Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Sex, Gender and Sexuality Binaries

The Sex, Gender and Sexuality Binaries
Implications for a diverse human experience

Feminism assumes that there is something universal, particular and consistent that can be understood through the subject of 'women'.(1) This category forms the basis of feminist discourse and is a subject whose identity and power is frequently contrasted with the pseudo-opposite subject of 'man'. Ironically these categories are a product of the gender binary that reinforces the notion there is a 'natural' and fundamental distinction between 'man' and 'women'. A distinction that is said to extend causally from an individual's biological sex to their gender and sexuality.(2) The male/female binary enforces submissive female-gender roles and heterosexuality as well as expecting overtly masculine and dominate performances from men.(3) Transsexuals, intersexuals, non-heterosexuals and any alternative combination of sex, gender and sexuality are labelled deviant, ignored and even persecuted. The most outstanding argument for these injustices is that the male/female binary denotes the only biologically 'natural' form of sexuality, a claim that is based on what 'group' holds a majority and is used to perpetuate the myth that sex and gender binaries are a natural necessity, when in fact they are counter-productive to the diversity of real human lives.

What are intuitively regarded as 'man' and 'women' or 'masculine' and 'feminine' are not intrinsic properties of a particular kind of subject. Rather they are constructed entities, an attempt to source a biological explanation for sex, gender and sexuality.(4) However these biological explanations are based on the faulty premise that the innate forms of sex, gender and sexuality in discourse are axiomatic truths; this fails to acknowledge that identity and power are not only passively expressed through discourse but actively affected by discourse.(5) In other words, every individual is influenced and shaped by the expectations of their environment, an environment that is itself shaped and perpetuated by the individuals within it. Individuals forge groups to garner power over the environmental domain (and those within it) and in doing so positively polarise themselves from other groups. Thus, the resulting discourse is a greater reflection of the ruling groups institutionalised authority then anything of biological validity.

A prime example of this is the male/female binary where an individual's biological sex designates them to the “male” or “female” group, each with its own connotations and gendered discourse that extends, without relevance, to every facet of life. Those delegated to the 'male' group hold environmental power with discourse reflecting predominately 'male' benefiting goals, while those in the 'female' category are moulded and expected to conform with 'male' ideals.(6) This is frequently at the expense of their own autonomy and through 'compulsory heterosexuality'; their sexuality.
Compulsory heterosexuality is a term originally coined by Adrienne Rich to describe heterosexuality as a institution of patriarchy.(7) The assumption that sex causally links to a concrete 'gender' and from that to heterosexuality underlines the operation of many social institutions. A short overview of education demonstrates how the male/female binary moves from mere encouragement to enforcement and later expectation .

Embedded within the educational discourse is a romanticised notion of heterosexuality that effectively trains an individual to adhere to the idealised roles of male dominance and female domesticity and places boundaries around individual emotional and sexual expression.(8) Educational institutions operate under the assumption that young adult sexuality, particularly homosexuality, is something 'dangerous' that requires control, yet at the same time particular (hetero)unions are encouraged.(9) The encouragement is not a particular event; but rather how heterosexuality as the expected normal influences the discourse of the school environment. School rules, uniform and social events prescribe different standards for the sexes and are encouraged, while deviations from gender expectations are devalued. Often those who deviate are given a derogatory term, such as 'fag', which then becomes a label that can be applied to any individual as a 'threat' to the rule of masculinity and heterosexuality.(10) Perhaps the most confronting trend is the allowance of sexist and homophobic comments or behaviours under the guise of 'boys will be boys', when in many cases comments or actions are blatant harassment (sexual or otherwise).(11) This is a ritual that marks the emergence of male sexual dominance and female submission, and emphasises that 'female' traits are not only considered polar opposites to 'male' traits but that they are also less desirable. Puberty is a time of immense pressure to conform to gender roles, however, this pressure is not exclusive to homosexuals, the confines of a passive, domestic and futile femininity deny many individuals access to their own identity.(12)

The distinct way sex, gender and sexuality is emphasised in educational discourse leads to similar expectations in adulthood, whereby “seductive representations of heterosexuality dominate popular culture and the media.”(13) The underlying messages found within the film industry offer interesting insight into these expectations; with characters in films assumed, by default, to be heterosexual. Those who are homosexual are frequently “Defined by their sexuality”, usually in the form of gender role inversion, whereby men are portrayed as effeminate and the women as grubby and masculine.(14) In either case there is a link drawn between sex, gender and sexuality and anything non-heterosexual is seen as a quirky alternative that renders an individual as a lesser version of a man or women; a gender failure.(15) On the other-hand heterosexuality is often portrayed as the 'correct' way; a guaranteed path to achieving personal fulfilment and success. Thereby film and other forms of media are indicative of ingrained socially learned forms of sex, gender and sexuality that are often assumed to be biologically natural.

Supporters of the biological naturality of the male/female binary draws on three facts: There are significant larger number of people who are either male or female then intersexed;(16) although people exhibit androgynous traits, most will identify with either a male or female gender;(17) and heterosexuality is found in greater numbers then other forms of sexuality.(18) Although these are true statements they are often misused to justify the marginalisation of minorities, drawing on the flawed logic that the most prolific is more credible and biologically natural; and ignoring the role of social learning in sex, gender and sexuality. In fact by examining societal institutions it becomes clear that sex 'appropriate' gender roles and heterosexuality are encouraged in youth, enforced in puberty and then expected in adulthood, with the intent of ensuring men have sexual and emotional access to women and at the expense of individuality.(19)

Societal structures demonstrate overly simplified and concrete views about sex gender and sexuality; namely that it is a process starting with an individual's physical sex, male or female; that causally determines their gender as either feminine or masculine and leads naturally to heterosexuality.(20) For this reason knowing an individual's sex is considered crucial as it supposedly tells you a wealth of information about their gender and sexuality. This mainstream thinking is often accompanied by the idea that any variation in the three areas, or the causal direction of the three areas, is an indication that something is wrong. In this way all individuals are pressured to adhere to the gender binary and those who resist or exhibit an alternative, such as those who are non-heterosexual, transsexual or intersexual, are labelled as deviant.

