This is part of my blog, which I have long since stopped maintaining. The page has been preserved in case its content is of any interest. Please go back to the homepage to see the current contents of this site.
Cat-boy transfers to school.
Cat-boy ignores advances of D-cup alleged 12-year-old.
Cat-boy reads Nietzsche and rants about master-slave morality.
Cat-boy is psychologically abused by older man.
Cat-boy becomes older man’s sub.
THEN, THEY BATTLE OTHERS WITH THEIR MAGIC POWERS.
If, by some massively unlikely feat of probability you want Halo 3 but haven’t already bought it, I’ve got me a £5 off voucher you might like. First come, first served!
Voucher’s for the normal boxed version not the limited edition, redeemable at Currys and Currys Digital.
I just had a rather graphic dream about butchering bunnies. It’s not fair! I completely missed the farmers’ market this month. =S wants bunny
Philosophy time! This is the first of possibly many posts I’ll make, to dump my thoughts onto the internet and see what people make of them.
I, for want of a better phrase, believe in magic. For the sake of argument I’ll define magic thus:
<blockquote>The ability of a mind to affect reality as perceived by it and by other minds, either directly by thought alone, or by physical actions that are not directly physically related to the desired consequence (e.g. causing it to rain by cloud-seeding involves interaction with clouds, thus not magic, whereas a rain-dance does not involve direct interaction, thus it’s magic).
</blockquote>Feel free to take issue with that.
In an attempt to quantify this belief, I’ll say that I am about as convinced that magic is possible as I am that the Copenhagen Interpretation is possible. To people who have never come across the concept before, both seem ridiculous. However, I believe that I have seen enough evidence for them both that I am convinced. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t convince an opponent of either that the object of their opposition is actually a feature of reality. However, I’m pretty sure I could talk around someone who already seems predisposed to believe in that kind of thing (e.g. convince a religious believer of the existence of magic, or a chemist of the existence of quantum indeterminacy).
So, how can I justify my belief in either? I’ll begin with magic.
As far as I know, our commonly accepted scientific knowledge contains no mechanism by which magic can sensibly exist. The idea that a mind can directly influence the world without physical action isn’t currently scientifically viable. The idea that something can have an almost unrelated consequence is way out on the improbable fringes of chaos theory.
These thoughts drag me inexorably in the direction of Mister Berkeley and Idealism. However, the age-old question of whether a tree falling when no-one is there to hear it makes a sound or not raises its head. It seems silly to suggest that it wouldn’t. As I understand it, Berkeley’s response is “God is always watching”. Along with sounding like a bit of a cop-out, this seems at odds with the current understanding of the quantum realm - the fact that indeterminacy seems to exist suggests that (either we’re not really getting it, or) there is no universal observer.
It seems logical that a tree falling when no-one is around should make a sound. Perhaps it’s an integral part of what it means to be a tree. This, they tell me, is Phenomenalism, or something like it.
However, I have issues with that too. For example:
It’s not an intrinsic property of a plastic ball that it should be underground. In fact, it’s not even a very likely property for any ball in question. However, say you had a plastic ball. You bury it in the ground, cover it up perfectly, and don’t tell anyone about it. Even if there is no reality outside of what’s in our own heads, you know the ball is there, so it is. No-one else has any opinion on the subject, because they don’t know about it. Now, say this ball is left for 200 years. You’re long dead, so no-one knows about the ball. By chance, someone digs in just that spot. They find the ball. If there were no absolute reality, and no-one knew about the ball, it must be random chance that the digger found a ball. Which leads me to suppose that the chance of him finding a ball was there - and presumably the same - regardless of whether
you ever buried a ball there in the first place.
That seems very unlikely. However, that also seems the logical conclusion of the idealist / phenomenalist points of view, which are the only ones I have encountered that provide a reasonable basis for my experience of magic.
Thoughts / Comments / Criticisms / Mad Irate Ranting?
Eric has declared my keyboard “icky”, so I’m on the look-out for a replacement. (It also isn’t fond of capital letters some days, so it’s sadly not as if cleaning it would solve all the problems.)
