Adulthood in All Areas


Viikko 49


Date: Dec 8th, 2017
Motion: THB that adulthood should be redefined as something else than 16, 18 or 21 years of age
Role: PM (gov.)

All of us are awarded so-called Adulthood Points when we grow up. They are fully objective points, even though we might want to have them in a subjective form. They cannot be haggled over or bartered or sold. One will either have them or not have them.

In the following, I will present you with those points. I have divided them up in categories, even though they could just be rattled off in a bullet list of six things. For the sake of clarity, I’m counting them up in this way. I have designed a name for them that begins repeatedly with an A, both in English and in Finnish, as most of the original categories that I came up with started with an A anyway. In English, I have solved this naming problem in using the article a or an at categories that I could not otherwise come up with a name for.

Collegial Possessions
These can be summed up as two things: source of knowledge/skills and source of income.

  • Ammatillinen/ammattikorkeakoulun/akateeminen tutkinto (= A Degree, with A-levels completed)
  • Ansiot(yö) (= A Source of Income)

Material Possessions
are the things an adult owns through loans or fully. A car could be regarded as a folly/unnecessity, but when one thinks about it, it needs to be had, if one is residing in the countryside or a small town. Not having a car would be considered a weakness and a threat, especially in a situation where most of the other adult points were momentously lost through a divorce.

  • Asunto (= Apartment/Abode)
  • Auto (= Automobile)

Social Possessions
refer to the self-realised human relationships around an adult being.

  • Av(i)opuoliso (= Amorous Partner)
  • Alempi polvi (= A Progeny/An Issue)

These points come together over time, and often fulfillment in one category leads to the opening up of another. For instance, when one has a degree, it is easier to obtain a job (but that is not a necessity). When one has toiled at a job for long enough, it’s quite easy to rent or buy a car. When one has had a relationship for long enough, it’s easier to propose to a person. When one has proposed to a person, it’s not difficult to move under one and the same roof. When a couple has been living under the same roof for long enough, the question of acquiring offspring comes to mind easily. To sum this up, accumulation is the way adulthood is attained. It does not happen overnight but over a period of time. One step leads to the next. Finally, all the six steps of adulthood have been taken.

Now, these categories do not tell the whole story about the issue. One can have full adulthood points and still not be considered a responsible adult who is in control over his or her life. One can be considered a Failure (an F), when one has, for instance ”merely” the following things: a degree from a Janitorial-Sanitational College. A job that pays $999.90 a month. A failed, one-night stand romance. A child in custody of the mother, supported by alimony, when one can afford it. A delapidated apartment that was inherited from one’s parents in the countryside. An automobile that cost $2,000, is rusty, cluttered on the inside, does not have winter tires, is never washed properly and may not go through the next inspection qualifying for traffic. Ticking all of these boxes would qualify one as an adult, and a ”loser”, at the same time.

On the other hand, one can be considered a noteworthy person, even if one did not have a single one of these adulthood points in place. Let us consider an example. Julian Assange is 46 years old. Many people recognize his name. What do we know of him? He may have a university diploma (Bsc or Msc), but it’s more probable that he dropped out of all the three colleges he went to before obtaining it, just like Mark Zuckerberg did. He probably gets his money from donations or capital returns income, as he can’t be employed by a conventional IT firm. He lives at the Embassy of the government of Ecuador, which cannot be considered a bought or rented home but something else altogether. As he’s under house arrest, he couldn’t move around in a car, even if he wanted to. The last time he tried to have carnal relations with women, it ended up in rape charges. Despite these circumstances, he does have 4 children, which he sired during his earlier adult life but which he cannot tend to like a dutiful father. Julian Assange does have but one or two Adulthood Points; yet, he may be regarded as an adult (A) who commands our attention and who has made something out of himself, whether or not we consider him or his deeds a Success story.

Even if adulthood points are awarded without corruption, adults that are being awarded them may exhibit shades of corruptedness nonetheless.

