Monday, January 15, 2018

Pictures from the Honor 6x & Moral Philosophy Article Number 3

Phone Camera - Looking out into daylight is always a challenge

First real use of the camera that's within the Honor 6x 'phone.

I'm finding out more about the remote operation of the Canon camera -and transferring pictures to and from the camera - still trying to find how to mute the shutter click when in remote though.

And a remote triggered timed shot

Moral Philosophy

Final reading for this week was an article by Ruth Benedict called  'Anthropology and the Abnormal this article highlights (quite strongly) the concept of Moral Relativism.

Ruth Benedict who was an anthropologist traumatised by her father's early death and the effect it had on her mother writes in the article in a clear manner on some of the more extreme variations of 'Social Norms' in the world.

Increasingly as the world becomes more homogenised what is acceptable in major 'developed' cities around thew world looks similar.

What was very surprising to me was to read  just how different some cultures 'acceptable' behaviour was when the article was published (1934) - some of it might be partially attributed to lesser developed countries being 'out of step' but the dramatic differences point to something more around the adaptability of group behaviour .

One of the examples that Benedict cites is the belief in Witchcraft and related poisoning in Melanesia (which continues today to feed into the local behaviour and which has  provided a rich selection of research projects).

Another example of very different social mores is the Kwakiutl (of North America) and their attachment to the custom of the Potlatch along with how they seek to 'mourn' in a very different way from a Christian wake.

Benedict does (I think) make a point that even in these extreme examples there may be some common agreements around what is 'Good'.

Korean stuff

Korea is more than just a War story

I sometimes watch NHK and Ariang TV - I was incredibly impressed to see a TV programme (on NHK)  that covered sympathetically the story of a Japanese woman ( Fusako Kunita) who married a Korean man (his nationality was not known to her at the time), this was during the time Korea was  a Japanese colony - subsequently she moved to Korea where she still leads an active life  - a story that was worth hearing.

Also on Ariang TV (The Korean channel) I was surprised to hear a K-Pop Star attributing a quote to  the Philosopher  Jeremy Bentham, the quote was  -it is  Darkest under the Candlestick  -I'm not sure that it is Bentham's but mention of him and such a quote was not expected by me. (After a little research and it's not too clear what it means/refers to either).

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Soutine and more on week 1 Moral Philosophy (second article)

Soutine's at Courtauld Gallery
The other day I had a couple of hours in which I decided to take a look at the soon to temporarily close Courtauld Gallery (for around 2 years starting this Autumn).

My  quick whizz included  the Soutine exhibition - the works on show are portraits of Hotel staff and looking at these I felt that what was on show was the Paris of George Orwell's Down and Out in London and Paris.

Soutine was apparently a mate of the louche Modigliani (famously Amedeo painted Soutine’s portrait on a door!) – for me it was a nice exhibition, not too extensive and an artist I’d not taken much note of before.

There was something about the works of Soutine that made me think of Francis Bacon - subsequently I see that Bacon was indeed a 'fan' of Soutine.

Boats on The Seine (1877)

Also while at the Courtauld I took some time to appreciate another figure new to me Pierre Bonnard- like the River Seine in Paris (1922) and Two Oxen by him

And talking of the Seine great too to see some of Alfred Sisley's paintings including Boats on The Seine (shown here- left).

Moral Philosophy second article

And back to my 'homework from Week 1 of Moral Philosophy  second part looking at an article entitled -

A Philosophy Tool Kit  it's by the Australian philosopher called Alan Hájek - (there's an audio version you can listen to there as well).

The idea here is that Hájek is supplying us with some tricks to make the study of Philosophy a little easier -

Here are some notes from my reading/listening..

1) The (as in definite description)  is an important word - implying a value to the phrase that follows such as Doing The Right Thing ..

