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About Ludovicus

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    TGL Apprentice
  • Birthday 02/22/1983

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Ludovicus's Activity

  1. Ludovicus added a post in a topic Tarot   

    It's interesting to speculate on the ordering of the cards. For example, it's easy to see how the sequence Empress, Emperor, Pope relates, but why do the Lovers then follow the Pope? I see a possible point to the Death - Temperance - Devil - Tower sequence, but it might just be me. My guess is that there are several disparate schema involved in the design of the sequence, so no master theory to explain it convincingly.
    Jasper, if you see the Death card as signifying rebirth, then how do you leave yourself open to a reading involving actual death? Ten of Swords looks like death to me, too. But since it makes little statistical sense to go around predicting death every time you come across it, you have to call it "betrayal" or "disaster" or something. I think you would have to have a pretty loose attitude regarding set meanings of cards to avoid this kind of 'ruling out' situations like actual death.
    It reminds me of Lyra and the alethiometer. All the individual symbols have a plethora of different meanings, and she just has to "know" which one is true at any given time. She also gets insight from the sequence of the symbols, which seems like tarot reading.
    I would have been to a tarot reader by now to assuage my curiosity about their rhetorical skills if it weren't for a disappointing experience a few years back. Walking through a psychic fair I observed a guy doing some kind of reading with runes. I stood nearby to listen to what he was saying. No inspiration here, not even a con artist's confidence! He stammered a few suggestions about how this rune might mean taking a trip...uh, maybe. It was pretty sad. But maybe my judgment was too hasty and the decisive factor is that it really does require the intuition of a woman!
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  2. Ludovicus added a post in a topic Tarot   

    I think it's interesting that the tarot cards have gone from a playing card game to an oracle to a sort of subculture of the art world. That's not to say there can't be overlap between the latter two categories though. As a Wiccan you might be familiar with the Robin Wood deck, which is designed for tarot readings but has a number of interesting artistic qualities.
    I collect tarot decks for the art. I have about 90 decks, many of them independently produced and of limited edition. For an idea of the quality difference between these sort and the majority of what you find in the bookshops, check out Adam McLeans Art Tarot series.
    Can't comment on tarot as an oracle, except that I think the history of oracles and divination is interesting. The tarot books I've seen don't have much to say about theory, other than I guess signs just appear to those who look for them. Or do angels or demons channel the message? I don't have truck with any of that, but am also interested in the skills an ideal tarot reader would have to possess assuming that, whether she was aware of it or not, the spread is just a random result without any guiding spiritual influences. I've never seen or heard a tarot reader perform, but am curious about the extent to which the cards insist on a particular reading and how much leeway is given to creativity on the part of the reader.
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  3. Ludovicus added a post in a topic Site update problesm   

    Now it seems like you have to be logged in to view the site. Otherwise you get Error code: EX145
    Any news on the posts that have been cut off?
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  4. Ludovicus added a post in a topic Site update problesm   

    Some older posts seem not to have survived the transfer. For example, the review on Goodman's Starmaking in the Read forum. I've noticed this on a few different threads in Read. Gone forever?
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  5. Ludovicus added a topic in Extend   

    spiritually significant films
    I came across this list of top 100 films from the Arts and Faith website: They have some really good films listed for anyone wondering what to watch. There is an emphasis on religion, but it's not the case for all of them. I've only seen a handful of them, my favorite being Seventh Seal and the Three Colours Trilogy (I saw Blue ages ago and caught the other two after reading Hugo's terrific essay). Can anyone here say they've seen most of these? What would you add to the list?
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  6. Ludovicus added a post in a topic How to get a cheap flight?   

    It looks like Bing has a "flexible search" option, but it only works for flights in the US. Rats.
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  7. Ludovicus added a topic in Extend   

    How to get a cheap flight?
    In a couple of months I'll be traveling to Australia to meet a friend and bum around for a few weeks. Since I don't need to leave or return on an exact date, is there a way to find out what days/times will be the cheapest to book a flight? I tried punching in a few dates on Expedia and got some slightly different prices, but it seems like a waste of time to go through it systematically, especially if it turns out that the differences aren't that great.

    Anyone been to Australia? We'll be starting out in Melbourne, but have no solid plans from there.
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  8. Ludovicus added a post in a topic Pedro P   

    I only started this book today and am reading it in the original spanish, which means it will take me a bit longer to read. I'm also about three quarters the way through Zafon's novel The Shadow of the Wind, which Hugo reviewed here earlier (another spanish novel). I'm trying to build up my language proficiency by reading these, so thanks for a good recommendation.
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  9. Ludovicus added a post in a topic The Cosmological Argument   

    Thanks for starting this thread, david. I accept the cosmological argument as a sophisticated way of dealing with the infinite regress of causation, i.e., shifting the concept of the uncaused from existence to being. This way of positing a first cause avoids begging the question: e.g. "what caused the first cause?" This is because Being is taken to be different from yet related to existence and its domino chain of cause and effects.

