Sunday, June 22, 2003

Ought-based decisions

by Suw on June 22, 2003

There are several sorts of decision in this world.

There are choice-based decisions: I like both the Dolce & Gabbana shades and the Matrix shades but I can only buy one pair, so I have to choose between them.

There are choiceless decisions: this rather angry-looking man has a gun pointing at my head so, if I wish to continue experiencing life as I know it, I will have to give him the money.

There are rational decisions: the laws of physics tell me that if I continue to move at this speed and in this direction on these rollerblades I will collide somewhat painfully with that brick wall, therefore I choose to throw myself gracelessly at this patch of relatively soft grass.

There are emotional decisions: although logic tells me that I really shouldn’t go on holiday in July because I’m broke, I’m going to go anyway because I want to.

And then there are ought-based decisions. I’m pretty good with most sorts of decisions, except ought-based ones. Ought-based decisions are the ones where you sit there, trying to whip up enough self-discipline to choose correctly between the thing you want to be doing and the thing that you ought to be doing in order to avoid a hefty dose of annoyance and regret at the end of the day when you realise that you didn’t do what you should have done and now have to face making that ought-based decision all over again the next day.

Friday’s ought-based decision wasn’t too bad. I ought to have been writing the next five Welsh language worksheets. I actually decided to do something a lot more fun, to wit, work on my web shop. As this was actually a very important work-based activity, I didn’t feel too guilty about the fact that I really should have been working on the Welsh worksheets instead.

Today’s ought-based decision is worse. It’s Sunday, theoretically a day of rest for the majority of the population, but not for anyone who has their own business. Instead, Sundays become Monday Mark I. A pre-Monday that allows one to gain some ground on all the things that one lost ground on last week, if only one could get up off one’s arse and get on with it.

So, today, I ought to work on these Welsh worksheets. I want to play on the computer, write long entries in my blog, read lots of other people’s blogs, go shopping maybe, chill out, get myself a nice bottle of Pimms and enjoy the summer whilst it lasts, but generally do anything except work on these damn Welsh worksheets.

I’m struggling. But it’s not even noon yet. Maybe I can fit it all in. I’ll let you know later on if I manage.

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Not another degree?

by Suw on June 22, 2003

I’ve just watched a documentary on linguistics. There aren't that many of them about, and it had the effect of making me want to go and do a second degree in linguistics. I’ve been quite into linguistics for a while now, but had no time to pursue the interest as much as I would have liked.

Ironically, given how much I dislike my current ?home? town of Reading, the University of Reading here does a part-time course in linguistics, and apparently has quite a good reputation.

I really don’t have time right now for a part-time degree, but if things pan out ok with the business, then I could put it down to business development. One of the things I’ve been wanting to do with Get Fluent for ages is to develop a section on learning techniques based on what I’ve gleaned from books by Stephen Pinker, as well as the mind map/memory stuff detailed by Tony Buzan.

Thing is, I want to be more widely read on this stuff before I start distilling it out as practical advice for learners, but I’ve not really had the time. I bought Ray Jackendoff’s Foundations of Language ages ago, and have still not read it. Plus I’ve been thinking a lot over the last year about how to design modular language learning software that could not only be adapted to any language, but also would be suitable for a multiplicity of learning styles.

So a degree in Linguistics would be really quite useful in terms of business development.

Amazing how fast I can convince myself that a good idea is actually a good idea. 😉

Well, I’ve emailed them for further info, and we’ll see what we shall see.

(By the way, if anyone wants to know how I did with my ought-based decision today, the answer is ?not bad?. I got the next five worksheets planned, and did a bit of work on the most pressing of those, No. 39 The Vikings and Norse Mythology. I can go to sleep guilt-free tonight.)

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by Suw on June 22, 2003

Technorati is the second most prolific source of referrals to Chocolate and Vodka, but whenever I visit their site, I can find no mention of me at all. This confuses the hell out of me. (Although admittedly that's actually not difficult to achieve at this time on a Sunday night.)

I would therefore like to request that if you arrived here via Technorati, is there any chance you could send me a screenshot of the page that linked to me? I'm curious beyond cat-like-ness to see the evidence for myself that I actually turn up on there somewhere.

Thank you and good night. And fingers crossed for a thunderstorm – we could really do with having the air cleared round here. Hot and muggy isn't in it.

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