Despite the fact that that majority of people are either biologically male or female sexed the numbers of intersexuals is by no means insignificant. It is estimated that 1 in every 100 infants is born with a sex 'anomaly' and in 1 out of every 1000 births the anomaly is significant enough that it isn't possible to visually determine sex.(21) When an intersex child is born medical staff seek to determine the child’s so-called 'true sex' with chromosomal tests providing the basis for the 'sex diagnosis.' If only X chromosomes are present then the child is considered 'female', however, if a Y chromosome is present then 'sex' is based on the potential for penile tissue to become an 'adequately' sized penis.(22) Medical doctrine advises that intersex patients with an 'inadequate' penis should be reared as a female,(23) with little thought given to the adequacy, aesthetic or sexual function of the surgical vagina, other than it's ability to accommodate a penis.(24) This phallocentric attitude leads to a high proportion of intersex individuals being assigned as female.(25) The sexual-binary mandates that a person is either male or female, when in reality 'sex' is far from a dimorphic category(26).

There has been little evidence suggesting that surgical sex assignments provides a physical or psychological benefit(27), on the contrary, an plethora of studies highlight the damage of these interventions.(28) Leading to the emergence of intersex support networks seeking to de-mystify the intersex phenomenon and advocating that 'corrective' surgeries should only be performed with the adult consent of the intersex individual and not on infants or children.(29) Furthermore it has been argued that the assigning of a 'sex' label doesn't have a biological necessity, that it is constructed to provide a distinction that justifies the division of people into gender and sexuality categories.(30) Given that society encourages and expects 'correct' gender roles and heterosexuality, it is no surprise that ambiguous 'sex' is a source of discomfort; an attitude which leads to hasty sex-determination; and painful and unnecessary surgical 'correction'.(31)

There is no discourse to express identity outside the constraints of the male/female binary. therefore, intersexuals, transsexuals, the androgynous and other 'gender bending' individuals are frequently cast as a non-normative 'other.'(32) Likewise, those who identify as straight and present a 'gender' that does not conform to their biological sex are perceived as threatening to a patriarchal culture that emphasises the distinction between men and non-men.(33) Because those who do not adhere to the male/female binary are devalued and isolated, they are forcibly positioned in a way that makes it difficult to challenge the supposed 'normal'.(34) Furthermore they face ridicule at home and at work; and their attempts to be validated are consistently met with societal and political resistance.(35) Yet, when viewed from outside the restrictive gender-binary people have many combinations of sex, gender and sexuality as well as numerous combinations of individual traits that don't necessarily form a bi-gendered compatible whole. In fact, majority of people are psychologically androgynous, in other words, they exhibit both male and female defined characteristics, even though they may have been socialised to act otherwise.(36) It is probable that the fundamental differences between the 'two' sexes are a product of social learning. Given this it is illogical to conclude that the binary process is immediately correct, biologically 'natural' and without negative consequence.

The male/female binary has been used extensively by feminist discourse as a source of identity that could be used in contrast with the 'male' identity to explain and resolve societal inequities.(37) However the male/female binary encourages the division of individuals into groups based purely on the physical manifestation of sex, emphasising the similarities within each group and the difference between them.(38) The ideals of a passive femininity, dominate masculinity and heterosexuality are so ingrained in society that there is no discourse with which to express an alternative and it is common-place to assume there is only one 'correct' form of sex, gender and sexuality. Thus creating an environment where alternatives are not just an uncommon variation but a negative occurrence that is at best tolerated and at worst; ignored, persecuted or manipulated. The emergence of queer theory and the resulting de-mystification of intersexuals, transsexuals and homosexuals has challenged the common-sense notions of sex, gender and sexuality. These reclaimed terms have provided an expression of identity, however they also harbours the potential for negative connotations and the marginalising of entire sects of people that do not conform to mainstream views.(39) By critically viewing the bi-gendered system as a construction of patriarchy it is clear that the male/female binary provides a limited view of humanity and places artificial constraints on the rich diversity of the human experience.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Things about Obsidian Knights (WoW)

On the "leave twice, don't come back blacklist"...

For all the talk of 'we need to keep track of people who leave'....they don't have majority of people who have left, they don't keep track of it...I feel as though they just wanted to blacklist the few people that pissed them off doing it and they put erandar on the 'left once' list to cover their asses. It is a thinly disguised blacklist through which they can vent their anger over people they kinda cared about leaving.

Its just they they try to side-step the real issue they have, they don this whole 'proffesional disguise' to cover the fact they are just fuming that good members left and not only did they leave, but they are doing better for it.

They wonder why people leave with antics like that, I find it hard to respect the leaders when they are so petty and disrespectful themselves. In the same way I have no respect for someone who has a huge wow-ego/epeen's no different, only they are doing it with inter-guild politics.

basically, OK dropped a few notches in respect. I feel bad for the good people that are at the whim the power-fed idiocracy and it's leaders' tendency to hold personal vendettas. I refuse to stand for being talked-down-to or over by those trying to justify their behaviour with blatant lies.

Guild Forum

The original post is:
People that have left the guild twice

As per guild policy, you may leave the guild once and be accepted back without question, however twice does not get the same response.