Arvio: Mietin pitkään, olisiko tämä puhe enemmänkin pääministerin (I) vaiko opposition puheenjohtajan puhe (II). Siinä olisi voinut olla aineksia molempiin. Päädyin lopulta nostamaan sen aivan ensimmäisen puhujan rooliin hallituksen puolelle. Sävy on hyvin yleinen mutta sisällykseltään ehkä yllättävä. Pohjalla on spesifinen näkemys, joka on kehittynyt vuosien varrella ja ajan mittaan. Sen pohjalla on mm. fb-messenger-kirjeenvaihto tämän vuosikymmenen alussa, jossa kysyin tytöltä, jonka kanssa olin 1. luokalla, onko hänellä vielä yhtään aikuisuuspistettä. Hän vastasi, että ei ole, mutta juttu ei jäänyt siihen. Muutamassa kuukaudessa ja vuodessa hän hankki kaikki häneltä puuttuvat aikuisuuspisteet. Ilmeisesti kaikki niihin liittyvät prosessit olivat juuri silloin käynnissä ja kypsymässä. Muut puhujat saavat taiteilla sanoillaan haluamallaan tavalla tämän jälkeen. Debatti saattaa jäädä luonteeltaan hyvin avoimeksi ja laveaksi.


Assembling the Puzzle of Pop


Viikko 48

: Nov 28th, 2017
Motion: THW remove pop & rock music from public libraries, as it does not civilize one there
Role: Whip (gov.)

Ladies & Gentlemen, Chair, Assemblage,

Public schools and libraries are some kind of a way to discover new music, but they are not the fastest route to discover pop music nor the plausible solution to make one music-savvy to begin with. What I have learnt in the course of visiting libraries are for instance the debut LP of the Stone Roses (I borrowed it), which was a ”Revelation”, and whatever sinuous music videos Guns n’ Roses made after November Rain (I borrowed a compilation). That, none the less, is not enough to ground oneself in rock and pop. Instead, our side has suggested a triphase way to come into contact with fabulous, contemporaneous tunes in a succession of three different approaches.

Our PM was in favour and spoke for the third approach, our Minister for the second approach and our MP for the first approach. I as one am going to speak for none particularly but for the whole, and I’m going to present you with a graph as the conclusive summation.

Picking Up Pop From the Media
It is possible to feed off the media for music. This means watching and listening to channels that provide music and music-related entertainment all the time, 24/7. This may be further backed up by making copies of the heard music or seen videos on VHS or C cassettes. This was a manner of consuming music which had its heyday for most of the 1980’s and 1990’s, but which was feasible as early as the mid-1960’s. Yet, it’s possible still, on condition that the devotee will use pay and digital channels instead of free cable or terrestrial channels, as they’ve ceased to provide quality music for free, having switched to reality-TV instead.

Purchasing Pop Advised by the Media
After exiting teenage, most music consumers have enough disposable income that they can BUY the music they consume to a high degree. For music fans, it’s advisable and maybe necessary to read the music press, for otherwise it would be nearly impossible to make educated choices in a record store. There would not be a ”compass”. But this is a tricky pursuit. The right solution is not to blindly buy the product that reviewers rave about and give four or five 🌟’s to. The trick is to be able to read between the lines in the reviews, adapt that to one’s own tastes and make judicious purchases on a regular basis. This manner of consuming had its heyday in the late nineties and noughties when CDs were being sold on the cheap, as they became the target of music piracy online and their demand was quickly decreasing.

Paying for Pop in Monthly Installments
Since the dawn of the digital age, it has been possible to use different kinds of legal services to obtain access to music without having the soft copies. This copyright-deferent manner in turn gives access to amounts/mountains of music that were unimaginable earlier to others than record-label personnel. The idea is to dwell on individual artists less and explore the outer and inner limits of music at large. This has been in vogue mainly during this decade. Again, one’s own taste is the arbiter rather than the opinions of social media or the playlists created by the streaming-service personnel. Occasionally, computer-generated algorithms produce music to listen that is absolutely spot-on. This method is cheaper than the previous one but more costly than the first one. A cost-effective means, in other words.