Unfortunately, having perused various websites, I haven’t yet seen one I actually like, which:
- Has a two-key-width backspace key
- Has a non-raised bit on the right-hand side of the Caps Lock key, to stop you hitting it at the same time as 'A'
- Has a Return key that's two rows high
- Has a set of Insert/Home/etc. keys above the arrow keys in a three wide by two deep block
- Has multimedia keys that include play/pause, fast-forward, rewind
- Has at least four other multimedia keys that are a reasonable match for web browser, e-mail, file manager and terminal
- Is wired
So: Do any of you have a keyboard that matches most or all of those requirements? If so (and if you’re happy with it) could you let me know what it is and where you got it from? I would be muchly obliged!
Quick update - we’re transferring to Bournemouth hospital this afternoon. Unfortunately, due to an outbreak of something-or-other, we won’t be allowed visitors there. I’ll post if this changes, but at the moment it looks like 2-4 this afternoon in Poole is the last time anyone can visit us. Sorry!
I didn’t realise this before today, but apparently Eric needs to weigh 10 stone, and Social Services come to take away the babies of pagan parents. Also, knowing one’s limits and asking for help are frowned upon. And the mortgage advisor is “really sad that I’m not more pro-active”.
Oh, and “Ian is bone-idle. I might be able to change him, but it seems doubtful”.
Better yet, drinking any milk that isn’t skimmed and long-life is apparently an act of rebellion! Full-fat milk for all! Long live the revolution!
I need to shout at this woman sometime soon, before I explode.
If anyone wants 5% off stuff from www.homeofpoi.com, they just sent us many money-off-code sticker things. Comment if you want one!
By nine o’clock the sun has already set so deeply that it is time to draw the curtains against the night. The sky is full of clouds, obscuring whatever moon and stars there might have been; ready to dampen this town again tonight and tomorrow.
There have been a few summery days of late, but it was in April and May that we had an unexpectedly early summer. Now it’s mid-August, normally the time when the sun burns down most strongly on beaches full of smiling faces, and it feels like whatever Summer we had is now gone. The beaches are sparse and cold, the tourists finding indoor activities to pass their time, and we stay inside and look out across the damp and windy town, waiting for twilight to draw in. Another day ends, and with it thoughts of a Summer like those we used to know.
They say this winter will be colder than last, and next summer hotter than this. But, really, who knows? Even further on into the future, will there be snowy Januaries and sunny Julys? I hope so, but… there’s a lot of new things this year.
It’s ten days now until the baby’s due, though it might well be sooner. I think I’m more prepared than I was, but it’s still somewhat unfathomable - just how much will our lives change, and in what ways? Will we be good parents or bad? Will our friends stick around or fade away? Will we stay young, or grow old?
Will we still think the same things, as we watch a Spring sunrise or the premature Autumn twilight?
There are clouds inland, but not here. This close to the coast, in the summer, they just seem to pass us by. And so, day after day the sun bakes the ground, and the wind is warm enough to be barely an interlude. Work isn’t too hard at the moment, despite having taken on responsibility for half the project’s software. (Now everything’s version controlled and such, it’s not too difficult!) Thus, I have the time to spend my lunch sitting on the wall of the harbour, listening to the screeching gulls, the screeching tourists, and the water lapping against the rocks below.
The concept of fatherhood has got a lot less scary recently. I don’t think, really, I’m scared at all anymore. It’s a big life-changing thing, of course, but more than that it’s an adventure. And unless life kept on changing, I guess I’d get bored. So that’s all okay, the theory is fine. It’s the practicality that’s worrying me at the moment. The time is very close; less than a week now. But knowing when, that’s difficult. There doesn’t seem to be any advice on which symptoms imply whic
h degrees of imminence. There’s a lot of weird biology going on, I keep being told all the symptoms she has, but all it does is make me fret about it more.
Eric’s sister and her boyfriend are coming to Bournemouth and staying with us, apparently for the next week. Thus it looks like I’ll have another source of stress! Hurrah!
Now, tea and trying to relax. They’ll be here in about half an hour, and I’ve only just got home…
Also, Bella Italia do Crispy Duck pizza, with Hoi Sin sauce and spring onions and… cheese. It’s absolutely bloody heretical! I want some now.