Though i am not adverse to giving someone a 3rd go, it would have to be under very unusual circumstances and only if the guild is in desperate need for the class or type.

So please add those people to this list.

The ones i can remember are:



I replied:


I only left once after a blowout with Smokey >.< (and came back the next day)

Don't forget I still have Characters in Guild!

You may not be trying to 'name and shame' but having mine and smokeys name there is likening us to people who are guild Yo-Yo'ing as opposed to those who gave alot of thought to the guild goals and their own goals before deciding where to place their characters. In which case, what exactly is this meant to do? because a good friend told me once that it is an unwise leadership move to alienate people over guild moves. Trying to attribute or associate it to some fault of character is disrespectful of the fact that peoples lives will change or the guild will change and this will inevitably lead to a certain amount of flux, whether that is guild leaving or guild returning. I'm in noway suggesting that 'yo-yo'ing' is appropriate, because of course you want stable guild-members, but this system takes it to far, it is a retarded superfluous guild policy that is applied to liberally, you might be better off with a black list because 'times left guild' is not indicative of anything useful : /

Edit: I know you can side-step this with technicalities, but the intent is clear. even look at the forum it is under : / even given the benefit-of-the-doubt, you might consider re-thinking the approach to this because the impression given is negative.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Carpe Diem App. ?

This is an app. for my druid, however I have not had an offficial 'main' for a while and would be happy to apply as a priest or hunter (both of whom I play just as much and at the same level of I think >.>)

1a. Character Name / Level / Class / Spec.

Synnergy / 80 / Druid / Restoration

1b. What is your offspec and how is your offspec gear?

Never been a big on having Off-specs, But I have a Feral-Tank OS atm, with a few icc pieces that I have picked up combined with some heroic feral dps and feral tank gear. But I lack expirience and i'm not to fussed with it atm.

2. Armory Link (Please remember to log out in your mainspec gear).

I'll list my other two main chars here just in case:

3. List your professions and their skill levels (Be sure to include any special recipes you have, if you specialize in Flasks etc).

I don't have any particularly great recipes >.> but i'm not adverse to getting patterns should the need arise, it just hasn't:P

Synnergy (druid)
447 leatherworking (aiming for 450 very soon:)
450 Skinning

Artemisynn (hunter)
450 Engineer (can make iceblade arrows)
450 Mining

Thankyöu (priest)
450 Herbalism
450 Alchemy (Elixer master)

Synnder (mage)
450 Enchanting
450 Tailoring

Synonym (warrior)
450 Jewelcrafting
Low low low <100 Black smithing.

Athiest (pally)
Skinning 450
Mining 450

4. How often do you play? Would you be able to meet our raid times?

I'm on everyday and yes I can meet the raid times.

5. Complete list of your WoW Raiding Experience (Vanilla WoW, TBC, WOTLK etc).

I'm a relatively new-ish player and therefore I don't have any pre-WOTLK experience, I dinged 80 on my Hunter a month or two before ToC came out.

I have done Naxx 10/25, I have done very little ulduar first 5 -6, ToC 10/25(all), TogC 10 (all), ICC 10 (11/12) and ICC 25 (6/12)
I orginally started as a hunter dps (Artemisynn played surv. MM and BM) but shortly after ICC came out I took a real liking to healing (On my priest - thankyöu). I then leveled my druid to give healing with HoTs a go and fell in love with it.
I recently got the lichking down as part of a pug led by dwarfboy which I healed as a disc. priest.

6a. What is your play style and rotations like?

I use rejuv. as my, for lack of a better term, 'main' heal. I will look for those likely to recieve damage (grid debuffs etc) or those that have taken aggro (red frame on grid) or have taken some damage and I will rejuv. them, if needed I will follow this with nourish (if they are unlikely to take further damage) or regrowth (if they are likely to take further damage) or a swiftmend followed by a full HoT work over if they are serious trouble ^.^
Regrowth if the target is at risk, or is taking continuing damage (tanks, clothies, DPS at the mercy of something like vile gas during pungeant blight) I will also incorporate it into my raid "HoT-blanket"
Lifebloom is an interesting one, I tend to use it where there are multiple people taking significant damage, such as marks on saurfang. Because as it 'Blooms' I can take my precious time off keeping that player up and refresh the HoTs keeping others up. I also use it occasionaly for spot-healing.
I use wild growth in combonation with rejuv. and regrowth to blanket a raid for large raid damage, or for things such as LDW DnD .... and any fight really where more then one person is taking damage in close proximity, it can buy me the time i need to get my HoTs out.

oh and I use a Nature's swiftness in combo with a healing touch for super-emergency-save-your-bottom heals.

I use a combonation of mouse over macros and clique on grid to heal, generally I heal mostly with the mouseovers and clique provides a back up.

I really enjoy healing as a druid, I find the ability to heal and move very fun and i enjoy being able to heal many people at the same time^.^

and playstyle, I like it when there is a challenge, it makes me feel good when we finally overcome it ^.^

(I won't go into every char here, don't want to cause TLDNR)

6b. Your strengths and weaknesses in a raiding environment.

I can watch the video a million times and read countless instructions but it just isn't the same as having a go at it, when i watch the video it seems to make very little sense, but then when i do the fight it's like 'ah-ha' a lightbulb in my head and it all makes sense. suddenly i get what they where on about in the video.
I also can be a little bit stubborn at time, but not in a pig-headed kind-of way >.> I just speak my mind and even though my intentions are always good I sometimes could use a healthy dose of tact. Interestingly I also consider my stubborness to be something that makes me a good raider, I am determined till we finish what we started and I am not shy in offering anything I think might help.