Intriguing in all of this is the fact that one could become more cultured in pop and knowledgeable about uncharted higher territory in each one of the mentioned ways. However, a definite lack of dedicated energy in pursuing one’s chosen path could result in not making any real headway, ultimately losing the designed plot and being eventually forced to return back to ”base camp”, i.e. to ignorance about the issue.

Finally, as the whip and overseer, I want to suggest that the amount of money people spend on pop music will follow the normal distribution if it proceeds along the succession professed and shown here. At first spending is modest, then it peaks and thereafter it begins to taper and wane. The following image illustrates this development in a graphic way.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle bell curve

I hope this makes you realize that the realm of the private is the way to go in order to acquaint oneself with pop music, or any other field of artistic merit, for that matter.

Thank you.

Arvio: Puhe käyttää erilaisia (teho)keinoja alleviivatakseen päämääräänsä. Ei ole ehkä sattumaa, että alussa mainitaan kaksi erilaista mutta aikalaisina vaikuttanutta roses-loppuista bändiä sekä laulun nimessä se kuukausi, jonka aikana bloggaus on julkaistu. Joitakin saattaa kummastuttaa, mihin suuntaan aloitteesta on lähdetty, sillä voisi olettaa, että väittely koskisi kevyen musiikin epäkristillisiä ja turmelevia ominaisuuksia eikä ”altistumisen vaikeuksia”. Väitellähän ei kuitenkaan siksi, että väittelyn ”tulisi olla” TYLSÄÄ.

Plenty of Paper, But the Ink


Viikko 47

: Nov 23rd, 2017
Motion: THB that the Internet Age has made newspapers hipper and wiser
Role: Whip (opp.)

In the 1990’s, it was unproblematic to crack open a newspaper. The manual wing of the library on my dept. at the university subscribed to mainly British liberal newspapers, of which I remember The Observer, the Independent, Times on Sunday perhaps, possibly the sister version of New York Times, a.k.a. The International Herald Tribune. The print was dense, the coverage wide, the opinions factual and accurate and the flow endless. On top of these, the selection included national newspapers, Continental European newspapers and the domestic #1, Helsingin Sanomat, which was made first in Ludviginkatu Street and later on, since 1999, at Sanomatalo Building, the glass cube which lies catercorner across a plaza from the Central Railway Station.

These days, newspapers are combining their dire straits out of two ingredients: the money they are not making and the content they are making indeed. I want to focus on the latter. In many ways, the reader and the writer of a newspaper do not have a meeting of the minds anymore. Our side has tried to delve into the issue in searching for the ways in which newspapers’ headquarters have messed up their business.

Thin Science
The first stumbling block is the digging up of obscure news items from different scientific periodical journals, as pointed out by our last speaker MP. It’s not uncommon that the ”Science” Section of a newspaper comes up with an item of news on cucumbers making for a svelte stomach. This can be explained away in quoting a Sri Lankan research institute that has made an interesting discovery concerning the minerals and vitamins found in cucumbers. This kind of elective quoting of science does not further the national health debate, for all that. It virtually excludes the opposing voices, quotes research which may be in its infancy and mines control groups for data that may include only a few hundred people. Scientific journals report burgeoning truths & their information isn’t for the eyes of the layman.

Constant Lobbying
The second stumbling block is the constant promotion of different world-hugging specific-interest groups, as pointed out by our first speaker, Chair. Almost on a daily basis, the trans-gender, HIV-positive, female-pastor, god-rejecting, single-parent interest groups, hubs, associations and so on get heard about their ongoing struggle in society which is only a concern for the concerned. The number of the afflicted people is minimal, the percentage of people puny, but, even so there is a constant voicing of the problems and predicaments. General readers may feel sympathy at first, but when the bombardment around the issue becomes insufferable, the view begins to change and ultimately a deaf ear may be turned to the issue(s). And this wasn’t the outcome that was desired.

