Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

I was chilling at my very own facebook-profile today, and came over my quotes. And I saw the following:

 

“Anyone with time on their hands can hatch elaborate schemes for a better future, just as anyone can sketch endless plans for a magnificent novel they never get around to writing because they are endlessly sketching plans for it. The point for Marx is not to dream of an ideal future, but to resolve the contradictions in the present which prevent a better future from coming about.” – Terry Eagleton

 

Which reminded me of a book I read a while ago, called “Why Marx was right” by Terry Eagleton.

 

It is a brilliant book. It takes on 10 objections or misconceptions about Marxism which exist today, like how Marxists are historical determinists, how we reduce everything to the economic, how Marxism inevitably leads to political tyranny and such. Terry shows why these views on Marxism are wrong and why Marx was, in fact, correct in many of his analyses and why we should all be Marxists today. You should read it. It looks like this:

 

Hell yeah. Marx!

 

Vegard

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No no, I am not swearing at you in some Eastern European language (although, maybe I am without my knowledge of doing so)- that is the name of the 90-something-year old man who was just sentenced to 5 years of prison due to his being a guard of the Nazi death camps for 6 months during the Holocaust. I am not sure how to feel about this. Naturally, the Holocaust was one of the most heinous events in human history, yet I feel sympathy for this John Demjanjuk. Like so many that took part in the, how shall I say, Nazi movement (?? my brain fails) back in the day, John did what he had to do in order to not die/be tortured. Now, that sounds really Nazi-sympathetic of me, so let me assure you that I am anything but Nazi-sympathetic. I just feel like this poor kid wasn’t jumping up and raising his hand saying, “Pick me! Pick me! I want to kill the Jews!”, he simply did what he was told because he literally feared for his life. And now he is a very old man who is being told he will have to live the rest of his days behind bars.

On the other hand, I can see where maybe this is an attempt to “make an example” out of what can happen to someone that is at all involved with evil peeps. Kind of like sending a message to future Nazi’s who, upon hearing what happened to poor old Demjanjuk, think to themselves, “Oh noes! Something bad might happen to me if I join this group of evil men? Ixnay on my participation!” But the thing is, (let’s call him Dem for short) Dem never had a choice, really. He was captured by the Germans, held as a captive Soviet POW, and forced to do the Third Reich’s dirty work.

So I guess through writing this blog, I have figured out how to feel. I’m just gonna go ahead and admit that I feel sorry for the man and I feel that his conviction/sentence is  slightly unfair. I know the actions he performed were absolutely disgusting and downright atrocious and that the pity he deserves is a drop in the ocean (make that one hundred million gazillion oceans) compared to that for the victims who had to suffer at his hands. I just feel that we also have a tendency to see everything in black and white; to see people as a “bad guy” or “good guy,” but this guy was somewhere in between.

What do you guys think?
[poll id=”45″]

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Howdy y’all.

Allow me to preface this entry with a lingual note: neither my vast knowledge of the english language, nor my vast knowledge of googling for translations, has given me an apt translation for the Norwegian word “valgkamp”. The best i can come up with is electoral campaign, being the period before elections where parties do stuff to get votes. Oh yeah.

So anyways. This weekend, I attended the electoral campaign conference of my political party, Red. Or The Red Party, as wikipedia calls us. Lots of interesting stuff happened, I want to focus on one thing: the new coffee mugs!

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Best. Mug. Ever!

Not only is it awesome in shape and whiteness, but the logo is just sexy as hell! The image is a little bit blurry, it looks even better on the actual mug. It makes every sip of coffee awesome.

Vegard

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WEll… Tommorow at school I have this BIG test; A pre-exam in math. I’ve been preparing for weeks, doing tests, reading, writing notes etc. But not that many exercises, because they don’t seem to help. Then again, neither does my new strategy, I just have to face that when math isn’t about economics or logic puzzles I’ll never find it interesting. And it isn’t much of a secret that uninteresting subjects are rather challanging to prepare for, right? Well here I am, procastrinating the night before the test with the biggest impact on my allready poor grade. Which sucks, I am generally a 5-6 grade student. (B-A for americans?)

