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A wilding

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  1. A wilding

    "Here" by Richard McGuire

    Oh well. I guess I will just put it in the Oxfam pile ...
  2. A wilding

    "Here" by Richard McGuire

    I have been doing some sorting out and came across a copy of a comic book called Here that someone gave me as a present some years ago. At the time, I remember, I was somewhat annoyed at feeling that my relative had been conned into buying this sight unseen by succession of reviews such as this one, all proclaiming it as a work of genius. Looking at it again, I still don't get it, and doubt that there is much to get, despite a fair amount of positive comment online. It takes what I consider a trite and unoriginal idea - how would the view from a fixed point change over time - and expands it to a several hundred page comic book. There is no overall story, just some vignettes and lot of jumping around in time. (Okay, in some cases the characters in one scene might be older or younger versions of the ones in a scene 50 pages earlier if you can be bothered to check, which I couldn't be.) There is no theme or point that I can see, the ones in reviews - "moral purpose", "human insignificance" - feel to have been brought by the reviewer. Has anyone read this? Did they like it? Have I missed something?
  3. A wilding

    UK Politics: This Country is Going to the Moggs

    As has been pointed out by many people, there are a lot of parallels between Boris and Trump, and the popular appeal of both in the teeth of the facts is not dissimilar. In both cases their potential support seems to come largely from disaffected people harking back to a mythical idealised past who don't follow the mainstream news, though, this being the UK, Boris' fan base is not so far to the right. That said, Boris, while being equally self centred and egotistical, is much cleverer than Trump, though still incapable of hard work or pursuing a long term strategy. Hence his frequent "zany ideas", as month after month he comes up with a new tactic to advance himself toward his goal of becoming PM. Despite May's many and glaring faults, I think she genuinely convinces herself that she is doing the best for her country. Boris, of course, does not give a sh*t for anything other than himself.
  4. A wilding

    Science vs. Pseudoscience

    And that is just a failure to understand the scientific method. Assume for the sake of argument that we have "reliable facilities". Assume further that evolution predicts we don't have them (though personally I think you would have a lot of difficulty coming up with a definition of "reliable facilities" for which both those assumptions are true). Congratulations, you have found a limitation in evolution, an edge case where it breaks down. But that does not entitle you to discard the whole theory! The reaction of any scientist is to ask "so how do we modify the theory to take these new observations into account". Only someone with an agenda against it would do otherwise. For example take Newtonian mechanics again. A century or so ago it was found that it breaks down when trying to deal with the very fast, the very large and the very small. Despite that we did not abandon it and return to a pre-industrial society. Instead we went on to develop relativity and quantum mechanics.
  5. A wilding

    Science vs. Pseudoscience

    And your point is ... ?
  6. A wilding

    Science vs. Pseudoscience

    If he really thinks that, then he must be an idiot. To paraphrase this argument: evolution does not explain "reliable faculties" (whatever exactly is meant by them). Therefore I am entitled to "disbelieve" (presumably this means consider to be disproved) the whole of the theory of evolution, never mind what other things it might explain. The flaw in that argument is obvious, so a philosopher ought to see it instantly.
  7. A wilding

    Science vs. Pseudoscience

    Pseudoscience, by definition is not credible, while sadly being all too widely accepted. Conflating pseudoscience with the ideas thrown out by a list of great physicists is frankly insulting to them. They all understood the scientific method, and tried to come up with hypotheses that were falsifiable (even if most of them were theoretical physicists who left the experiments to other people).
  8. A wilding

    Science vs. Pseudoscience

    As has already pointed out, the whole point of theory of evolution is that it results in outcomes that are very low priority, only provided that there is sufficient evolutionary pressure to get there. Your reference to "reliable cognitive faculties" appears to me to be essentially talking about free will, as you then start talking about religion. Free will is beyond the scope of theory of evolution (at least in its current form) and more generally is a problem that science has not (yet) solved (except perhaps by showing the we have somewhat less free will than we sometimes think). Just about all scientific theories have limits and points where they break down, possibly ones that have not been discovered yet. To imply, as you do that evolution can't be "sensibly believed" because it has such limits is, I feel, somewhat disingenuous (and I note the conflation of scientific evidence with belief there). But now I am really not sure that I have not missed a sarcasm flag somewhere ...
  9. A wilding