My suspicion is that special-interest groups get touted in newspapers because of the work histories, the curricula vitarum of the staff. No editor gets a hot shot at journalistic stardom straight off the school bench. Many probably have to toil away as the main editor of a small publication and a three-person staff at first. These jobs are typically offered by registered associations that revolve around a single issue in the third sector. When a journalistic newbie has spent some years doing this, (s)he may seek promotion elsewhere or be offered a job at a national, bigger newspaper. What do these journalists do? They bring their past life with them to the new workplace and again begin writing stuff that they were forced to do in the early days of their careers. They have not advanced onto a new level psychologically and socially, even if they’ve done so financially.

Recycled Material
The third stumbling block is resorting to old news or news dug up from the yellow/gutter press. Our Secretary mentioned this in a side sentence in her speech. It’s not uncommon to find news offered about things that are already common knowledge among the computerati. Newspapers do this out of desperation to get clicks and to offer ”kicks”, but the ”baby” doesn’t become clean when washed with ”dirty water”. This thing includes sensational news, news about celebrities and their human relationships and pets, news about health scares and stories about crime and being trapped abroad.

Conclusion-wise, I’d like to state that newspapers have created their own malady in creating a strategy (or, maybe it was not a strategy in the first place, but a stopgap) where they drag material into the light that isn’t light-proof or does not deserve or tolerate light. Newspapers, in other words, resort to the marginal, when they are simultaneously addressing the masses or the mainstream. That’s why newspapers are a flailing business. Of course they have their economical problems as well. But which one was first, the contents or the problems? The egg or the chicken?

Thank you for you attention.

Arvio: Puheessa on riittävä mitta. Siinä käsitellään lehdistön nykytilaa, joka ei ole niin erilainen lehdestä toiseen. Lehdissä riittäisi enemmänkin reposteltavaa, mutta tässä tyydytään tähän. Alussa on henkilökohtainen, omakohtainen osuus, jonka moni unohtaa tai ei osaa laittaa. Sitten on ongelmien lyhyt tiivistys, kolmen ongelman esitys ja lopun uusi tiivistys. Tiivistämisessä kertaus on ”opintojen äiti”. Rakenne on selkeä, eli jos tätä ei pysty seuraamaan, niin sitten vika on verensokerissa.

Venus Hearts


Viikko 46

: Nov 27th, 2013
Motion: THW subsidise (or encourage) match-making sites based on science rather than choice
Role: Whip (govt.)

Dear House, Ladies & Gentlemen,

In my Whip Speech, I will try to clarify why it would be better to use intelligent machines to pair people up instead of letting them rely on their free will. My main argument, on behalf of the whole side, is that people do not like their own choices and therefore it’s better if someone else decides for them, as long as there is grounds for doing that — that there is something to unite people instead of dividing them apart.

One million Finns, amounting to 17.5 % of the population, live alone, classed as singles, even though, in the past, they were called spinsters and bachelors, widows and widowers as well as separated and divorced. All of these people would benefit from someone making the human uniting connection for them. All they would need to do was to register with a match-making site and log in frequently, not forgetting to meet up with some prospective people every now and then.

When I was younger and took part in the Seniors’ Ball in the Upper Secondary School (lyceum), gym teachers were the ones who paired boys and girls off, if they did not have boy- or girlfriends of their own to dance with. Few did. I was raffled or offered a slightly overweight girl, who had moved to town halfway through the curriculum, so I did not know her from before. She was pretty, with reddish brown hair and some freckles, like an ”English Rose”, and I enjoyed dancing next to her, because I felt our dancing moves were different but compatible. Had I been able to choose a partner by myself, I would have picked a thin, feisty, familiar girl, who would have complained about the other girls, the teachers and myself to me, because that’s what girls do. So, it was great that someone else chose on my behalf and — hit the jackpot. I couldn’t have chosen better on my own.

