Derive this from first principles…

I’ve been having some really vivid dreams lately. Most of them echo a problem or an issue in my life that I’ve put behind me, forgotten about or would rather ignore.

It’s a bit like my mind is saying : Here – look. Look at this, see it’s there, acknowledge yourself and your weaknesses.

Hormones and wine encourage a slight muddying at the moment (or at least, last night), but beyond the usual fuzziness and mental-twitching there is something rather stark and true.

The thing is, I don’t feel particularly worried, confused, or upset. I feel like I’m learning something.

I think there has been a shift, somewhere, that happened perhaps suddenly or over the last 2 years.

To really understand something means to let it show you itself, in a basic raw form – not to work your way through a toolkit of explanations and theories till you find the one that best fits. It involves a certain type of mental humility; to adopt the mind of a total beginner despite how much you think you know. This is slightly problematic because we have so many assumptions.

What I want to do is not find the ultimate answer in a certain theorists book, but start again and figure it out for myself by simply looking. (My dreams show me more truth by just -showing me- myself..) I feel there is understanding to be gained from doing this, but perhaps not something which can be then expressed in words or mathematics alone.

With this in mind, I will stop trying to impose frameworks on myself, and just see(find) what there is. I’m not sure if that will take me to a point of enlightenment or of madness.

Perhaps this is all just procrastination. Can someone point me towards reality?

((enough of this, time for fresh air and sunshine))

Easy route (1) : Make it someone elses’ problem

So, my project became doomed once I realised that neither tutor understood or wanted to understand what I was trying to do. They have both done more to hinder than to help me, and now I know at least the psychology tutor is using my project as a ‘bad example’, a ‘what NOT to do’ etc etc to the year below.

So, cognitive science is becoming no more than cognitive psychology. I wanted to do an AI project, which was perhaps a bad move. Sue me for wanting to pursue an interest.

I KNOW I could get something decent out of this. But the question is : is the amount of effort worth it? And there is always a risk that they won’t get what I’ve done and mark me down anyway.

So. Option. I am going to keep working on this over the next week and see where I can get it. In the meantime I’ve sent my tutors a slighlty overly-pessimistic email to ask them what to do.

I no longer want to become and AI-games-designer. I don’t NEED a first class degree. What I do need is to have SOMETHING to hand in for my project in 4 weeks time.

This is quite a revelation for me. I may regret taking the lazy approach but at least I won’t get a heart-attack. 😉

If they can’t help me suceed, damnit at least they can help me fail gracefully

Temporal Distortion?


I’m not sure what exactly I’m waiting for, is the thing.

I have things I need to do, but right now there is no sense of urgency.

Time seems to be going slower, but also the days go by fairly fluidly.

Zak visited for a few days, with everyone else gone elsewhere it was mostly just us. I found this very relaxing, nice to make up the day as it goes along with no real thought of other people. It was nice not to rush.

Well, now I have things to do. Like my project. It’s not happening really, at least not at the speed I would like. I don’t feel apathetic, but just relaxed : I can’t be bothered to stress over it. Maybe I’m just repressing it all?

Some things just don’t seem to matter to me like they used to. While other aspects almost seem to shine : friends, love, good food, sleep, health. When enjoying the simple things, the complex looks irrelevent.

hmm. Hit upon a thought : this projects sums up in one neat package everything about my life which I want to leave behind. Everything which has become pointless and disconnected. Why work at something which I don’t believe in any more? Why push and push and struggle. What would happen if I just take the easy route on this one? I wonder…

To a friend

With regards to Stormrider

I think you worry way too much about getting in a relationship..

For what it’s worth, I have to agree with this sentiment.

Again, you have thought about this all too much, and consquently sound somewhat cold/rational about it all.

I have to say that genetic factors ARE NOT as big a part of personality as the current fashionable psychology dictates. Attraction may be based around something, but it’s not rational/genetics. Seriously, there are huge flaws in the genetics/evolution arguements, perhaps you should look into them if you have time?

I think that people have a certain energy to them. By energy, I could mean a sort of metaphorical term, although I begin to suspect it’s based around something physical. Every person has a quality about them which is not as tied to certain personality-traits like ‘self-reliance’ ‘need for dependence’ ‘extroversion’ or whatver.

Every one has a certian quality, and you either ressonate with them or you don’t. I don’t believe it’s rational, but I do think it’s real and probably follows some kind of laws we just don’t understand them yet .There’s often something about the people you ‘ressonate’ with that either echoes you or balances an aspect of you out.

I loved what you said about branches and possibilities. It’s very much similar to a concept I put together over summer. I think you’re on to something there. However, I suspect though that you yourself are stuck in this relationship-loop and that’s not really going anywhere. I wish I could talk to you about this in person.

The thing is, I know what I’m saying, even if I can’t do so as eloquently as you. I used to be obsessed with rationally picking apart myself, my relationships, love. I did it all, considered future possibilities, eligibility of mate-choices, all that logical stuff. I thought, in my naievity that logic is superior and by considering love/relationships from that point of view I could understand it all and not let it beat me.

By following that track I almost went insane and destroyed the best relationsip I’ve ever had and am still in. By being logical and rational only I/you end up blind to the unique beauty in a person.. you shouldn’t focus on what they are like, what they can do, where they will be in 10 years, how you can change them : instead just see/feel who they actually are. It sounds cliche, but I feel you know, even if you don’t understand, whether a person can be your friend, lover, or enemy. From pretty much the first moment you meet them too I reckon.

Science, Religion, Ecology, Feminism : could I make things any more difficult?

Phew! Theology essay “Is it appropriate to frame scientifically informed eco-theology by replacing patriarchal images of God with feminine images?” is now done and available here

All in all, I’ve had fun writing it. Having said that, I would have liked to explore gender issues and male/female differences a little more but I think it would have started becoming a psychology essay rather than a theological one. 🙂

I also would have liked to clarify ideas on God/process theology etc a bit more. The tone of the essay is a lot more Christian-biased than I would perhaps like, but again it IS for a mostly Christian-Theology course.

I recommend reading Daly’s Radical feminist book for laughs and Primavesi’s ‘Sacred Gaia’ books for genuine insights.

All in all, I hope it does well. If you read the essay please bear in mind that I had to try and pin things down to one view for the sake of actually *concluding* something. In reality my thoughts are much more open and fuzzy :

Dissertation is…

…basically complete!

Just references now (and then sleep! SLEEP!). Then, one day left on the theology essay. Getting there!

If you’re interested you can download the word file from here. It’s all about cognitive enhancement : specifically, ginkgo biloba (herbal supplement), music, and a small section on wearable computers/augmented memory.

edit: final version now available here

god, I’d love to either draw or have sex right now.

tomorrow is the vernal equinox (whatever that is)