Monthly Archives: September 2007

Why???

I’ve lost my faith in the human race. I think it comes from watching x-factor for starters. God it’s so banal! Why does everyone take something that is really trivial so seriously? All the screaming – unfortunately it is made so it’s addictive and it’s difficult to stop watching even if you’re shouting at the tv.
Had a random weekend in general. Spent friday night watching quality tv. QI – essential viewing of course and a bit of Mock the Week featuring very funny people and the very fit Russell Howard.
Didn’t do a lot saturday – well saying that I did do some work, and reading of a textbook which is usually rare for me. Went out sat night – was nice early on, had food and a couple of drinkies in Weatherspoons. Moved to further down the road for couple of cocktails and then on to another bar for a drink in there. After that – moved onto two of the most pointless bars in the world. For cheapy bars next to a uni – they are so small its stupid. The space behind the bar is nearly the same size as the rest of the place. After about 10.30 it’s so packed you can’t move unless you’re dancing in the room upstairs.
After a while there I came home which was about 2 ish. Before I got annoyed by lots of drunk students.
Have done pretty much nothing all day today. We all got up late and had pancakes and stuff for breakfast. I did some youtubing and then went for a lil walk in the rain and took some photos.
Got 2 hours tomorrow morning and then 2 hours in the afternoon – lovely jubbly.

First day at school…

Well not quite. It felt like that in lectures this morning. First lecture was in the new building that was complete over the summer so it felt all new, couldnt find the stairs on my way up to the room.
There are quite a few different people on the course because they have come back from a placement year and joined the people coming straight from stage 2 so new faces as well.
I’m trying to get into the habit of making better notes or just notes in some cases. I realised that revision is so much easier if you’ve already learnt the stuff once which wasnt true in some modules last year.
Also there is so much time for self-motivated studying that I cant have any excuses. I’ve got 9 hours of lectures in a week so time to buckle down.
Here’s to my last year in education.

How to…generalise

Guy Browning
Saturday September 15, 2007

Everybody generalises. Everything you say about people is a generalisation unless it’s about a named individual and then it’s gossip. That’s why you can’t do generalised gossip or gossipy generalisations.
Primitive languages don’t allow generalisation. If you’re not talking about something specific, then you’re not making any sense. The modern equivalent of this is scientific journals where only facts with footnotes are allowed. Breakthroughs are made by scientists who ignore this rule and go for big general theories, such as relativity, leaving footnotes to others. It’s the same in real life. Glorious generalisers in search of broad truths are followed by legions of nit-pickers.

The ability to generalise is what separates mankind from the animals. We have big ideas of no relevance to the immediate search for our next meal. That’s why philosophers steer clear of supermarkets: it’s impossible to generalise when you’re grubbing for food. Marx put down the lack of a proper British revolution to our failure to generalise beyond our individual misery. He failed to understand that the British enjoy misery.
Ants are a very successful species because they ignore their individual needs and continually generalise about the greater good. You’ll notice that they have lots of worker ants but there’s no room for nit-picker ants.

The more you generalise, the simpler things get. It’s impossible to generalise about something that makes the picture more confused, except for weather forecasting which attempts to give a detailed general picture. The highest order of generalisation simplifies everything into a featureless cosmic semolina similar to thinking nothing at all.

These days, accusing someone of generalising is tantamount to calling them a liar. But generalisations are only so-called by people who don’t agree with them. Generalisations you really like feel like self-evident truths.

Interestingly, generalisations start with an individual point of view. When you say that all Wednesdays are rubbish, it’s based on your experience. Other people with similar experiences will agree with you, and even people who haven’t will begin to think that Wednesdays aren’t so good. Eventually everyone will come to know and expect that Wednesdays are the low point of the week. That’s how big ideas get started, generally.

How to.. Have a nice day

How to… have a nice day

Guy Browning
Saturday September 8, 2007

It’s impossible for the British to say “Have a nice day” without the long shadow of sarcasm passing over the conversation. In this country we presume that the day will be bad if not disastrous, whereas in America, nice days and the having thereof are written into the constitution.
You get really good days only about once a year. That’s when everything in life conspires to be in your favour. Some people worry so much that it will come to an end that they don’t enjoy the day when it’s there. Just accept that sometimes it really is your day.