It seems that love, marriage, human unions and creating offspring are the area for people where they need other people on other people’s terms, because the reciprocality is key rather than individuality. It’s noteworthily different when the focus is on work, education, hobbies of self-realization, which are all areas of great individuality. So, why not let computers, aided and abetted by humans, make the choice?

I’ll go fast through our PM’s points: She said that touch deprivation is a serious problem (even though there were giggles when this was uttered). Minister claimed that the visual choice people make is a poor choice; people may have ”hearts of gold” and ”beauty on the inside”, but that sure doesn’t show on traditional match-making sites. Our MP opined that if our side was allowed to decide, superstition in forming bonds would give way to rational choices, abetted by psychology, social psychology and statistics etc.. To that, I’d like to add that people are fatalistic about that choice, and it’s sometimes better for us to let someone or something else make that choice. I know that this goes against the grain of societies’ fundamental belief in freedom, but let me just state that freedom is overrated and overstated.

Rebuttal-wise, there have been rants against us stating that pseudoscientific sites could not possibly be trusted with making an important choice for people. Our view is entirely different. Just like it has happened in terms of other Internet services, first there would be

  1. a mushrooming stage, when services sprang up, and then there would be
  2. the intercompetition to find out what is the best or at least a reputable service, and finally there would be
  3. the endgame, where one of two services gain dominance over the others, merge them successfully or are bought by industry giants.

Pairing people up could be based on many things, ranging from statistics to horoscopes (taking into account not just the primary sign but the secondary and tertiary signs as well) to collecting habits to rock-music preferences to income to profile of liberalism/conservatism/hedonism. Company databases would collect each information focusing on different aspects, so that finally the algorithm or set of data that caus[at]es love could emerge from Big Data and give us the definitive factors or variables.

To conclude, I’d like to say that the beneficiaries or our agenda are the 17.5 % of the population who live in ”want” (alone) and those who marry but wind up in divorce. They stubbornly believe in free will and raising up messed-up kids who suffer through each and any divorce, or there are no kids to begin with. We want to say that if you can’t choose yourself, let someone who ’knows better’ do it for you. An objective database can trump being a subjective weather vane.

Thanks, and see you in church.

Arvio: Tässä puheessa whip tekee työtään puolensa ahkerana työmyyränä. Erityispiirteenä on se, että oman puolen pointit kaikkineen tiivistetään 5. kappaleeksi. Jos katsotaan, että whip lisää yleistä ymmärrystä, tämä voi silti olla perusteltua. Aihe sinänsä kohoaa keskustelunaiheeksi usein.

Exit Talk


Viikko 45


Date: June 28th, 2016
: THB that Britain cannot navigate post-Brexit, so it must negotiate
Role: Whip (opp.)

Now that the British are on their way out of the EU, it is good to contemplate what there is at stake at large. Is the British exit credible, feasible, plausible or possible, or is it only after a lengthy detour that they will make their way back into the welcoming lap of Mother Europa? Will Union Jack and Europa kiss each other and make up, as they did in that street-demonstration-level performance of a dedicated Brexit-skeptic couple in the run-up to the referendum?

Economy and Free Trade
The EU has its biggest trump card in its free trade, as our PM sketched out. The EU has managed to pull everyone in on its drive to even out the creases in international trade within its land area. Money flows freely from country to country; the Internet spreads goods and money further and deeper liberally, and there is a wide selection of everything on offer from legal to illegal commodities. It’s here that Britain is the most vulnerable on its own. Here the proverb, ”It’s the Economy, stupid”, is appropriate and apt. If Britain wants to succeed alone, it needs to resort to one of the three C’s that there are: China, the Commonwealth or the City of London. In other words, Britons need to begin trading better, wiser and wider with other trading partners the world over to offset the losses in declining trade with the rest of the EU, which happens to be the area geographically closest to the UK. Alternatively, it may begin taxing its own moneymakers and citizens more.

