PHILOMADRID

PhiloMadrid - Pub Philosophy Meetings in Madrid

Thursday, March 22, 2018

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Citizen feminism + NEWS meeting place

IMPORTANT
This Sunday 25th temporary meeting location:
Gran Clavel (Café-Bar)
Gran vía 11, esquina C/ Clavel, 28013—Madrid

Dear Friends,

Apologies for having to cancel the meeting last Sunday at such a short
notice; I thought I'd be alright by Sunday but rather the opposite
happened. And to make things worse I was not told that Café Madrid would
be closed for decorations.

Anyway Matilda kindly suggested the Gran Clavel bar for this Sunday's
meeting and although they do not reserve tables they do not mind having
small groups. Matilda and I will be there early to make sure we have a
decent table, so please look us; the staff wouldn't know anything about
the meeting.


This Sunday we are discussing Citizen feminism.

A subject we certainly haven't discussed and one that does not come up
is searches. So what could this citizen feminism be and do? In my short
essay I give some ideas but first think about it for yourself.

Citizen feminism

The concept of "Citizen" or citizens acting in such a way that would
have been carried out by professional practitioner is not news. The most
memorable one must be "citizen's arrest". Today this list is fast
becoming long and imaginative including citizen scientist, scientist
media, citizen photojournalist, citizen astronomers, but I haven't been
able to find citizen feminist.

For our purposes the citizen feminist model we should be interested in
is the one similar to citizen journalism. In other words, feminism that
is advocated outside the "professional" institutions such as political
parties, trade unions or NGOs. Sure, these groups keep the debate alive
and in some cases achieve progress in society for example labour
agreements. And more importantly they have the financial and membership
power to gather people for a cause at a very short notice.

The key about citizen-something is that the activities of the "citizen"
are not by definition false, unrealisable, frivolous or wrong,
professional people are guilty of these failures as well, but that the
contribution of the citizen might vary from citizen to citizen. A lot of
innocent errors and mistakes can easily creep in. One of the basic
drawbacks of the citizen model is that such people might not be up to
date with technical and even legal issues. For example the enthusiasm of
a citizen photojournalist might lead the person to do things that are
taboo in the profession: posing people, using flash in a tense
situation, over doing the Photoshopping –Lightroom is more suitable.

A good example of citizen feminism, although the official media call
them radical feminists, are the Ukrainian group Femen who protest bare
chested during high profile events. No doubt they have specialised in a
form of protest that not everyone is prepared to get involved in. But
they certainly get their 15minutes of fame; today even this group is
well organised group with international coordination.

A key factor in philosophy is information, and information shared in
information communicated with the hope of changing the behaviour or
beliefs of the target audience. An advert on tv is an attempt to create
an emotional desire to own (via buying) the product.

Today citizens who get involved in the citizen model of an activity have
easy access to information and an audience. The social media, self
publishing, video sites and so on give global or local access to an
audience. Today a video of someone being nasty to a woman in the street
can reach an audience of a 100,000 viewers within hours and sometimes
the authorities do act. Employers and commercial establishments are
always on alert for such negative publicity of their institution.

I have already highlighted some of the negative aspects of the citizen
model. A positive aspect of citizen feminism is that with an internet
connection the individual can take action on very local issues and can
still get an audience. A second benefit of the citizen model is that it
is very difficult to manipulate short of cutting off an internet
connection; traditional media can be more easily manipulated as we have
discovered in the Brexit referendum.

Does the citizen model give more freedoms to the individuals? Despite
the exploits of Femen, the internet can probably give more voice to
informative actions, as I said, such as writing about harassment at
work, inequities and discrimination. Citizen feminists have been
empowered in the age of the internet, but like all causes being
reasonable about one's behaviour and ideology can take the cause a long
way. After all, in the age of the internet we all have our own problems
and sometime problems we did not realise we had.

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: Citizen feminism +
NEWS meeting place

Thursday, March 15, 2018

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Citizen feminism

Still meeting in Café Madrid

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we are discussing Citizen feminism.

A subject we certainly haven't discussed and one that does not come up
is searches. So what could this citizen feminism be and do? In my short
essay I give some ideas but first think about it for yourself.

Citizen feminism

The concept of "Citizen" or citizens acting in such a way that would
have been carried out by professional practitioner is not news. The most
memorable one must be "citizen's arrest". Today this list is fast
becoming long and imaginative including citizen scientist, scientist
media, citizen photojournalist, citizen astronomers, but I haven't been
able to find citizen feminist.

For our purposes the citizen feminist model we should be interested in
is the one similar to citizen journalism. In other words, feminism that
is advocated outside the "professional" institutions such as political
parties, trade unions or NGOs. Sure, these groups keep the debate alive
and in some cases achieve progress in society for example labour
agreements. And more importantly they have the financial and membership
power to gather people for a cause at a very short notice.

