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Interview with Khethil

 
 
Khethil
 
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 02:28 pm
VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Welcome everyone to another member interview on philosophyforum.com! Member's interviews provide the opportunity for members to get to know other members a little bit better by answering a small number of questions and saying a little something about themselves.


Today's interviewee is ____Khethil_____ , who has been a member on the forum since ______19 Apr 2008_____ .

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q1: So tell us a little about your name, why you chose it, what it means, etc.

This is actually a bit embarrassing. I was trying to choose another name for an online game back in '98 and was suffering a particularly impressive tequila hangover. I was getting nowhere choosing random names from the in-game generator, so I started mumbling random sounds till I came up with something relatively intelligible. This, all because the alias I've been using since before the internet (anyone remember the BBS days?), Proph, had been taken.

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q2: Tell us a little about your avatar. Does it mean anything special to you?

Yea I does, really. It's an image of an old man, dressed in rags, sitting solitarily reading a book. For me, philosophy and history has been - mainly - a road of private discovery; and I've been 'aged' since my mid 20's. There's a mood evoked by this image that's somehow comforting and in this way it just seems to fit. Any discoveries or insights are mine alone; mainly because they defy adequate description. I think its this way for most philosophers: Debate and discourse are great for teasing and grasping different ideals, but that "oh wow" moment is necessarily a private moment.

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q3: Explain to us the significance of your user title (if you have one) and/or signature. Where does it come from? What can this small tidbit of info tell us about you?


The title I'm displaying doesn't hold any real significance. I just haven't had much reason to change it (and actually am not sure if I chose this one, haha!).

My signature is a quote that hold much significance to me. For all the things we think so simple, so cut-and-dried, my experience has taught me that virtually nothing is just so. We look at our condition, our world, our lives, our social structures and behaviors and proclaim goodness, evil or indifference. There is no aspect to human behavior (or its condition, truth be told) that truly is what it seems. I've worked very hard, in deep critical thought, to analyze/examine various aspects and the deeper I go, the more ambiguity I discover; in some ways I almost wish I hadn't - surety is such a rare commodity. In any case, I hold very firm to the ideal that its complexity in our lives and our existence that - if there is any - holds any true insight; thus the quote.

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q4: What made you join the forum?

I wanted a place to Hang my Hat, so to speak. There are tons of forums out there and each has its tenor. Realizing that I'd likely adjust and morph to fit the pitch of any given place, I simply looked for one that highlighted the core philosophical disciplines and appeared to have a policy of tolerance and cordiality. At that time, this seemed the place to be. I was also extremely impressed with Justin's administration. The energy and determination to maintain such a thing, over the long term, is rare indeed; and I have no intentions of investing my time in a cyber-place that didn't seem like it'd last.

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q5: Can you tell us anything more about your stats, like the volume of posts, your thanks/thanked ratio, and your rep power?


I wish I found items of sufficient interest to post more. We have a lot of duplicate threads; which I suppose is forgivable given the nature of philosophy. And there's a lot of "OMG That's out there!"-threads. But this, too, is just fine. The variety of themes that might spill forth from The Thinker makes this inevitable. Even so, I truly wish I found more that interested me. I feel often that so many folks - me included at times - just want to talk and not really read others' posts with any depth. I suppose what I'm saying is that if I had any indication that posts were read, and a real effort was made to understand them more, I'd probably jump in more. All told, I think we're doing just fine; and for whatever shortfalls I might see, these are to be expected.

I like being thanked; who doesn't! I do often wonder if they're just "I Agree!" or "Nice Contribution!"-type thanks. Who can say?


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Tell us a little bit more about you in general.
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VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q6: If you could describe yourself in one short sentence, what would it be and why?

Courtesy and respect will go a long way with me; just don't mistake my niceness for weakness.

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q7: Do you have any other interests other than philosophy (i.e. hobbies, work, etc.)?

Reading in general (historical and sociological), collecting, music, online gaming.

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q8: Do those interests coincide with your affinity for philosophy?

I think so. Of course, philosophy (in a general sense) ties into virtually everything we do. But yea, particularly the reading helps to contribute and tickle ideas.

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q9: Can you tell us anything more about yourself?

I love good conversation that goes two ways, I respect someone taking responsibility for their part in the communicative process, I love the honest, true and natural. I'm embarrassed by my culture yet encouraged by those rare gems of empathy, compassion and intelligence I do see. I abhor arrogance, assumption and judgmentalism. I've found hard work and honest toil has its own value (apart from any 'goal' we're trying to reach). Dogs are too loud but loyal, cats are too arrogant but quiet; everyone should be required to be schooled in ethics and sometimes a cake is just a cake - we need to be OK with that.


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Tell us about philosophy forum and you.
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VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q10: What are your favorite areas of the forum? If you have more than one, give us your top five.

Core philosophical areas, Blogs, User Profiles (the ones that have real, personal content that tell us about the individual passed the superficial), "New Posts" (kill that 20 second delay! arrrgh).