Immigration Controls
When it comes to policing its borders with the rest of the world (Arab countries, Africa), the EU is very lax, which was our MP’s message. People may enter the union’s land area quite easily, but there is a process for the newcomers to get a permission to stay or not stay and an eventual deportation, if their presence is not welcome due to links to terrorism, terrorist groups, crime, criminality and antisocial behaviour. The British would benefit from stricter immigration controls on her borders, since the UK is a favoured destination the world over, everywhere, and the situation is unfair from the British layman’s perspective. On the other hand, other countries in the EU ease the pressure on Britain, as providers of social security, welfare and places to live and study for the new ”underclass” exist also elsewhere. It is unclear how well Britain would fare on its own, if other parts of Europe would not act as a buffer against the influx of people intent to seek asylum or a place to emigrate to.

Military Politics
The military and martial is the least credible part of the European Union’s sphere of activities. Nobody really touched on this issue. The Union does not have a functioning army, its measures in a crisis would be inadequate, and it does not demand anything vocally enough, as opposed to the four superpowers that exist. If any nation in Europe wants to guarantee its independence and safety, the best option is to write a letter of application to NATO. The chance of admittance is good. Almost all of Europe is already affiliated under NATO. If the EU was a real muscle-flexing superpower, which is it is demographically and geographically, it would fall somewhere between India and Russia in terms of being a military deterrent. The United States, China and Russia eclipse it in terms of military spending and a scare factor.

Britain has probably ”burned the bridge” to Europe or ”blocked the tunnel” to France, if we allow a bit of allegorical parlance. The opposite side of the ”chasm” is already closer than the bank or position whence Britain set out. It’s up to the British government to steer the ship right so that it can achieve its national volition without hurting its assets and fortune. With the present amount of talent in politics, it’s a tall order though…

Our side has formulated these key areas where Britons must act and shine if and when they want to regain some of their national sovereignty. One might say that ex-PM Thatcher has, with this evidence, won the hearts and minds of average Britons, as they have waved goodbye to Continental Europe along the lines she once laid out.

Thank you.

Arvio: Whip kokoaa yhteen puolensa pointsit ja päämäärät. Jos joku on jättänyt hommansa hoitamatta, whipin lienee pakollista paikata hänen jättämäänsä aukkoa. Whipin puheessa tärkeämpää on sovinnollinen kokonaisvaltaisuus kuin eripurainen yksityiskohtaisuus.

Politics as Unusual


Viikko 44


Motion: THW add to the number of parties with subsidies and electoral legislation
Role: Whip (opp.)

Dear Room, Chair and Assemblage,

We’ve heard both sides of this debate now. On the one hand, some of us would like the present system to continue and to expand, and on the other hand, the rest of us would like the present system to contract and evolve.

The present number of parties in the parliament is (8), and we suspect that the figure 2^4 (16) would be the one that the proposition would favour as the default number of parties in the parliament. However, we can go down rather than up, as our side has professed.

We’ve heard interesting new openings from our side’s members. By means of forming blocks, we could have fewer parties, as their behaviour in coalition politics has demonstrated that they tend to form a lot of like-minded blocks all the same, usually added up with some ”cavity-fill” parties who will gladly accept the bigger ones’ more robust politics in exchange for control over a ministry and a minister of their own.

So, as a countdown to partisan extinction, here are the smaller exponents to number 2 in descending order.

