Monthly Archives: tammikuu 2015

Universities, Incubators for a Revolution

Normaali

Viikko 5


 

Motion: THB that universities should receive a (radical) facelift (by radicals)
Role: PM (govt./prop.)


If we think about (Finnish) universities, most people think highly of them. In the following, I’m going to offer up a slightly contrarian view. I don’t think they are what they are cracked up to be — truly.

Let me first bring up the so-called ”windmill” analogy. Universities are like modern electricity-producing windmills: a) They look imposing. b) They emit a slightly scary, quiet droning sound. c) They produce very little electricity for the grid to consume. d) They have popped up mainly in the provinces (as people have moved away to the capital, thus leaving amply space for installations.) The last clause applies to the so-called AMK’s or polytechnic colleges, as well, or in particular.

People come to universities to do many things. They do sports. They eat in restaurants. They meet up for drinks. They pair up and have sex. They make excursions to the countryside. They advertise for and answer to apt. rentals. In short, people do (rather) anything and everything but science. And as far as I’m concerned, if they have nothing else than non-science to do, they could by all means go and do it someplace else. In other words, conical and tubular ivory towers that call themselves modern universities are filled with squares, square pegs. The problem with them is that they are meant to form the executive and analytical classes rather than go and work in some performative job, which is all they ever wanted. Universities should be reserved for the types who are not criminally insane, criminal, insane, addicted to substances or adventurers but who do not fit in anywhere else. If one fits in nicely in society, one’s place is not at a university. University should be home to intellectual misfits.

What I’m saying is that universities should practise their so-called brilliant mission or mission of brilliance in society. They should be for trying out a revolution. I’m not talking about the garden-variety, political revolution, which would turn out bloody and be aimed at or against the state. Universities should be the trying grounds for any revolution except the political and violent kind. If people hypothesised, researched, grouped and built things up selflessly around things and theories, universities might merit and credit the freedoms they claim are infrangible, inviolable, and integral to their wellbeing.

More than that universities appear to be like limbos between the hellfire of adolescence and the heaven of a well-paid steady job or tenure. If a university comes across as a mere repository of square pegs, why shouldn’t it be subject to a (F. W.) Taylorist scientific-management efficiency reform? When universities are loath to revolutionise themselves, they become targets for other people’s revolutions.


Puheen kesto: 3 min 55 sek
Arvio: * * * *. Puhe menee rohkeasti suoraan asiaan. Siinä nostatetaan henkeä kuten sopii pm-puheeseen. Tästä lähestymistavasta voi joissakin tapauksissa aiheutua ongelmia jäljessä tuleville puhujille, mutta se myös antaa tilaa tehdä omannäköistä settiä sen jälkeen.

Mainokset

Straight Sex(uality)

Normaali

Viikko 4


 

Motion: THW promote straight sexuality @ schools and universities
Role: PM (govt.)
Date: Aug 20, 2013


Something that I resent in my contemporaries, when it comes to fellow squares, is their tendency to not be able to talk about (the opposite) sex in a normal, humoured, congenital manner. When people come together in larger numbers, they have sex in mind, but they sublimate it in the odd way that they do. When they would like to discuss (the opposite) sex, they instead throw a comment on self-”abuse” or alternatively about homosexuality. This behaviour can be seen in males in particular. Girls do not do the same, as they are supposed to deal with sex/uality in more discreet, tactful ways, but they in turn, for example, go into girl-dancing-with-a-girl mode very easily. They think it’s innocent fun or safe in some way, but in some people’s or some other cultures’ eyes it would be an exhibit of blatant lesbianity. What unites all of this is the fact that none of this is bringing the sexes any closer to each other, nor are these people expressing their true sexual identities. Namely, I believe that a majority of those expressing homosexual behaviours or mocking them do not probably feel homosexual at all on the inside.

Sublimation in itself, the term that I mentioned, means per the definition of an encyclopaedia, ”refinement, transformation of the unfulfilled sexual drive into other, useful social and cultural performances or attainments.” So, maybe the mentioning of homosexuality or jacking/jilling off in terms of sex is sign of the opposite phenomenon, a debasement or transnegation. When people would like to talk about sex/uality in beautiful terms, they opt for the ugly and unfruitful instead. Both sublimation and debasement are adverse developments in a human bodily life and self-image and social constructions.