7. Please post a picture of your User Interface in a raid environment (for help with this please see our Screenshot FAQ - right click this link and open new tab/window).

And here are a few funny ones...

8. Do you have a good reliable PC and Internet connection?

Yes and Yes

9. Do you have Vent/Omen/EPGP/EPGPLootmaster? List other mods you use.

Yes, except for EPGP, but I can get that easy enough^.^

I use...
Grid and a number of healer attachments to track my HoTs
Power Aura Classic
Event Alert
Satrina buff frames

10. Do you know anybody in Carpé Diem?

Nope, not that I know of anyway^.^

11a. Previous guilds/servers.

Always been on Saurfang.
I used to run a guild called "Scion of Imperium" (social/leveling)
I moved into a guild called "Ravenwulfe Templars" (casual raiding)
I then joined "Carrion" (raiding)
Who then merged with "Inversion" which feel apart (quickly)
I then rejoined some old carrion members in "Reverse Polarity" (dedicated 10-man raid)
then I rejoined up with what had become of "Scion of Imperium" and "Ravenwulfe Templars" which is "Obsidian Knights" (Casual Raid) where I am atm ^.^

11b. Reason for leaving previous guild.

Most of the guilds I have been in have 'fallen apart', I hope i'm not some kind of bad omen >.<
The guild i am in atm, Obsidian Knights, is a great guild with great people (many who I consider my friends) but lately the raiding scene has been nothing but stress, many members would like more progression out of the 25 etc and tension is high and uncomfortable, whereas the raids themselves feel depressing like an army off to war : /

12a. Why do you want to join Carpé Diem?
I'm mostly after some new scenery, I'd like to 'get-out-there' a bit and move away from the guild circle I have been in since I started. I'd love an oppurtunity to raid, but i would settle for social ;)

12b. How did you hear about Carpé Diem?

I was looking for a guild to join a few months ago and perfectcell (Shaman - Carrion, Inversion, Reverse Polarity, Moltov.) suggested that Carpe Diem was a fairly tight knit 10-man raiding guild that was doing well. Seems things have changed here since I last considered apping my hunter (Artemisynn) a healthy progression ^.^

13. How important is loot to you? [1 (not important) - 5 (very important)]

I'm going to rank it as 2
I think it has an important role in the game we are playing and thus it is too important to be careless about. The game world has a unique set of values and rules that we play by when we play together and because I think it is a part of that i can't really give it a 1, though i'm sure that might be what you are after :P
Sure I might like to show off my Brings-all-the-boys-to-the-yard EPIC but when it comes down to it, loot is just pixels, whereas the people I am playing with are real people and loot just isn't worth much in comparison.

14. Age/Location/Occupation.


15. Please tell us a bit about yourself (include any non-WoW related information here).

I am currently studying psychology majoring in philosophy at flinder uni. and i still have no idea what I want to do with myself:P I also have aspergers, though somewhat mild on the spectrum and I suffer from a fear of telephones, though vent is fine for some strange reason : /

Bonus Question: We are about to pull Festergut and someone throws you a heavy leather ball. What do you do?

Pocket it and promise I will return it to them just as soon as they endure (and preferably participate) in a fantastic (imo) in-depth philosophical disscussion >.>

or alternatively, being that i was in my tree form I would have a bit of a QQ about how iconic my form is and how much cata makes me want to now the other person will have forgotten all about the ball and the violins are playing soft sad music.

then when they least expect it>.> <.< POW.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Is knowledge justified true belief?

Is knowledge justified true belief?

This paper will demonstrate that the tripartite analysis of knowledge – justified true belief (JTB)– isa solid foundation for the definition of knowledge. Firstly a brief overview of JTB, Gettier-type counter-arguments and three types of response to the Gettier problem: The fourth premise, redefining the definition and scepticism. Than an argument against scepticism with two additional considerations regarding the analysis of knowledge. Firstly, knowledge is relative to the context of
would-be-knower's perception and secondly, the would-be-knower must be aware of limitations to their claims of knowledge. Based on this, it is possible to present a definition of knowledge that is encompassed by justified true belief.

The statement: “I know that it is raining, but I don't believe it” is a contradiction, as knowing encompasses an awareness of truth that assumes belief.1 It is clear that truth and belief are integral to knowledge, however, although true belief is necessary for knowledge it is not sufficient.2 The implication being that epistemological “luck” lacks evidence and thus could not be known to be
true.3 In response to these deficiencies, an alternative analysis of knowledge–justified true belief – emerged proposing that in addition to true belief the believer must have reasoning or good evidence to support the truth of their belief.4 The justified true belief analysis of knowledge can be written:5

S has knowledge of P if and only if:
1. P is true
2. S believes that P is true, and
3. S is justified in believing that P is true

The tripartite analysis of knowledge is frequently attributed to Greek philosopher Plato who wrote about it in his Theaetetus and was widely accepted until 1963 when Edmund Gettier provided two counter-examples in his paper “is justified true belief knowledge?.”6 His examples demonstrated cases that satisfied the conditions of Justified true belief, yet would not be regarded as genuine cases of knowledge because the conditions had only been met “by dumb luck, by accident, by coincidence, or by some means we intuitively regard as illegitimate”7 Most Gettier-type counters follow the same basic form:8

1. S justifiably believes that P
2. P is false
3. S correctly infers: if P is true Q is true
4. S believes Q justifiably
5. Q is true, but not by virtue of P
6. S has a justified true belief that Q

There have been numerous responses to the Gettier problem and this paper will cover three. Firstly, Alvin Goldman's “A causal theory of knowledge” detailing that for a belief to be knowledge there must be a causal connection between the belief and it's truth.9 That is to say that: the truth of P caused S's belief that P” or in Goldman's own words:10

S knows that P if and only if
“The fact P is causally connected in an “appropriate” way with S's believing P.”

