A collection of ideas for your interest and for the benefit of my mental health.

28 December 2011

A collection of Christmas thoughts.

In my anual ice cold retreat to the North for Christmas, I did some work and I had some thoughts and I dossed around a bit.  I wrote down a few things I thought might be a decent basis to blog about, and some other things I just wanted to write down.  I'm gonna flesh them out a bit maybe but enjoy a little collection.

Distant family turmoil was going on, which paved a strange feeling of death into the 23rd of December and a general discussion of being ones own man and living for one's self.  It was a weird emotion that struck a chord.

I realise that I have become preoccupied with risks, not conscious of the rewards which I might reap from taking more.  I shall deal with this in the new year.  I feel it is time to take control of all manner of matters.

Damn I’m handsome this Christmas.
I have enjoyed this strange and dubiously ethical reality show called The Pickup Artist for a bit but on 24th of December it began to seem like they were teaching the aspiring master pickup artists to be liars.  I felt a bit disillusioned about that really, it's supposed to be about improving people skills and recognition of behavioural language.  Disappointing.

To Dos this holidays...

Make phone calls.
Thank Yous.
Revise more.
Sort New Years.
Design 2012's The Specialist playlists.
Buy a new satchel, a watch, a Kindle?

This section written whilst listening to Wham!

Well that worked out far worse than I expected.  But that's what happens when internet is severely limited and I can't be bothered to focus.  And this blog is what you get when I can't be bothered to focus, but have an unlimited internet.

08 December 2011

In my opinion...

A minor entry right now about something I haven't really understood for a while now.  There seems to be a general call for people to append their opinions with the words 'I think' or 'in my opinion' in order to set them apart from facts.  I cannot comprehend a world like this for several reasons.

1.It is very easy to tell a fact from an opinion.

2. People misuse opinion and fact.

3.Language would be so boring and conversations so unwieldy.

It's a stupid idea.  Now what was that, a fact or an opinion?

1.  If I say 'elephants are a foot tall' you can probably tell me they're not with some certainty - perhaps you have looked at an elephant before, or have an unhealthy addiction to learning and an extensive encyclopedia collection.  You will go 'no they're not' because you know it isn't true.  On the other hand if I say 'My Chemical Romance is dross'  you will instinctively know, because I judged something on a scale of goodness in this example, that I am expressing an opinion and you will react (hopefully) in an 'I agree Harry' way.  It is our duty as thinking organisms to be able to detect through language what we mean.  Nobody is confusing the term 'MCR is shite' for fact unless they lack a critical mind, and we should build this sort of skill up.

 2. I think I touched on this idea in my discussion of religion all those months back.  In a world where people's views can be expressed as fact I face a brick wall.  It is a fact that my opinion is that My Chemical Romance is not a fun band.  But that doesn't not make 'My Chemical Romance is not a fun band' a fact.  That's easy.  However we have certain religious groups claiming that God exists purely because they believe he exists - this exposes a problem in that facts can be disputed in the same way opinions can diverge and create conflict.  The major difference, as far I can tell, is information can be backed up with truths evident to anyone whereas a qualitative judgement along the lines of 'they are a great band' differs from individual to individual.  Of course to be mindful of this difference requires a reasonable and rational thinker, a type of person I hope is common but still can't rely on. 

3. Wouldn't life be boring if our language was littered with arbitrary 'in my opinion' and 'the way I see it'?  We eliminate such extraneous phrases from our conversation because we don't need them.  I read a lot obviously for my degree, and a pleasing and easy reading piece of work sheds archaic ways and pairs down the fluff into a succinct and flowing work.  Opinion comes across as such, because it is signposted by structure and use of evidence, not by a prefacing phrase.

Overall, it is stupid idea.  Now what was that, a fact or an opinion?