The way in which I battle this phenomenon is a bit curious or strange. I have a friend who is slightly older than I am. He feels like a safe choice for discussing sexual issues/questions. Whenever I talk girls with him, I tend to use the double tactics of painting women in both overtly romantic, rose-tinted colours and alternate that view with vignettes of how naturalistic and realistic life with them can be. I may say, for example, that ”she was standing there with lips atremble” and follow that statement by saying that ”a restraining order is what she would slap me with.” By painting women as both desirable and daunting, or romantic and realistic, or attractive and aggressive, or convinced and clueless at the same time, I seem to achieve tremendous therapeutic effects. They transcend the traditional ugly way straight people talk about sex and people. What adds to the joke is the fact that this guy himself has big issues with girls, does not know how to properly approach them and has apparently not been in dealings with them in a long while. This guy has regained his virginity and I’m discussing complex sexual situations with him!

What is evident is that we people change in terms of sex over time and the rule of thumb would seem to be that we become looser and more relaxed as years go by and ”the pressure drops” a little. We should just begin earlier.


Puheen kesto: 4 min 19 sek
Arvio: * * *. Tämä puhe on tunteita herättävä, ehkä kiistanalainen, koska kaikilla on sen aihepiiristä mielipide, mutta siksipä se menee nopeasti syvälle asiaan. Sublimaatio-termin antonyyminen etsiminen on ehkä epäonnistunut. Termi itsessään on lainattu kemiasta joskus 1800-luvulla, ilman että sillä on ollut mitään ”todellisuuspohjaa”. Huumoria on mukana jonkin verran.

A New Liberal Party

Normaali

Viikko 3


 

Motion: THW establish a new party to drive liberal values onward
Role: PM (govt.)


I want to talk about a concept of importance, so-called ”entropy”. Its basic meaning is ’disorder’, ’confusion-proneness’ or ’anarchy’. What this means in practice is that all things try to revert back to their natural or past state if they go untended and unmaintained. When the power plant in Chernobyl was abandoned after 1986, it did not take a long time before Nature and animals had reclaimed the area. Today radioactivity in the area is no longer life-threatening, but the place has not been reclaimed by human life. Entropy has taken over, so that former concrete buildings are now pushing grass and act as nests for birds and bats.

Entropy is the natural enemy of order. I’ve come to the conclusion that it has to be fought consciously. Otherwise it will affect things adversely. An image of entropy is the home of a hoarder. At first the hoarder’s home is a picture of cleanliness, neatness and tidiness, especially if bought first-hand from the builders and contractors. But, little by little, the home starts to look like a dump, as the owner neglects to take care of the basic tidying. Soon, the habit of letting clutter pile up in the house will worsen the situation. Corridors of trash will form in the house. The owner starts avoiding certain parts of the home/house. If something breaks down, it will be hard to fix, as problems (of access) multiply. The infrastructure may break down completely, forcing the owner to sleep someplace else, or in one of the rooms, the one that functions like a normal room. It goes without saying that the owner will have stopped showing his or her digs to anyone else than perhaps homeless people or drug addicts and alcoholics.

For this reason, I would urge everyone to take entropy into account in everything you do. The ground rules are the following:
1) If you do nothing, you are on a downward spiral. Entropy will eventually turn your house into a dump where you can’t find the bill you can’t afford to pay.
2) If you want to keep the balance right, make corrective moves toward order every day. They counteract entropy nicely. But
3) If you want to find a new road to prosperity, you will have to vastly override the tendencies of entropy by your corrective moves. You may have to make 8 corrective moves a day to counter the 3 forces of entropy that affect your life every day. You wouldn’t just notice it…

When applied to social life and society and politics, battling entropy means that we should fight for a civil society and services, amendments and earmarked money every week. Otherwise they, too, will be on a downward spiral  until the day they die. For this reason, we should really listen to the liberal voices in our society rather than conservative voices, for the latter act as agents of entropy. You should think about that. Thank you.


Puheen kesto: 3 min 28 sek
Arvio: * * * ½. Tämä alkaa arvoituksellisesti ja kuulija varmasti on ymmällään pitkän aikaa. Huipennus tulee vasta lopussa (jonkun mielestä aasinsillan kautta). Tämä voi kuitenkin olla hyvä tapa pitää kuulijan mielenkiinto yllä koko puheen ajan.

 

The Constitution of a Politician

Normaali

Viikko 2


 

Motion: THW restrict who can run for office without restricting who can vote for one
Role: PM (govt.)


Political Life is and has been problematic for years and decades if not centuries. In the following I will go through the pit and pratfalls of politics complete with a conclusion that offers a solution at the end. My speech will touch upon the basic mechanism that is amiss and after that make a sweeping proposition if not a generalization.

What is wrong with politics is that the same thing has happened to it as to so many other areas of charity or organisations or funds. It is more preoccupied with preserving itself and its continuation than its objectives or what it was originally meant to deliver into this world.

