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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Wednesday 31 August 2005 (Day View)

31.08.2005Wednesday 31 August – Uni

This is a terrible time to arrive at uni. I borrowed out one of the PocketPCs and wrote up a list of things to get done before the Friday demonstration – I suppose I have left it to the last minute again, as usual, although this is a little worse than the usual because I can only work during office hours when I can borrow the PocketPCs.
I tutored. I then went to my PSYC1020 tutorial with Maz and learnt that Brunette women who do not wear makeup are more likely to get a job (and a higher salary) than those with makeup; blondes and redheads are, according to this study, less attractive to employers regardless of their makeup. This was followed by a PHIL1000 tutorial, where our tutor disagreed with our lecturer, readings, and most other things he could think of.
Maz and I attended a two-hour PSYC1020 lecture, where we were supposed to learn about something but I can’t really remember what, and then headed to the Ville for food – Spaghetti Napolitana in my case.
Maz and I made our way to our PHIL1000 lecture, where we had a new, and eminently quotable, lecturer. We discussed dualism – the separation of the mind from the body, and the “animal spirits” Descartes believed responsible for carrying sensual data along our nerves, although as the lecturer reminded us, “they’re not really spirits, no more than vodka is a spirit... in the supernatural sense”.
  We progressed to discussing how an object can exist independently of another. I believe the point was to illustrate how the body is separate from the mind, but our lecturer chose two nearby whiteboard erasers to illustrate his point – passing one behind his back while holding the other high, claiming that this illustrated something, or in his words, “the world could be destroyed leaving this one whiteboard eraser”. He then paused to think before continuing, “but it would probably explode because of quantum theory, so maybe that’s not such a good example... but back to the mind and body”.
  Back on the topic of the mind and body, we were told that someone seeing a rose would see a rose. That is, their eyes would register red light reflected from the rose, which would in turn trigger a memory of a rose in their brain, but at this point, the mind would take over, turning the memory of the rose into a beautiful flower. Or as our lecturer put it, “you just stop jiggling nerves... and you start to see red... ok, so you’re jiggling away at nerves...” Somehow, this didn’t paint the picture he was hoping for. Add in the “animal spirits pouring into the brain”, and... you probably had to be there to appreciate it.
  We went on to discuss what constitutes a conscious, soulful entity; our lecturer claimed that animals weren’t, prompting one of the students to claim that their cat would disagree. This resulted in perhaps the most unique way of passing a course at UQ – an offer to “bring [your cat] in and see if he can pass a PHIL1000 test. If he can, high distinctions all around”, and a claim that perhaps some cats would “want to be an altruistic cat, a cat for other cats”. Our lecturer then went on to claim that perhaps some people weren’t really conscious either, perhaps only he himself was, and everyone else was a machine, a zombie, programmed to respond like a person, and that perhaps the person beside each of us was really a zombie – “[we] ask them, but what if they just think they’re conscious, they’re really a zombie”. It’s funnier when you’re sitting there, and you’re used to dead boring IT lecturers who almost certainly are zombies.
  After claiming people have souls, but animals don’t, our lecturer made the further distinction between people and chairs – “everyone listening is a thinking thing... well the chair’s aren’t... but they’re not listening”. This was a relief to some, who were no longer sure if they were zombies or not. To answer a question some student raised, he finished off with an explanation of pure logic – something that’s certain and understandable even if nothing physical exists; mathematics, for example, relies on logic and not our senses – or as only he could put it, “you know one plus one equals two, you cannot get that wrong if you’re paying attention... unless you’re on drugs, except then of course you’re not paying attention”. We then had a ten-minute break and I discovered that the only vending machine that takes notes was out of order.
  The second hour wasn’t anywhere near as amusing.
I should consider bed, as I have to be up in less than six hours.
Comment by Mum – Thursday 1 September 2005, 7:40 PM
  Holy Mackerel. Who are these mob? A rose is a rose is a rose. By any other name, it still smells as sweet.
   A blonde is a blonde (well, okay, maybe..maybe) is a brunette, a redhead, who cares. Under the exterior is another soul. A dog is a dog is a dog. A cat, etc. Look into the eyes of a dog and tell me that there is no soul. Fools, who think otherwise. Who are these idiots who are supposed to be your teachers?
   "Everyone listening is a thinking thing.."....???? a thinking THING!! A thinking THING!. Holy riot.
   I am disgusted. A cat would do the sensible thing (if brought in to attend a PHIL1000 test and (hopefully)_ piss on the nearest cable or electrical inlet and then settle down nicely to gleefully watch the ensuing mayhem. (Can an "entity" be gleeful
Comment by Mum – Thursday 1 September 2005, 7:43 PM
  And is "glee" a sign of soul? I applaud any and all of you who studiously or nonchalently ignore these so called teachers.
Comment by Maz – Friday 2 September 2005, 11:44 PM
  It was good for a giggle. If we were on acid we might have taken it all a bit more seriously. The problem is that we need to answer a tutorial question on that crap and all I remember is the stupid quotes.
Comment by Mum – Saturday 3 September 2005, 8:45 PM
  Just as well you were not on acid, lest you had "taken it all a bit more seriously". Commiserations re your having to answer a tutorial question on all that crap. Honestly, I sometimes wonder re those who are supposed to be your tutors/teachers/etc. Just guess it is a matter of getting the "have dunnit,gottit, here is me certificate" Do REAL mob put any real kudos on this sort of thing. Guess I dont know, living up here in the bush.
Comment by Ned – Sunday 4 September 2005, 1:06 PM
  He also claimed that anyone who did not believe in God was stupid.
Comment by io – Sunday 4 September 2005, 10:55 PM
  Then that must mean you're a genius.
Comment by Mum – Monday 5 September 2005, 8:10 PM
  I am glad he said that.
  God just is. Despite all the kerfuffle of discussion. Whether or not one believes in God or not, God just is. And that is that.
Comment by Maz – Wednesday 7 September 2005, 6:54 PM
  He's going on about soul-less animals who don't have emotions either. No doubt nuggets of information. Excuse me while I walk out now.
Comment by Kipps – Friday 9 September 2005, 2:58 AM
  Why are you studying that trainwreck of a unit? Sounds like a disaster to me. Hell, your attendance alone is increasing that damn lecturer's ego.
Comment by Ned – Friday 9 September 2005, 8:45 AM
  I think it is quite an interesting course – sure beats law or IT.
Comment by Maz – Sunday 11 September 2005, 12:16 AM
  Flipped a coin and ended up there. It is kind of randomly interesting and the room the lecture is in has wireless.
Comment by Ratty – Sunday 11 September 2005, 2:42 PM
  Write about how feminists suck - please? :P
Comment by Mum – Wednesday 14 September 2005, 8:53 PM
  Geez Maz, does this mean you are all wired?
Comment by Mum – Wednesday 14 September 2005, 8:53 PM
  <Ned: edited duplicate comments>
Comment by Mum – Wednesday 14 September 2005, 8:55 PM
  3 times the abo vementioned cameth uppeth. Holy riot, you must all be wired.
Comment by Ned – Thursday 15 September 2005, 9:42 AM
  Hmm, the comments system should no longer cache POST data, making it theoretically impossible to post the same comment thrice without actually rewriting and reposting it three times.

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