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I heard back from UBC about my application, so far toward the outer edge of the period within which they said they'd get back that I had meanwhile become quite convinced that I'd made some awful and disqualifying error in submitting it. Since I didn't, it seems very likely now that I'll be in and taking at least a couple of their summer courses in May (which is the term I applied for). They've asked me for official transcripts from Langara and Windsor House; I ordered the former sent, but I guess that I'll have to call them up and explain about Windsor House.

(Dr. Russell suggested I think about trying to get into the honours philosophy program -- as though this whole thing weren't complicated enough! But it's tempting, and I am considering it, though I don't know how feasible it will be given the awkward angle at which I'm approaching the university 'years' system.)

Spring is progressing; it's raining a lot, but warmer, and when the sun does appear it is wonderfully moderate and fresh-smelling. The cherry trees have blossomed but not bloomed, or maybe the other way around, but anyway I mean that the flowers are colourfully in evidence but still demurely closed. Formal spring begins with the equinox, the perfectly balanced day, which is Wednesday (on the equator, where all days are so balanced and the seasons understood very differently, the sun will reach zenith). (Can you tell that I'm having fun in Astronomy?) Around here, because of daylight savings, that twelve-hour day's sunrise will be at 7 AM, its sunset at 7 PM, and its noonday sun at 1 PM! As weird as that is, though, when the light is still there in the evening I can never but consider whomever came up with it to be the most marvellous sort of Promethean thief.

Today being the 18th, it is clear not only that Wednesday is the 21st but that Friday was the 16th of March, which is one of my personal anniversaries -- or rather twice-personal, by which I mean that it is celebrated by twice as many people as it were by me alone. Specifically, it is the seventh anniversary of the time that I looked over through the window of the car next to ours in a parking lot off the I-5 in Oregon and unexpectedly met the eyes of a waving red haired 13-year-old, which was the first time Rachel and I had ever seen each other in the moving, present flesh. I'm not sure how we got to be marking and celebrating this, except that I guess the date stuck in both our minds. (Also, I delivered a time-delayed '0th anniversary' joke at the time.) Sometimes one of us will do something especially and premeditatedly affectionate for it, and sometimes, as this year, I'll just go through my day periodically noticing what the date is, and smiling unbidden whenever I do.

My sister is interning at the North Shore News, which is the culmination of her time in the Langara journalism program. So far she has had something like 8 stories in the paper, at least one of which was on the front page, and has conducted a couple of those "man on the street" polls (like The Onion parodies), with names, photographs and encapsulated opinions of people she met walking down Lonsdale. Right now I understand that she's working on a story about the local vandal who has cut holes in certain people's hedges. I've been seeing the North Shore News around all my life, but I've never read it, so for me, opening it and finding Tess there is almost like she was in there all along, if I had thought to look.

At Karen's birthday party at the Elephant House last Sunday, I saw Keely for the first time in ages (and then I saw her again the next night, after B5). She told me about how she is planning to bike from Vancouver down to Mexico with these guys, in May, to help raise money for the implementation of those moneylending systems designed by the fellow who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year. She suggested that it would be cool if people put the word out about the project, so here I am doing that to the best of my ability.

Elise has a gig today, but although I am tempted to go watch I have some homework I really ought to do. Dear Elise: I hope it goes awesome even though I am not there.
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Here is a monologue that I wrote, had corrected, and am now in the process of memorizing for Japanese class. It has the sort of stumbling simplicity you'd expect from a second semester language student. Having such a drastically limited ability to express myself is one of the things that's actually pretty frightening about my attempt at bilingualism; another is having to accept that words and the concepts they refer to are fundamentally not the same thing.

カット )
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There's a large banner hanging outside the Vancouver art gallery right now, and looking at it from the bus, I noticed some characters in an odd font, off to the left of it, that looked like hiragana. 'Te ra', I read (てら), and felt pretty pleased with myself for a couple of moments before I realized it was actually a seventy-five.

Did I ever ask my weblog about the bottle of wine that I received for my birthday? I don't think I did. It came from Rowen; I don't drink, but I respect the cultural provenance of alcohol as a birthday gift. What should I do with it? It's been sitting perplexingly in my kitchen for three months now. Suggestions so far include:
  • Give it to somebody else who wants it (probably my sister).

  • Learn to cook with it.

  • Use it to christen a ship.

Whoops, 'provenance' doesn't mean what I mean by 'provenance'. I wonder what does?

Also, since Rachel has been making puppy eyes at me, I suppose that if you respond to this post, I will sketch an interpretation of one of your livejournal interests in MS Paint.