The key about citizen-something is that the activities of the "citizen"
are not by definition false, unrealisable, frivolous or wrong,
professional people are guilty of these failures as well, but that the
contribution of the citizen might vary from citizen to citizen. A lot of
innocent errors and mistakes can easily creep in. One of the basic
drawbacks of the citizen model is that such people might not be up to
date with technical and even legal issues. For example the enthusiasm of
a citizen photojournalist might lead the person to do things that are
taboo in the profession: posing people, using flash in a tense
situation, over doing the Photoshopping –Lightroom is more suitable.

A good example of citizen feminism, although the official media call
them radical feminists, are the Ukrainian group Femen who protest bare
chested during high profile events. No doubt they have specialised in a
form of protest that not everyone is prepared to get involved in. But
they certainly get their 15minutes of fame; today even this group is
well organised group with international coordination.

A key factor in philosophy is information, and information shared in
information communicated with the hope of changing the behaviour or
beliefs of the target audience. An advert on tv is an attempt to create
an emotional desire to own (via buying) the product.

Today citizens who get involved in the citizen model of an activity have
easy access to information and an audience. The social media, self
publishing, video sites and so on give global or local access to an
audience. Today a video of someone being nasty to a woman in the street
can reach an audience of a 100,000 viewers within hours and sometimes
the authorities do act. Employers and commercial establishments are
always on alert for such negative publicity of their institution.

I have already highlighted some of the negative aspects of the citizen
model. A positive aspect of citizen feminism is that with an internet
connection the individual can take action on very local issues and can
still get an audience. A second benefit of the citizen model is that it
is very difficult to manipulate short of cutting off an internet
connection; traditional media can be more easily manipulated as we have
discovered in the Brexit referendum.

Does the citizen model give more freedoms to the individuals? Despite
the exploits of Femen, the internet can probably give more voice to
informative actions, as I said, such as writing about harassment at
work, inequities and discrimination. Citizen feminists have been
empowered in the age of the internet, but like all causes being
reasonable about one's behaviour and ideology can take the cause a long
way. After all, in the age of the internet we all have our own problems
and sometime problems we did not realise we had.

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: Citizen feminism

Friday, March 09, 2018

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Is it necessary to lie in life? + News

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: Is it necessary to lie in life?

But first some feedback about finding a quiet place for our meetings. We
have an offer from a restaurant where we can meet in the basement that
is very cosy and quiet. The place is in the centre within easy reach
from Sol. However, the condition is that the first drink is 5 Euros and
subsequent drinks at normal prices. I need to report back in a few days
time. So basically please let me know what you think.

Miguel has also sent us details about more Mathematics meetings, details
here:

Estimado tertuliano:
Te anunciamos la siguiente conferencia: Segmentación borrosa de
imágenes, por Carely Guada Escalona (UCM)
(http://blogs.mat.ucm.es/doctorandosmat/)
Saludos cordiales,
Tertulia de Matemáticas
https://sites.google.com/site/tertuliadematematicas/


-------------------
Is it necessary to lie in life?

Lies can be serious mischief makers; or lies can be lubricating grease
to go with the flow.

The problem with this distinction is that we are not always able to tell
when a lie is intended to create mischief and when a lie is just a means
to keep life uncomplicated. Today we know that claims that immigrants
lower wages or take jobs away from the host population are just bad
taste propaganda. One of the reasons why immigrants, legal or not, do
not affect the labour market is because the government do not spend much
effort making sure that there are no inequities in the labour market.
But as we know governments go out of their way to limit the validation
of qualifications from other countries which does limit access to the
labour market. The truth is that immigrants do not make good voters
because usually they don't have a vote although many pay taxes.

On the other hand, a child knows very well the value of utilitarian lies
for personal peace and tranquillity at home. Denying responsibility for
a missing slice of cake might not create much mischief but it certainly
keeps one's parents at bay. In any case, parents always know when we
take an extra piece of cake.

The fact is that people generally lie but this is similar to saying
whales are not fish. It's not very informative and we still don't know
what we'll do if we came face to face with a whale. So when it comes to
lying, lies like meeting whales most of us prefer not to come face to
face with a whale without prior notice. And most of us prefer not to lie
if we can help it.

It is very interesting that our question is about the necessity of lying
since this implies that we have no choice and when we do lie we do so
because we recognise the utilitarian value of the lie. The problem with
utilitarianism is that we cannot go about our lives or our morality
based on numbers.

Lying is more an intuition than an art which is why they are not that
reliable; even less reliable than painting by numbers. There comes a
point when it becomes very difficult to distinguish necessity from
sufficiency; lying can make us lazy since we do not feel the need to
distinguish fact from fiction, responsibility from carelessness, or
short term expediency from long term unintended consequences.

