October 12, 2005

Wednesday, 12th October

Woke up at 09:00 feeling pretty rested, though another hour's sleep really couldn't have gone amiss. I quickly got into my shower, washed, dried, dressed and sloped off to the kitchen in slippers to get some breakfast. There was no-one in there except cleaners, who were friendly but giving off that slightly poisoned ayre of restrained chatter. I looked at the table. There was a lot of stuff on there. Oh dear. I made sure to wash my dishes very well in front of them and put them away!

I went back to my room and made a haphazard attempt at cleaning up before it got to 09:50 and I had to head off to my first Mathematics for Computer Scientists seminar. Th route was quick this time, five minutes, but I still made the mistake of almost walking into the carpark because I was stuck in my own little world. For some reaosn, I couldn't get the Beatle's song 'She Loves You' out of my head. And, as of writing this, hours later, I still can't. Gah!

The Mathematics seminar was really good. Our tutor was helpful and really cleared a few things up, indeed, he practically retaught the entirety of the last two lectures with clear and concise examples that made me feel much more confident about the homework sheet due in for Friday. Things were marred a bit by the alarm for the lecture going off in the middle of the lecture, making everyone think my phone was ringing, though!

I went from there to the Café Library with Simon, chatting with him about the presentation we had to do later, which was cheap but didn't accept plastic so I wasn't able to buy anything. We parted ways and I went back to halls to the kitchen to rest for a while and read up on a bit of logic. I was interrupted by someone in the room sending to me a random sound file over MP3. It turned out to be a quote from a movie with the most long winded, daffy sounding 'noooooo!' you could imagine. When I commented I then got bluetooth-mania with another three things sent including an MP3 of the Cillit Bang remix. My phone beeped and I realise (thanks to the wonders of alarms) I had to run to the Philosophy seminar as it was at 12:00, not 14:00.

Outside the seminar the tutor was a tad late so I leeched off the wireless (funny how there's a perfect open wireless signal in the top floor of social studies but no open signal at all in the Computer Science building). Our tutor came by really flustered and apologising for being late, though we were all cool with it. All four of us, that is. We set down immediately to the presentation, I ended up using the laptop screen along with a USB optical mouse attached to it for going forwards and backwards.

The presentation went well, though a few things cropped up:

  • I didn't know much more than what I'd put on the slides, so I had to refer to Simon a lot to add examples (he was very good at those)
  • One of the slides had gone completely AWOL so I had to remember it from memory (and I managed!)
  • No-one in the room agreed with anything the presentation said so we got a lot of questions, though we'd only put down what Mackie believed.

Our tutor clarified a few things, specifically the difference between first and second order moral skepticism, and then we got launched into a complete five way argumentative debate about subjectivity and objectivity. Some of the viewpoints were:

  • Morals are systematically subjective
  • There is no subjectivity
  • Colours are objective as they are induced by properties of an object, leading on to…
  • Systematic subjectivity is objectivity because it comes down to properties of an objective substance
  • Subjectivity is merely the definition of a golden point of abstraction of objectivity
  • That chair really would be blue even if we weren't around to see it
  • That chair would only have the potential of being blue if we weren't around to see it, it wouldn't really be blue as blueness is a subjective creation in the mind of a human
  • But the potential of being blue is always there, it doesn't just start being blue just because someone observes it
  • Yes it does!
  • No it doesn't!
  • Metaphysical questions of objectivity of subjective values when considering the physical properties of a brain

The seminar only finished as the next group came in to the room, a bunch of economists. We ended up arguing over the objectivity and subjectivity all the way back to Rootes, where I parted ways and went back to Arthur Vick. I talked a bit in the kitchen, before frying up the rest of the vegetables I didn't eat last night to have as a lunch. It was a bit bland but edible and hopefully healthy. I went to my room and played on the computer a bit, procrastinating homework, until I had to head to the doctor's to meet him (as I have a heart condition).

The lady on the desk couldn't find my name. Her monitor was in plain view, so I looked to see if I could help her. I got a minute long lecture on how I was violating privacy and how I shouldn't look and she moved her monitor around with a big humph. Charming, it was an accident and she shouldn't have the monitor facing that way. I sat down in a humph and got called in by the doctor. He was a very nice guy, wanted to know some of my medical history, my medicatoin, and note down the type of heart murmur I had. I manageed to forget about flu jabs.

I got back hope and tried to ring my mother on Skype, but the network was so slow it was unusable. Eventually she rung the payphone and we chatted for a good while, and I found out I'd forgotten to ask the Doctor about getting a 'flu jab. After she hang up I rang the health centre and asked, but they're not doing them until next Monday as they haven't yet received them yet. I headed to the common room and started to do my maths. problem sheet.

I spent 3 hours trying to do it. I got the hang of it but there was some horrible simplication problems that I just couldn't wrap my head around. I eventually gave up as my mind was frazzled and cooked a frozen pizza, which was sugary but nice enough. Whilst watching it I heard an amazing comment from a presenter on the ITV news: 'there was a story about getting mobbed on arrival… even if this is a rumour, it shows the tensions..' Talk about presenting opinion, even perhaps incorrect information, as fact! Cripes!

I went back to my room and was about to start my stats when some people invited me to the Linux Users Group. I decided to go over and I'm glad I did. Everyone was friendly, despite the fact I was using a Mac laptop running OS X, and we had a generally good time and discussion. I recommend the LUG to anyone remotely interested in using or trying Linux. During the event the sign-ups for the LAN party started, and we watched in amazement as it only took 2 minutes for all 30-ish spaces in the LAN party to be filled up. I was number 24, but I pulled out after I realised I had a guaranteed space anyway as I was on the techteam (?). The LUG finished after a while and I walked back home with a friendly chap who was on his way to a late-nighter at the Computer Science building. I headed to my room and worked on my Statistics homework (insanely boring) before ordering a present for my brother on Amazon and going to bed. If you're reading, bro, sorry it's late! I messed up my timings…

- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Mum

    That sounds like an interesting ,full, and altogether more sane day than some you've had recently.Sounds like the 'up-your-own-backside' philosophy is really quite stimulating! Haven't got a clue what a LAN is or a LUG - in fact it's a wonder that you and I manage to communicate at all really, given the strange technical world you inhabit, and wander around in.

    Re: the receptionist – people quite touchy about the data protection act. They can lose their jobs over contravening it….


    ps. Dad in Germany – probably won't see this blog yet

    12 Oct 2005, 23:54

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