Exams are over, Holidays beginning

Well hello there, to the sane, and to the less so, who are like myself.   (I'm writing this at some point of my inebriation, (a fishbowl, 1.5 vodka+green apples, and 1 Scotch and Coke in, to be precise. (yes, I mix my drinks, but never the types, if I start with top shelf, I stay there, if I start on wine, I stay there too, my issues come when I mix wine and spirits.) so if I'm incoherent, I'll hopefully fix it tomorrow. 'k? 🙂 )

it's 12:31AM right now, and at 9am "yesterday" (which still seems like today, but that will fade) I started my final exam of the semester. Which was also, interestingly, -the- final exam of the semester.  It was Introduction to Logic, a unit that had a special place in my heart. I may have moaned about it in the past, but I loved logic in year 12, and AI last year.  The way humans think and reason interests me.  I'd love to do its successor, Logic In Philosophy, but by the time that's offered, I'll be in my honours course, and not be able to do regular coursework units. I wish I'd known about the prerequisite issues last year when I could have done Logic in Semester 1 last year, and Logic in Philosophy this year. but alas… it wasn't meant to be.

perhaps I'll just sit in on the lectures while I'm in for my honours stuff? I like that idea, no assignments, just the fun of gaining knowledge.

Yes, I'm that sort of person, I fear I'll always be learning something, I can't help it, I love acquiring knowledge and bettering myself.  Honours will be grand!  Learning -new- knowledge is an awesome thought. Learning things that are new to the collective mind of humanity has a kind of warm and fuzzy feeling associated with it for me.

Where was I, oh! the logic… Conjunctions and Conditionals, Existential and Universal Quantifiers, I love the idea of being able to objectively assess an argument based on the content of the argument.

This semester has seen me begin listening to The Skeptics Guide, and I have tried my best to keep pace with the Skeptical rogues, in my own head, figure out where they're going with their thoughts, and identify logical fallacies in arguments as I plod along in life.  It's fun! Really think about what you're saying when you try to convince someone of something. Then think about whether your argument really holds together, is there an unstated major premise, or are you falling into the slippery slope trap (where your argument says that if you take this view, the extreme of the view must also be accepted, not that I can think of a good example right now.), are you confusing correlation with causation (I had to deal with this one the other day, a friend and I were talking about the legalisation of dope, and he said that dope causes cancer.  I hadn't heard of that, and asked to see the study he was talking about, (he didn't know, he'd just been told that that was the case) I responded saying that since Dope on its own doesn't burn easily, it is often mixed with known carcinogenic compounds (ie tobacco) to encourage it to release the drug, that it was possible that the test had actually noticed that dope use correlated with cancer, and therefore assumed "Dope causes cancer", where it is entirely possible that dope use is just an indicator for other high-risk behaviours such as tobacco smoking.) (My argument was that consistency must be applied. That either Dope, and other drugs, should be made legal, on the basis that Tobacco has proven long-term dangers and is a legalised, addictive drug habit, OR that Cigarettes and Tobacco products be declared illegal on the basis of their definite long-term effects, even when used in moderation.)

I would dearly love for real critical thinking to be taught in public schools here in Tassie, Australia.  I'm disturbed by the notion that had I not stumbled across The Skeptics Guide, and Logic as a discipline, I might never have really thought about what I know and how I know it, never have really understood how to debate, how to form meaningful questions which address flaws in my own or others arguments.  The closest we've gotten here , is the basic Scientific Experimental Design idea that you change the fewest number of variables possible while changing at least one to validate or invalidate a hypothesis.

I loved the unit, and I'd love to do its' successor, but I don't think I'll be able to.  All I can say is, learn about logic, and you'll have a skill you can apply to everyday situations whatever you're in.  (being able to say "your argument is invalid, your conclusion does not truly come from its assumptions" is handy here and there, such as "why my idea should be implemented, vs Jones's Idea.)

oh yes! Holidays are beginning.
well, they are. I'm planning to get some movies and watch them, I'm going to play WoW and love it.  I've already revamped my website: www.dcarm.com Other than that, I don't know. hopefully we will get our kitchen renovations complete. (there's not much left to complete of them right now, just some vinyl and stuff) and then you will get pictures. (some before and afters, for sure)

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One thought on “Exams are over, Holidays beginning

  1. "It was Introduction to Logic, a unit that had a special place in my heart."and "perhaps I'll just sit in on the lectures while I'm in for my honours
    stuff? I like that idea, no assignments, just the fun of gaining
    knowledge."I don't understand why we're friends.. lol

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