Category Archives: V puhuja (arkistosta)

Miles and Children

Normaali

Viikko 19


 

Date: May 11th, 2017
Motion: THB that parents are greedier than singles
Role: Rep. (gov.)


Assemblage, Chair, Ladies & Gentlemen,

We have been wondering what the cause of divorces is and what to do about that and what next. I’d like to present my own view on the mechanism of easy marriage and easy divorce.  And do not draw any parallels of this with brexit. Britain’s divorce from the EU was not an easy one. The UK had a liaison, relationship, and finally a marriage with the EU for over 40 years.

OK, that was the comic relief. Now, back to business.
First, there are two people who are strangers to each other. Then they start seeing each other. This deepens into dating. They start liking each other. This deepens into co-habitation. They start doing each other favours, i.e. pleasing each other. This deepens into engagement. They start planning ahead. This deepens into marriage. They start loving each other. This deepens into a marriage with children. They start thinking of themselves as one Family Unit. This deepens into…. Divorce. (They start hating each other.)

Many people see divorces as failures in a linear progression from the neutral to the good to the bad, but I’m claiming that a divorce was in the cards anyway, as these people were not entirely honest and/or mature to begin with.

What I’m saying is that people who go from singlehood to single motherhood or single fatherhood have not sorted out who they are and what they want from life.

On the one hand, they want the freedom that is associated with being eligible but not taken, the freedom of being untidy, of spending one’s leisure time at will, of travelling to faraway places, of holding the strings of one’s own purse, of being mysterious.
On the other hand, they want the security of family life, the tight schedule imposed by work and children, the restrictions to debauchery and the comfort of sharing a bed with someone who might want to get intimate once a week as well.

What all of this boils down to, is that in the end the irresistible pawn in the game are the children. Having a child or children brings social capital to a given average citizen. A lot of grown-ups have surplus energy that they can put into taking care of other people. Nurses, for example, have to take care of a far wider collective of inmates on a daily basis; feeding them, clothing them, giving them activities and putting them to sleep (which is what life with children is often about). This ability to foster and nurse life is so ingrained in so many of us that a lot of people view having children as a ”no-brainer”, a deal that has mainly pros but not cons. They want children and the easiest way to obtain children is to be together with someone for a while and then go for a divorce.

After a divorce, the children are still blood relatives to the father or mother, and they are forever linked to him or her. Thus, that person will have amassed a LOT of social capital, compared with someone who does not have children. What is different with the earlier situation is that now there is also the freedom of singlehood that beckons. Compared with nuclear families, divorced parents with children enjoy aspects of both family life and the singledom. In an odd week they can live like hedonists (as the children are not there). In an even week they must live like monks or nuns (since the children are there). For twenty years in a row. What a Blast.

Easy and fast divorces are signs of a society where grownups have still not made up their mind about whether they want freedom or tradition. Because we live in capitalism, they need to gather capital, in this case of a social kind, in the process, for all that.

If you want to read more about the subject, here’s a column by a foreign correspondent who has been mentioned at least once on this blog before. She writes about the same subject (in Finnish):
http://www.hs.fi/paivanlehti/07052017/art-2000005198668.html
She got a response right thereafter as a letter to the editors (in Finnish):
http://www.hs.fi/mielipide/art-2000005203527.html


Arvio: Puheessa tökitään murtuvia liittoja. Aloite on suhteellisen tasapuolinen kummankin puoliskon edustajille; on ehkä hauskaa olla tälläkin puolella, vaikka edut eivät ehkä heti näytä ilmeisiltä. Toivon mukaan edelliset ovat jo ladanneet tiskiin rankan puoleisesti taloudesta, ekologiasta ja ylikansoittumisesta.

Fit as a Fiddle

Normaali

Viikko 18


 

Date: May 2nd, 2017
Motion: THW focus on exercise as a cure for ills on a broader spectrum
Role: MP (gov.)


Most people think that the present boom in the sport that is called ”fitness” is something that it is not. The popular image of FITNESS is as something to do for those who are (spray)tanned, like to look at themselves in the mirror, do other sports equally well, do not care about school that much and like to travel (showing off their muscles and stuff). Something could be farther from the truth, but this, too, is far from the truth.