The 4-Block Solution (2²)
One of the options is 4 blocks, as mentioned by our side’s Secretary (2nd speaker). Per that option, we would have a political field where the Coalition Party and the Green Party would together form the Liberal Block. This would necessitate that the former would accept the latter’s social liberalism and the latter the former’s market liberalism. They would be joined by the Swedish People’s Party, as it has long roots in liberalism and a general tendency to accept all kinds of policies as long as the corner of the Swedish-speaking is covered. The Social Democratic Party and the Left Alliance would form the Working Class Block. As they’re both leftist, they would understand each other’s terminology and aim. The remaining parties, the Centre Party, Christian Democrats and a splinter group off True Finns, the Blue Future Party, would form the Conservative Block, as a certain kind of conservative, patriotic stuffiness with Christian overtones is what is closest to their hearts. They would need some adjustment to each other each, but ultimately they could work it out. Finally, the True Finns would have to form a block of their own, as they’re slowly but surely strayed to a position, where anti-immigration policies are their only preoccupation. Their block could be joined by any fringe groups that follow their trains of thought.

The 2-Block Solution (2¹)
Another of the options is 2 blocks, as mentioned by our Chair (1st speaker). That would resemble that situation that there is in the UK and the US. We would form just 2 blocks out of the right-wing and left-wing leanings that there are in the field of parties. The Left Alliance, Social Democrats, the Green and Swedish-Speaking would amount to the ~ ”Labour” of our country. Coalition, Centre, True-Finn and Christian-Democrat adherents, in turn would form the ~ ”Tory” constituency. They would need to sort their internal squabbles out before going on stage to declare any declarations. They would need deep internal unity before power. But they could do that, for they share a similar kind of basic view of what is ”right”, desirable, and how the world works. And which does not translate across to the other side.

The 1-Block Solution (2°)
The boldest move, however, came from our MP (3rd speaker), who suggested just ”1” block (no parties, or a par[liament]ty where everyone belongs.) This would mean that we would have 199 seats in the parliament, and they would be loosely grouped, like they are today, in accordance with what each MP believes in. However, every question would be a question of conscience and there would be no party loyalty or allegiance. At the beginning of each term, the MPs would be assigned to seats per the voting behaviour that they expressed during their earlier term. Newcomers could be interviewed and placed in the front rows according to their answers. The biggest problem would be the formation of the government. How could it be organized, if there was no party to back it up and take the political responsibility? Even so, we as the people could work it out, ultimately. More about this option, and its rationale, can be found in this onsite blog post by my colleague (in Finnish, though.)

I hope that all of you understand that Less Is More, as the saying goes, also in the field of politics. We need to tackle difficult questions in the 21st Century, and we cannot have our structures hinder us from that. Consequently, our side has presented you with some golden alternatives. Let’s pare the political system down.

Thank you.

Arvio: Puheessa esitetään yhteenveto mahdollisista vaihtoehdoista puolueettomaksi tai vähäpuolueiseksi kotimaan politiikaksi. Debatista tulee kiinnostavampi, kun yksi puolista haluaa enemmän puolueita ja toinen vähemmän, niin että jälkimmäinen ei vain tyydy ylläpitämään status quota. Whipin onnistuminen edellyttää, että kukin edeltävä saman puolen puhuja on todellakin esittänyt ehdotuksen puolueiden vähentämiseksi. Vähennyspuheiden ei tarvitse olla aivan tai juuri esitetyn kaltaisia, kunhan ne kuitenkin noudattavat jonkinlaista pelkistämisen logiikkaa.

United Colleagues


Viikko 42


Motion: THB that all employees at a workplace should be extroverts
Role: Whip (opp.)

Dear Assemblage,

Extroverts have arguably gotten the upper hand recently in terms of cultural ”hegemony”. What has boosted the fates of extroverts is their apparent preponderance and gleefulness in the settings of social media and reality-tv, which already dominate people’s spare time. Also, at work, the default mode(l) of setting up an office; the walless open-plan office favours a personality type that has little or no social reserve.

Introverts, in turn, have been forced onto the defensive. How they have defended themselves has naturally come in the form of books, such as Quiet, as befits them. It can also be pointed out that introversion has allegedly been the preferred norm of human behaviour, if we go back in time or stray to the Middle or Far East from the West.