Unfortunately Goldman's theory relied on the assumption that all Gettier counters were the result of 2 non-causal, incorrect, inferences.11 Carl Ginet disproved this idea with the now well-known “barnfacade” rebuttal where although the belief satisfied the requirements of causal theory, the believer did not have knowledge.12

Similarly Keith Lehrer and Tomas Paxton suggested the addition of a fourth premise:
“defeasibility.”13 Proposing that a justified true belief is knowledge if and only if no other truth would destroy the justification for the belief.14 That we do not know something if their exists a truth that would defeat it. Although this satisfies common claims of knowledge, if the would-be-knower is not privy to all the relevant information they could be said to not know all the truths that would defeat their belief.

Alternatively, Robert Nozick's “truth-tracking” theory seeks to redefine the JTB analysis of knowledge. Nozick described knowledge as a belief that reliably “tracks the truth”.15 Demonstrating that so long as justification of a belief reliably tracks the truth, it is valid.16 However, the tracking theory can be criticised for giving the status of knowledge to the process of knowledge acquisition, even if there is faulty reasoning.

Confronted with the continual attempts and subsequent difficulties resolving the Gettier problem, Richard Kirkham concluded that the only analysis of knowledge exclusive enough to exclude all Gettier-type counters is one that could not be inclusive of the beliefs we “commonly regard as knowledge.”17 Kirkham conceded that much of what we intuitively regard as knowledge is fallible and thus we cannot know much as even beliefs that seem infallible may not be.18

The justification that a belief is true requires another justified and true belief continuing ad. Infinitum.19 The need to “justify the justification.” forms the infinite regress argument against the tripartite analysis of knowledge. In an attempt to solve the regress problem foundationalist theorise that there are finite steps of justification that are logically reducible to “basic” beliefs that are axiomatic truths.20 Sceptics propose that these “foundational beliefs” are arbitrarily labelled and are not self-evident.21 Descartes provided a particularly compelling sceptical argument, beginning with perception as a foundational belief he constructed three simple counter arguments and systematically destroyed it.

(1)Firstly, Descartes highlighted how perceptions are often mistaken, for example: a straight stick appears bent in the water. However, he readily admitted that we often know when our perceptions are defective and thus we are able to correct perceptual errors.22

(2)Secondly he questioned: If sometimes a dream is mistaken for reality, could it be the case that reality is mistaken for a dream? If “being awake can [not] be distinguished from being asleep” then it can not be known that perceptions are true. Descartes acknowledged that objects in dreams and perceived reality still possessed certain attributes, Namely: they had shape, colour, could be counted and extended through time and in space.23

(3)Thirdly he imagined that there was a malicious demon that constantly and systematically deceived him, manipulating his mind, so that his perception of any external thing was a delusion. From this Descartes concluded that there was only one certain truth that remained: “I think, therefore I am.” That the act of thinking: “I exist” necessitates it's truth, for something must exist to be thinking.24

Although sceptical arguments can be labelled unlikely, irrelevant, void of common sense and guilty of toying with semantics25 it seems somewhat against philosophical enquiry to dismiss them in this way. In fact the sceptic's argument that all knowledge derived from perceptions is fallible, is an acceptable one, as no matter how complete the justification given for a belief the sceptic can continuously ad hoc counter-arguments that bring into question every perceptual connection with what “is.” Yet, the mere possibility of deception is not enough to render the senses as entirely untrustworthy.26 Since, at the very least, there seems to be cognitive interaction with what is being perceived, even if it is a delusion.

Consider the following thought experiment: Samantha is a “brain in a vat” and her entire world is constructed by a team of scientists who provide her with experiences. One such experience is her linear concept of time, such that she knows that while seated in her chair typing at the computer that some time will pass (sitting, chair, typing, computer and time are all of course illusions). So long as she accepts the possibility that her world is a manipulated reality; that she could be asleep, the subject of an evil demon's will or that she is a brain in a vat, which indeed she is. Then she is aware and accepts that she does not know anything outside of what she attains through her perceptions, which entails that her knowledge only pertains to what she has perceived or is perceiving; That her concept of “time” is only knowledge of something she perceives it in her reality. Thus, simply not knowing all the information does not render the perceptions she does have void.27 For indeed she is perceiving something and that leads her to formulate beliefs, those beliefs affect her actions and her actions causally interact with the world she has perceived. So long as her claims of knowledge only pertain to the coherent system of perception, then scepticism poses no threat to her capacity for knowledge.28

Brain in the vat type analogies may seem absurd, however, given that evolution has lead to perceiving the world in a humanised way it is not at all far-fetched to suggest that perception is, at the very least, subjective29 For example, when “seeing a colour” it is the eye's detection of certain wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation.30 In other words, colour, taste, feel and so forth, depend on the perceptual tools of the observer. What “is” only exists in a recognisable form when something exists to recognise it, thus, the perception of what “is” is influenced by the context of the observer.31 If the observer has evolved to understand what “is” through perceptions, language and language-based thought, then from these attributes it is possible to make logical inferences that are labelled as “knowledge.” It seems that scepticism is correct in questioning the “truth” of perception. However it does not follow that there cannot be “knowledge” as some types of knowledge are constructed from perception. Based on this, “knowledge” could be defined as a justified true belief logically deduced from, and coherent with, the plexus of all accessible information that is reducible to sensory input and is accepted provisionally until the discovery of an alternative truth which disproves it. Knowledge should also retain it's “knowledge status” so long as at the time of knowledge acquisition it was a justified true belief. As an item of “knowledge” only ever pertains to the specific combination of information that was present at it's acquisition and thus, remains knowledge when defeated. It is therefore possible to have “false knowledge” that is, knowledge which is no longer relevant to the plexus of information. This view is somewhat pragmatic, with an emphasis on the functionality of knowledge over it's actuality.

