PHILOMADRID

PhiloMadrid - Pub Philosophy Meetings in Madrid

Thursday, February 25, 2016

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: The power of words + News

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: "The power of words".

We are all familiar with how powerful words are and can be. The issue,
or at least one of the issues, is what are the limits of words? Words
can be powerful but they can also fire blanks, so to speak; meaning that
words can also be meaningless. After all, it is not so much what words
can do but what meaning can we derive from them.

Hence, I would argue that we need good ideas first before we can choose
the right words to express our ideas. We also need public words that can
be use for our ideas, the words we choose must also be available to our
target audience and finally, our audience needs to connect with our
ideas for words to release their power.

A brilliant idea on a subject we don't know anything about is just lost,
and if we don't know the right vocabulary ideas will be lost as much as
anything. The first is demonstrated when professional experts try to
talk about their discipline to lay people without toning down the
language. And the second point is demonstrated by Second language
Learners who might know the subject but do not have the necessary
vocabulary in the target language.

Unable to understand concepts, because we are not familiar with them, is
not the same as not being able to understand certain vocabulary or
vocabulary structures. Parents are usually victims of absence of
vocabulary when they fail to understand their teen children. And the
final condition, which I would say is also a necessary condition, is
that the target audience must be receptive to our ideas. And how
receptive people are to our ideas depends on the opinion people have of
us as a human being. People generally relate quite well to other human
beings who are not perceived as a threat or a competitor. Words might be
powerful, but words do not go too far without the right action.

Words used properly and accurately can move mountains and achieve the
impossible. However, words are very finicky and risky and can easily
backfire. Words can indeed be powerful but they are also volatile and
they can come back to haunt us or worse, to hurt us.
Lawrence


News:
Lucia would like to know if there are any tertulias or cambios in
English during the mornings. I don't know of any, but I'm not up to date
on the subject. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

A message from David:

Friends / Amigos del Cementerio Británico, Madrid

INGLÉS : Monday - 7th March - 18,00 hours.
At this time of year one year ago the Cemetery was the scene of a
commemoration celebrated by the Russian Church in Madrid and arranged by
the Russian Embassy at the graveside of Baron Theodore de Budberg, the
last Russian Ambassador before the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. This
year the event will be repeated as it is the centenary year of the Baron
de Budberg's death in 1916.
This message is so that Friends of the British Cemetery who wish to be
present may join in this appreciation of a diplomat recognised in his
day for his statesmanslike qualities.
The front page of ABC newspaper of 11 March 1916
(scanned and attached ) shows the esteem in which the Baron Theodore de
Budberg was held.

ESPAÑOL : lunes -- 7 de marzo -- 18,00 horas
Hace un año la Embajada Rusa y la Iglesia Rusa en Madrid han conmemorado
en el Cementerio Británico la memoria del Barón Théodore de Budberg, el
último Embajador de Rusia previo a la revolución bolchevique del año
1917. El centenario de su fallecimiento en 1916 es motivo de repetir la
conmemoración.
El presente mensaje es para comunicárseles a los Amigos del Cementerio
Británico para que acudan si lo deseen al acto de conmemoración de dicho
diplomático.
La portada del ABC con fecha 11 de marzo de 1916 cuya fotocopia acompaña
el presente mensaje demuestra el prestigio de este diplomático tan
reconocido en su día por sus grandes calidades de estadista.

David Butler

 ----please send me a message if you want the mentioned photo (Lawrence)

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com <mailto:philomadrid@gmail.com>
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
<http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/>
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
914457935
Metro: Bilbao
-----------Ignacio------------
Open Tertulia in English every
Thursdays at Triskel in c/San Vicente Ferrer 3.
Time: from 19:30 to 21h
http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/
<http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/>
----------------------------



from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: The power of words
+ News

Thursday, February 18, 2016

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: How powerful is money?

Dear friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: How powerful is money?

How powerful is money?

If by "powerful" we mean the ability to change the course of events
including our lives and that of others then surely money is very
powerful? But this affirmation does not solve many philosophical problems.

Two issues we can investigate about money is the immoral use of money,
and by immoral I also mean illegal, and secondly how best can we
understand money?

Money is no less a physical phenomenon than anything else in the
physical world. The two distinct features of money are that it depends
on all of us validating its value and secondly money is a form of saving
and measuring our efforts in obtaining the necessary resources to
survive. At least that is the theory.

Two good analogies, although I would argue they more than just an
analogy and more like a member of a set, to understand money are "dams"
and "electric batteries". Both engineering masterpieces, like, money,
have the ability to store energy over a good period of time. The energy
they store, in other words, the value they have is quite stable over the
period of time they are designed to function. Money, at least in theory,
should keep its value over a reasonable period of time in our life time.

Dams convert water and gravity into electricity and batteries convert
chemical and physical reactions into electricity; money converts our
labour into purchasing power of good and services.