The question of –version is a longstanding one and problematic. Having listening to this conversation, the pros and cons of extroversion and introversion have been mentioned by and on both of the debate sides.

Extroversion brings out the best in us. Very often we bring up in discussion something that can only come up because of the discussion. Namely, it is something that the others say that triggers us to say something back, in an affirmative way. Left to our own devices, we simply could not muster that inspiration and thus we would leave that ”path” untrodden. And it can go beyond that. The mere presence of people around us can alter the way we feel and think. Artists feed off that feeling, as they go into their ”performance” mode when they are before people, whereas they go into their ”aesthetic” mode when they are alone. Maybe our science is just too limited when it comes to this effect. It might be a question of pheromones travelling through the air that triggers things. Thus, the effect of presence would be in a way inevitable. But we don’t know, yet.

Extroversion brings out the worst in us. In front of other people, we are not free. Social rules and expectations guide us to say things that we don’t actually believe in. Egos clash in a room, very often between people who are not unlike each other. Unnecessary digressions and diversions, compliments and apologies pepper any dialogue between several people. Watered-down compromises are reached and have to be, as a roomful of people couldn’t let one of them dictate what would happen. Populism may get a foothold among a roomful of people, when it would leave an individual cool. Narcissism flourishes better in company, as people like the sound of their voice a lot better when there is someone listening to it.

Introversion brings out the worst in us. Alone, we may think that we know the Answer. If one has taken drugs to enhance the effects of self-absorption, the thoughts that result are almost certainly even worse. Alone we are certain that we can pull something off, even if that was not the case. We bridge the gaps that exist between our drive and desire and our capabilities. We’ll think that several pairs of hands or some machines will mend the deficit that exists between what we want to do and what we can achieve alone. Alone, we write diaries. Writing such a thing may feel satisfying in the moment, but it is meant only for that moment and few future moments. Namely, it is a moment of synthesis-forming, but it is deficient in the sense that it leaves out all the facts and feelings that would have been experienced after the fact. This is the reason why it seldom pays off to read one’s juvenile, youthful diaries. On our own, we know our present self but don’t know our future self.

Introversion brings out the best in us. When one is in an empty room before a sheet of paper, magic happens. This is the proven method that has given us manuscripts, scores, canvases, dissertations, essays, poems, synopses and aphorisms. Alike writing a diary, creating art or an innovation is about forming a synthesis. But it stays on the ”good” side of the equation. It takes into account its epoch, all ingredients and other people in a way a diary doesn’t. Culture comes to life inside the full heads of adult individuals who reside in empty rooms and before empty files, screens or sheets of paper. The emptiness is absolutely needed for this process to happen. Social presence would either alter or inhibit the process.

I think that our workplaces are in such need of differing and variform agents and actors that it would be almost impossible to imagine that a certain type of character could meet all of those needs. A much more realistic scenario is that many different kinds of characters can better serve a gamut of different purposes and needs at a workplace. Therefore, I consider the govt’s motion this house’d favour extroverts at the workplace false.

Thank you.

Arvio: Olen saavuttanut väittelyn aivan viimeisimmän puhujaroolin. Puhujista viimeisin voi myös kritisoida puolustamaansa puolta, kunhan hän viimein puoltaa sitä. Muu tuntuisi oikeastaan rasittavalta — ollaanhan tähän asti kuultu vain räikeän puolueellisia esityksiä. Kuulijat haluavat myös jotain muuta tasapainoisemman tunnelman vuoksi. Tässä rakenne on tahallisen symmetrinen, kuten lukija varmaan huomaa. ”Vertit” mainitaan yhtä monta kertaa, mutta lopulta kanta vedetään oman puolen mukaiseksi. Whipin panoksen on kuitenkin syytäkin erota aiempien puhujien panoksista. Hän ei ole ihan ”sama”.