Daily Phil
Saturday 26th August 2000

I had my first classes this week, lumped together in a tidy but hectic cluster of six hours on Wednesday evening and three on Thursday morning. Someone, somewhere thinks starting classes at 8.30am is a good idea. It’s a sick, sick world. Anyway, here’s the line-up for the rest of the year:

Creating Cultures This is the only Future Studies class I’m taking this semester but everyone who’s taken it before has raved about it. This and Social Change seem the most popular classes, perhaps because they both offer whirlwind tours of a field and make you look at things differently (you can see my Social Change papers here). There are two parts to the course. Firstly, a whizz round a lot of different political theories, which is an awful lot of reading but should be very interesting. I quite enjoyed doing Politics ‘A’ Level and this looks a lot broader and more theoretical, which sounds good to me. After that comes the part of the class that has caused it to be more popularly known as “The Mars Course”. In groups we have to design a Mars colony. Not the physical, architectural design, but the politcal and social structures for a large colony in 2075. Should be interesting. Unfortunately there only seem to be four of us in the class, which is disappointing - less chance of big debates I imagine.

Continental Philosophy I’m not sure this would be up at the top of my list given a vast choice of possible classes, but UHCL seems rather limited. Nevertheless, I’m really looking forward to this. I’ve seen Hegel, Heidegger, Kant, Descartes, etc referred to so many times over the years with no idea what any of them actually said. So after this class I’m looking forward to digging out my old copies of The Modern Review and actually understanding the oh-so-clever jokes. I don’t think the lecturer took a single breath from the moment he walked in the room, so it should a lively class. Although I’d have liked the chance to get to know something about my fellow classmates, given that this is one of only two non-Futures classes I’ll have taken.

Urban Sociology After only one class, I’m less enthusiastic about this one than the previous two. It’s not that I dislike the topic, but I’m worried it’s going to be a bit simple (apparently this is a “300 class rather than a 400” which means nothing to me). Over the past couple of years I’ve read about a dozen books on urban planning and sociology so I’m not sure whether I’ll be learning much new from this class. We spent much of the first class watching Koyaanisqatsi which some of the other twenty or so students weren’t too keen on. I tried to avoid getting into arguments with people in the brief “what did it mean” discussion afterwards. I think there’s going to be plenty of time for arguments in this class…