Fitness suits those who like to dwell on the physical and who have little time over for things other than the physical ones. But the key thing to know is that fitness suits also all other kinds of people. And now I’m going to focus on those other kinds of people.

The basic, core idea of fitness is that it elevates the body to a status that it should have in its own right, as a given thing. But, unfortunately people have been neglecting their bodies ever since the end of World War II. I suppose the war was such a crucible of famine, plight, thirst and typhus that it felt necessary to gain a lot of weight and lose a little muscle mass in the following few decades after the war. However, that was then and this is now.

The core idea of fitness is that it tries to put the dot on the i, when the ”i” is already well-formed. The best example is the Intellectual. When we have someone who is above average in intelligence, an erudite person, a well-read citizen, (s)he is already well on his or her way to becoming elected (for marriage, or an office, or something). When that person begins to invest in his or her looks and bodily presence as well, it is like saying that ”now I should be irresistible”. In other words, if a person already possesses brains, and then that person goes on to possess brawn as well, it is kind of hard to say that the person is ”not enough” (to win us over).

Fitness is an extension of our already well-formed egos, that i with a minuscule. When the small ego ”i” is augmented with the secret ingredient of fitness, it turns into an Ego with a majuscule, an ”I”. I is better than i, in a manner of speaking.

This, of course, has its roots in the idea that the body is a temple of the soul or mind. If we’re really good and really clever, it should somehow manifest itself in our bodies as well. Smart people should have nice clavicles, slender biceps, bulging pecs, shaved armpits and V-shaped cotton shirts on. It sounds vain, but if we’re honest, it’s more in keeping with having something to offer also on the intellectual plane. If one is a Chess Champion of the World, it doesn’t leave a good impression if the person has cellulite on the thighs at the same time. The chess skills do not have to be gotten rid of, but the cellulite should go.

And this can be extended to other areas as well. If you’re a poker-playing pro, you look better if you don’t have to choose XL-sized clothes for the tournaments. If you’re a stand-up comedian, it’s better if you can run for a quarter of an hour instead of walking for an hour, because that helps you perform better and makes you more convincing. And so on. And so on.

Fitness is a way of sealing the deal, of bringing the spectator of yourself as an object to make the conclusion that you are better than the rest or at least good enough. Youthfulness, vibrancy and a general buoyancy are never a bad thing (except in political, closed cabinets, perhaps, but even there a lot of politicians make an effort to not look like dried-up halibuts). Fitness is not you, because the real you cannot be contained by kettlebells, gyms and mirrors. But until you make the grand old age, fitness is good way of keeping that grand old age at bay.

Thank you.


Arvio: Jos puolen aiemmat puhujat ovat puhuneet urheilun, liikunnan ja kuntoilun terveysvaikutuksista, II-tiimin edustaja lähtee hieman eri suuntaan puhumalla niiden terveys- JA ulkonäkövaikutuksista. Puhetta olisi voinut vielä pidentää eri esimerkein seitsemännessä kappaleessa.

Brexiting the Law

Normaali

Viikko 52


 

Date: Jun 24th, 2016
Motion: THB that Brexit will be a win-lose divorce
Role: Rep. (gov.)


REPERCUSSIONS OF BREXIT

The British are now at a watershed when it comes to their national future.
They have opted out of their political union with the rest of Europe. It’s time we drew some conclusions on the state of this union, on this side of the pond, across the Channel. What are the dire or not so dire ramifications of the secession?

Economy  So far, Britons have been part of a European network of real economies. At the same time, London is a hub for global capital streams, channelling them offshore and otherwise, laundering money and building high-stake card houses and other forms of piles of ”paper money”. This means that if the British take less part in the real economy, they have to take more part in the casino economy, and, preferably, tax it more, so that it would make up for the lost revenue from the smaller real economy. This in turn may lead to the London Stock Exchange losing business to other bourses the world over. Another option is to revitalize trade ties with other countries inside the Commonwealth. Britain is not alone in the world. Before it had Europe, it had North America and Australia. Those two could easily make up for losses experienced in the ”backyard”.

Internet Trade  Like every other nation, Britain, among the best, has benefited from the global mail-order office that the Internet has become. British companies are among the swiftest, with the widest selections and the most affordable prices when it comes to vendors of goods and commodities. On exiting, this business should take a hit, as those affordable prices will be slapped with VAT and customs fees, as they are imported into, say, Finland. So, it’s goodbye to cheap DVDs, books, LPs, robots and car radios from Britain. However, since we’re moving towards less material possessions in general, this may not be as bad as it sounds. It’s possible that the volumes of Internet trading face a comparable downswing in other markets and countries, too, for other, different reasons.