Revised definitions of knowledge struggle to demonstrate it's ambiguity and often try to bundle “types” of knowledge into a single analysis despite fundamental differences in their contextualised meanings and function. For example: scientific knowledge, day-to-day knowledge and scepticism, each require unique versions of a justified true belief.32 Thus, the would-be-knower needs to be aware of the limitations to their particular claim of knowledge in order for their justified true beliefs to qualify as a form of knowledge; even though it will not satisfy the requirements of every form of knowledge. However, “S knowing what P pertains to” is not a premise unto itself; if Samantha “knows the flower is red” than there is an unstated awareness that this knowledge only pertains to knowing the perception of redness. Thus, awareness and acceptance of these limitations is implicit to the justified true belief analysis, therefore, justified true belief is an adequate definition of knowledge.

1. Sober, Elliott. Core Questions in Philosophy. 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1995.
2. Plato. “Knowledge is Something More Than True Belief.” In Core Questions in Philosophy, 2nd
ed. Edited by. Elliott Sober, 204- 211. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1995.
3. ibid.
4. Philosophy Index. “Tripartite Theory of Knowledge” http://www.philosophyindex.
com/epistemology/knowledge/tripartite.php (accessed july 01, 2010).
5. O'Brien, Dan. The Theory of Knowledge. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2006.
6. Gettier, Edmund. “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?” Analysis 23,(1963): 121-123.
7. Kirkman, Richard L. “Does the Gettier Problem Rest on a Mistake?” Mind, New Series 2, no.
372 (1984): 501-513.
8. Philosophy Index. “Gettier Counterexamples” http://www.philosophyindex.
com/gettier/counterexamples/ (accessed july 01, 2010).
9. Alvin Goldman "A Causal Theory of Knowing" in The Journal of Philosophy v. 64 (1967), pp.
10. Ginet, Carl cited by Goldman, Alvin I. “Discrimination and Perceptual Knowledge” The
Journal of Philosophy 73.20 (1976): 771–791. Print.
11. ibid.
12. ibid.
13. Keith Lehrer and Thomas Paxton Knowledge: Undefeated Justified True Belief, in The Journal
of Philosophy v. 66 (1969), pp. 225–237.
Tegan Roberts Mind and World
14. ibid.
15. Nozick, Robert. philosophical explanations Harvard University Press. 1981.
16. Fred dretske "Conclusive Reasons" in Australiasian Journal of Philosophy v. 49 (1971), pp. 1–
17. Kirkman, Richard L. Op. Cit.
18. ibid.
19. Armstrong, D.M. 1973. Belief, Truth, and Knowledge. Cambridge: Cambridge University
20. Pence, Gregory. A Dictionary of Common Philosophical Terms. s.v “Foundationalism.” New
York: McGraw-Hill, 2000.
21. Chisholm, Roderick M. Theory of Knowledge. 3rd ed. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1989.
22. Descartes, René. “Mediations on First Philosophy.” from The Philosophical Writings of
Descartes, vol. 2. Edited & translated by J. Cottingham, R. Stoothoff & D. Murdoch.
Cambride: Cambridge University Press, 1984.
23. ibid.
24. Descartes, René. “Second Mediations” from The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, vol. 2.
Edited & translated by J. Cottingham, R. Stoothoff & D. Murdoch. Cambride: Cambridge
University Press, 1984.
25. Fogelin, Robert j. “Contextualism and Externalism: Trading in One Form of Skepticism for
Another” Philosophical Issues, vol. 10, 2000, 43-57.
26. Lehrer, Keith. “Knowledge, Coherence and Skepticism” Philosophical Issues, Vol. 2,
Rationality in Epistemology, 1992, 171-192.
Tegan Roberts Mind and World
27. ibid.
28. ibid.
29. Railton, Peter. “Truth, Reason, and the Regulation of Belief.” Philosophical Issues 5 (1994): 71-
30. Weiten, Wayne. “Sensation and perception” in Psyhology: Themes and Variations, 8th ed.
Belmont: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010, 129-184.
31. Railton, Peter. “Truth, Reason, and the Regulation of Belief.” Op. Cit
32. Feder, Kenneth L. Frauds, myths, and mysteries: science and pseudoscience in archaeology.
Mountain View, Calif.: Mayfield Publishing Company, 1990: p. 9-26 .

More trouble in guild-odise


This in in regards to suicide kings and MS/OS rolling. I don't think that having a MS/OS/2nd Chance roll is equitable for 2 reasons.

Firsty, In chat it was suggested that a 'minor upgrade' to MS shouldn't get priority over an OS. I have two concerns with this assesment of the situation.

1. I do not think it is possible to conclude that the item is a 'minor upgrade' simply because they where not willing to use their position to roll on it. In reality it could be anywhere from a minor-high level upgrade and the only conclusion you can draw is that something somewhere else in the raid is 'better' or most-likely 'the -best'

2. I would not suggest that this MS minor-high upgrade should be a greator priority to OS. It is a decision that a player makes to risk a MS item so that they can roll on a more desired item. However I also do not agree with the Idea that "OS should get priority over a minor-high level MS upgrade" It is here I think they draw more or less even.

Taking this into account, up comes my second concern, that this OS > MS minor-high-upgrade is unfair to multi-classes and is open to abuse.

