PHILOMADRID

PhiloMadrid - Pub Philosophy Meetings in Madrid

Friday, November 24, 2017

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Body Language

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: Body Language

But first of all, Alfonso has kindly sent us the link to his website
where you can find details about his plays, poems and paintings:
https://www.obrascompletasalfonsovallejo.com/

And to kick off the topic Matilda has sent us the following quote from
Sherlock Homes:

By a man´s fingernails, by his coat sleeve, by his boots, by his
trouser-knees, by the calluses of his forefinger and thumb, by his
expression, by his shirt-cuffs, by his movements, by each of these
things a man´s calling is plainly revealed. That all united should fail
to enlighten the competent enquire in any case is almost inconceivable.
SHERLOCK HOLMES, 1887

Essay from Lawrence…..
As names go, Body Language is not very representative of our subject
matter; but this is English so names are not necessarily there to convey
information about their representative in the real world. Body language
is first and foremost not a language least of which because this non
verbal communication is not a public behaviour which we can learn by
following the rules. Indeed body language is supposed to occur
unconsciously. And what are the semantics and syntax of this language?

Of course, some would argue that some body language is a conscious
behaviour. For example, we consciously give the message that we are
being submissive. Shyness, timidity or meekness are other forms of body
messages which are a dead giveaway that we are very well aware of what
is happening to us.

Culture might provide some rules or meaningful structure for certain
behaviour while other behaviour might be confined to a certain group,
e.g. the military. Gestures and hand movements are often peculiar to
culture, but with modern communications and media some gestures are
becoming globalized, for example the Nazi salute is gaining such a
characteristic.

Other forms of body language do seem to be universal, at least universal
within modern cultures. Smiling, screaming, disgust, elation, fear,
pain, are all forms of body language which although not necessary
unconscious, certainly happen spontaneously in many cases.

So what are the key issues for us? The first must surely be, is body
language learnt or inherited as part of our DNA and genes? Are these
unconscious body language messages latent in us waiting for the right
occasion to express them? In the same sense that the heart beats faster
when we run, is a latent capacity of the heart just waiting for us to
start running. Or is body language picked up from our environment and
people close to us. Of course, cultural body language fits this latter
possibility, but do we need to learn how to give the right behaviour for
pain. (Please note that there are some people who do not feel pain and
this could be a very dangerous situation for them. This is disease is
well documented.)

Fear is a good cause of body language and is the primary cause of
certain types of body language. We are supposed to accept that our body
language gives us away when we lie, or at least most people cannot
unconsciously conceal they are lying. I would argue that it is not the
lying as such that causes the relevant body language for lying, but
rather fear (of being caught lying) that activates the relevant body
language.

However, when we are afraid we are supposed run away or fight, when we
lie we are engaged in a verbal conversation that does not involve
running away or starting a fight. Maybe certain body language is more
primitive than modern behaviour. And we give ourselves away when we lie
because we cannot control our sense of fear. Indeed at the primitive
level fear in a person is very clear and without a hesitation of doubt;
we either run away or start fighting.

Finally, we might call this group of body behaviour or actions body
language because we assume that body language is there to convey
information to others; and certainly happens with a load of information.
And this information is most times correctly deciphered by others, which
they may or may not use against us. The problem with this scenario is
that why would we want to give away information unconsciously when
consciously we know would compromise us if others knew it. Why would we
tell others things about us unconsciously, when we wouldn't dream of
uttering consciously?

Maybe body language is not a means to convey subtle information to
others but rather to ostentatiously communicate with others our state of
being so that they can change their behaviour towards us. Thus, any form
of body language to convey we are lying is not us unconsciously
admitting we are lying but us wanting to convey we are being threatened
and that the other person should stop their behaviour towards us. Body
language must surely first and foremost be ostentatious communication to
others so they change their behaviour towards us.

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
MeetUp https://www.meetup.com/PhiloMadrid-philosophy-group/

PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Café Madrid
Calle del Meson de Panos in Opera



from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Body Language

Friday, November 17, 2017

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Education, Indoctrination and Instruction (Repeat)

Dear friends,

I am terribly sorry that last Sunday I couldn't make it due to a very
bad cold. As a consequence we still have to discuss the topic:
Education, Indoctrination and Instruction

By education we mean in our context school and academic education: the
stuff we were subjected to for most of our early years in life. Today it
is not clear what the scope of this model of imparting received
knowledge to young people is. Is it to keep young people off the
streets? Or maybe, indeed, to teach young people some of our acquired
knowledge which may or may not be useful in their later life but
certainly a means to enlighten them.

