Vancouver – The Tour

I arrived at Vancouver airport at about 5pm on the 27th and have been staying with Alvin and his family since. So far we have covered pretty much the whole city fairly comprehensively, on teh 28th we took the seabus over to North vancouver and had brunch, followed up by a look around downtown, including the library and Gas Town and a quick peek at Vancouver Tower, which I will go up later some time around sunset to get some good pics of the city.

From Gas Town we headed to SFU – Simon Fraser University which is situated on a massive hill to the North East of downtown and we spent most of the time there hunting for the best photo opportunity! We caught the bus back into town then the skytrain (Canadaian public transport seems to be names in a similar manner to theire towns – Seabus, Skytrain, Bline Bus, its all very very pragmatic, very similar to the town called, Smashed-in-head-buffalo-jump, or Moosejaw, or Swiftcurrent…) Anyway, we visited a big mall called suprisingly, Metrotown! Hehe, I’m sorry toa ll the Canadians for making fun of their awesome place names, but I only just realised exactly how obvious it is!

Today we did a bit of a loop around downtown, visiting UBC first because it has some wonderful views of the city and out towards Vancouver Island, then into Chinatown for lunch (They sell dried lizards! Apparently Chinatown in Vancouver is older then Vancouver!) and Stanley Park on a roundabout way home. Stanley park is beautiful, everything is very green, their is moss everywhere and ferns and dampness and cold unfortunately. Stanley park would be a great place to be able to jog, ride, kayak around anytime of the year.

Got some pics of some Racoons which where pretty tame, then finaly got my phone unlocked! (Screw you Rogers! I’m free!), before we headed for home via an asian bakery so I could shout dessert… Japanese Cheescake – which i’m about to go eat, so toodleloo!

Mum – the gladiator Librarian?

Have been doing some touring of vancouver city with Alvin recently (He has dragged me all around the city, at my request!) and one of the fascinating places we came across was the Vancouver city library! Its built as a replica of the colloseum! Too bad Barooga Library is probably already finnished, mum you could have been the Sparticus of the Berrigan Shire, braking free of the shackles of small town government beuracracy!

Alvin & Myself in North Vancouver – everything is wet and green here!

Crazy Travel Hours

I’m at Alvins now after spending a crazy 32hrs traveling.

Left Calgary at 12:00 noon on the 26th, arrived Regina 1:00am. Couldn’t get a taxi to the university so got a lift with some random people! Got my gear from Storage and packed it all down into my new Backpack (Present to self!). Booked a cab for 3:30am and was done packing by 3:00am – Was woried the taxi wasn’t going to show, so asked a friend (John) who has just getting into party mode if he could give me a lift to the airport, but the taxi came just as we where leaving so thought it best I went in the taxi.

Flight left Regina for minniapolis at 7am, so got a little bit of sleep at the airport, plus a little on the bus to Regina (2 seats to myself luckily!), arrived in Minniapolis and jumped straight on the plane for Seattle, arrived at Seattle at 1:30pm saskatchewan time, but had to put clock back two hours! anyways, waited around Seattle until 3:30pm vancouver time then flew here and Alvin picked me up! Haven’t slept properly for about 36+ hours and considering I went to bed at 6am on boxing day morning and 5am on christmas day morning it has been a long long time without adequate sleep!

I guess it was this lack of sleep that added to my appearance as somethign less then socially acceptable, because I was harrassed by a security gurard at the bus station when she observed me packing some small bottles of alcohol into my bag, stating that if I drank on the bus I would be kicked off – Ia ssurred her they where going under the bus. Anyway, come time to show my ticket and board, the bus driver says “I understand you have been drinking?” Waht am i supposed to say – its christmas, I’ve been drinking for the last two days! So of course I say “Nope – just packed away some christmas presents.” So he informs security and trhey leave me alone.

