I like this

Silence? Sound?
Better an aeolian harp
Than fool who has
The king's ear.
There are no kings here,
Only torchlights seen
Across dark fields
By beings on business
Of their own.
All illusion is alone.
Could that include this question?

Makes a change to all the Christian devotional poetry about aeolian harps that's appearing online at present.

I mean, seriously, nothing illustrates the superstition versus science argument better than the idea that the sound produced by an aeolian harp is something other than vibrations. Ye olde Victorians thought it was spirits talking from the aether, which is kinda cool in a romantic way but apparently some people thought something similar about the static you can still hear on the radio between stations.

Maybe I'll want to believe there's something beyond the veil of death as it seems closer too?

Murray School of Education videos

Here are a collection of videos I produced with the assistance of final year TV Production students Shelley and Nancy. They also appear on the CSU website.

Distance education with CSU

I don't think I'd finished the first semester of my TV Production degree when I made this. It was screened on TV around Newcastle.

Demand drugs

Susan Sontag wrote that "all genuine moral views are founded on a notion of refusal" and it's a truth that underlies a lot of the values in our so-called Christian society. Refusal is based on what is considered to be right, it's the holier-than-thou attitude that comes from a smug sense of personal satisfaction.

Economists have described interest rates as being "blunt instruments" for controlling inflation and, in a similar way, I believe the law is a blunt instrument for enforcing morals.

The problem with morals is that they're informed by superstition - a dogma. Whereas ethics are based on actually engaging with issues and resolving them through intellectual means.

So reading this comment from Australia's top cop makes me wonder why, if the market dictates demand and price for many services, how come drugs aren't legal?

I guess because morally it's considered poor character to seek escape from personal circumstances. Morally one should confront these flaws and overcome them.

So rather than creating legal avenues that would also create ways of controlling the demand and use of drug, our society casts these issues as moral problems rather than health ones.

It's why people with mental health issues have to demonstrate that they've overcome their drug addictions to receive assistance such as housing. Of course, the catch is that if they're living on the street they're going to seek comfort through drugs.

Another issue is that prohibition doesn't work. Where would problem gamblers be if gambling was illegal and they had no exposure to the harm minimisation messages which are becoming more prevalent? (Well, aside from lining the pockets of Woolworths and the Australian Labor Party.)

Three foxy GFs

Dreams are weird

A friend once remarked that he didn't think there was much more boring in conversation than people recounting dreams. He has a point, Carl Jung thought dreams were specific to the dreamer and my experience has been that the conversation is usually a monologue punctuated with the words 'and then...'.

I read a theory that dreams help us prepare, like some teaching tool for unlikely events. It cited that many people talk after accidents of how it was a dream-like experience. I guess this would be a way for the brain to create neural pathways to cope with challenges.

I like this idea because I sometimes think I see the future in my dreams. It's a crazy idea I know but I guess I like thinking it. This started when I drank a bottle of mugwort beer that had been given to my partner but she couldn't have it as she was pregnant. I drank it and had the most vivid dreams but I won't bore you with the details.

Since then I've had more dreams that seem prophetic but also some I hope aren't. Like after my first child was born I had a heap of dreams where he died or suffered accidents and I guess it was either a sign of my subconscious coping with my new role or it was a way of preparing me for the possibility I will need to react to a seriously challenging circumstance.

Dreams are weird.