Today some believe that education is mainly there for two purposed: the
first is to select people who have the necessary mental skills to learn
the content of the subject matter at hand (maths, science, language) and
the second purpose is to train people to be conformists and thus train
better for employment later in life and wealth creation. The problem
here is that today we know very well that not everyone learns the same
way and certainly we don't learn the same way a selected set of issues.
And then screen for the best and then abandoning the rest seems a bit
wasteful.

There is no question that we do need to learn some of the most important
knowledge in our culture and most of which is taught in schools. We do
need to learn about physics, art history, maths and the rest of the
subject. But today we have access to all the information and knowledge
that has ever been created by human beings. We can store at home on a
hard disk a few medieval libraries at the very least. Today social dived
is less about money and more about accessing information and processing
that information. For example how can 17 million people believe that a
country of 65 million people can thrive and prosper isolated from the
major population blocks? The problem isn't one of lack of information
but lack of skills at interpreting that information and recognizing the
type of knowledge required to understand international relations.


Therefore, because the information and knowledge we ever want is already
out there, the problem solving today in our day to day life isn't just
the non existence of knowledge. The emphasis today should be in teaching
people how to access the relevant information (knowledge) we need for
our objectives and most important of all recognizing that some
information is relevant for our need.

This is where instruction comes in: instruction is more about how to do
things rather what things exist. In the course of today, and being a
holiday, I solved a problem regarding my photography. Admittedly my
solution is not 100% but my objectives were achieved: all this by having
access to YouTube and Google search, and then buying some software off
the internet (six Euros) and other hardware just under 32 Euros. The
point is that I had no idea how to solve this problem and therefore need
some people to help me; some videos were very good, other had expensive
options, one suggested a nice work around etc etc.

Today's deficit people have with solving problems is that many of us
were not taught nor instructed on how to go about solving problems for
ourselves. If I wanted to solve my problem 100% I would have needed to
spend a good 800 Euros minimum. I grant you that not every day is a
holiday and not everyone is mad to watch video after video on something
that is confusing at best, but if I can do it then the rest of the world
can solve many more complex problems.

So the question we might ask is how come the odd 700 or so people in
parliament today with practically all the money and authority they can
have are unable to solve such problems as universal health care that's
free at the point of use, affordable housing or a living wage? I am not
saying that these problems are easy to solve, but given that many people
do achieve these objectives why are these needs still major issues in
most societies.

It could very well be that people just don't know how to solve something
even though people have the tools and the means to solve a big part of
the problem. But it could very well be that maybe it is not in the
interest of some people to solve problems. And this is where
indoctrination comes in. It took me most of the day of determination,
mental frustration and less than 40 euros to solve 80% of a problem, not
taking into account my other equipment, or spend just under a thousand
euros to solve 99.9% of the problem? If I believed the rhetoric that
there isn't a cheaper way to solve my problem I might have been tempted
to increate the profits of some corporation.

Indoctrination is biased! Why spend millions of euros trying to persuade
people that it is ok and cool to criminally contravene the constitution
or to persuade people that pursuing isolationist policies is the world's
best strategy for wealth creation and distribution.

For us as philosophers, the objective of this topic includes identifying
the necessary and sufficient conditions to recognise instruction from
indoctrination. And then from this position appreciate the criteria for
what is knowledge and what is worth teaching for educating people to
benefit themselves and society in general.

Best Lawrence


tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
MeetUp https://www.meetup.com/PhiloMadrid-philosophy-group/

PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Café Madrid
Calle del Meson de Panos in Opera




from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Education,
Indoctrination and Instruction (Repeat)

Friday, November 10, 2017

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Education, Indoctrination and Instruction

Dear friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: Education, Indoctrination and Instruction

By education we mean in our context school and academic education: the
stuff we were subjected to for most of our early years in life. Today it
is not clear what the scope of this model of imparting received
knowledge to young people is. Is it to keep young people off the
streets? Or maybe, indeed, to teach young people some of our acquired
knowledge which may or may not be useful in their later life but
certainly a means to enlighten them.

Today some believe that education is mainly there for two purposed: the
first is to select people who have the necessary mental skills to learn
the content of the subject matter at hand (maths, science, language) and
the second purpose is to train people to be conformists and thus train
better for employment later in life and wealth creation. The problem
here is that today we know very well that not everyone learns the same
way and certainly we don't learn the same way a selected set of issues.
And then screen for the best and then abandoning the rest seems a bit
wasteful.