Lingua Franca  Has it occurred to you, dear listener/reader, that with it, Great Britain might also take back its and our lingua franca? Now that Britain is on its way out of the union, wouldn’t it be strange if we continued to talk using its language? If the inventors of English, i.e. England, the English, exit a company, should the company carry on speaking as if nothing had just happened? It most probably will, but arguably against its own best interests. From the beginning, the EU has chosen to speak English as opposed to a wide-spread use of French, German, Russian, Italian or some other language. None of the continental languages are easy enough to master in order to make life communicable therewith within the European Union. However, this issue has made life ”too easy” to everyone concerned. With faux English, anyone can trade with, marry or play ball with anyone else, and it is a bit fraudulent and phoney. I think that the true popularity of the EU would show its limits if the member states were forced to choose some other common language beyond English as the lingua franca. We would see that the union would not be that popular at n’ after all. Using German, union members would turn into what they mostly are: Continental conservatives bent & intent on making Money not War. Everyone thought that the EU had come about amazingly quickly, what with the previous wars having been fought out 70 years ago. Well, the quick progress was enabled by the shortcut of using English. English is not the most European language, as it is so widely used on other continents.

What I’m trying to say is that Brexit will hurt us, but it was in the cards anyway. London is the modern Babylon, to where everyone wants to go, so it should not be co-opted by Brussels or Berlin. If the Idea of Europe is any good, it can also coagulate or congeal around other cities in other countries. The EU is not necessary for wellbeing, as the example set by Norway has proven for and in a good time.

So far, the Concept of Free Movement (of capital, goods, people and services) has not only been used but also abused, as refugees, vagrants, nomads, extremists and criminals have made this concept their favourite loophole in the system. Maybe Britain and Brexit will and would teach us some containment and restraint.

Thank you.


Arvio: Puheessa otetaan ansiokkaasti kantaa ajankohtaiseen aiheeseen. Repparipuheeksi tämä on yhtäältä varmasti vanhaa toistava mutta kenties juuri viimeisessä aiheessa, kielikysymyksessä, myös uutta avaava, niin kuin rep-puheessa pitääkin/pitäisikin tehdä. Vastapuolen tehtäväksi jää todistella, että ero on täysi katastrofi (tai epätodennäköisemmin, ”megamenestys”).

Education Is Hit and Missed

Normaali

Viikko 45


 

Date: Dec 25th, 2015
Motion: THB that the gov. may be right in its educational budget cuts
Role: MP (gov.)


Dear Assemblage, Chair, Ladies & Gentlemen,

”This House Believes that the Government may be right in its educational budget cuts”.
How so?

When we think about the reasons for a social ill, reasons can be roughly categorized as Unique reasons and Combined reasons. What is a unique reason? Consider Mental Illness. Usually, people say that the cure for mental illness(es) is a combination of ”p-remedies”: #peergroups, #pharmaceuticals, #psychotherapy, #parentalattentionandcare and #passageoftime. However, it could be any of these reasons. People enumerate and rattle all of them off, because they want to be right.

They’re ”right” as long as one of those tricks does its job. In that case, it will redeem all the rest. The cure for a mental illness might not be a combo of cures but just one of the lot. Casting the nets wide creates an illusion of having a wise solution. This could also be thought of as Correlation vs. Causation. People seem to thrive on not knowing the ”right” answer to a particular question, for that adds to co-operation, confused consensus and a collective cohesion. Yet, those who claim that the earth revolves around the sun, and vice versa, cannot both be right at the same time and with the same cogency. The wrong answer may not directly hurt anyone, but it certainly pre-empts follow-up research.

Conversely, when people try to uphold a certain Status Quo, they champion all of it. Every detail is ”important”. When people in politics champion education, schools, academies, universities and so on, they treat everything these entities do as ”worthwhile”, ”unique”, ”trustworthy”, ”progressive”, maybe even so far as ”sacred”…. In consequence, the budgets of schools shall not be cut in any circumstances, as schools need money for salaries, assistants’ salaries, computers, accessories, machines, field trips, exercise, books, libraries, upholding contacts with other schools etc. etc. etc. Yet, nobody seems to know what part of all this frenetic activity is really necessary, or the core kernel of schoolgoing. For lack of an answer, the answer is to protect all of it, preserve the status quo and only fly upward or onward.

