february 2006

marginalized
Friday, February 17th, 2006
Listening to one of my students talk about someone in the sex trade claiming that the church marginalizes them led me to think that we as a culture, not just the church, but all of us in the U.S. have a very hard time including everyone in our world. I think that the church marginalizes many groups: homosexuals, sex workers, drug users, foreigners, races, artists, and others.

What we include is interesting. At least in the last ten years, we include almost every church group, though historically we have segregated ourselves from even our nearest neighbors, thinking our distinctive take on the word of God is the only one that is “really” true.

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2006 sps
Thursday, February 9th, 2006
This year I took on the task of leading the philosophy interest group. It is more like herding cats than leading people. These people involved with me are very busy and vigorous individuals. We will have a great time in March in Los Angeles.

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chinese food
Thursday, February 9th, 2006
Well, at least the sign over the door tells me it is Chinese. I am not a picky eater. But the more I eat out the more my tastes gravitate to the best of class. It is hard to find good barbecue in this town, th0ugh Crosstown on Division is OK. Having lived in Birmingham Alabama, where barbecue is king of foods, I am not really satisfied with any of the barbecue here. Having lived in Philadelphia, I have a hard time eating any Cheese Steak sandwich that has the title “Philly” in front of it. In Birmingham there was a store that got as close as any replicating that Philly flavor, but it was about half the size of what could be found at the street vendors for the same price.

After all that, the meal I ate was fine, because I spent it with a friend. The restaurant is not best of class, but it is warm and the people are nice. My friend and I chatted about movies and computer games and the state of freshman writing where we teach. We laughed and talked about how futile it was to discuss problems we could do nothing to solve, at least during a formal meeting.

It is my friends that make this place, where I was a foreigner 3 years ago, home. As I get older, it is my friends that make life enjoyable, that keep the spark alive and make rationality seem reasonable. Friends are not like food that we consume for pleasure. Though there is pleasure being with them it is of a different nature. There is no best of class. Either a person is your friend or not. Friends can say things to each other that strangers could not tolerate or understand.

To be with a friend, one must be present. One can’t stand aloof or at a distance. Friendship joins one to the other emotionally. One can’t get along and not feel the pain or pleasure the other one is. One can’t use their friends without losing them. Friendship is not place for the egoist, though selfishly we protect our secrets until we are comfortable enough to reveal them. To be a friend one must learn to tolerate, even rejoice at difference. It is in this that we grow and flourish.

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saints and soldiers
Wednesday, February 8th, 2006
I saw this movie this last weekend with my wife Lois.

Aside from the blisteringly accurate representation of war-torn Europe in WW II, the moral themes glued the people together out of loyalty, changed lives, recovery from damage and friendship which transcended the war and helped the protagonists to survive. There will not be any spoilers here. You must see the movie. The DVD cover is draped with numerous awards. It is worth it, well worth it. imdb movie site.

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underworld evolution
Wednesday, February 8th, 2006
I saw Underworld the first in this series when it came out. I quickly ordered the dvd when it came out. I have seen it many times. It still produces that campy vampyre feeling laced with a heavy dose of metal.

Evolution on the other hand works a bit too hard to recapture the bite of the first movie. Don’t get me wrong, it was a wild ride, but it was really difficult to know where you were in the world. It felt like eastern Russia, or Transylvania. But I thought the first movie was in America, so to see this transition to the old world was a bit of a boggle. That is not the fault of the movies, maybe just a fault of my preconceptions about their world.

I would have liked to see more of papa Corvinus, have his story developed better and have him take part in bringing his sons down instead of lamely letting Marcus empty him of his supposedly puissant blood, except, of course, for the few droplets Selene extracts that gives her the edge in the last battle. Weird.

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off to school
Tuesday, February 7th, 2006
I am teaching at Missouri State today. It is nearly 2 pm. I teach at 4 and have office hours at 3. I really enjoy teaching there. The students are interesting and attentive. I spent a good time today at work (unpaid of course) preparing for this class. There is a mound of material to process on EGOISM. I’ll try to stick with the highlights. My cough is back for the moment. I have medicated today.

Egoism is a primitive solution to the question “How should I act?” Yet for all its flaws as a system, there is more here going on with respect to the care of the self that systematic ethical treatments do not handle. Michel Foucault’s third book in the lecture series on “the care of the self” puzzles the fundamental problem “Why have we abandoned the care of the self as a primary category of ethical thinking?” I don’t know his answer to this, but the negative side of altruism drives me to adopt not a fundamentally selfish view of my obligations but a view of my obligations that includes me. It is not selfishness, but care, maintenance, propriety with respect to my needs and the development of my virtues. Fundamentally I need to care for myself. Who else would take the task on as carefully as I would, seeing I bear all the risk in any behavior arising from my decisions.

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i’m back
Monday, February 6th, 2006
This is the first post for quite a while. I go at this in spurts. Somehow, the thought of journaling does not appeal to me when I am not in the mood, so I don’t. But I do at the moment. I think it is a way of getting out of prepping for class. I saw Brian Doak’s blog for his Bible courses and thought I would like to say a few things unrelated to philosophy, ethics or logic which I teach.

I bought one of the new MacBooks and will wait till March to receive shipment. I also bought an iPod Shuffle at the local Mac store. It will have been a week and a half getting delivery. I could have bought it at Best Buy for the same price, but wanted to make a buck or two for the local Mac shop. I don’t really need the Shuffle, but wanted to have it for the times I didn’t want to take my 15GB out, or for when the other people in my family wanted to use it.

I am interested in saying a few things about my podcast site, http://mjmemo.com titled “Marijuana Memo” because I really don’t have it sorted out as yet. Writing helps me to sort out what I really think. I do want to start it up soon to give voice to a variety of questions and problems with the current war on marijuana. I want to be a voice of reason for those who are being unreasonably treated. There does not seem to be any independent voice that is not already associated with NORML, MPP (Marijuana Policy Project), the ACLU, or other major newsworthy groups.

I would like to do interviews with the players, both major and minor, give short discourses on important topics related to the drug war, review useful literature and take issue with federal policy in the United States.

So much for now.

Posted in Whatever, Computers | No Comments »

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