There is no question that we do need to learn some of the most important
knowledge in our culture and most of which is taught in schools. We do
need to learn about physics, art history, maths and the rest of the
subject. But today we have access to all the information and knowledge
that has ever been created by human beings. We can store at home on a
hard disk a few medieval libraries at the very least. Today social dived
is less about money and more about accessing information and processing
that information. For example how can 17 million people believe that a
country of 65 million people can thrive and prosper isolated from the
major population blocks? The problem isn't one of lack of information
but lack of skills at interpreting that information and recognizing the
type of knowledge required to understand international relations.


Therefore, because the information and knowledge we ever want is already
out there, the problem solving today in our day to day life isn't just
the non existence of knowledge. The emphasis today should be in teaching
people how to access the relevant information (knowledge) we need for
our objectives and most important of all recognizing that some
information is relevant for our need.

This is where instruction comes in: instruction is more about how to do
things rather what things exist. In the course of today, and being a
holiday, I solved a problem regarding my photography. Admittedly my
solution is not 100% but my objectives were achieved: all this by having
access to YouTube and Google search, and then buying some software off
the internet (six Euros) and other hardware just under 32 Euros. The
point is that I had no idea how to solve this problem and therefore need
some people to help me; some videos were very good, other had expensive
options, one suggested a nice work around etc etc.

Today's deficit people have with solving problems is that many of us
were not taught nor instructed on how to go about solving problems for
ourselves. If I wanted to solve my problem 100% I would have needed to
spend a good 800 Euros minimum. I grant you that not every day is a
holiday and not everyone is mad to watch video after video on something
that is confusing at best, but if I can do it then the rest of the world
can solve many more complex problems.

So the question we might ask is how come the odd 700 or so people in
parliament today with practically all the money and authority they can
have are unable to solve such problems as universal health care that's
free at the point of use, affordable housing or a living wage? I am not
saying that these problems are easy to solve, but given that many people
do achieve these objectives why are these needs still major issues in
most societies.

It could very well be that people just don't know how to solve something
even though people have the tools and the means to solve a big part of
the problem. But it could very well be that maybe it is not in the
interest of some people to solve problems. And this is where
indoctrination comes in. It took me most of the day of determination,
mental frustration and less than 40 euros to solve 80% of a problem, not
taking into account my other equipment, or spend just under a thousand
euros to solve 99.9% of the problem? If I believed the rhetoric that
there isn't a cheaper way to solve my problem I might have been tempted
to increate the profits of some corporation.

Indoctrination is biased! Why spend millions of euros trying to persuade
people that it is ok and cool to criminally contravene the constitution
or to persuade people that pursuing isolationist policies is the world's
best strategy for wealth creation and distribution.

For us as philosophers, the objective of this topic includes identifying
the necessary and sufficient conditions to recognise instruction from
indoctrination. And then from this position appreciate the criteria for
what is knowledge and what is worth teaching for educating people to
benefit themselves and society in general.

Best Lawrence


tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
MeetUp https://www.meetup.com/PhiloMadrid-philosophy-group/

PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Café Madrid
Calle del Meson de Panos in Opera




from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Education,
Indoctrination and Instruction

Friday, November 03, 2017

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Fragility

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: Fragility

We usually associate fragility with things breaking or being damaged;
things that are delicate or vulnerable to being broken. But of course as
a philosophy debate we are not interested in fine bone china tea cups
and teapots. We are primarily more concerned with how fragile people can
be, and by implicationalso society, culture, countries, political
systems and economic systems. The scope is quite wide for our purposes.

By definition something becomes fragile when it exceeds its limits of
tolerance to certain causes. Tolerance is an inbuilt defence against
fragility. But even then some causes may break something completely
while some other causes might not have an effect at all.

Something is fragile if the necessary and sufficient conditions are met
to break that something. There is third factor to the fragility of
people: the intensity of these necessary and sufficient conditions. Some
people are more resilient under certain conditions than others. This
suggests that we are different: the same form but maybe difference
substance. Meaning that some people are weaker than others and have a
much lower breaking point than others. And do we know what our own
breaking point is?

An interesting question is whether we are under some kind of duty not to
act in such a way as not to harm others?

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
MeetUp https://www.meetup.com/PhiloMadrid-philosophy-group/

PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Café Madrid
Calle del Meson de Panos in Opera




from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Fragility

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