But if utilitarianism might make us lazy, trusting some sort universal
law might prove very dangerous, if not worse. The problem with universal
laws of the kind that are supposed to establish ethics and morality tend
to be man, and sometimes, woman made laws. In other words, man/woman
made laws tend not to be universal, some might survive the test of time,
but that does not make these laws universal.

Thou shall not lie might be good for a normal society but what are we
supposed to do if we are governed by a deceiving government? Should we
always be honest with the Gestapo, especially if can bluff them
successfully? The categorical imperative might be impractical, but
Kant's idea that we ought to be reasonable is not a bad idea at all.

It seems, therefore, that lying, like a corrupted file on our computer,
is here to stay for awhile longer. The balance is between lying from
necessity and being reasonable when we have no option but to lie.

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: Is it necessary to
lie in life? + News

Friday, March 02, 2018

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

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: Respect

But before my essay, I'd like to remind you that we are still looking
for a quiet place in Madrid. If you know of a location, please let me know.

Respect

We are brought up to respect other people's opinions and beliefs, even
when we find these opinions or people abhorrent. We are taught to
respect other people with our behaviour. Indeed we accept that respect
is one of the key features of a civilised country or society. We are
told to respect public property and the property of others.

Respect is a way of saying "tolerating" others or to behave in such a
way that we do not annoy others with our behaviour or actions. We
associate respect with being polite, considerate, and even educated. In
our Sunday discussion interrupting others when they are speaking is a
serious disrespect.

So where does respect feature in a philosophical analysis? Let me focus
on the respect of the opinion of others.

Ideas, beliefs and opinions of others are a good start for a
philosophical discussion on the subject of respect, since philosophy is
also about ideas and opinions. And especially opinions that are
different from those of other people. Disagreement is part of the
philosophical process; but can we disagree with others whilst still
respecting them i.e. their ideas and opinions?

Respecting others or rather the opinions or beliefs of others does not
imply an obligation to accept and follow those opinions or beliefs of
others. When we respect the opinions of others we are under no legal or
moral obligation to adopt those ideas.

So what do we mean when we are asked to respect the opinions of others?
At first instance we mean that we recognize that the other person has
put some mental and emotional effort to have that opinion. We accept
that to have beliefs and opinions we are performing something as human
beings. And the first rule of a species is to respect other members of
the spices; some might have problems with this.

But as I said there is no question that when we respect other people's
opinion we are also subscribing to their opinion. That's not even an
issue. Respecting other people's opinions might, however, oblige us no
to be aggressive or belligerent towards those people.

There is also a difference between having and respecting other people's
opinions and accepting that those people implement their opinions or
beliefs on others. If we are under no obligation to accept other
people's opinions we are definitely not under an obligation to accept
the implementation of those opinions. Of course, there is a difference
between accepting a democratic process that involves the rule of law and
others to accept that that opinion is good or the best option. We are
not allowed to break the law but we cannot be forced to think that a
given law is a good law.

The problem becomes difficult when we end up in a dilemma that abiding
by the laws of the land, in a presumably democratic process, and
breaking the law on the grounds that such a law causes harm to others.
It's one thing no wanting to pay higher taxes and another obeying a law
that discriminates against a minority in the country.

Simply respecting the beliefs of others even if enacted into a law does
not provide us with an ethical test, let alone a legal one, on whether
we should follow such a law; eg legalising guns, Brexit, spending more
on armaments, gender discrimination etc. Of course, the categorical
imperative and the utilitarian doctrine do not help us here. The
categorical imperative might be too rigid to the extent that we do not
follow laws that we are convinced cause us (or others) harm. And the
utilitarian principle is too lax to the extent of rewarding cowardice
and spineless attitudes; go with the flow.

Civil disobedience and conscientious objections are indeed attempts to
overturn laws that were established under some sort of rule of law. So
how do we get from respecting the opinions of others to civil disobedience?

Today we have two options, in reality one option. Use some form of
theological doctrine which basically means we agree to accept the
opinions of a few elite thinkers until their thinking fails to make
sense. This religious approach will suffice when we're, maybe,
overwhelmed by nature and our environment. When we do begin to
understand our environment and we can tame nature we look for our
standards in probability. So basically we respect the opinion of others
up to the point where those opinions do not fall foul of the tyranny of
beliefs or the tyranny of probability.

But the bottom line of respecting the opinion of others is that we are
under no obligation to accept those opinions and/or implement them as if
they were truths. A good guide would, no doubt, be: do no harm to others.

Regarding other forms of respect, such as respecting other people with
our behaviour/being polite, this respect is more manageable. Basically,
we should try to be polite to others because aggression is not conducive
to a peaceful society. Aggression is a very inefficient use of resources.

At the end respect is maybe the first tentative attempt at trying to be
civilised towards each other and how to avoid aggression whenever possible.

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: Respect

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