“For this series, I would like to give a taste of what it is sociology, as one of the most denigrated sciences online, is actually like. The structure of this assignment, which I am reproducing here mostly unedited, was quite unusual compared to most work undertaken for this subject- essays and some fieldwork- but I think illustrates the variety of ways final year study is done.
In this seminar we discussed whether the digital generation really exists and how we, as part of it, use technology.” … More What Do Final Year BSc Sociology Students Actually Do? | Media & State Studies Seminar Part 1: Simulated Identities & the Digital Generation
“I can’t say for certain whether some writers are just disingenuous hacks motivated by nothing more than material gains, editors and authors get negligent or even lazy, or perhaps even more sinister and worrying is the thought that some intentionally produce misinformation to mislead us, but there are definitely a lot of bad books around.
Reading these books is in one way disappointing- I’m biased due to admiring the writers and thinkers I aspire to join the ranks of- but it is also encouraging in the sense that it makes one think that I won’t have to be a great writer to get something published![…] The following example isn’t being maliciously targeted for any particular reason. It just happened to be a particularly bad book I started to read when doing some research recently. It might also be enjoyable for anyone curious as to how other people write their notes.” … More Bad Books, Bad Publishers and Bad Note-Taking | Thoughts after annotating a particularly bad textbook
“The kinds of art I am not so fond of are somewhat exemplified by the first piece I noticed as you enter the new exhibit Soil Culture: Deep Roots. A map of Britain water coloured with a key indicating how the various colour shadings represented something about the soil there according to some historical science.
[…] Her works form an alternative currency of sorts, the main pieces being the massive, ugly ingots of dirt, that have a double-meaning: they point out how nature is not given the value it should under capitalism, moreover, money and the things it can buy are ephemeral- doomed to entropic annihilation.
[…] I thought the exhibition was worth going to.” … More Exhibition Review #1 | Soil Culture: Deep Roots at Plymouth University Peninsula Arts | Worth going to?: Yes
” […] The kind of speed and mastery you get from playing an instrument allows you to do more, it unleashes potential, it increases the potentias that makes the soul of a man. The mastery of the pickle placement is like the increasing speed of a robot as technology develops- I don’t want to develop like a robot- I am not Aristotle’s talking tool. […] All of my possible futures, the options for how to be, burn away the more I become the burger robot, and the less human I feel. Theses futures don’t just disappear like usual, potentials for things that could have been but did not, they disappear into a true void of things that could never be and will never be- I am less free. Yet to resist means to quit, not to resign is the biggest sign of resignation.” … More Personal Thoughts | January 2016 | On the Destruction of my (im)Potentias & Resignation as Resistance
“At this year’s volunteering fair, although they may have been present in previous years, I noticed one organisation that stood out above the rest. Not because of how great their work is, but because I was disgusted by what this organisation purportedly was. […] They seem to be a social enterprise meaning they aim to produce “social profits” rather than acting like a typical business but what they were offering Plymouth students seemed predatory to me. […] Of course, maybe their representative did a terrible job at explaining what RIO does but it seemed to me that they were there to prey on the naivety of students with good intentions- they were simply after some free labour.” … More Our universities shouldn’t allow “social enterprises” to attend volunteering fairs. | Thoughts after an encounter with a suspect company looking for free labour from my fellow students.
“Blackmore is a hard determinist, or fatalist, meaning she believes that every action, including human action, has some cause going back to the start of the universe, which also means free will does not exist. Perhaps I was unable, in the short time I had, to explain my compatibilist position, which I believe follows from dialectical monism; however it seemed disingenuous for someone with academic authority to assert nomological determinism (fatalism) so confidently.” … More Personal Thoughts | September 2015 | BPS talk on Out-of-Body-Experiences; cherry-picking from religion; the arrogance of nu-atheist academics
“Jan Machajski’s big idea, Makhaevism recognised that simplified Marxist classifications of intellectuals as proletarian ignored the privilege they had due to them possessing an unfair monopoly on knowledge. An anarchist, he encouraged relentless questioning of authority. Foucault showed how knowledge discourses with public authority anonymously dominate individuals and legitimise governments. The solution to the problem of the knowledge capitalists is free education for all.” … More On Makhaevism: Knowledge Capitalists and Authority-Discourses
“[…] One of the most beautiful truths of dialectical materialism is the realisation that consciousness is a product of material conditions- not the other way around. What this means is that our personality is a result of the environment in which we develop. […] Although our will is limited, denial of radical freedom is bad faith.” … More Personal Thoughts | August 2015 | Materialists should not blame individuals for their being, as their consciousness arises from their material conditions, but we should not forget radical freedom.
“[…] Scientists aren’t lacking in self-awareness. In fact, peer review, proof-reading, replication, falsification etc are among the key reasons as to why science has been doing so well for the past few centuries and show how seriously we take our endeavours. Yes admittedly there are those that abuse science to support their agenda but that is why we should actually investigate shady looking evidence instead of just making assumptions.” … More How do we develop scientific knowledge?
“Homeopathic “medicine” takes substances that usually cause certain ailments and dilutes them to the point of being near indistinguishable from just water thus magically making them curative. I’d like to hope I’m preaching to the choir when telling university students that this stuff is nonsense but I was unaware that these kinds of “treatments” were available on the NHS.” … More The NHS shouldn’t be offering Homeopathy