Logic

Sep. 22nd, 2005 09:09 pm
garran: (Default)
Just like cola's math posts!

Mostly just for myself )

I have made some friends in logic class (one in particular¹ that a couple of you have heard of) and it looks as though we're going to accumulate more, which is awesome. I would be taking this to one of them except that I don't know how to contact any of them outside of class.

¹ Chona, if you're reading this someday, this was you!²
² Which is not to say that the Jason of the future should feel snubbed. See how I mention him, too.³
³ Magda, I have only just spoken to you for the first time today. But I still like your name.
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One nice thing about rereading Tam Lin (yeah, I picked it up almost immediately upon finishing the entry where I mentioned it. I am weak) is that it helped me feel more enthusiastic than trepidatious about heading back into college classes with the Fall. Here is my current registered schedule:

Monday Tuesday Thursday Friday

12:30 - 1:25 History of the Early Medieval World

1:30 - 2:25 Introduction to Logic

Monday

2:30 - 5:25 Religions of the West

Tuesday Thursday

3:30 - 5:00 Sociology I

There is, you'll note, a significant paucity of those hour-long breaks between classes that so pleasantly characterized my Spring (though I still get Wednesdays off). I hope that works out okay. Of those classes, I'm least certain about the last one - and still conceivably might decide against it - but Sociology sounds like the sort of thing which might fascinate me, and I'd feel bad if I neglected either to experiment or to take at least four classes - Tess, who is starting in the Journalism program this fall (!), is taking six.

It's amazing how quickly that feeling of dread and inertia settled back on to me once I was out of my classes this term. I'll be glad to be back.
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There's a battered windshield wiper in the dust by the crosswalk to Capilano Mall. I wonder if it was actually flung there.

The cherry blossoms are falling again, like Autumn's fey sister; they pool and swirl about the sidewalks and the parking lots, and their death is sweet and strong in all the nearby air, unless someone is smoking.

Having apparently learned less than I'd hoped in the way of timely preparation tactics, I feel deeply unprepared for my finals tomorrow. But it's an incredible day; perhaps I'll sit out on the deck to study...
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I am trying to determine which AD&D alignment best corresponds to the theories we've discussed in Moral Philosophy. (I will stop short of actually designing a specialty priest for each.)

Within. )

It's amusing that this exercise is so helpful and clarifying to my understanding.

Edit: Oops! I forgot the Ethics of Care! With its emphasis on individual relationships and disdain for larger principle, it can probably best be described as Chaotic Good.
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Marilee amuses me, my shoulder hurts (the muscle is gone mad), and I discovered in Philosophy class today that I agree (and have been agreeing for some time) with two mutually exclusive arguments about morality. One, endorsed by Aristotle, is that people are naturally virtuous, and acquire a deeply felt satisfaction (he calls it 'eudaimonia') from behaving in accordance with these functions (and I, also, tend to think that the fewer distortions of a person's natural tendency has been inflicted upon them, the more likely they are to treat other people well, and that, if someone is naturally drawn to some behaviour, there is probably some merit to it). The other, endorsed by Kant (and derived at least partially from Christianity), is that people are naturally base - that doing good is a victory of reason over natural inclination, and that it might often, functioning properly, leave you miserable (and I have often supposed that it is a better thing to do something good even though the alternative has occurred to you, and tempted you, than if you do not even imagine there's a choice). I'll have to think about this; even from the brief experience of describing them here, I'm clearly not entirely happy with either of them.
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[01:36] <Garran> I had a dream [the other] night about an aging, grave, deep-voiced cowboy type.
[01:36] <Garran> I was talking to him, and he said, "I don't understand why people laugh."
[01:36] <cola> he was probably batman.
[01:37] <cola> BATMAN doesn't think "i'm batman!" is funny.
[01:37] <Garran> But just when he said that, a cat, or maybe a dog - I think it was mutable - *giggles* - did something which caused several people on TV to fall over, and the cowboy laughed uproariously.
[01:37] <Garran> This impressed him [such] that he took the cat-or-dog home to live with him.
[01:38] <Garran> He named it 'Kant'.
[01:38] <Garran> That was my dream.
[01:38] <cola> Good dream.
[01:38] <JayRandom> yosh~
[01:38] <JayRandom> indeed it is
[01:38] <JayRandom> you should LJ that. ;^>
[01:39] <Garran> Perhaps I will.
garran: (Default)
My impression has long been that Libertarianism, as a political philosophy, is based on principles of ethical egoism (of which Ayn Rand was the most famous proponent). Is this true? Can you be a libertarian without being an ethical egoist?
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In my classes, I seem to be one of the most likely to wait with my hand up, rather than interjecting into a discussion outright. At first, I found this strangely counterintuitive, but then I realized that, more than a Windsor House class, my Langara classes (especially Philosophy) resemble a Windsor House meeting - some thirty people sitting together in a brightly lit room, attempting to figure something out through dialogue. No wonder my instinct is to politely attempt the speakers' list!

