Monthly Archives: October 2011

Asserting my will to power

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Today I asserted my will to power, and even though it was a pretty miniscule, trivial action, it felt pretty darn good once I did it. Rather than remain in my room endlessly editing my college essay and stressing over almost every single thing imaginable, I decided to stop, breathe, paint my nails, shower, take a run, and do things like this to calm down. No matter how much work boggles me down, sometimes I need to prioritize myself over other mandatory responsibilities. In an ideal world, I would have the time management skills able to perfectly balance myself, friends, family, sports, and school. Unfortunately, our world is flawed in many ways, and so I guess the best thing that I can do is try my best at this balance, but always taking small portions of my time to reevaluate and reflect upon my actions. This action alone is very liberating. I would recommend it to anyone who is having difficulty with their schoolwork or any other problems, for that matter. Put your books down, go outside, breathe fresh air, and take a walk! Then return, and see how much better your brain functions- I guarantee you will have an easier time being productive.

Technology

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I have had always had mixed feelings about our evolving interaction with technology. On one hand, it is fascinating for me to witness an endless stream of innovation through science and medecine affect our lives in astounding ways. Something recent, for instance, was the commemoration of Steve Jobs’ and his contribution to the Apple world. Even though I am a product of the technological age, I still remember the days where using a computer to word process a script was a fascinating idea, so to think that I can now pick up an iPhone and video conference with someone in China…. well that’s kind of amazing. Convenience is becoming less of a hassle, information is ridiculously accessible, and communication is mostly found in the form of texts, online social networking, or through Skype or even SecondLife. So what is bad about technology? Personally, it limits my ability to conduct daily face-to-face contact and converse freely without constraint. Inventions like Twitter and text lingo, I believe, have very subtly altered out thinking and speaking patterns to become much shorter, more abrupt and condensed thoughts that have perhaps skewed out original, more creative thinking. I know that my point may sound somewhat obscure and unproven, so here is an article I read that may give you a better idea of what I’m trying to say:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/aug/15/internet-brain-neuroscience-debate

The internet has disrupted our ability to concentrate and focus, replacing it instead with a never ending stream of information that clutters our brain with mostly meaningless detail. I miss the days when I could read a great book without having to check my phone twice per page, sit and simply listen to beautiful music, or go for a hike without having to tweet about my wonderful experience. This post has actually made me realize quite a lot of bad things associated with my use of technology; so I guess in conclusion, my answer to fixing the problem will not be to reject entirely the notion of technology, but rather to stay aware of how I use it and maybe even curb some of the excessive periods that I use it.

Nietszche opening statement

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Hello, my name is Nietszche and I believe in the notion and the theory of will to power. As human beings evolve, there exists a constant progression of our interpretation of our own individual will. I believe in three principal evolutions of this will: the Primal will, which, quite simply, is the act of Becoming; the will of the Child, which is an act of individual self-affirmation/saying yes to life; and finally, I believe in recognizing that we have will to power through developing our own individual interpretations. Once we are able to raise awareness to our will to power, we become an Ubermunsch- or “overman”. The Christian Moral Ideal sublimates the will that inherently exists within us by forcing us to place faith in a “higher” institution of power that essentially destroys our need to assert our will.

Hume vs. Descartes

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In class we have recently conducted debates over the philosophical opinions and views of empiricist and rationalist philosophers; in specific, we debated the views of Hume and Descartes. Even though I was assigned to represent Descartes in the debate, I find Hume’s perspective very interesting and a lot more relatable and understandable to my knowledge of the world. Although Descartes does argue strongly for reason, I believe that there lies a fundamental flaw in his argument for rationalist thinking: in order to think rationally, or even use reason to analyze things, we need our sense to conduct these actions. For instance, let’s say that one day I would like to use trigonometry to calculate the distance that our Sun lies from the Earth. In the 18th century, Spanish explorers used this method simply by calculating the angle that two points on the Earth are from the Sun, and then by applying these angles and the distance separating these two points to measure the total distance from the Sun. Clearly, this method involves much reasoning and mathematical application to deduce the answer. But how do we initially come about our curiosity or ideas to calculate this distance? It wasn’t because one day we simply reasoned “Oh, there is a Sun, thus we must use math to find the distance.” Rather, we felt the Sun’s rays, it’s heat, we saw the large yellow mass in the sky and realized it was stationary and matched certain patterns every day, and from our senses we first became curious about how far away it lies from out planet. Although reason is a very practical and important tool, the fundamental way in which humans approach any scientific quest or journey to knowledge is to first recognize our senses, and from our sensory perception, use reason to solve out curiosity.

Descartes, on the other hand, would argue against the reliability of our senses. And yes, i do agree that our senses are completely unreliable! But what Descartes fails to notice is every little thing that we do derives from our senses. Who is he to question our senses, when he is using them every single day to talk and write about how reasoning prevails and triumphs over our vision and hearing? Although I do recognize the flaws in human senses, I think that in order to reach a fundamental or absolute truth, we must simply recognize that our senses do oftentimes deceive us, but that we must also trust them to aid us in using reason to make discoveries.