One of my other classes, one I am rather good at, is sociology. So i figured I’ll do what all sociologists worth his weigth would do; I’ll blame the society; or rather, the school system. The reason I feel justified to do this is because whilst our society have been expanding in a humongus speed since the industrial revolution, the school systems haven’t really changed that much since the 1800’s. Sure the system is somewhat more liberal to student opinion, female participation and the books might be newer; but at it’s core it’s the same freaking thing. So I have some suggestions on how to improve the great experience of learning for any and all student out there.

1: Experience points.

Yes, I am serious. If teachers grant points for everytime you deliver a task, complete a test, write an essay or get an answer correct in class the feeling of progression would increase thus motivating students to participate more in the educationsystem. Which feels better: seeing a C+ in your grade book, or looking at that progress bar seeing you’re just a few more points away from leveling up? You know it. What if when 3 students in your class gained 10.000 points the entire class gain aditional bonus points? That could really lead to  better cooperation between students instead of unhealty competition that might occour in the present system. Unlockable perks and/or achivments for a class would make the experience more fun, wouldn’t it? The grade system wouldn’t even have to change, just make a certein amount of XP worth a grade, or a “level”. (Thanks to ExtraCredit for the idea: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/extra-credits/3167-Gamifying-Education)

2: Drop the homework.

Acording to most statistics, too much homework is actually working against it’s purpose. It seems that if you work less than 60 min per day with homework, and have noteable educated parents, you will gain from your work. However if your parents are somewhat “lesser” educated, or you’ll spend over 90 min on the homeworks it only results in tired students with lower score in school and less interest in further education. So we should either cut them completely, or at least minimize them. (source you say? http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1376208,00.html, amongst others.)

3: Less theory, more practical work.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a theoretic guy. As stated before, exerscices and tasks does nothing for me. I learn trough notes and reading; the thing is though, most people don’t. Statistics (again) show that most people learn from experiencing and doing tasks with their hands. So by adding more field trips, games and such to classes a wider aspect of students may gain from them and grades might get higher. Of course, in certein fields this will be hard or even imposible; but we should try to do it wherever we can.

So there’s my steam, I’ll get back to my math and leave you with the content of my head. Untill another time, cheerio.

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I had planned an entry about the death of Osama Bin Laden allready on monday, but as it turned out I never really had the time and was sort of hoping someone else would cover it. Since no one seems to have anything remotly sensible enough to write about it in a blog it must be alot of really important buisness going around with my co-bloggers. Anyhow lets get back on the rails:

Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, the perhaps most famous conspirator in the world; and beyond any doubt the world’s most wanted man has been found and killed, on direct order from the big man himself. This puts me in an awkward stance, I am by no means sad to see the man go: I am however rather disapointed by the US for not giving the man a trial. By killing bin Laden without first putting him in court the american goverment showed a lack of respect for the Human rights as set by the UN.

They were also saluted for this very act, and I find that very disturbing. For someone to be able to remove any and all inconvenience without putting them to trial sounds like something Stalin, Mussolini or Hitler would do. By all means, I am not saying president Obama is remotely similiar to any of these, but I have to speak out against his methods in this matter. When even the worst Nazi officers who survived world war two were given a trial for their crimes, why shouldn’t that apply to Osama as well? Do the human rights only apply to certein people now? As previously noted I think they should have given him a trial, the man was unarmed when they found him and didn’t really pose much of a threat to the navy seals who cornered him.

I also just want to point out all the sligthly amusing memes that have sprung from this incident, both refering to Osama himself and president Obama. If you’re an internet geek it’s worth checking out and you’ve got to see the religious aspect of it all. Osama believed Allah would award him with a place filled with virgins or something of the like, correct? well after what I hear he ended up on 4chan. That is all, my name is Simen.

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