    However, I think "proof" is a misnomer in arguments for the existence of God. The so-called proofs are actually appeals to our sense of proportion and rationality, as beauty and poetry are. They boil down to subjective pointers and are, in my opinion, strongest when seen that way. One popular subjective argument is to start with the moral sense and ask where it comes from, if not from God. Another is to ask whether its true that "our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee" (Augustine). Although not seen as often in philosophy, I find these arguments more prevalent in literature. In Dostoevsky, for instance.

    Anyways, I'll take a look at those links and see what is being said about the cosmological argument in the recent literature. I've only read the classical stuff, so it should be interesting. Speaking of the classical stuff,
    here is Aquinas' proof for the Unmoved Mover. It's from St. Aquinas' Summa Theologica, Question 2, Article 3. Hold on to your seats.

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  10. Ludovicus added a post in a topic Yale Courses Online   

    I think the original idea of choosing one to discuss would be more interesting. This way we can chew over the lectures together rather than respond to one person's take. Not that I feel like I should have any say in this matter, but the course on the American Novel davidm mentioned sounds good, and would be fun to discuss.
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  11. Ludovicus added a post in a topic Yale Courses Online   

    I haven't been a big contributor here, but I'm interested in this Yale course idea and would especially enjoy one of the following topics:

    ENGL 291 - The American Novel Since 1945
    ENGL 310 - Modern Poetry,
    HIST 119 - The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877
    PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology
    RLST 145 - Introduction to the Old Testament

    The others looked good too, but these have my vote.
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  12. Ludovicus added a post in a topic Hume's philosophy   

    That's an excellent paper, Campanella. I must admit that I interpreted a lot of what I read of Hume through that same analytic model, through osmosis I guess... I'm currently into his second book of the Treatise on the passions. Tomorrow I'll try to post an outline of the first book, and see if anyone has any comments on that.
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  13. Ludovicus added a post in a topic Fitness Resolutions   

    Thanks again for the great advice, Godot! I really appreciate it. I never thought before that a gym workout could be enjoyable, but it really is. Writing down what I accomplish keeps me focused, which I might not have done without Hugo's advice. However, since I've just started, it's still more like finding out what I'm capable of rather than tracking definite improvements.

    Before I read about these things here, I began to do a few exercises religiously--wondering what would happen if I gradually built up a routine of several exercises that I wouldn't slack on. So now every day I do at least 30 pullups (usually 3 to 4 sets to exhaustion), and every 2 or 3 days try holding the plank, aiming for a few seconds improvement each time.

    To burden you with another question, do you think this is a good supplement to my gym workout to continue with this, or should I give it up to focus on the routine with each specific day for the different muscles? I'm worried about the pullups in particular. I'm not sure if they are really making me stronger (they feel easy now), and am concerned that they might just be taking away from my back workout at the gym, wherein I might powerlift for some real gains. The pullup routine sure seemed impressive when I started it, but I wonder if there is a negative side to this kind of 7 day a week exercise? Any thoughts?

    Sorry to be such a newbie. This is my last question, I promise. At least for a while...
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  14. Ludovicus added a topic in Explore   

    Hume's philosophy
    For the last couple of weeks I've been immersed in Hume's Treatise of Human Nature and Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. The former was his first work and magnum opus, while the Enquiry is a shorter tome that reformulates some of his arguments from the Treatise, and also several chapters concerning religious topics. I've only made it through the first book of the Treatise, and come across many unexpected passages where Hume makes some point that I've heard before but never attributed to him. For example, in 1.4.6, Hume gives a skeptical argument against the "self" that takes apart Descartes' Cogito. It's slow going, but I'm looking forward to the next book on the passions, where I expect to find the famous quote: "Reason is and ought only to be the slave of the passions."

    I'll write more about what I've found in Hume so far, but for now just want to say that this is great stuff. I'm sure most of you have read him before (actually, I read the Enquiry in college but forgot most of it), but this is a definite milestone in my quest to understand modern philosophy. I'll probably spend a while longer on Hume before I move on to Kant (who I've also studied too briefly). Before I do that, can anyone point me to any good critiques or studies of Hume to supplement my reading his primary works?
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  15. Ludovicus added a post in a topic Fitness Resolutions   

    The workout plan is going good so far. The only thing I can't stand is the deadlift. Quick question: What's the best way to focus on increasing the size of my arms? I don't want my chest to grow much until I've had some results with my arms, so I'm sticking with lower weight for the bench presses and more weight for the bicep curls and tricep pulldowns. Will this do?
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