Pitcox House, The Wire and philosophy course

I featured pictures of snowdrops last week and included a couple of close up photos. This week, I made my annual visit with my camera to Pitcox House. Pitcox is a hamlet through which I frequently cycle and is 4 miles up the country from Dunbar. What is striking about Pitcox House and farm at this time of the year is that it is always the first place around here that you see a carpet of snowdrops. This year, I was lucky to have the sun shining through the trees in the early afternoon and casting shadows across the snowdrops – see pictures 1 and 2 below.

Snowdrops and shadows at Pitcox House

Snowdrops and shadows at Pitcox House

Snowdrops and shadows at Pitcox House

Snowdrops and shadows at Pitcox House

Also on show at Pitcox, although not in such a proliferation, were aconites which provided a bright splash of yellow to contrast with the dazzling white of the snowdrops – see pictures  3 and 4 below.

Aconites

Aconites

Aconites

Aconites

After much encouragement from a number of friends,  I recently bought the boxed set of The Wire. The Guardian reviewer argues that The Wire is ” the greatest ever television drama” and quotes one source as describing the programme as “a Homeric epic of modern America”. so, much hype for this series. I have to say, having watched most of the first season, that The Wire is TV of the highest quality. It has a driving plot, complex characters on the police side and on the drug dealers’ side and it presents a detailed insight into a number of small, discrete worlds – the police’s project location, the police HQ which is dominated by an immoveable hierarchy, and the high rise “projects” which are riven with drug dealing and poverty. there is ambition, corruption and many attempts to justify moralities which are interpreted differently by a range of intriguing characters. It can be brutal but is also funny at times – and it is definitely compulsive.

I’m a student at Edinburgh University again – many, many year after graduating with an Honours degree in History – albeit only for 7 weeks. I’ve joined the free short course Introduction to Philosophy. The course takes the form of video lectures by the university’s philosophy team, and includes handouts, further reading and online forums. I’m used to being on the other side of forums – raising issues and responding to student queries – when I worked at Charles Sturt University’s School of Information Studies . so, it has been an enjoyable experience – listening to lectures, taking notes and doing the quizzes at the end of each week. I’m just about to start week 3, having done What is Philosophy? and What is Knowledge? There are of course a wide variety of views on these questions and the key aspect of this course is the thinking needed to explore the issues such as How do we know what we know? This has got my brain into gear again and I’m enjoying the challenge. If you have spare time and want a rejuvenating experience, then this might be the course for you.

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