Male role models

I was watching this television programme last night where there was a scene which described this inferior woman’s ordeal about being physically abused by a doctor. I thought to myself that she had no complaint because she was ugly and fat and clearly unintelligent; if she were attractive and intellectual like me I bet she could defend herself better. Fucking FAT bitch.

That leads me to considering an article that I happened to look at:

Michael once told us about his brief work shadowing stint as a teacher assistant in a primary school. One of the things that he found in the primary school was that there was only one male teacher. It was very common in the distant past for predominantly females to teach in primary schools. Michael described some fairly distinct features about him:

When I first saw this fellow, he was in the staff room talking about big brother. I suppose that’s to be expected for someone in their mid-twenties to early-thirties. They were talking about celebrities, trash TV, sex and all the other obscenities under the sun. They talked about problem students with genuine concern, and they could complain about the parents. While this guy was no kindergarten cop; he did have some good points.

I was out in a field some time back and I saw this balding man with his son playing football./ This chap seemed like the archetypal father that you see on a TV commercial. Fun, supportive, didactic and approachable. This male primary school teacher was the kind of person who embarrassed himself in front of the kids when teaching PE; in the way that a dad is embarrassing (but the difference is that he was funny, instead of cringeworthy).

The male teacher taught with much enthusiasm and was just as accesssible and supportive as any teacher could be, and one of the distinct difficulties Michael found with the job is how teachers are not so much teaching in their job but more like adults, who put themselves more as pastoral mentors than anything else.

I miss my old teachers, who were exceptionally relentless, sadistic, and had an exceptionally sick sense of humour. Of course, that sort of thing makes a particular kind of person, and not everyone has the right to assault the unjust.

Sinistre*

My Esher Greenwood…

Michael suggested some months ago that I read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. It’s one of the most uncomfortable books I’ve ever read. The book, however, reminded me of some fond memories. A few years back, before the three of us took on other names; I knew someone quite like the title character. I was instantly reminded of an old friend of mine, Laura.

The cynicism of Esher Greenwood, and her complete ambivalence to society; her emphasis on academic learning and her complete sense of loss in terms of not knowing what to do, how all over options outside of the academy and literature seem so irrelevant.

Laura was just the same; we studied philosophy together some years ago. We met in a similar mindset and a similar situation. She had a focus on Aristotle and virtue ethics at the time, and she had the most fascinating interest in books; we had quite a fruitful exchange of views, however I failed to convince her that Heavy Metal was a good artform. In many ways , she reminds me very much of Antisophie.

The most inspiring thing I learned from her was that she told me that one day, once all the contingencies of our current situation would go away, I would eventually become someone special. Laura thought things of me I never would have believed of myself, she gave me confidence and put who I was, what I was, into some real context.

It’s no secret that we had feelings for each other. Knowing Laura defined the place I was once in, and where I am now, by context of framing the difference from now to then.

You will be an incredible lover, she said, we’d be great together, she said. It never really worked out between us because she was in a different place. While she was scholarly, she did try to tell me that I was different from everyone else, and I would never be like her; which in turn made me incredibly special.

Just reading The Bell Jar reminds me of that girl who prophetically spoke of my future. We lost contact around the same time that Sinistre Prime returned. I still think of her with much fondness. She was one of those people who made me who I am today. I miss her…

Sinistre

Science fiction question of the day

What’s the difference between an android and a cyborg?

I know that C3PO is an android, and that the Terminator is a cyborg; but what is the difference between them?

I’ve noticed that between science fiction worlds, robotic people (are robots a distinct category as well?) are either one or the other of these two kinds, but both do not exist in the same world.

Cyborgs seem more like american action movies with violence (universal soldier), where andoids have more typical science fiction connotations (battlestar galactica)

I think antoher difference is that a cyborg has a neural net processor, while an android has a positronic brain.

Antisophie

Beyond Journals

There are many people out of the academy who can still be understood as contributors to the field. There are various cases of non-doctorate holders who have come to make contributions to mathematics. Thomas Bayes was a pastor who had come to create a very important construction of probabilities used and talked about from areas disparately far from mathematics like computer science and philosophy. Marjorie Rice was a housewife who came up with a notation for looking at tesselations, and perhaps the most notable amateur mathematician was Pierre de Fermat.

It is a sign of the times of increased instrumental rationality and Mcdonaldisation (look it up) that our developments are limited to the academy. But this is changing somewhat. Philosophy, for instance, is branching out to the bloggosphere. One of the most interesting developments, a movement called Experimental Philosophy (X-phi), debaes their most contraversial tenets on public blogs. A few journals are opening up to public consumption, and a small number of scholars choose only to publish on journals with wide access.

Incentives like the Gutenberg project, wikibooks, and Jonathan Bennett’s historical translations, open up scholarship and very serious learning to those who seek it out. Let us not forget that Frege, during his own tenure, was too poor to purchase Russell’s Principia Mathematica, such that the latter had to hand-write whole passages of the work.

We should remember two things. One, our current organisation of learning has only being such for a short period of time in the history of the intellect. Two, our conception of learning and structures beneath it, are not the only way to be.

Destre

Name-dropping

One of the reasons myself, and the other ‘Greek’ named people are anonymous is because we want to avoid attention being drawn to ourselves. It’s beneficial to us that you don’t know who we really are. Further to that, one thing that we strive to avoid is being referential to the point of being self-indulgent. That is to say, to play on the fact that one of us may be a public figure, or, perhaps, most of the Areopagites are connected to various strata of society (academia, industry, religion, art & culture, politics/policy). We don’t want to boast about who we know, or appeal to self-celebration just for the sake of it.

It’s also a sign of bad writing; in the sense of being boring and syntactically difficult to read. For instance, Michael’s own views on Kant could be seen as:

Michael contra Friedman pace Guyer contra Allison on Strawson’s Reading of Kant’s refutation of Hume’s critique of rationalist metaphysics…

A lot of academia (in its worst kind) is a reply to replies. Sometimes its good, other times, its just a churned out piece of shit. I write and send stuff to Michael and Sinistre whenever I feel like it. I write whatever the fuck I want to write about.

Name dropping can also be done in cases where someone wants attention drawn to themselves in cases where an individual has an attachment or investment to the person they write about, and do it mainly for the attention. That’s pretty bad, too. As such, I will not comment on any previous emails I have gotten or even address them. This isn’t a matter of rudeness, please note; rather, it’s a matter of preserving one’s dignity (and identity).

Sinistre*