    Tolkien 2.0

    Really enjoying these essays. On the Sam Gamgee's social rise question: I think Tolkien here was harking back to an older 17th - 18th century tradition from what might be called the "merchant middle class". An extended middle class merchant family would value hard work, ability and loyalty in their servants, agents and followers, who were often recruited young. Exceptional service might result in them informally becoming almost a member of the family, or in some cases even being formally adopted or possibly married in. This would be a possible way for someone a long way down the social scale to rise dramatically. Admittedly there doesn't otherwise seem to be much sign of a merchant middle class in the Shire!
  10. A wilding

    UK Politics: This Country is Going to the Moggs

    ... Accurate information like punishment budgets, Project Fear and 350 million extra per week for the NHS?
  11. A wilding

    What binds people together (?)

    One point about a European identity though, is that it can be a secondary super identity. This means that it can provide a shelter for smaller identities, such as the Scots, that are submerged in a larger nation. A Scottish person might consider themselves to some extent Scottish and European, with the EU to some extent protecting them from the London UK government. Scotland is after all more pro Europe than England. Other European identity groupings sometimes seem to feel the same way (the Ladins in NE Italy, for example, or even the Catholics in Northern Ireland).
  12. A wilding

    UK Politics: Royal Weddings and Referendums

    But we are not arguing as to whether the EU is flawless, we are arguing about Brexit, so shifting the argument in this way really does feel like strawmanning to me. But if it makes you any happier, I for one am happy to say that the EU is far from flawless, and it was very much for the best that the UK stayed out of the Euro and out of Schengen. Despite this I think that Brexit is a huge mistake. Oh and the Westminster parliament is very far from flawless either.
  13. A wilding

    UK Politics: Royal Weddings and Referendums

    You may think that, but then you are a Brexiteer, so saying what Remainers should want smacks of strawmanning. As a Remainer, my opinion is that the UK's pre-referendum position was already effectively the ultimate soft Brexit. The UK had used its leverage (that of potentially deciding to leave instead), to largely cherry pick which Euro institutions it wanted to join up to and which it didn't, and was able to significantly influence their direction. Ok, it didn't get to 100% choose everything, but we live in the real world. In the unlikely event that the EU did actually decide to try to turn itself into a superstate in future, the UK would have been able to firstly vote against it, and secondly to Brexit then if all else failed. Having voted for Brexit, the UK will now either end up in a catastrophic hard Brexit, or at best a soft Brexit that is going to be substantially worse that what it had already.
  14. A wilding

    LGBTQ+ 6 -- It's a Rainbow of Flavors

    Sure England will remain a better place to live than much of the rest of the world, and I have no idea how you got the impression that I was saying it is not a relatively good place for LGBT people. But as for using Brexit to "put off immigrants" - I am calling it as I see it, however much I would love to be wrong (our EU friends have all packed up and left already). For example right now I wouldn't want to bet that a desperately stretched NHS will still be providing free services to EU citizens in a few years time.
  15. A wilding

    LGBTQ+ 6 -- It's a Rainbow of Flavors

    My two pennyworth. As Xray says, being a straight white male I can't tell, and it probably does depend on what sort of circles you move in, but I would also say that most English people are quite relaxed about homosexuality, with the possible exception of the elderly (70+). We certainly know some lesbian couples who generally seem to have little problem. My impression is that there was a real sea change in public opinion about 10 - 15 years ago (one of my friends puts it down partly to Big Brother). When Cameron pushed through the gay marriage law a few years back the story is that most of his MPs - older white males almost to a man - were in shocked disagreement to it, until they went back to their constituencies, took soundings, and realised how much out of step with public opinion they had become on the issue. However, you tangentially mentioned Brexit. What is going to happen after Brexit is in practice still totally up in the air. Any promises of EU citizens being able to live here should, in my opinion, not be counted on. It is also quite possible that England may end up not being a very good place to live full stop. If at all possible I would suggest holding off for a year or so until the situation becomes clearer.
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