Right now in Asian Mythology we're looking at the Ramayana. Here's my favourite passage from the fairly detailed synopsis we read last week:
Rama cannot but believe that Sita has been killed by Raksasas, and in mad passion, he declares his intention of destroying the whole world. He will fill the air with his arrows, stay the course of the wind, annihilate the rays of the sun and envelop the earth in darkness, hurl down the summits of the hills, dry up the lakes, destroy the ocean, uproot the trees, nay more, even annihilate the gods themselves if they do not give him back his Sita. Only with much trouble does Laksmana succeed in soothing the raving one and in persuading him to renew the search.
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The other day, in Philosophy, I thought about the difference between subjectivism and humility, arguing that even though everyone (including oneself) stands a fair chance of being wrong, it is possible to be right. I wonder if I've always agreed with that?

Sumana says, Abolition of slavery. If you're against this, I kind of want to know why. Every once in a while, I've asked questions in the same vein; why people believe that children can't learn to read of their own volition, or that America is uniquely virtuous among nations. When people say these things, I don't understand what rational considerations can have led them to those conclusions, so I want them to tell me.

But these assertions don't just seem unsupported in a neutral, cautious way; they're things that I disagree with (though much less vehemently in the last case). I kind of give the impression that I'm inviting people who agree with them to try and convince me - which, in fact, I am - but I don't actually want to be convinced - if I'm wrong, I'd like to be corrected, but at the moment, I believe that I'm right, so I'm naturally belligerent to attempts to change my view (to greater or lesser degrees, depending how strong my opinion is). So, I don't want to know what you think because I'm receptive to your point of view; I want to know because A) I tend to assume that people are behaving logically, so if I don't understand the logic of an argument, that's a gap in my understanding I want to fill; but mostly B) I want to have a grip on why you think what you do so that I can try to convince you to think otherwise.

(Edit - Actually, there's (at least) a C): sometimes, I'm not so interested in convincing the other party as I am in strengthening my own logic by pitting it against stronger arguments than I have before; that is, convincing myself to be more sure of what I think. It feels, though I'm not sure this is true, as though this is a nobler intention.)

Is this warlike conversation? If so, is it avoidable, and is it really desirable that I avoid it, or is that consideration impractical? I think the answers to some of these questions have a lot to do with how willing I am to consider that I might be the one who is wrong.

I often want to give weblog entries climax and closure, which I pretty rarely accomplish, because weblogs (at least, mine) are all about things that are still in progress. At any rate, these are the things that I'm thinking about at a time of night when I really ought to be sleeping.
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Oh, I should get around to telling you guys what my school schedule is going to look like. Thanks to Marilee for politely explaining that I ought to be using the search function which told me whether a class was full (this is one of the reasons this list is not identical to the list of prospective classes I posted a while ago).

Read more... )

I wonder what I ought to bring to these classes? Presumably I'm expected to provide my own paper and writing implements; are there other canonical 'school supplies' I ought to be aware of?
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Yesterday I went to take the Langara English Test - because, as some of you may not know, I'm planning to take some courses at Langara come the Spring term, which begins in January - and I will get a '0', because, although I finished the essay, I wasn't able to transcribe it in pen onto the 'good copy' side of the page before time ran out. I was pretty grumpy about this at first (if the intent is to test my English comprehension and usage, why is there a time trial aspect at all?), but David's pre-Birthday-party party did a lot to cheer me up, and Cody and Marilee volunteered a bunch of useful advice which essentially boils down to, "Don't be afraid to do your initial composition in pen, even though you're paranoid about media in which there is no backspace equivalent" (Cody also suggests I might buy one of those newfangled white-out sticks). If all else fails, I can always just take some things for which the LET is not a prerequisite; there are certainly enough that I am interested in.

As probably promised, I have some pictures of my Hallowe'en Dread piracy, which wasn't a mighty feat of cosplay, but served me pretty well regardless. There are also some I took the next day, to give a better idea of what I looked like with the moustache (which is no longer extant, though I kind of liked it).

Oh, and one note from this thing that's been going around -
You can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Thai food.
Not only is this true, but I have never thought to consider it unusual. Just how benighted is the rest of the world?

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Andy H.

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