An important feature of money is that it is very easy to exchange our
energy into money and then into goods and services. But its value is
independent of who "filled" the "container" that holds this monetary
value. If have a five euro note it does not matter whether I worked for
it or found it in the street; it is still a five euro note. This is very
similar to a battery; it does not matter whether a battery is found or
bought. Moreover, like money, it does not matter whether it is powering
a torch or a remote control; its energy is converted into work immediate.

But it is this feature of money that makes money very unstable for us.
Its very nature makes it easy to steal, lose and misused. On the other
hand, a dam is very difficult to steal, very difficult to miss use and
very difficult to lose.

Although money is very convenient to hold money it is also very risky
structure. It is this ease of transfer that makes money powerful; when
money is seen as a commodity, rather than a measurement and conversion
of our effort into value, it becomes a scarce resource like any other
commodity. Indeed the value of a scarce resource is that it is scarce
hence making a resource difficult to obtain means that we need more
energy (ie money) to obtain it.

Thus an immoral use of money is when money is made scarce for our
labour; being paid less than what we deserve, inflating the price of
goods and services and of course not paying any money at all for labour.

I would therefore, argue and conclude that money is as powerful as much
as we are prepared to devalue our labour.

Best Lawrence




tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com <mailto:philomadrid@gmail.com>
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
<http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/>
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
914457935
Metro: Bilbao
-----------Ignacio------------
Open Tertulia in English every
Thursdays at Triskel in c/San Vicente Ferrer 3.
Time: from 19:30 to 21h
http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/
<http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/>
----------------------------



from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: How powerful is money?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid NO meeting this Sunday check details.

Dear friends,

This Sunday we don't have a meeting because the centro will be closed;
so the next meeting will be on the 21st. The subject is: How powerful is
money?

Best Lawrence



tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com <mailto:philomadrid@gmail.com>
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
<http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/>
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
914457935
Metro: Bilbao
-----------Ignacio------------
Open Tertulia in English every
Thursdays at Triskel in c/San Vicente Ferrer 3.
Time: from 19:30 to 21h
http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/
<http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/>
----------------------------



from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid NO meeting this Sunday check details.

Friday, February 05, 2016

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Privilege.

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: Privilege

The word privilege can have two distinct meanings. The first is the
sense of being fortunate and lucky to have a certain experience. For
example, it is a privilege to discuss philosophy with some very
interesting people in Madrid. In this sense we can genuine say that we
are lucky since such experiences are a gift by others.

But I suspect that it is the second meaning that would concern us most:
the enjoyment of rights and access to rewards which the rest of society
does not have. It is not that some people have access to certain things
and others don't, but rather such rights are not given for merit but for
status or birth. The privilege of being born into money or aristocracy
or even royalty would definitely exclude most of the people in a
society; and there is nothing they can do about it.

But even then it is neither the money nor the status that might annoy
us, but more likely the sense of superiority and disrespect we perceive
these people have towards us. It is the feeling that these people do
not care about what happens to those less fortunate. And of course the
worse kind of privilege we hate is ostentatious wealth or even access to
power for self aggrandisement and riches.

At what point does privilege turn from a legitimate right into a toxin
of society? No doubt, the French revolution was the classical example
when the toxin of privilege let to a civil revolution. It wasn't the
last either, but it should have taught us a lesson. At least to those
privileged people to have access to wealth and power; be careful some
people really don't like you! We can also ask: is privilege a fast
evolutionary game that gives those who enjoy these characteristics a
really survival advantage? But is success guaranteed because it the
privileged who are smart or is it the case that the rest of society are
just average or even below?

Unfortunately, the fact that there are only a few people who are
privileged compared to the rest of society suggest that it is the
privileged who are smart. This will certainly hurt our sentiments if it
is true, but I don't think it is totally true. We know that in the
survival game we can employ two strategies: we can be smart or we can
apply brute force. By preventing most of society from accessing the
seats of knowledge the privileged practically guarantee themselves
success when deploying the "smart" game; making education expensive is
one way of preventing many people from accessing the seats of knowledge.
And they can also have a good advantage in a "brute force" game by
paying for it and use the brute force of those who are strong but need
the money.

We also know the meaning of: to occupy the high ground. A definition of
success and achievement, but abusing others can never be an occupation
of the moral high ground. The privileged, at least from one perspective,
might occupy the top of the food chain but they'll never occupy the
moral high ground. But surely the best form of defence against someone
who has the advantage of the high ground, both metaphorically and real,
is to isolate and blockade the adversary. All the revolutions since 1789
have shown us that brute force might have short term gains but certainly
long term losses.

To be smart and to act with foresight against a strong adversary is, not
only good fortune but also a privilege and a well deserved one.

Best Lawrence




tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com <mailto:philomadrid@gmail.com>
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
<http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/>
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
914457935
Metro: Bilbao
-----------Ignacio------------
Open Tertulia in English every
Thursdays at Triskel in c/San Vicente Ferrer 3.
Time: from 19:30 to 21h
http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/
<http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/>
----------------------------



from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Privilege.

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