All entries for February 2005

February 11, 2005

rant!!

~~Bowling~~

Anyway, yesterday was a weird day. Don't think anyway weird happened really but I just didn't feel right at all. I somehow managed to get into my 9am lecture which was good as i couldn't be all that bothered with uni again. As per normal was bowling after the lectures. I am really beginning to get frustrated at my lack of progress this year. I finished off last season with a 131 average which was ok I guess (though I did think I would be better than that). This season I have somehow got worse and am now only averaging 125 and haven't had a good game in ages.

I can vaguely understand why I may have declined initially as I changed from straight to hook bowling but I certainly didn't expect to stay this bad. Even when I first crossed over I showed signs that I would improve quite a bit as I managed to get 7 strikes in a row (though over two games … gggrr) and in general just had problems sparing. I didn't bowl much over the summer so when I started this season i was pathetic but didn't think too much about it as I thought I'd get back to the good standard again but it never really materialised. The only time that I showed any signs that I was getting better was in the London tournament when I hit a 197 (my PB when hooking) and my PB series ever but at the next days bowling I was back to my rubbish self.

I am probably playing badly now cause I am doubting myself but I can't help it. We are at the time of the year where most of the tournaments are and have the BUSA one this weekend where all the good people are going to be and then me who is going to be shown up by everyone. I am really not enjoying bowling at the moment and rather than being a time when I can chill out and relax it is becoming irritating and stressful. I just wish I could see some kind of improvement.

~~Degree~~

I have no motivation for my degree at all. I am so stupid for choosing maths, I don't enjoy it all that much (except the Biology/nature related stuff). It doesn't help that I am not all that good at it anymore either. Yesterday, when I got back from bowling, I somehow managed to distract myself for about 5–6 hours on the computer as I couldn't be arsed doing any uni work (despite having a lot to do).

I don't even know why I am here at all. A degree means nothing to me, it is simply a bit of paper that is supposed to imply that I am smart … big deal. Yes people say that it help me get a well paid job but most of the jobs that are well paid i don't wanna do. I really need to sort out what I want from my life/what I am going to do with it.

~~Today~~

Today has been ok. Not really done any work but that is cause i have had a load of meetings. We finally got round to finishing going through all the socs fed awards which is good. Should find out which societies have won over the weekend and we will then nnounce results next thursday. After that was Union Council (my first with an actual vote). It was quite boring this week as there was no fun controversial policies but at least it was short.


February 09, 2005

Do you follow the crowd?

Writing about web page http://www.livejournal.com/users/wavinordrownin/2358.html

Posted on 7/4/05 on livejournal

I was exploring live-journal last night and by pure chance stumbled across incognito84 's journal. His last entry asked if he was a loner due to the fact that he had been eating in the cafeteria alone. If this were to be the case then that would also mean that I too am a loner as I also tend to eat lunch at university alone and have spent the last 4 days with minimal contact with the outside world. But I do not consider myself or incognito84 to be a loner. Why would be loners? Just cause we aren't surrounding ourselves with false friends so that we feel popular doesn't mean me are loners, we may just want to eat/read in peace.

There is this pressure on us all to conform to the norm, to be like everyone else. If we don't then you are considered to be strange. There is some sort of 'code' which governs what we should wear, what we should believe, whom we should befriend, what kind of life we should lead. To question these or not to adhere to them is deemed to be bizarre. When I was walking around town today I saw a large group of teenagers all wearing the same clothes, same style of hair etc. They were all goths I guess and trying to show that they are that little bit unconventional, that they don't conform (just a shame that they happen to have done it in the conventional way).

There aren't that many people who are strong enough or willing to question this so called 'code'. Most likely because they are scared of the ridicule they will face and the possible unpopularity. These people tend just to believe the opinion of the majority without giving it any real thought (and why should they, surely if most people believe it then it must be right …..... wrong). A typical example would be if you ask someone

Q: 'Do you believe that water drains from basins in opposite directions in the northern/southern hemi-spheres?'

I won't offer a guarantee, but based on what the answers of few of my friends, they confirmed that most people seem to think that water does drain in different directions depending in which hemi-sphere you are in. There seems to be some common mis-conception that this is case when actually the Coriolis force (which does influence weather patterns) is not strong enough to influence the direction a fluid flows and so water can flow in either direction in both hemi-spheres. All but one of my friends thought it was the former (well done Rich). When I asked them why they thought that this was the case they all said things ranging from it was what other people had told to them till they saw it on 'The Simpsons'. Just because a TV show/others believed that this was the case they thought it must be true without actually thinking about it or looking into it further. Maybe it was the fear of challenging someone who seems to know a little bit more about it than them that scared them into thinking that it can't be wrong. Obviously people didn't question the person or the thing because they feared it would make them unpopular but in other examples this is the case.

An example of this is when Descartes wrote his book on Physics 'Le Monde' (The World) he pulled out of publishing it because of what had happened to Galileo in 1633. Galileo was condemned by the Inquisition in Rome for releasing his paper 'Dialogue' which supported the Copernican view that the earth went round the sun and not the other way round. This was a brave step from Galileo considering it was unfashionable to have such a belief in those days and he had already been in trouble with the Inquisition for other beliefs that he had. As a result he was sent to prison for life and had to recant his belief in the Copernican planetary system. Descartes was not this brave, he was scared of his book being condemned, as it had un-fashionable views in it that didn't entirely support the Church. Even a man as wise as Descartes was scared of the unpopularity his work might receive even though it was thought out in a rational sense. Though, I should point out that as a result he revised a lot of this work and as a result came up with the 'Meditations' which started the scientific revolution. A further example, and probably a more nobler one is that of Socrates who would not submit to the common opinions in Ancient Greece, even when he was faced with the death penalty!!

I never really appreciated it before but I kinda admire these supposed loners, they don't feel the need to be always have people around them, they don't worry that because they are on their own that people might think they are strange. Even more so I admire what people would probably call 'geeks', the people who do not try and fit in, the people who don't feel the need to buy all the latest fashion, the people who think for themselves and don't just accept what the majority think!! Because they privilege the stance of good reason, as opposed to childishly trusting others that tell them that they are wrong.

Alain de Botton sums up this very nicely with the following quote: 'The validity of an idea or action is determined not by whether it is widely believed or widely reviled but by whether it obeys the rules of logic. It is not because an argument is denounced by a majority that it is wrong nor, for those drawn to heroic defiance, that it is right'.

This I think this is partly why I do philosophy, I do not readily accept what I am told, I like to think of things rationally. Moreover, this is what I feel philosophy is all about: using it to help us work on the problems of everyday life.

Edit: I no longer do philosophy as part of my degree as it was affecting my maths too much


I'm back!

So i have been encouraged to restart posting in this blog. I felt a little stupid putting the same entries into my livejournal blog and this one. I am not really sure if i am going to post everything in both but will probably put my less personal, boring entries in this one and use it only for my rants, philosophical stuff etc.

Oh and will probably copy and paste previous entries in my other blog here at some point.


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