Schools do need money, but money is not the gist of education or schooling. I am pretty sure that the oldest universities around, those of Bologna in Italy and Oxford in Great Britain, were pretty ill off in the beginning, in the 11th century or so. What’s immortal about schools is the majors and parents’ desire to send their kids off somewhere after they’re been through their childhood and their basic curriculum. Universities thrive in all kinds of (bad) circumstances and with all kinds of financing. The good challenge amid this chaos would be to find the money-devouring loopholes in academic bookkeeping versus those things that are absolutely indispensable for creating competence for and in the world. I’m all for a truthful accounting.

”There are those who change the world, and those who just keep it running”, or so the oft-cited proverb goes. If we cannot take away from the former group, we surely can take from the latter group? May be no, as the furore would then be even bigger. Those, who can suffer in silence might have to do so to the advancement of those, who can only suffer in agony, pain & with accompanying screams. There is demand (i.e. vocal calls for this and that) and there is Demand (people’s willingness to pay for something). There has to be some kind of systemic flaw in the question of budgetary cutbacks.

Thank you.


Arvio: Puolensa 3. puheena tämä saattaa olla liian avauspuheenvuoromainen. Puheessa on aika hyvä johdatteleva alkuosuus, joka ei liity suoraan itse aiheeseen, vaikka yleensä mennään suoraan asiaan. Puolivälissä sitten otetaan teema esiin johdannon jälkeen. Minusta tämä toimii hyvin, hieman samaan tapaan, kuin jos elokuvaa ei aloiteta leikkaamalla suoraan pääosan esittäjään vaan annetaan hänen ilmaantua jossakin 20:nnen min. kohdalla. Loppu on hieman sekavan oloinen, mutta varsinainen asia on kyllä tullut jo esitettyä. ☺

O’ Connells Conned Us (Into This)

Normaali

Viikko 44



Date
: Oct 25th, 2016
Motion: THW legalise all drugs
Role: Rep. (gov.)


GOVERNMENTAL/ADMINISTRATIVE/POLITICAL REASONS

If rightwing governments want a night-watchman state, they for sure won’t have the resources to run a far-reaching Vice Squad, whose turf and jurisdiction the controlling of drugs would fall to. In that case, they would not have any other option than the legalization of drugs, as they could not enforce their control. Alternatively, they could try to hunt down drug peddlers, manufacturers, users and middlemen, but as the U.S. War on Drugs has so far shown us, whatever gains the Federal Government makes, it comes at a huge social and private cost. Simulataneously, a great deal of the gov’s energy would go towards keeping the status quo rather than making any positive changes for the better in society.

Consequently, drugs should be legalised because fighting against them eats away at so much of our resources

  • (a concrete example:)
  • Prohibition is the obvious Precedent in terms of this kind of pre-emptive legislation.

A further reason to deepen this argument is that,

Drugs were often developed by someone working for govt. institutions. Many drugs saw military or medical use before they ended up on streets to be used by just about anyone. They should be taken over by the govt. again so as not to give away the profit that they generate to misfits, outcasts, profiteers and agents of the grey economy. At first the gov could extend drug use to people whose use is not recreational but rather medical or palliative in nature.

  • (a concrete example:)
  • Albert Hoffman devised LSD in the first half of the 20th century, in November 1938, on the eve of the 2nd World War. It was introduced as a psychiatric drug in 1947. It should still be on that path.

MEDICAL AND NATIONAL HEALTH REASONS

Legalising drugs would reveal to us how big a percentage of the population self-medicate with them. People do not take drugs unless there’s something wrong with them. They take drugs for feelings of agony, alienation, despair, pain and so on. Knowing the full percentage of self-medicators would help us direct national health resources in a better way, since fully healthy people do not crave for Drugs. When heroin was injected into people who do not have a history of drug use or major, obvious problems in life, they did not like what they experienced.