On arrival back into Canada from Seattle, I ge the third degree from the customs officer. “Where have you come from today?” With dread I go into explaining how I have come from Canada, only to re-enter Canada. Yes I know my student visa is expired I explained – I’m here as a tourist now. So that lead to delays and a trip to the immigration office, where they couldn’t understand what the fuss was about. Also – the US customs officer told me I didn’t need a US visa at all – I don’t think any of these people know what they are doing!

Top it off – One of my bags has had oil of some description spilled on it, so I have to fill out forms etc etc in regards to that! Consider I have only covered a distance of a 3 hour flight in 32Hrs of travel… I’m suprised I was in sucha good mood!

Fiji’s next – gurantee more things will go wrong! Anybody know if you need a visa for Fiji? Whoops! Update on the awesoem christmas coming as soon as I have some photos to explain…

Policing Policy:

Thanks to Susy for uncovering this article which is very interesting in light of recent events. I like the approach of this detective and I think any claims that he is a racist would be a case of the pot calling the kettly black. I have infamously claimed that everybody is a racist TO A DEGREE, and I stick by that, b I certainly think this chap has some good points.

Read the article here.

News! Apologies for Late update!

Well, a lot has happened since my last post, and I promise i will get around to adressing the comments which make this blog so much more interesting! In fact – I plan to make a whole blog post in relation to the discussion contributed by the members of The Agora.

However, personal news:

  • Flashback: Some time in October? I collided heads with Reid playing Dodge Pong. I tried to equalise my ears by pinching my nose and blowing, suspicously air came out my ear!
  • Exams Finnished 15th December 12 Noon.
  • Bus to Banff via Calgary on 15th December 7:45 pm.
  • Arrive Banff 16th December 9:oo am-ish.
  • Greyhound has a wierd bus policy – no guarantee you will get a seat unless you pay extra $. If you don’t get a seat, you have to wait for the next bus! We got a seat.
  • 16/12: Checked out Banff Caves and Sulphur Cavern, Banff Town.
  • 17/12: Snowboarding @ Norque, Magda impressed herself by remembering how to Ski! Awesome cook-your-own dinner at Japanese restaurant. Visited Banff Hotsprings that night – only to get water in my ear. Spent the night in agony.
  • 18/12: Woke up (7am) to find blood on Pillow. Informed no GP’s in town, so had to checkinto emergency at Banff Hospital. Result, Punctured Ear drum and infected Middle Ear. $700.
  • Still managed to Go up the Banff Gondola that day for an awesome view of Bow Valley, and went Ice Skating on the Bow River, caught the bus back to Calgary, got a bum steer from a taxi driver and walk around downtown Calgary for an Hour before we found our old fashioned Hotel. Sleep: 11pm.
  • 19/12: Sightseeing in Calgary, Calgary Olympic park and Calgary Tower at Night (Awesome).
  • 20/12: More sightseeing & Shopping, arrange accomodation and see Magda off at airport 9pm.
  • 21/12: Organise! I have no money left, so no more sightseeing!

Sorry for the boring, Diary style update! i still dunno what my results are and may not find out until January – More philospohy as soon as I knowwhat I’m doing! Alvin has kindly offered me a place to stay fora while in Vancouver so I need to save some money for the snowboarding we have planned there, which will be awesome!
Hope everybody is having a awesome time and looking forward to Christmas.

The Agora

I came across this Blog a while back and a very interesting comment by a very interesting Dr Leong, maybe Nick or some of his friends can tell us if they have heard about The Agoroa because it is apparently Singapore based… This is my reply to teh Comment by Dr Leong, which youc an read here

I’m very impressed by Dr Leong’s very excelent argument for the existence of God, but as in my philosophical readings, I find the same problem with his argument as I find with many others, God appears to be a leap of faith.

Whilst I find the philosophical cosmological argument most convincing, there is certainly nothing in any of the arguments (Paley, Anselm, Acquinas, Descarte, Pascal etc) or the good Doctors own discussion above give any credence to a Christian God or any particular type of God for that matter.

