This is, the abyss of solitude
Mad rantings of a journalistic philosophy major in search of meaning.


 
Friday, May 30th

Summer


The time of year when we completely forget we are running towards an energy crisis. The time of year when we turn the A.C. up to 11, and make the day seem a blissful 69* degrees. A wonderful life indeed.
[Karma: 0 (+/-)] Eric on 05.30.08 @ 05:24 PM CST [link] [No Comments]


Friday, March 21st

Nice Libertarian Point of View?


Daily News (Bowling Green, KY)

The broken window City should really ask itself where capital should be invested
RAND PAUL
Published: March 20, 2008
Frederick Bastiat was a French philosopher, economist and parliamentarian in the 19th century. He wrote an essay titled the “Broken Window Fallacy.” Supporters of the transpark and downtown revitalization plans would do well to understand this fallacy.

Bastiat answers those pundits that maintain that repairing a broken window (i.e. government spending) can be seen as a net advantage to a community.

“Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier’s trade " that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs " I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.

“But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of the industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, ‘Stop there! your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.’

“It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.”

The broken window can be any government expenditure proposed to send ripples of dollars throughout the economy. For example, our very own broken window, the $25 million dollars to be borrowed by the taxpayer for downtown redevelopment projects, could be borrowed by someone else, “that which is unseen.” Equally important, the funds would go to projects winnowed and refined by the market forces that limit the extension of credit.

Private borrowers must suffer the process of deciding to personally bear the burden of debt. Our commissioners commit the funds of others and can never truly experience the painful deliberation that guides an individual’s borrowing decisions.

Bastiat informs us that the fallacy comes in seeing only the shiny new window or buildings but failing to perceive the development or private spending or borrowing that is prevented.

When I asked one of the downtown supporters recently about whether the other hotel owners in town were in favor of buying land and setting up utilities for a new competitor, he responded honestly that they were not. When I asked him if he would be in favor of the project if it included a new direct competitor to his business, he answered that he then likely would not favor the project.

We need to ask ourselves who should determine where capital is invested? Individuals interacting voluntarily in the marketplace or a few special interests by the vote of a handful of commissioners? Whatever your decision, don’t forget that the money must come from somewhere and that some project, personal savings, or individual consumption is lost to pay for these projects.

Editor’s note: Paul is a Bowling Green opthamologist and the son of Texas congressman and Republican candidate for president Ron Paul.


Copyright 2008 News Publishing LLC (Bowling Green, KY)

[Karma: 0 (+/-)] Eric on 03.21.08 @ 05:31 AM CST [link] [No Comments]


Thursday, January 31st

Semester?


So, the semester is starting up, and so far this is my listing of masochism:

Phil 401 - Toleration in Theory//Practice
Phil 315 - Philosophy of Religion
Phil 499 - A.F. Whitehead - Process and Reality
Eng 104 - Intro to Linguistics
Germ 101 - Intro to German

Sounds great doesn't it? Oh well, hopefully more papers will be written for the coming semester, possibly that senior thesis that I've been attempting to work on and maybe another one, not entirely for sure.

[Karma: 0 (+/-)] Eric on 01.31.08 @ 03:53 AM CST [link] [No Comments]


Semester?


So, the semester is starting up, and so far this is my listing of masochism:

Phil 401 - Toleration in Theory//Practice
Phil 315 - Philosophy of Religion
Phil 499 - A.F. Whitehead - Process and Reality
Eng 104 - Intro to Linguistics
Germ 101 - Intro to German

Sounds great doesn't it? Oh well, hopefully more papers will be written for the coming semester, possibly that senior thesis that I've been attempting to work on and maybe another one, not entirely for sure.

[Karma: 0 (+/-)] Eric on 01.31.08 @ 03:53 AM CST [link] [No Comments]


Tuesday, January 8th

Holidays


They are over-rated. The most eventful thing that happened is a hard drive crash, and the unfortunate bliss of having to reinstall everything. Life, is good.
[Karma: 0 (+/-)] Eric on 01.08.08 @ 03:12 AM CST [link] [No Comments]


Saturday, December 22nd

Thesis:


So, I've begun writing on my thesis statement for my senior seminar in philosophy. The awkward thing is, I've already completed the necessary requirements for the program. I'm being overzealous. A less than admirable trait in some circumstance, but this is not for academic prowess. It's more of a personal statement towards the philosophy community as a whole.
[Karma: 0 (+/-)] Eric on 12.22.07 @ 12:22 PM CST [link] [No Comments]


Monday, December 17th

End of semester bliss


So, the end has finally reached us. I think it's good...maybe now I can rest. Off to Nashville in the morning to go do some early Christmas shopping. And yes, it is early, since I tend to follow the tenants of all males: wait till the last minute. Indeed.
[Karma: 0 (+/-)] Eric on 12.17.07 @ 03:42 AM CST [link] [No Comments]


Monday, December 10th

Online Portfolio

mood: Dained

Is located at this link.The rest of the site is a testament to what I have learned over the course of my College career in English.
[Karma: 0 (+/-)] Eric on 12.10.07 @ 09:03 AM CST [link] [No Comments]


Letter to Dr. Judith


Arguments for my grade:

