Showing posts from September, 2014

Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

7 Words & 7 Rules for Eating I listened to the BBC's 'Analysis' programme last night: Michael Pollan on Food. He's a persuasive speaker, very clear in his views and says everything he's learned about food and health can be summed up in seven words:
Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. Probably the first two words are most important. "Eat food" means to eat real food -- vegetables, fruits, whole grains - and to avoid what Pollan calls "edible food-like substances." What I like most about this is that its a full-on attack on the 'food industry', which has been able to define what 'food' is and essentially to drive our diet into one dominated by 'no-effort things that we consume' - and it really hasn't turned out too well, what with 6% of the population of the UK now diagnosed as diabetic (3.2 million people!) and 64% of adults are classed as being overweight or obese (Pollan also advocates fish and meat - and al…

Heidegger’s Greatest Hits

Heidegger had a genius for coining neologisms in order to fully express his world-shattering thinking. Some choice terms here taken (with care) from Dr. Roderick Munday’s “Glossary of Terms in Being and Time” and (with concern) from Wikipedia: Heideggerian Terminology. With all of these oddly used or just brand new (to me) terms, Heidegger can sometimes be difficult to access, but in those moments of clarity when I 'get it', he just moves the world on its axis, he just blows (my) me away!
1.1AnxietyWhen Dasein chooses being-toward-death, authenticity takes Dasein out of the "They," in part by revealing its place as a part of the They. But in so doing Dasein opens itself up to "angst," or "dread" - "anxiety."There is not a distinct object for Dasein’s anxiety; it is rather anxious in the face of Being-in-the-world in general — that is, it is anxious in the face of Dasein's own self. Angst is a shocking individuation of Dasein, when it…

Hubert Dreyfus on Husserl and Heidegger

1.Introduction Bryan Magee’s “The Great Philosophers -” Hubert Dreyfus on Husserl and Heidegger

Hubert Dreyfus is an American philosopher and professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. His main interests include phenomenology, existentialism and the philosophy of both psychology and literature, as well as the philosophical implications of artificial intelligence. He is perhaps the leading exponent of exegesis of Martin Heidegger (known by some as "Dreydegger"). The video is presented as five clips of 10 minutes each and feature an interview with Dreyfus discussing Husserl and Heidegger.

This summary attempts to describe phenomenology and the way in which Heidegger appropriates the methods of phenomenology. It will also explore Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology, the relationship between Heidegger and Husserl and Heidegger’s reaction to the Cartesian philosophical tradition.
2.What is Phenomenology ?  Husserl’s basic idea: For each one of us there is one…

Google+ (or Google Plus) walks off into the sunset arm in arm with Google Wave (bye bye)

Increasingly good news from the Google - the last couple of years have seen their totalitarian insistence on everybody being in everybody else's 'circles' in Google+, whether they like it or not.

There is clearly now a move away from using Google+ as mandatory and all-encompassing social network and leaving it as just another platform to choose from. I have long chosen not to - I really did try! - and am now relieved that you can create Google accounts without being a shiny happy Google Pluser (no offence, btw - it's just not for me!).

This is particularly good news for people wanting to use the excellent Hangouts or even comment on a YouTube video.

Info from here:

Heidegger takes a turn

With a pinch of this brief (and pretty tasty!) online biography of Martin Heidegger and a soupçon of Martin Heidegger from Wikipedia, this post notes the different intellectual “turns” Heidegger makes throughout his life. "As soon as man comes to life, he is at once old enough to die."  Martin Heidegger was born September 26th, 1889 in the Black Forest region of Messkirch, and died just 117 kilometres away, in Frieburg on May 26th, 1976, aged 86. Turn 1: the meaning of being Aged 17, Heidegger was Introduced to ‘Phenomenology’ - (from Greek: phainómenon "that which appears" and lógos "study") the philosophical study of the structures of experience and consciousness – via Brentano’s book, "On the Manifold Meaning of Being According to Aristotle", which had great impact on both Heidegger and Husserl. Phenomenology attempts to create conditions for the objective study of topics usually regarded as subjective: eg., being. It is not an attempt at ‘ob…

Saylor Academy Open Education Course: Heidegger

I am currently working through this open online course (choose the ‘Unit 5’ for Heidegger) in order to deepen my understanding of Martin Heidegger’s thinking about ‘being’, which is fundamental to my thesis. That's it. An announcement. I'm taking 'care'.  If I take death into my life, acknowledge it, and face it squarely, I will free myself from the anxiety of death and the pettiness of life - and only then will I be free to become myself. (Martin Heidegger)

Who's Gonna Stand Up and Save the Earth?

This all starts with you and me...

Neil Young - Who's Gonna Stand Up and Save the Earth (Live at Farm Aid 2014)
Who’s Gonna Stand Up Protect the wild, tomorrow’s child Protect the land from the greed of man Take down the dams, stand up to oil Protect the plants, and renew the soil
Who’s gonna stand up and save the earth? Who’s gonna say that she’s had enough? Who’s gonna take on the big machine? Who’s gonna stand up and save the earth? This all starts with you and me
Damn the dams, save the rivers Starve the takers and feed the givers Build a dream, save the world We’re the people know as earth
Who’s gonna stand up and save the earth? Who’s gonna say that she’s had enough? Who’s gonna take on the big machine? Who’s gonna stand up and save the earth? This all starts with you and me
Ban fossil fuel, draw the line Before we build, one more pipeline Ban fracking now, save the waters And build a life, for our sons and daughters
Who’s gonna stand up and save the earth? Who’s gonna say t…

Tetney Lock and a Murmuration of Starlings

The feelings of freedom and joy of existence felt on our last walk - to Marshchapel - was moderated somewhat by the fact that I could barely walk for days afterward! Not only did I not build up to the 25 walk leading up to it, I had been poorly and mostly laid up with a chest infection. So, basically, my reach exceeded my grasp. So, the aim on this occasion was not only to walk a reduced distance, but also to walk and exercise in the days/weeks preceding - this I have done and it has paid off. Writing this on the day after, I'm feeling just ticketyboo, which is a happy way to be.

So, here's the 16 mile walk we (me and mate Nellie) did, there and back to Tetney Lock:

Our destination point was the Crown & Anchor pub on Tetney Lock Road, Tetney, wherein we learnt about the number of locks on the Louth Navigation canal, which have unfortunately been allowed to fall into complete disrepair, making the canal now bereft of boats of almost any kind. Anyway, I think we have our nex…

Authentic Green Socialism

About eighteen months ago, the 'Socialist Unity' blog asked the question 'Can the Green Party become the main party of the left?'. To be honest, I kind of expected some kind of 'yes, it can... but really what is needed is our kind of socialism' etc - not at all, and apologies for my own prejudice. Mind, the comments below the article are pretty vituperative! In a thoughtful and generous piece, the editorial team outline a significant change in focus for the Green Party from total - 'depressing and misanthropic' - focus on the environment to the incorporation of social justice:
‘Green politics and social justice are fundamentally dependent – without environmentalism, the planet will become uninhabitable; without social justice, the planet isn’t worth living on.’  The article ends with 'Watch this space.'

Well, there's no doubt that the Green Party is clear that this indeed is the direction of travel for the party - the recent conference in B…