IF I am a dps and I have two dps specs, chances are that I am likely to need very similar gear for both my specs, therefore, If i do not want to roll on an item as MS because I will lose my position (and thus can't roll on a better upgrade) I can make a valid OS roll for it because it is still good for my OS. If you are a multi-class you would not be able to do this, aka DPS plate - heal plate.

And what if there is more then one set for a MS, an 'OS set' for your MS E.g as a healer, you may have 'mp5' heavy items as a second healing set for mana intensive fights. In this case it is a valid OS roll and more to the point how do you decide whom honestly requires the item above somebody else, whom has a genuine claim to an item as OS.

and I can only conclude that those who do not wish to lose their position (and thus the 'best' item) ARE therefore rolling as an OS and thus it should be considered an OS roll.

I wonder if we simply do not like the idea of someone 'playing' their roll/position, but I believe this is an intended part of the suicide kings system and is nothing to be concerned about.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A response to an "ASK" question.

This was probably just a troll, but i still find myself keen to give an answer.

The question:
Why are men better than women?

The Previous answer was:

"Nature gave men the better body, we are taller and stronger. We also don't have to worry about PMS or be careful like women do during pregnancy which means we are ready 24/7/365 and require less maintenance. Even from the way we pee, men can do it easier while for women its more uncomfortable. men have higher toleration to "physical" pain because we have a higher muscle ratio, giving us greater upper body strength. female hip bones are wider apart so they are slower than men at running and more prone to injury in sports
. . ."structurally" men are better. . ." "

Which I really do not think provides a satisfactory answer. The original question presupposes that men are "better" than women, however "better" is used ambigiously here. Certainly we could say things like "Men have strength" but we cannot say this is true of all men, or that it is "better" than many other traits. Likewise comments like "women get PMS" is absurd reasoning, all humans regardless of gender experience mood changes affected by reproductive hormones, both males and females experience these fluctuations. Females often in corrollation with their ovulation/menstration cycle and men often experience mood changes when replenishing sperm "Stocks"(somewhat frequently). But yet again we have nothing to suggest that this is the case for all people and it certainly doesn't bring us closer to deciding if one gender is better than another. Ideas about "maintenance", "pain tolerance" "run speed" are all affected by societal expectations, vary between individual people and do not, by themselves, qualify for an overall "better." The final comment that "structurally men are better" is again absurd, a good question to ask this claim is "better at what?" and does that kind of "better" override the structural benefits of the alternative? Surely the answer is no, built for different purposes perhaps, but you could not draw from this that one is "better."

So... who is "better?" Honestly, neither. This is another case of the human tendancy towards dichotomy. That is we tend to want to divide the "traits" into two non-overlapping categories, in this case "male" and "female." We assign (percieved) characteristics to each group. Unfortunatly power imbalances between the groups can lead to negative traits being assigned more readily to the less-powerfull. Furthermore trait's of the less-powerful group that are not "negative" may be percieved to be negative. This is called class polarisation. In the case of male-female "which is better" debate, these polarisations cloud our judgement and do not help produce a realistic conclusion.

for example:
Strength - Weakness
Aggressive - submissive

To fully understand this you need to take a appropriately critical viewpoint of your current gender expectations, in particular to question their foundations.
In truth individuals are androgynous, that is that they have a fairly even mixture of traits and mental attributes from the two artificial categories. More or less our "tendacy" is incorrect and leads to questions like "why are men better than women."

The physical difference between genders are perhaps the largest true differences. However, despite these differences it is still difficult to define one as "better." In response to the original answer it could be just as easily said that women are more physically flexible than men, often have better fine motor skills and have a longer lifespan (often with less health issues). Of course, just as the generelisations made in the original answer, these do not apply to every women and only represent a slight tendency in the direction of being "better" in those areas. Yet again, we are no closer to defining who is "better" for it seems individuals have a mix of traits and even those traits which do have a gender correlation, it is a tenuous link and no one trait is vastly superior to another.

So my final answer is that men are not "better" than women and likewise women are not "better" than men. There are some patterns of trait strengths in the genders, however they are complimentary, have very little real affect on modern life and one cannot be said to be "better" than is subjective. Most individuals are androgynous and trying to divide the traits into two categories does not do the reality justice.

You could ask "why is it better to be a man" or "why is it better to be a women" The answers are of course subjective opinions and not something as "fact" but it is none the less a fun topic to mess around with :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

When Did I Notice Gender Rules?

There was a time when I was no more aware or concerned about streotypes and gender roles than I was aware or concerned with the chewy on the underside of my desk. This represents my time in primary school, where exporation of my surroundings was predominatly physical, with little attention given to understanding complex social constructs. Choosing, or perhaps encouraged, to simply float along the river of dreams, the sky as my limit adrift on my proverbial cloud. Wihout doubt these 'social rules' and expectations were having a profound affect on me. Yet as a young child I did not concern myself with these matters and I certainly did not partake in any deep anaytical thought. Things were simple, black and white; For example, if I intended to play sport, I was only aware of the criteria I had to fill to do so. Yet I was completely unaware of why that criteria existed. The resulting effect of this unknown social pressure on my child mind is both intriguing and upsetting. The manner in which I did discover these strict gender expectations leaves me, in many ways, bitter towards the society that promoted them.

