New Toy


It was meant to finally arrive on Friday but the delivery company had a major computer failure, fingers crossed it arrives later today. photography is one of the few art forms I have never attempted before. My knowledge and experience with a camera is zero so a new adventure. Will post the first shot with the setting on easy operation when it turns up.

I have to walk for an hour each night as my vascular system is seriously bad. In Scotland from this time of year onwards that’s not a pleasant task. Hopefully this will motivate me to get out and about each day for the required amount of time. I find the architecture and flow of people in the city I live fascinating, so start here, learning documenting that.

One other notable walker round the streets of this city is Lord Monboddo. I have been holding out mapping out his activity on the streets until now. So start to get a grasp of how the late 17th century city functioned using lord M. and a few other figures as a guide for some of the pictures.

But first need to learn how to use it!

Update: Lost or stolen in post! Wait until Thursday get something else.


Simius Humanae Naturae Simia

‘The Ape Imitates Human Nature’

I did a Google using the search term “unemployed apes”. Did not expect to find much but was interested to see if any one was using the old metaphor in relation to current economic woes.

Ignoring the usual racist sites that researching this subject always throws up (pun intended: some very sick bunnies on the web on this issue) I got two examples I found interesting (the fun facts about niggers web -site not being one of them).

The Prague Daily Monitor, yielded a very recent few days old example  on a very popular European issue of the moment, should the unemployed work for benefit?

A  Czech politician and electoral canditate, Radim Bzura notes  that the unemployed (the specific target here seems to be the gypsy population of the country) must be made to work for benefits and  makes the connection to reinforce his point, that even apes in the zoo have to go to some effort to obtain food.

Its hinted in the press in the U.K that the Conservative government is about to unveil a similar work for benefits scheme at its forthcoming party conference. Was interested to learn in this article, that not only is the idea popular with the Conservative party in the U.K. or Radim Bzura’s  Czech Top O9 party (Tradition Responsibility Prosperity O9) but the Czech Communist party is also running with the idea as a vote wining slogan.

I wonder what Radim Bzura would make of the New York Times article from a few years back, “For Retired Chimps, A life Of Leisure” the article describes a chimpanzee sanctuary for discarded research chimps that received a 24 million dollar grant from the U.S government, as “in essence, a taxpayer-supported retirement home”, referring to Apes no longer used in research as “unemployed”.

What fate awaits such low status creatures as these, in this age of moral fiction, indignation and outrage?

Nonesense & Vagueness


After watching too much Chinese opera last night I thought I should try pulling myself out of a vague dreamy state into something more concrete so spent the last few hours reading an early 20th century philosopher John Anderson, that drifted me of into looking at Heraclitus, which made me think the reasons I had just read for John Anderson’s lack of successes outside of Australia looked a bit debatable. It is one thing that interests me about philosophy and academic study in general, the way referencing systems seem often more related to identity than study. Philosophical ‘greatness’ I have not got a fix on.

Anyway the last thought of the night reading Anderson was, perhaps looking at the one in the many issue, may prove helpful in thinking about the large amount of time I spend in a vague fuzzy dreamworld. In an ideal world I would spend the majority of time here. Why is that? Why is a vague, fuzzy, abstract, dreamy way into thought so important to being able to think straight?

I just spent an hour reading the problem of the many argument form the Stanford Encyclopedia Of Philosophy (not for the first time). I have now lost the will to live, and think I will go watch some paint dry for the next few hours.

I don’t know what it is about the way a lot of philosophy is written but it drives me insane and I find it impossible to read. It seems, really rigid, unimaginative and its sense of order drives me nuts, everything seems to have a label, escape is not possible. Its not what it is saying its how it chooses to expresses itself, although its sense of order uggggh. I find myself reading a much smaller pool of philosophers who I seem to be able to read without any distractions of this kind. But I still dip my toe into the larger weirdness that is philosophy. Looking at unfamiliar cultures is interesting.

京剧《双投唐》选段 这时候孤才把这宽心放 关栋天 邓沐玮

A Day In The Life

So I am thinking about Lord Monboddo, Mark Bloch, and centaurs. I have no clue why they seem to be reacting and moving with each other in some way, other than to note it has something to do with context. Bloch, not with the story but how it is told type question. Not what you say (historical context and facts; but how you say it (how a narrative is read and understood in the present). Centaurs seems to have some relationship with filling in gaps, mind reading and asking questions. Lord Monboddo morphed into questions relating to psychology and history in relation to Bloch. The spear throwing centaur question started it.  Happy not to think about it to much and let whatever is going on in my mind run its course. But interfere with whatever it is in the next post and impose thought on it fleetingly.  But really I have no idea what these things are doing or why they live in mind and animate thought for the moment but would appear to be imposing a single line narrative on it already in an attempt to think and present in consumable form.

A heavy day dreamy day moving about the city, being in some other zone.

Who Killed Bambi?

‘Myth busting’ in popular science culture, traditionally finds complete fulfillment in origin. Once a single origin has been identified, it serves as an explanation for all subsequent development and no further explanation is required.

I watched the documentary “Requiem for Detroit” last night, I had no idea who made it while watching, but thought it was one of the most interesting documentaries I have seen in a while. Anyway I strayed onto you tube and came across an  interview with the director Julian Temple (partly explains why I liked it so much; I have grown up with his work).

I found his explanation of his initial ‘artistic inspiration’  and motivation for his involvement in the project rather funny but it’s also a very nicely observed introduction. Despite his nervousness in front of a live audience, he delivers a killer opening to his narrative, that captures attention and reaction straight away.

Learning French

The centaur threw a spear.

      The gentleman eats cheese. (1)

“When we take a bird’s eye perspective toward experiments studying sensori-motor cortex involvement when participants read or listen to language describing sensori-motor events (action and visual language), a few things stand out:

– Sensori-motor cortices can be activated during language comprehension. For instance, cortical motor hand areas can be activated when participants read verbs related to hand actions

– These sensori-motor activations can be fast

-Changing the activation level (via training or with TMS) of the motor system can influence processing of action-related language, suggesting a functional role

– Some studies do not replicate sensori-motor activations when participants listen to action-language

– Sensori-motor involvement is dependent on task and linguistic context

Of these findings, the latter one deserves more attention than it has gotten so far: Sensori-motor cortex involvement during understanding of action and perceptual language is task- and context-dependent.”


Embodied Cognition: Taking The Next Step


Examples of sentences used in lab experiment