I can't see anyway that it is constructive or helpful. It's just going to create further division and hate between the anti-gay marriage and pro-gay marriage groups. Progress towards a greater culture where people are not discriminated against for their beliefs and are accept for who they are will not come about from what is basically just throwing stones. When you're on opposite sites of a barricade it's impossible to shake hands.

I can understand that people can frustrated and angry when people seem so set in their ways that it can seem that nothing is going to change. I'm not even saying that the people planning to publish this list are bad people, just that this action is not going to be helpful and productive. Now I'm pro-gay marriage and would very easily get into a heated discussion with someone who was anti-gay marriage; yes I would be trying to change their mind, but by discussing with them how the ideas relate to all of us and how it will not cause the apocalypse etc. Never would I consider calling them a bigot or close minded (although I probably would after arguing for 3 hours and realising they're not at all open minded and just spouting rote learned lines).

However it's only partly from a respect for their views, I don't agree with their views and feel that I should explain why I have mine; in the hope that they realise they were missing some argument or some bit of information which lead to their (bigoted) beliefs. There is also a significant fact that as soon as you insult someone they will go to their back foot and become far more defensive. They close off their mind, start chanting their learnt statements and then just get angry and walk off.

A far better approach is to show them that you understand their point of view, that you can see where they are coming from and, most importantly, that you are a rational sane human, just like them. Once you've demonstrated this you can then go on to trying to convince them of a 'better' (more respectful) point of view.

So basically if you want them to show some understanding you have to show some understanding as well, else we'll just carry on throwing stones at each other and never realise the beauty that comes from diversity and open mindedness