The saying "Ignorance is bliss." holds particular relevence for my years in primary school. Blissfully I was unaware of the societal rules that governed my every move. As a child I enjoyed playing rough sport, playing with dinosaurs and fantasy role play. My mannerisms in general would have been seen as more masculine and, as i later discovered, were 'looked down upon'; my gender deviance frequently discouraged and punished by my teachers. The biggest difference between me and those who may have expirianced similar treatment, was my reaction. My child-like mind took this negative feedback and translated it. I honestly began to believe that if I wanted to do the things I enjoyed, these 'masculine' things, then i simply had to be a boy. So I transformed myself, I cut my hair short and wore male clothes, till was indistinguishable from any boy in my year. Yet I was uncomfortable with myself, I would often be asked if I was a boy and I would always reply 'No!' I would make sure they knew that physically I was female. That is to say that my desires to be a boy were purely based on my desires to do masculine things. That a child would intepret signals as a choice, not between activities, but in gender. This situation is a sad representation of society and it is how I came to realise how much affect gender stereotypes and roles have.

Today I am aware and often deep in thought about the origins of these rules, as well as potential 'solutions.' I personally believe that stereotypes are an unmovable aspect of the human psyche, ingrained and inbuilt for their supiriority in efficient communication. I am also certain that attempting to use the legal system to alter societal perspectives is ineffective. It is futile to write laws that dictate what someone's beliefs, it tends to be more effective when it works reactively with large shifts in community thought. However, I am confident that a gradul 'widening' of accepted boundaries for gender could occur, whereby the criteria for important life decisions would not seat gender as a major demoninator. So more weight would be given to a person's individual characteristics and less on the expected characteristics for their gender.

Humans by nature have a mix of characteristics, unfortunatly these have been artificially place into categories based gender. By nature people have a variety of these characteristics, yet they are expected to conform to this warped social standard. This can only be altered with time, a gradual alteration to what we view as important to identity, as society moves away from it's evolutionary origins and continues to develop humanities most advanced trait, Intelligence. The path to heightened sentience will lead to a reduction in reliance on these evolutionary 'throw-backs.' In-turn more weight will be placed on our intellect and this will result in a society where gender has less relevence. Finally, androgyny would be reconised as an individual's natural state, contributing to a greater understanding of oneself and their own unqiue combination of characteristics. This heightened awareness will allow peope to critically view the stereotypes they do make and thus they will be more wiling to accept exceptions to the stereotyped rules.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Asperger's Experience

Most people have experiences the sensation that they are in some way different from others. A person with aspergers experiences this same phenomenon, the same 'AH HA!' but, this is where the similarities cease. For the duration and depth of the asperger's experience extends far beyond this understanding of personal development.

Most people experience persona differences, which are subtle when placed in a social framework. A person with aspergers also has their own distinct combination of traits. However there is a very large difference in how they experience them as a result of the condition.

The eyes of an aspeger's mind operate as though a thick pane of glass separates them from society. As though they are missing some crucial 'sense' a tool to receive and interpret social data. Limiting their capacity to function within the society that they can see.

This strange perception and lack of social understanding can lead to certain personal preference and personal traits. However, it is not the possession of these personality differences that form the aspergers experiences. Since such difference are normal. It is because they cannot possibly exist within the social framework which allows an individual to feel part of a community regardless of comparatively small personality difference. In this way a sufferer is alone in their experience of uniqueness. Though they experience the same sensations hearing/seeing/touching/smelling, they can not function socially and therefore they are effectively isolated, on a separate plane.

It is all too easy to misinterpretation a sufferers struggles as normal teenage personal development. to assume that it is a 'normal' developmental occurrence spreads seeds of doubt in that individuals mind. From behind their eyes how are they meant to know, beyond doubt, that they are not simply within that phenomenon. To know that their reaction to something so standard is so disproportional, that they are foolish. that they are not capable of coping with something that everybody else can. it is a constant source of anxiety and depression for sufferers when their plight against this serious condition is not even recognised. When the result of a suffering they cannot control is placed squarely on their shoulder.

think about that:)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pantheism Explained

I am a Naturalistic/Monist Panthiest, literally translates to 'all is god', in a nutshell it is the belief that 'God' is universe(nature) and everything within tha(synonym) and that 'God' is not an entity, creator god and doesn't take any human form.

pantheism is more of a train of thought that appeases a fairly human spirituality desire.

The way I use the term 'God' here is not to suggest a single ultimate 'substance' at all. When I am saying 'God' in the pantheistic context I am not suggesting one single ultimate 'substance' or really at all delving into or making claims about the technicalities of what does and doesn't exist in what context.

I am essentially giving the title of 'God' to 'everything'(in whatever quantity or context it exists in). In doing so I am acknowledging that there are things we do not yet understand, but I am also not attributing them to a supernatural phenomenon.

Some pantheist choose not use the word 'God' at all due to the confusion and ease of misinterpretation. But for me the word 'God' has always been a fitting all encompassing term. This is a really important distinction to make. If you were to apply traditional views about what constitutes a 'God' then it will distort the interpretation of pantheistic thought.

Understandably Pantheism is often referred to as 'jazzed-up atheism.' Although our beliefs about the existence of a supernatural god are certainly in-line. Those who associate with pantheism tends to maintain a strong sense of nature-linked spirituality. It is important to recognise both the similarities and difference between these two thoughts.

I am a pantheist in my thinking. But it is not my pantheism which defines what I must believe about how the world operates in a scientific sense, about existence/boundaries/how life began. the word 'God' applied in this context is fluid and adaptive. As opposed to limiting the scope of what 'is and isn't' before we even begin to explore.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

AbortSA Rantabulous.

AbortSA?! No! i disagree! South Australia is just as good as any state! i refuse to merge with Victoria!!!! .......Seriously abortsa, Misleading misused statistics and emotive unrealistic crap, Trevor Grace Rosaries off my ovaries /agree!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

oooo A Blog, Joyous.

First blog post, awesome.