Traditional drugs are relatively harmless. They evaporate from the body in about 6 to 8 hours through the metabolism of the liver. Any recreational use is usually harmless apart from the occasional ”bad trip” that may occur. If people take drugs in the presence of their friends or close friends, all side effects can usually be contained. This applies to such traditional drugs as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, khat, hashis and ecstacy, as long as they come from safe sources.


Arvio: Puhe ottaa kantaa debateissa usein esiintyneeseen aiheeseen, joka kumpuaa esiin kerta toisensa jälkeen varmaankin sen takia, että osanottajat ovat niin nuoria ja liberaaleja ja yleensä huumeisiin kallellaan, heidän tajuamatta niihin liittyviä vakavia elämänhallinnallisia, psykologisia ja taloudellisia implikaatioita. Yhtäältä huumeet pahimmillaan vievät kaiken ja toisaalta täysipainoinen elämä on täysin mahdollista ilman edes niiden mainitsemista. Olen kuitenkin tehnyt tämän puheen ’paholaisen asianajajana’.

There Will Be Terms on Terms

Normaali

Viikko 43


 

Date: Oct 23rd, 2015
Motion
: THB that foreigners need to pay term fees in Finland
Role: MP (gov.)


For a long time, foreigners have been able to study at their chosen university in Finland by just paying the cost of their lodging, food and transportation plus extracurriculars. This needs to stop from this government on. In the following, I’m going to present further reasons and reasoning why is the case societally speaking.

Foreigners who come here practise what you could term  ”educational tourism”. Education is like an administrative Sun that shines here year in and year out, just like the sun may shine for real in those countries whence educational tourists come. Just like real-life tourists, these tourists do not leave after they’re gone more than, (figuratively speaking), dirty sheets, piles of trash and greasy napkins. You don’t remember their faces later on, as you don’t remember those of tourists of the travelling kind. They don’t remember having been here, either, after some time has passed, likely. Finland may linger on in their household or living space as photos in a photo collection.

My biggest reservation against edu-tourism is This: Finns could not go out into the World and expect similar treatment from any quarters, either. If we went outside of the EU without participating in any exchange program set up between two universities decades ago, free tuition would not be possible and accessible. We would need to pay dearly, and so we’ve done, at least in the past when it comes to the record on Finns studying abroad. Even today thousands of Finnish people study abroad in institutions of their choosing, but they pay for their studies out of their own or their parents’ pockets. Many Finnish dreams and careers have been financed and fulfilled in this way. For all that, it has come at a cost, which is a personal cost and a national cost. Often, those who acquire a degree abroad say goodbye to Finland for good and remain beyond its borders for reasons sometimes unknown, which often, yet, revolve around climate, love and work. And, vice versa, this same logic should apply to foreigners studying for a whole degree in Finland.

If semester or term fees were implemented, I’m sure that the numbers of Freeloaders would drop. Educational tourists would go someplace else or stay at home with their moms. Moreover, the quality of those coming in as the quantity dropped would improve. When the ”chaff” was gone, we could see the wheat. The wheat would be foreigners who come to Finland for their love of the country and/or the language (which is an Agglutinative beast, and therefore to the liking of a few with Acquired taste). Students of the Finnish vernacular. Tech-boom enthusiasts. Winter-sport aficionados. Nerds. Geeks. Wonks. Japanese looking for quiet and coniferous trees. Brits looking for thinness on the ground. Introverts with rich parents from India. The odds of these people staying after the completion of their degree would be much higher than the chances of educational tourists staying after the handing down of the diploma. We don’t need thumbs up from just anyone. We need handshakes from Fennophiles; those with a love or like for Finland for its own sake. Money is of immaterial importance here. Love is worth more than a few Ks on the bank account. Grands come and go.

Finland does not need educational tourism. It is paid for by those run-of-the-mill Finns who never venture outside of their native grounds, so in order to get a small dose of an international atmosphere, foreigners are imported instead. It turns out cheap to the foreigners but expensive to the nation. Real Finns inhale their whiff of exotica in going out themselves in all directions from the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.

Say no to Edu-Tourism. Say no to imported foreigners. Say yes to exported natives.