The greatest dilemma is that no politician wants to give up power after achieving it. The easy way to retain power is to avoid any cumbersome political measures (as judged by constituents) and advertise lavishly in the run-up to elections. As money starts to play an ever bigger role in all things, politicians sometimes have to go in for dubious arrangements that flirt with breaking the very laws that the politician is supposed to help legislate in order to get money. At the same time, awkward political decisions are postponed indefinitely, so that re-election will get more probable and one’s name does not appear under or next to them. The most popular way to resolve any kind of problem is to take out more loans on the govt’s tab, so that there is enough money to go around in troubled times and during transitional periods. It’s just that these transitional periods sometimes last forever. Those loans won’t ever get paid back.

All in all, politicians are enamored with their ”popularity” and the high airs in the corridors of power. Their only concern is to stay in power, toe the party line and make sure they have enough money for re-election. This way, little can change. The system has reached a sclerotic state of stasis.

Here’s the deal: all has to change. We have to implement a state where politics is pure. As I see it, there is only one way:
a) politicians have to sacrifice themselves for the sake of their party. They have to take the flak for the decision they make (when it turns unpopular) and let someone else in their party fill up their shoes and take the glory. All for the sake of the party. Individual comes after the party. Amen.
Or
b) a politician needs to have a profession or a source of income that (s)he can fall back upon on his or her de-election. A politician needs to have skills outside of politics and the party. (S)he is only as good as his or her other credentials.

In consequence, don’t vote for politicians whose families’ bread and livelihood depend on politics without resort to other income. This will lead to a situation where the breadwinner-cum-politician of the family will not take any risks anymore politically in order to feed his or her family through continuous re-election, debt-taking and hanging out with businessmen of dubious reputation. Politicians who can afford to fail and turn unpopular are the only politicians we need. We can’t afford to have ”professional politicians”. Thank You.


Puheen kesto: 6 min 37 sek
Arvio: * * * * +. Puhe on pääministeripuheeksi pitkä ja ytimekäs, mutta siinä on aikaa kysymyksille, vaikka niitä ei toisaalta edes kannattaisi esittää yhtä enempää tässä vaiheessa.

Existentialist Ontology

Normaali

Viikko 1


Tässä tulee ensimmäinen puhe, jonka oheistan muiden luettavaksi.


Motion: THB existentialism to have been a time-bound fad of its times
Role: PM (govt.)

In my humble opinion, Albert Camus’s book ”L’etranger” (Finnish: Sivullinen), first published in 1942, is a book based on the times it was born in, rather than being a timeless classic of fiction of importance to all its future readers. For instance, young people of today might find it slightly less useful than the rock-and-roll-worshiping youth of times past.

L’etranger is set in Algeria during the French occupation. Meursault, an impassive French civil servant or such static character, kills an arab in a fit of calculated hatred or indifference or recklessness. The book ends with M’s capital punishment that he incurs partly because he does not defend himself on any grounds or show remorse. He’s like, whatever.

Herein lies the nucleus of the book: it was written at a time when religion had largely become redundant thanks to attacks by Nietzsche, Sartre et. al. For a short period of time, people did not believe. They felt their lives pointless and arbitrary and meaningless, as there was no God. This would later pave the way for such masterpieces as Waiting for Godot. But, for our purposes, Meursault’s was a world without any old certainties. Meursault committed his crime because he was no longer anchored in something safe and sound.

Another contributing factor was the population expansion, which is in full swing now, but which was only taking its very first baby steps back in the 40’s. The world’s population was between 2 and 3 billion people at the time of writing. (2 billion was surpassed in 1927, the publication year of Sein und Zeit.) Now, if we think about the crime itself, it was not strictly speaking a hate crime, but nonetheless some kind of reaction on the part of a Western citizen to the anonymity and growing numbers of the ”savages”, or peoples multiplying in the developing countries such as Algeria. Meursault killed an arab, but he did not do it out of hate. He did it because that person meant nothing to him, and they say that the real form of hate is not hate but indifference and void of feeling.

From this aforementioned point we get the premise or extrapolation that we could kill in the same vein as Meursault right now in some nondescript foreign country, whose people and language we could not understand. Turkey, Gabon, Basque country, Tibet… the list is long. We carry the same destructiveness as Meursault carried within him and it could backfire on us and send some hapless savage to h** death.

What sets us apart from Meursault’s time, and thus sets the book in its own time-bound frame of mind is the fact that we have managed to collect ourselves after the exodus of the mind after God’s death. Youth subcultures coupled with the help of the computer have tribalized people unlike ever before. This means that we again believe in stuff and something, other people. Existentialist thinking does not dominate ▬ as it did in early 50’s Parisian cafés. With these words I conclude: ”It is darkest right before Dawn.”

Pituus luettuna: 3 minuuttia 43 sekuntia
Arvio: * * + tähteä. Aihe on hieman vaikea, eikä puhe yllä kovin vakuuttavaan pituuteen.