For the last two and a half years I’ve kept a diary. I don’t remember particularly why I started it – although luckily, my diary remembers for me. As recorded, it was “to hold for myself a private compendium of my thoughts and feelings, highs and lows, successes and regrets, so that when I’m older I might browse through it and remind myself of what it was like to be alive five, ten, fifteen years ago.” Reading through it, I can now recall my reasons more easily, and consequently I’m feeling a little re-invigorated about maintaining the habit.
Due to the reasons laid out in my earlier post, the meaning of life, living ethically is something that’s tremendously important to me. My life, as I see it, is something to be used for improving the lives of others. That is my number one goal – everything else is (or should be) a means to that end.
I wanted to use this post to write a little about my thoughts concerning the role of techniques in aikido and to try to tackle the question: how many techniques are there in aikido?1
One observation I made a little while ago, but was discussing with some friends last night, is about the reasons why we like things, and why our favourite things are different. My view is that it’s because we each experience the world differently – that my world is different to your world.
Cogito ergo sum, or its translation, “I think, therefore I am,” is a frequently-quoted line from well-known mathematician and philosopher René Descartes. I’ve noticed that it often seems to be misunderstood; this post is a brief outline of the idea and some of my thoughts on it.
Often when considering the origins of the universe, we have to contend with the question: What caused the Big Bang? On the face of it, it’s a good question. It is, however, somewhat misleading.
I suppose that a post on free will has been a long time coming so I felt perhaps I ought to get round to finally writing it. In this essay I want to make two points: 1., that claims of free will are faith-based, being made without the burden of proof we would normally require, and 2., that choices seemingly invoking free will are in fact a product of competing desires.
I’ll begin by saying it: I don’t believe in free will. I used to – in fact I used to think it was one of the most self-evident things in the world – but a few years ago when I examined the situation, I came to the conclusion that I hold now: There appears to be no acceptable evidence to support a belief in it. None at all.
A couple of days ago I was asked whether I thought a pragmatic agenda was essential for an ideological organisation to function, and whether pragmatism ever encroaches on our ideals. I responded that I did consider pragmatism essential.