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q11: Do you blog? What are some of the topics you discuss?

Yes, only here though really. It feels rather defeating since there's no thought, idea or insight that I can adequately describe that someone else hasn't also had in their own tenor. As far as the subjects go, I try and stick to the ones that hold the most _applicability_. Musing on the metaphysical is just fine, but lessons that have wide-application, those are the ones I want to preach; for what that's worth.

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q12: If you could describe philosophyforum.com in one word, what would that word be?

I don't think it'd be fair to use just one word. Like any meeting place of such diversity, any single descriptor would (at best) describe only part of it. It's also changed for me in the last year, so any word I might choose might be counterproductive. If I had to choose, it'd be: Talk!

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q13: How would you describe your posts and the style/structure you use?

I usually try first to say something that tells the poster/readers that I do understand (or rather what think I understand), then press on from there. I fear I come across pedantic some times and maybe a bit wordy. It's not completely an accident; over simplification of a complex issue leads to unnecessary disagreement (and we see that a LOT). So in my desire to fully qualify an issue, I worry that it gets far beyond the average attention span of 1-2 sentences. In any case, though I can't lay claim to complete and ultimate Truth, I can to honesty.

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q14: What would you do to make philosophy forum a better/more interesting place?

See more involvement by the moderators to help corral in the blatantly aggressive, diminutive and insulting users. Although we all can proudly stand on the banner of "Free Expression!"; remember that there will always be among us who use this freedom in such a way that it diminishes our open and frank expressions (and we see this constantly). Confronting rude or grossly confrontational posters is tedious and sensitive - to be sure! - but I think it necessary to help steer the forum to a place we all want to be; apart from the other sites, one that prizes courtesy as a necessary ingredient to purposeful exchange. This would include profanity (not because it's 'right' or 'wrong', but because in the English language it is a mitigation of our courtesies and politeness) as well as bigotry.


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Tell us a little about your perspective of philosophy in general.
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VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q15: What first got you interested in philosophy?

I'm not completely sure; though I'm guessing it has something to do with my father, who received his PhD in Phyl:Logic. I've always had a bit of an interest, and that really took off when I took some courses back in the mid-late 90's. After that, I pretty much set out on my own.


VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q16: Explain how philosophy is important to you.

It pervades everything we think and do. It hangs over each and every one of us - as being the subtle 'why' character whispering to us just off the stage of our consciousness. As such, there's no one alive who couldn't benefit from examining the various methods of thought, motivation, existence and ethics. No matter how critically I try to think down the issue, there's no area of study I can come up with that's more pervasive, more over-arching and holds more applicability than those contained in philosophy. We all have it, regardless of how little or how much we've studied.

Our personal philosophy underpins the way we see our world, what we take as legitimate, foolish, evil or false. I'm not sure how any other area can even come close to this in terms of its potential for enriching our lives: personally, professionally, emotionally or intellectually.


VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q17: What keeps you interested in philosophy?

New twists on an old theme, the enthusiasm of reading someone's post who just had a "wow!"-moment, enjoying the study of some of the great masters of letters who've written passages so poignant, so rich and graceful that old themes are made fresh again. I only wish I could pass this on; alas, it's a private feeling and appreciation. But yea, regular exposure and study helps keep it interesting for me.

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q18: If you could define you own particular philosophy in one short sentence, what would it be?

I value both our lives; let's cease fire and live it together.

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q19: What do you think the benefits of philosophy are?

Probably the largest benefit is to the individual; for them to get a 'larger' peak into understanding their own "why's", beliefs and view of the world. To understand ones self is difficult, always there's bias and the tree bows standing in our way. To have any hope of stepping outside at all, we need the assistance of other minds, other ways of thinking. It's the study of these "ways", these other methods, that can help bring clarity to our own. We don't spend much time contemplating our existence, our ethics or what we consider to be worthy of the title "knowing"; by getting a grasp of the various types of thought, we come to know our own.

There are many others, but the only other I'd like to highlight is our view of the world: both other people and our perspective of the whole. The more honestly one embraces and studies the philosophical method, the more seasoned, calmed and mature one's overall view becomes (or, at least has the potential to be so). I'll stop there, this could get long.

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q20: What do you think the drawbacks to philosophy are?

... that it becomes relegated to Religion, Politics or Metaphysics only. Though these are important, and understandable in the strong sentiments they elicit, there's so much more to the whole package. Epistemology and Ethics hold particular worth to the individual in refining and understanding their own outlook. I don't think that philosophy necessarily changes one as much as it helps to clarify; past that, is up to the now informed and enlightened mind whether or not to proceed.

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q21: What is your favorite subject in philosophy (i.e. ethics, logic, etc.)?