Sorry to make this a matter for the existence of God, I was actually more interested in the use of post-modernity and modernity in your religous discussions and wondered if the Dr Leong has considered Nietzsche’s Genealogy of morals in its full extent? I’m sure you probably have, but at no stage do discuss the ramifications of arguably the father of post-modernism’s clear disgust with the christian morality and its hypocrisy.

I guess the reasons for this are similar to Hume’s disregard for the fact that he considers that we essentialy do not exist! As the Doctor said: “postmodernism is practically unlivable”… why not bring God into the argument – because all God represents then is an excuse, God becomes by definition really ‘that which we cannot explain.’

This to me is an equally unlivable and untenable philospohy to live life by, so please excuse me while I go join Hume and play cards and enjoy my life in what you may label a very unchristian, unreligous, and selfish ‘post-modern’ way.

Whislt you suggest that I cannot live life how I wish and may discuss Foucault and consider whether the way i wish to live is really the way I wish to live or if it is just societies way of wanting me to live, the argument applies equally well to religion; are you living your life how your religion wishes you to live it, or jsut how society wishes you to think your religion wants you to live… Confusing hey. Foucault has to be at least slightly mad, but he has a point, and he would defintely argue that mad is not necessarily a bad or unintelligible thing.

Thanks for reading! No offense intended.



This is a bit of a late post, but on Wed Nov 16th I think it was, I went to see the musical Chicago with Magda! I was impressed. we didn’t have great seats, but you could see all of what was going on and make out some facial expressions! But the story was good, the Jazz music was good and it was actually pretty funny! Sorry about the pics, they are scanned from the program, so they are not great quality.


Freedom Continued

There is no doubt that this is a controversial topic, and as it has generated some interest, including my own, we shall continue it…

Firstly – thanks to Anonymous for commenting, and in my defence:

According to the rules of logic… you are arguing for the existence of one form of freedom based on the assumption freedom exists, and that is what we would say commits the fallacy of circularity, or begs the question (as do dictionaries freedom fighter).

You say we will never have an unadulterated choice, and therefore my theory of freedom cannot be correct (On the assumption that freedom exists). However the logical alternative, according to your proposition and my argument is that freedom doesn’t exist, not that freedom exists in another form.

Let me elaborate a little on your choice, your choice of ‘freedom to’, or Isaiah Berlins Positive Freedom… This form of freedom is precisely the form of freedom exercised by Gilead in Margaret Atwoods ‘A Handmaids Tale’, although in a twisted sense…

‘Freedom to’ and ‘freedom from’ must be separated in some way – and this way is by coercion. Berlin states that above all Positive Freedom includes the wish to be “conscious of myself as a thinking, willing active being”. We must become aware of a “dominant self” which then becomes via reason a “higher nature” or ideal self. Berlin would have us believe that this ideal self is applicable to society as a whole to achieve a “higher freedom” for all, but acknowledges that to believe this you must believe it is justifiable “to coerce men in the name of some goal which they would, if they were more enlightened, themselves pursue”.

I’m not sure if this is Berlins personal belief, as the essay ‘Two forms of Liberty’ is written in very objective terms, however he does go onto support the Positive View through the application of the Modernists most powerful tool – Reason. Via reason we are supposed to be able to conclude that it is reasonable to coerce the idiot, as he does not know what freedom is. It is of course this element of coercion that separates positive and negative freedom altogether.

Now – Freedom Fighters has defined freedom presumably from a dictionary of sorts, which themselves are circular, however, he/she has a valid point. The Negative form of freedom is not essentially totally possible. If every man where free to do as he willed, he may will to restrict another man from doing something, and hence freedom would not exist in totality… but Berlin would argue that Negative Freedom does not require the imposition of ones will on another, and is as valid a form of freedom as Positive Freedom, since they both have their flaws…

So essentially, Freedom becomes yet another thing, like truth, like God, that we really cannot define accurately or without problems, and it is left to individuals to wonder then, if we cannot define freedom, does it really exist? As such, we are inexorably drawn back to the debate of existence – what is it, what does it mean, how could we possibly prove it to be true when we cannot even decide if truth exists? Talk about circularity.