Arvio: Puheessa yritetään kieli keskellä suuta saavuttaa sellainen kultainen keskitie, missä ulkomaalaisia voidaan arvostella mutta niin, että ei varsinaisesti hairahduta rasismin puolelle. Arvostelun kärki on raha-asioissa; ei ulkonäössä, uskonnossa, rodussa tai sukupuolessa. Tällaisenaan puhe valaa uskoa siihen, että voi olla myös Maahanmuuttokritiikkiä pelkän silkan Rasismin ohella. Väitellessä olisi hyvä, jos ulkomaalaisasioissa voitaisiin tehdä ”tiukka” aloite, sillä mikä olisi parempi lähtökohta kiinnostavalle debatille. Mielipiteidenkään ei tarvitse olla tarkasti ottaen omia vaan virikkeitä voi saada tutuilta, kaduilta tai internetistä.

Never Too Late to Stretch One’s Education

Normaali

Viikko 42



Date
: Jul 11th, 2015
Motion
: THB that learning is lifelong
Role: Rep. (gov.)


I want to lecture you on the ways of language learning and language in general. I’ve divided my speech into three parts: syntax, semantics, and their union. I hope that each section contributes a little to your understanding of the subject matter, deviating a little from the conventional view.

SYNTAX
Syntax is like a lattice or a grid or grill that makes up the different pathways of speech. You can avoid certain words or certain parts of the syntax that you are not familiar with, but you cannot avoid syntax altogether, as your flow has to make sense. I draw my example from Swedish, but I’d say that this applies across the board to many more European languages as well.

Your fluency in Swedish is a direct result from how many ”correct choices” you make when you’re formulating your flow as an incessant stream of words. You can make four types of specifically right/wrong choices on a constant basis: the declension (with nouns and adjectives), conjugations (with verbs), determination (with nouns, adjectives and numerals) and prepositions (with any word class). Then there is the shifting word order, but it is less important. If you make correct choices all the time, you could be said to be speak Swedish at an A level. If you make, on the other hand, incorrect choices at every turn, you’d be speaking closer to an F level, or you’d be a ”failure” as a meaningful communicator, no matter how much you would have things to say ultimately. It’s as simple and ruthless as that.

SEMANTICS
Is there a formula for making sense of the lexicon, then? If syntax is like a lattice, then words are the squares that form between the pathway lines of the latticework. They may be ”lit” (if they are familiar words) or ”dark” (if they’re unfamiliar words). If you do not know a certain word, you can always bypass the awkward situation by travelling via the syntax grid to a part of the lexicon that you do know.

Furthermore, you benefit greatly, if you meet four requirements in the mastery of a well-internalized lexicon. You have to know a) Synonyms for the key words that you use a lot, b) Idioms in other people’s speech (that you don’t have to use), c) New, novel words that have come to use very recently and d) Some obsolete words that are no longer in use. If you pass through all of these lexical ”gates” all or most of the time, you can be said to speak a language on an A level.

syntaksi-ja-semantiikka-sov

UNION OF SYNTAX AND SEMANTICS
Language is a funny creature. Knowing it begins at home, schools and university, but once the rudiments or basics of both the lexicon and syntax have been internalised, the process and the product begin to lead a life of their own. When you have the lattice in place with some areas lit vocabulary-wise, you can fill up the rest and repair a possibly (and likely) broken lattice in just being in touch with the literature, people and the press of the said people behind the said language. In knowing a little or downright a lot, you get the rest in place by contact and conscious effort.

In this way, one can never really say that schools failed oneself in terms of language teaching. It was  n e v e r  meant to be comprehensive, even for the straight-A students. The staff tried to teach you, but you just did not make the deposit on your account that’s required for proficiency. You may blame the system and those working within it, yourself or bad luck, but the truth that remains is that not all of linguistic proficiency can ever be taught academically or intramurally, that is, within the walls of a school. The rest has to be learned in comprehensive contact. Learning doesn’t stop at 20. Or 30.

Thank you.


Kesto: 4 min 28 sek
Arvio
: Puhe on omiaan niille, joita kieliasiat kiinnostavat, vaikka kyse ei ole välttämättä edes puolesta luokallisesta ihmisiä. Siinä tulee minuuteilleen riittävästi asiaa, kiva teoria, symmetrinen esittely ja rauhallinen esitystapa. Se ei myöskään voine kilpailla edellisen parivaljakon kanssa samasta substanssista. Viimeiselle puhujalle jää kuitenkin töitä, eikä apuja, jotta hän voi vetää langat yhteen.