Leave My Brain Alone

The flooring people called at 08:00 this morning wanting to come round and deposit the stuff for tomorrow, so after they had done that I headed out for a run. A rather apt title to the mission today after finding out yesterday that my friend’s chemo for a brain tumour hadn’t been successful (donate here: https://defeatlungcancer.everydayhero.com/uk/mike-s-page#post_402265). A nice easy run though, with the runbell clearing my way and some tunes from my teens to keep me company.

Leave My Brain Alone

A333 – week 7 – The moral equality of combatants

More war again this week (but no tutorial as the tutor was ill, and no marked TMA either yet though the strike is still ongoing so I won’t get a score anyway). This week was looking at whether combatants in a war are morally equal. The traditional view is that they are, so each set of combatants can try and kill each other pretty much with impunity, but they should try and keep it proportionate and not kill too many civilians. The revisionist view is that just combatants (those fighting for a just cause) can try and kill unjust combatants (those fighting for an unjust cause), but an unjust combatant can never be morally justified in trying to kill anyone, so they are not morally equal.

Lots of paper thin lines drawn between excusability and justifiability, just and unjust, whether combatants can be expected to know whether they are fighting for just or unjust cause, whether a combatant is being aggressive or acting in self-defence, and whether the right to be killed can be given up entirely or temporarily when voluntarily enlisting in an armed force.

A lot of hypotheticals and ignoring that the real world is messy (naively I think that philosophy should be applicable to the real world or it’s all just pontificating).

Skyline 10km – “A” course

The rain mostly held off for today’s ramble around the Bath STV and golf course, in a course that started in a different place than last year and took in many of the same sights but backwards. Hills that we went down last year, this time we went up and vice versa. It was a bit muddy, but not as bad as it has been before. I don’t think anyone even lost a shoe. Congestion at the start meant that I completed the first couple of km at what felt like walking pace. I was about a quarter of the way into the pack at the start, so shall have to push even further forwards next time as there are no passing places until you cross the footbridge.

The men started 10 minutes before the ladies and 5km racers, so it was satisfying to pass male 10km racers en route, even though it meant the ground was extra churned up in the woods by the time we got there (take a peek at the elevation graphs, my heart was racing as much from the exciting descents as the physical effort). Unfortunately this meant that most of the men were already home by the time I finished and joined the back of a 20 minute queue to collect my medal. People finishing behind me will have waited longer, standing around in the cold in sweaty clothes. Not good. Hopefully they’ll sort that out for the next race.

I ran in a knee brace to help protect my knee which is having to do extra work while my hamstring continues to heal. I walked some of the ascents to help protect the hamstring, and others because they were vertical scrambles. I feel like I could have come in closer to the hour if I hadn’t been held up at the start. I shall try and improve the time next time around.


UPDATE: Provisionally results are out and have be placed 48th lady out of 285, 30th in my age group.

Ashton Court parkrun – 15th November 2014

Maybe getting more than about 3 hours sleep would be an idea, but nevermind, it was off to the hill again. The promised good views from the plateau were not forthcoming as visibility was about 25m for most of the run. I was taking things a little easy as I have an off-road 10k tomorrow, so obviously I finished with a faster time than last week. Lots of faster women in the field today so my faster time netted me a lower position.

I finished 117th out of 27 parkrunners, was 15th lady and 2nd in my age category. Still 2nd in the points table, somehow.

A333 – week 6 – Thinking about just war

Last week (week 5) was spent producing almost 2,000 words on Hume’s solution(s) to the paradox of painful art – what he suggested and whether it was successful. I will get the comments back on that soon, but not the score as my tutor is participating in the UCU boycott and not providing scores until the issues regarding pensions are resolved. Annoying for me as I have not worked with this tutor before so will have no idea of how his comments relate to the score given for this assignment (and any future assignments depending on how long it takes to achieve resolution). This assignment is worth 18% of my continuous assessment score of this course (which is compared to my overall examinable score on my final extended essay, with the lower score of the two going forwards to my overall degree result). I have had to send an email out to confirm that the 28 day window students are given to appeal scores/grades will start once scores are provided and not when the essay is returned.