Nice days are ones that make happy memories. One nice day can extinguish the memory of 13 bad ones, which is handy because this is normally the ratio you get on two weeks’ holiday with the family. It’s also the day you forget your camera.
Nice days can happen spontaneously. You get out of bed on the right side, with a spring in your step and a song in your heart. This can be disconcerting for naturally grumpy people and they have to commit several acts of unpleasantness before the feeling subsides.

Bad news comes in threes – but so does good news. Nice days that start well are likely to get even better and probably end on a high note. You know you’ve had a good day when you go to bed with a smile on your face. Really good days end with two people smiling in your bed, one of which is you.

There is normally a meteorological aspect to nice days. A shaft of sunlight can for a moment lend a cathedral-like grandeur to a corner of your living room. Sometimes a warm breeze in your hair or the smell of wood smoke can lift your spirits. If you get both at the same time, be careful that your hair is not actually on fire as this would then begin to be a bad day.

There would be more nice days if everyone made more of an effort to make other people’s day. The equivalent of a shaft of sunlight in your living room is sharing a smile or a laugh with a complete stranger. So it’s worth smiling at people you meet, and don’t worry, with those teeth no one’s going to mistake you for an American.

Outrageous Wasters

The programme that’s been on BBC3 for the last 4 weeks I think. Same old format of ‘team of experts taking over your life’ – but I think it’s quite an interesting programme. It does open your eyes to see that even the smallest things in your life could make a difference to climate change etc.
For example – only buying local or English food – not packaged in layers of stuff. Organically grown fruit/veg and local free range meat makes a difference.
Recycling does make a difference – you can recycle most stuff except for polythene and thin plastics most of the time. It makes a difference to what you buy – if something is made of lots of stuff that you cant recycle, I’m put off buying it.
Electricity – leaving tv’s/stereos/ etc on standby is using nearly as much electricity as leaving it on. Pressing the button off on the front of the telly/computer/stereo uses much less.
Makes a difference to your bills too.
We’re already quite a green family at home – we recycle most things and dont waste outrageous amounts of electricity and water but it does make you thing do you really need a big deep bath when a 5 minute shower will suffice?
I hope all the energy being used to make the programme is not killing the planet.

More here…..

Oh and I definitely disagree with the phrase ‘boot camp’ – what is this? x-factor or something?

Some questions

If you could travel to any two places in the world, where would you go?
If you could change two things about the world, what would you change?

Stolen from Hoverfrog

Oooh travelling – well I’m constantly adding to the long list of places I’d love to go when I finish uni but if it was oly two it would have to be…..
India – eastern culture completely different from this one – definite eye opener.
New Zealand – for the mountains, lovely scenery etc.

Change two things about the world – oooh tricky cus I have no idea how it would turn out. But I would like to see how the world would be if the human race didnt have the instinct to always go for itself, to get the most money, to be better than the next person. If people were much more willing to help others, not just other people but animals/plants and were quite happy with co-habiting with other life forms. Maybe there wouldnt be such a thing as global warming for one. And maybe human beings would be completely different.

Hmm… second thing.. I’m not sure I would change a lot more than that. There are a few annoying things in the world but I’ve either already got them covered in the first change or that the world wouldnt be the same and maybe not as great if it wasnt for some things.
For example – wasps – I’m sure we’ve all hated them and thought them an entirely pointless animal but I’m sure if wasps didnt exist then something beautiful and vital to the worlds continuity would be wiped out as well.
I think the world is like it is for a reason. It has evolved like this and it’s science and general rules of how the universe works that it is like this. If the tiniest thing were different, it would cause so much to change, that relies on that one thing and the world would be at an end.
As grumpy as I like to be, and as much as I hate lots of things that get on my nerves, we probably wouldnt be here or wouldnt be able to carry on being here if it wasnt for them. God bless our beautiful world and all the natural things in it.
Apart from humans of course.