2) A claim that makes a wide range of cases 

use extreme cases e.g. biggest or smallest  - The Big Bang is given as an extreme case 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

What is Moral Philosophy(1) & Wireless control of Canon Cameras

CityLit -Off to a great place to learn
Having completed a number of Philosophy courses at CityLit (all led by the excellent Scott Biagi, amazingly I see that my first course at CityLit on this topic was nearly 4 years ago) I thought that the time was overdue to continue finding out about the big questions and seeing if Philosophy as a 'subject' transcends the experience I've had so far.

So the course that I've enrolled on (and started) is called Moral Philosophy, it's at City Lit (again) and the course leader for this  is Ariel Kernberg.

Great mixture of people crowded into room, mixture of ages and Men and Women - for me one of the pleasures of previous courses was the interaction that took place and I reckon it'll be the same here.

First thing I note that we're told is that it's  formerly been known as Ethics so that might be something I reflect on as time goes by.

Having had a look at the difference between the empirical and normative we were presented with an overview and Three articles to read and consider before week two...

Here's what I got from the first one

What is Ethics

The article starts off looking at the significance of Ethics in business issues particularly around legal matters and company 'values'

1) Egoism - we act in our self interest
2) Natural Law - one behaves in line with human nature
3) Utilitarianism - greater overall human welfare, for example throwing yourself on a grenade
4) Respect for Persons - acting in a way that recognises human dignity

Captain Oates in the ill fated South Pole expedition  led by Captain Scott is given as an example we might consider Oates walking out to his death when he said

This case (and others) alert us to the importance of fact in real life cases - although we might share a desire for a certain 'Moral' outcome we might have a different perspective on the way to achieve it.
Interested in learning & meeting people?

I am going outside and I may be some time....

Was he concerned with ending his own suffering or improving the others chance of survival?

Conceptual issues 

Conceptual issues need to be looked atthese might include during a war are Civilian populations innocent?
Modern medical techniques might require us to redefine death - as we can now sustain life beyond what was formerly considered to be 'death'- is the ending of one's own life immoral?

Normative versus factual

Factual - 
The Sky is blue (empirical research).

You should be wary of strangers

Income in the USA is unequal (fact)

we might then propose that income inequality is wrong as a moral statement but it could be hard to convince all of this.

Consequentialism measures behaviour by effect it has either good for oneself Egoism or society at large Utilitarianism 

The difference between Right (absolute) and Good (various degrees of)

There's a really interesting example in the article about issues around a possible suicide for 'A Burn Vitim's Desire to Die' .. here it is - I think you'll agree that it's not something that can be given an easy answer. (there's a film about this too but not I've been able to locate it online).

I'm hoping to report more on this course - but expect that I'll get from it an ability to interrogate problems rather than just answers to them - here's a definition of Moral Philosophy.


Canon Remote Camera  on  Android 

Along with configuring the Google Home Mini one of my motivations to get a new phone was the chance to enhance what I could do with the Canon G7 Camera - here's a nice Youtube that covers it

some of it.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Living in the Future 2 -Android Phone Honor 6x

In fact I did think quite a bit about getting a new phone in 2017, far from essential but felt that having chosen Windows 6 or so years ago I was getting left behind with many 'Apps' not on this type of phone.

Honor 6 - I set my limit at £200
So set an upper price of £200 and found what seemed a good all rounder with the Honor 6x.

BT Mobile provide a smaller SIM

Amazing that online orders come so promptly I got this via Debenhams and having ordered it on Friday it arrived (post free!) Monday lunchtime.

What I hadn't anticipated was the need to get another SIM card - this time a 'nano' -so again amazingly prompt service (from BT Mobile) a new SIM card Wednesday in the post.

What I hadn't realised was why people get so attached to these devices - they do all a computer does but on the move and Android integrates into Google home so I can 'cast' from phone to TV.

Google Maps very useful too - still learning about it.


.. really is the news story that keeps giving Farage (he really is an  attention seeker) calls for another referendum - which makes me instinctively reject the idea and Peter Stringfellow leaves Tories  because he's against the destination of travel, what next!