This week brought a whole new book and a whole new topic – war. As is usual the first week of a new topic and book is an introduction to the topic, looking at Just War Tradition and just war theory, which is going to be the main topic of the book. It’s interesting to try and differentiate between what can be considered morally just and what can be considered legally just as so much discussion of war in the news is around the legality of actions rather than the morals/ethics. It should be interesting to examine in further detail, though my lack of historical knowledge might be an issue when looking at theorists such as Walzer who favours them over thought experiments.

The course book featured this delightful sentence which I had to highlight, even though it’s not directly relevant to the subject matter:

Philsophers stipulate quite a lot: it is one of our few pleasures in life.

I also paid my fees for my final OU course for my degree – D303: Cognitive Psychology which starts 31st January 2015.

Ashton Court parkrun – 8th November 2014

It was back to the hill again, with a slightly iffy knee, and wearing rainjacket, hat and gloves as the weather window was nowhere to be seen. The gloves came off in the first 1km, and the jacket at about 1.2km. I took route 1 through the puddles on the plateau which meant that 1km from home both shoelaces came undone (even though I had tied them the ‘wrong’ way) and with a descent to come I stopped and retied them. My right shoe came undone again with 400m to go, but I was determined to stay ahead of Roger and just kept going, finishing in the 25minutes (grr).

I finished 82nd out of 193 parkrunners, was 7th lady and 2nd in my age category. I am miraculously still second in the points table.

Upside Down

The weather’s on the turn and it was long sleeves and gloves for the Monday morning run. Slippery conditions under foot with rotting leaves on top of slick tarmac. It felt like I hadn’t done any exercise for ages, even though I did a full Body Pump class on Friday, but there was no parkrun for me on Saturday and I am dropping my yoga class (Sunday and Wednesda) while I try and heal my hamstring (I did it again in yoga on Wednesday). Extra bonus running today with a 30 minute run taking over 40 minutes.

Upside Down

A333 – week 4 – The paradox of painful art

This week we were looking at the paradox of painful art – why some people deliberately seek out art which they know will cause negative emotions in them such as tearjerkers, horror films, etc. As this is the topic that the first assignment will be on I took the time to complete both of the independent study options and the optional additional study, which meant that my study time rolled over onto a second day. I’m still not convinced by any one ‘solution’ to the paradox, preferring to pick and choose a little bit from one and a little bit from another, but then I personally tend to avoid painful art anyway so it’s all a bit of a mystery why anyone other than a teenage girl might deliberately seek it out.

DSE212 – Exploring Psychology – exam breakdown

The OU have now provided a breakdown of the exam part of the course result, so I can compare how I did against the other students taking the exam on the questions I chose. There were 863 of us who sat the exam, and all of us were required to complete 5 short answer questions (worth 25% of the total), and 3 long answer questions (each worth 25%) – 2 from part 2 and 1 from part 3.

Looking at the breakdown across all students, of the 863 who sat the exam, 3 people didn’t complete part 1 – the short answer questions where 8 words from a pre-set list were given and you had to write on 5 of them. I came down in the 70-84% grade, along with 166 other students.

For the long answer questions I chose a question on the behaviourist perspective to learning, one on the study of attention and perception, and one on how teaching language to apes has increased (or not) the understanding of its evolutionary basis.

The behaviourist perspective question was popular, with 590 students attempting it. It was a straightforward discussion of its contribution, which might explain its popularity. I got a 70-84% grade along with 211 other students.

The attention and perception question was less popular with only 335 students giving that a bash. I got another 70-84% grade, as did 83 other students.

The question on the evolutionary basis of language was the least popular of all with only 192 of us having a go. This one I got an 85-100% grade on, along with 13 other students, even though I had a minor panic with my pen running out of ink and not liking the new cartridge until I remembered the tweezers I had included in my pencil case for just such an eventuality (of the cartridge not being broken open properly).

Looking at the numbers, 10 students didn’t complete a question from the 3rd part of the exam, which is 25% gone right there. Time management presumably being an issue there.