Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Dry January

I've just about completed "dry January", that is to not consume any alcohol in the month of January. 

I've been reading peoples' comments today regarding dry January. People saying they regret having drunk so much the next day and looking back in embarrassment what they said and did while under the influence. And they really didn't have a good time anyway.

Loads of comments saying that people should stick to the one drink. That it's a sad reflection on their life if people need to drink more than one or two etc.

Got to say my experience is entirely different. First of all I'm *never* embarrassed about what I did the previous night whilst drinking. Well . .the singing on facebook a little bit, but I can sing better than most other people so...

But also drinking makes me feel great. Drinking and listening to music, drinking and playing computer games. More philosophical and reflective. More talkative. 

Of course one can drink too much in one session. I wouldn't drink more than around 7 pints in a night. And to only drink once every 5-7 days since I'm leery of any detrimental effect on my health. I just wish other recreational drugs were legal.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Video from 1890-1920 in colour!

Germany (mainly Berlin) from 1890-1920 in colour! (according to the uploader).

I wonder if any of these people thought when they saw they were being filmed, that people from more than a 100 years hence are watching them? I doubt it! All these people -- every single one -- are now dead and forgotten. As all of us too will very soon be dead and forgotten. As indeed eventually the very last human being will die and the human race will be forgotten. As if it never existed. That is our fate. I wonder who will be the very last human to ever live, what his/her life will be like, what his/her thoughts will be, and when this will occur?

Anyway, I believe in reincarnation, so I'm deprived of the glorious melancholy such thoughts instil in other people.

Paternal Grandparents

When I was a child back in the early 70's and used to visit my paternal grandparents with my parents, my Granddad used to continually say "aye" all the time at random intervals. I thought he was saying "I". Anyway, I once asked my Mam why he says "I" all the time. My Mam said because he can't think what else to say.

They had a motorbike and sidecar. Never see motorbikes and sidecars now.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Intellectual Fashion

If our ideas are dictated by prevailing intellectual fashion, and what's acceptable in the academic community, then our ideas will not be revolutionary.

For our ideas to be truly great we have to be independent thinkers and forsake common "wisdom".

The problem though is that if one advances ideas against the prevailing consensus, then one's "absurd" idea will be vehemently attacked, mercilessly ridiculed and, should one be a scientist or philosopher etc, ones career will consequently be severely negatively impacted.

Of course sometimes "absurd" ideas will really be absurd. And indeed most of the time they will be. However, the blanket ridiculing of new "absurd" ideas cannot be desirable since it will serve to stifle human progress in understanding the world.

Monday, 9 January 2017

A book from my childhood

I thought this book had gone missing decades ago! Found it round my brothers house. I can remember reading it when I was a child. Reading that first page I can remember it! Can't remember what happens though. I loved it. The sort of stuff I read before I got into Enid Blyton.

I must go to bed!

Ha Ha! This is me! 

Sport in ancient Rome compared to now

I wonder what the ancient Romans would have thought if they had realised that 2000 years hence sport would consist of things like grown men kicking a bag of wind around a field, and that many people would get all worked up and excited about it! 

Five allegedly hard to swallow facts about Paranormal Research

From here:
1. "If it’s a phenomena (and not just an event), it will or can be repeated".
Depends what the author means by "can be repeated". In principle, for sure. But the precise circumstances which elicit a "paranormal" phenomenon might be extraordinary difficult to specify.
2. "[P]eople are exceedingly hard to convince when it comes to doubting their own perceptions".
That will generally speaking be so. However, I suspect this will not generally pertain if some anomalous phenomenon is observed. One is more likely to suppose that one cannot possibly be seeing what they seemed to see. Indeed, it might well be that anomalous phenomena is far more prevalent than we generally think, but we implicitly assume we're just "seeing things".
3. "Everyone – you, me, your spouse, children, siblings, co-workers, best friends, teachers, employers and even your sweet old grandmother have told lies".
A catch-all dismissal which can be advanced no matter how prevalent an anomalous phenomenon might be. Certain types of anomalous phenomena are universal e.g. crisis apparitions, telepathy etc. It is extraordinary implausible to suggest that they are all lying. Or indeed, given the similarity of the accounts, that they are all due to folly, delusion, cognitive illusion or pathology.

5. "There has never been any credible, demonstrable research to even suggest the plausibility of life beyond death".
The plausibility of the survival hypothesis, or perhaps rather implausibility of the survival hypothesis, has more to do with our implicit metaphysical convictions than what the scientific research suggests. People in our modern western society are generally educated to believe that we are purely physical beings and any notion of an afterlife is foolish. Having said that, and having argued for this on my other blog here, "life after death" has a certain plausibility since consciousness (or/and the self) cannot in principle be accommodated by science, at least as science is currently conceived. The brain producing consciousness goes against everything we understand about the way reality operates. It is somewhat more implausible than suggesting a TV set produces the programmes being screened. 

We cannot perceive anyone else's consciousness, we can only infer it from their bodily behaviour. This underlines the fact that consciousness is not physical i.e it is not empirically detectable. Once the body fails how can we infer consciousness has ceased to exist?

And of course there is "credible, demonstrable research" which not only suggests its plausibility, but its reality. I'm especially thinking here of the research conducted to ascertain whether children's ostensible memories of a previous life match up to events that really happened.

Update:  I originally said all of the above in the comments under the article.  The author deleted my comment describing it as "harassment".

Leave Facebook and get a life?

I don't know why people are always saying they need to spend less time on facebook. There's people like me on there who make witty comments, profound observations and provide interesting links. Not many of us, admittedly!

A caveman suddenly appearing in a modern city

Imagine a caveman from 100,000 BC suddenly being transported in time to today and placed for a brief time into the middle of a modern city. ...