Ethics, ethics, ethics and ethics; far and away the most applicable to all our kind. Regardless of what your theology is, or your view on existence or even your political/cultural orientation; studying and fleshing out what is right and wrong as a human is perhaps the most important and neglected mental study we can undertake (with immediate benefits to one another in the here-and-now as we move among the world of people).

With honesty, ethical study can help point to our inconsistencies, help clarify the world of grays and soften our stances towards those of divergent thought. I don't mean to suggest that ethical study can (or should) excuse what's otherwise inexcusable; quite the contrary, its purpose is to divulge the clear paths and give us an appreciation for those in need of clarification. Definitely; ethics

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q22: What is your least favorite subject in philosophy?

... probably Metaphysics. I find it hard to discover substance in the abstract thoughts of others; and after all, don't we all have the loftiest dreams of what is or isn't beyond the physical. In any case, what is in my head (metaphysically) is a product of my own mind, and each other. As such, it's difficult to even have an idea of what someone's talking about (much less to grasp towards understanding).

While I do see it as having worth; it's a murky creek to me - a place of a trillion postulations that may or may not have any 'real' footing in the corporeal; that place where we all meet now.

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q23: Who is your favorite philosopher and why?

I don't really have one. But if I had to answer, I'd say Marcus Aurelius. His "Meditations" continue to be a source of inspiration and honest practical advice that speaks to me on a level I can't quite describe (no matter how many times I've read this short work). But in all honesty, this really isn't a fair question, there are so many! Kant, Sartre, Socrates, Becket, Russell and Nietzsche could have fit the bill as well.

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q24: Who is your least favorite philosopher and why?

This is an easy question: There isn't one.

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Lightning Round!!! Answer either or!
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VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q25: Global warming or Global fooling?

Warming; The why, how much, who and how; however, are all up to debate

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q26: Conservative or liberal?

Conservatively Liberal

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q27: Formal or informal?

Information

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q28: Smart or ignorant?

Is "Honest" a fair answer?

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q29: Mac or PC?

PC

VideCorSpoon;153984 wrote:
Q30: Awesome or Phenomenal?

Phenomenal, has to be

Thanks, nice exercise
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VideCorSpoon
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 03:53 pm
@Khethil,
I have can definitely relate to an affinity for philosophy and history and the two being a road to private discovery. Thanks for a great interview!
0 Replies
 
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 04:05 pm
@Khethil,
Khethil;154586 wrote:

I usually try first to say something that tells the poster/readers that I do understand (or rather what think I understand), then press on from there. I fear I come across pedantic some times and maybe a bit wordy. It's not completely an accident; over simplification of a complex issue leads to unnecessary disagreement (and we see that a LOT). So in my desire to fully qualify an issue, I worry that it gets far beyond the average attention span of 1-2 sentences. In any case, though I can't lay claim to complete and ultimate Truth, I can to honesty.


I've often wondered what the perfect post would be. Too long and its pedantic and/or tedious to read, too short and it gets cryptic. What would your perfect post look like?
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 05:11 am
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead;154613 wrote:
I've often wondered what the perfect post would be. Too long and its pedantic and/or tedious to read, too short and it gets cryptic. What would your perfect post look like?


Hey Gosh,

Yea, I know what you mean. It's so easy for writings to be taken to one or the other extreme. To me the ideal post greets, then agrees or empathizes with what the other person said, then disagrees or disputes if that's the case, and finishes up with another teaser and farewell.

Words are klunky and most of us aren't very good at crafting them to the best advantage; and since we're in the business here of *communicating*, it almost seems better to say too much than too little if it helps lubricate the process. I don't know though... that's certainly not cut and dried. Where we can, directness and brevity is preferable when the risk is low.

Thanks
0 Replies
 
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 08:44 am
@Khethil,
It is too bad that ethics are not required in schooling. But then, the powers that be would not be too happy since people would be better trained to see through their bullshit. Now if schools were run locally, it would be more likely that ethics would be entered into the curriculum, but as long as the education system is centralize, it will unfortunately never happen.
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 09:49 am
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;154862 wrote:
It is too bad that ethics are not required in schooling. But then, the powers that be would not be too happy since people would be better trained to see through their bullshit. Now if schools were run locally, it would be more likely that ethics would be entered into the curriculum, but as long as the education system is centralize, it will unfortunately never happen.


Yea.... once one understands that what's right and wrong - in many cases - depends on your perspective and that there are different systems that might determine that perspective, the Law no longer reigns supreme. I know it doesn't for me.

So much blindness on this issue though, its depressing. I mean, ask anyone if "X" is right or wrong and they'll likely give you an answer that's honest. Ask them "why" and to explain that reasoning (fleshing it down) and they'll fall to a quivering blob of jelly on the floor. But its only when we consider our own "why's", all the way down to its most fundamental level, that we discover our own inner workings. Who can rightfully judge anyone else's actions unless they understand their own.

Yea, I'm preachin to the choir, I know. Thanks for the reply Smile
0 Replies
 
 

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