One of the hardest things to do is to make a persuasive argument in regards to positive attribute to your life. Making this a course in 400 level technical writing, well, that just makes the process a bit trickier.
First off, just wanted to say thank you Dr. Judith for taking me in at such a late term. I realize that it was a complicated process at first to take someone into the class so late in the semester, but I appreciated it on so many different levels.
Secondly, thanks for showing concern about my health every time we see each other. It shows your dedication to your students to inquire about their health and see if they are getting along good and everything.
Now, since I have finished with the compliments, I just want to say that I loved your idea of letting students choose which media to go with. That process is different from any others that I have ever seen on any course. I have had a few select web courses where they have provided their own pod casts in the server, but not only a pod cast and a video cast. I don’t know how you got the time to attempt to do that, but its’ impressive. I hope the tenure committee will appreciate it.
This semester is the first semester that I did non-fiction writing in a creative sense. It’s something that I have never considered attempting before, but now I am glad that I have. I’ve learned that some of the things that are the most humorous, or heart wrenching in life are those that are based off personal experience. Some things in life you cannot fake, no matter how odd or ridiculous sounding they might be.
Aside from the content basis of the writing seminar, what I was looking at specifically is how my writing in question has improved. I learned that I over-use punctuation. It’s a serious downfall on my part. I rely too much on the Word editor when it tells me a sentence is fragmented. Even then, I started to put in a comma in a vain attempt at negation. Sometimes I think I should relearn the entire English grammatical system again, but then it would almost be pointless.
A second thing that this course has given me is a more thorough look at the way technology is presented in our academic society. Sites that can be edited on their own accord (wiki’s) verses those used by peer reviewed journals (online journals) and how they affect the student in research. I recently submitted an abstract to a conference on the Society of Teaching & Learning concerning the impact that technology has had on our lives. Hopefully, if everything goes correctly, I should be able to go to London, England in May to defend my argument against a committee.
Confidence was also given to me by this course. I was able to take my experience in writing and think of a proper application of it. I went and applied to the College Heights Herald, and was given a job based off past writing samples (the only one I used was the piece I composed in your class last year) and got hired on to cover local diversions from the everyday scheme of life here at Western. So far, this semester has ended, and I got my first review from my editor. From her exact words, “Eric, you are the best writer that I have on my staff. I can’t explain why, but somehow you write your articles in a way that draws you into what you are saying. You put a passion in the article that the reader can identify with. No other editor on staff really believes what is going on with you just being a writing minor…”. I thank you, Dr. Judith, for giving me the talent to be able to compose in such a manner. Now I have a possible career prospect, just because I have an ability to draw the reader into the story.
Aside from the aspects that affect the way I earn a living, it’s flowed over into my philosophy work. One of my downfalls in writing is that I make too many philosophical associations, or unknowingly, put in a form of a philosophical problem without realizing it. These statements are just a run-over of what my everyday training is in my subject. So far though, this writing has enabled me to compose it down, keeping it to a minimal writing structure. So far, it’s worked. Though it’s hard to tell in the future. See, right there I almost made a vague philosophical thought-experiment, but I stopped. You’ve done a great job helping me there!
One of the most enjoyable works that I have read this year was the Stephen King book. Honestly, it’s just so good to read how an author was able to present to his readers practical writing exercises and the reasons why they work for him. No lie, no fluff, no bullshit. It was so great to know how one of the best publishing authors of all time was willing to tell people exactly everything you needed to know in order to publish a book. It had so many quirks, so many language uses and dark humor, that one could almost pass over his careful instruction on how to get by a publisher, how to lock up a memoir for months before reading it again, just to have a fresh start.
It also made me realize that I’m a paper type of reader. I love to put my hands on a page, to feel the pulse of life that the words are trying to tell us. The way the highlighter feels in your hands, the way it feels to be sitting there and just observe where impromptu errors are made, and to bring the pen in and WHISK! through them with a solid strike. The feeling of being able to fully control the way it is set up, makes my life so much better.
On a more personal note, I felt bad that I wasn’t able to contribute as much as I wanted to towards the group, but I read through the threads at least once or twice a week. My only downfall was not being able to fully go through them. I just wished I could have been there more for them.
I worked on every piece in order to produce my Magnum Opus, but I felt that it was limited by the effort that I could put in. I put so much effort into my pieces; enough that I haven’t even slept while writing this, and I feel it isn’t enough. I try to hard to write these pieces, but I never have the proper amount of time, especially after…well, what happened. I just felt that this was a semester I should have dropped out and just stayed in bed and rested. I over-exert myself too much. It’s something that I realize, and it harms me in everything. Not just my writings, but life as well. I need to just realize that school is the most important thing to me, and sometimes, sacrifices should be made for the progress of education.

~Sincerely,
Eric Isbell

[Karma: 0 (+/-)] Eric on 12.10.07 @ 08:50 AM CST [link] [No Comments]


Finals


English 401 - Check
Phil 401 - Check
Phil 405 - Check
Bio 120 - not checked.

Now I havebut one thing left to do. I'm on my way boys.
[Karma: 0 (+/-)] Eric on 12.10.07 @ 07:44 AM CST [link] [No Comments]


Random Inspiration
"A witty saying proves nothing." ~ Voltaire
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©Eric Isbell