Trying to Get Away with It.

Back in the old days when I was at boarding school, if some jape went wrong there was a “moral” code that if you were responsible, you would own up and take the whacking especially if that meant group punishment was avoided. There was a perception that this is what a decent chap would do, take it on the chin or to be more accurate the arse. Of course, when push came to shove not everybody behaved like a decent chap. Some would try to get away with, blame others, make a smokescreen or try to brazen it out. Some would actually tell bare faced lies. The other punishment was running rounds, usually in quanta of ~ 1500m, which is why I represented the school at this distance in athletics subsequently.

I have been pondering whether spoken remorse, either real or feigned, actually does anything at all.

It does not change anything at all in terms of action. When one is training a child forcing them to say sorry can be a punishment and a part of the education process. So-called “grown up” people can feign remorse as a political tactic of getting away with it or turning down the heat until such times as others have forgotten what the fuss was all about in the first place. {Perhaps this a part of the training in PPE at Oxford? Strategies in politics?}

“Phew I got away with that!”

The bottom line I guess comes in whether you believe in sin or karma.

If one simply believes in political expediency, then is does not matter if you feign remorse.

If you believe in sin and karma, then perhaps it does. You can’t buy an indulgence from the Pope anymore. If you are genuinely and from the very bottom of your heart sorry, then that might mitigate in terms of sin. God will hear your thoughts and understand your mitigating sorrow. Of course, you could go to confession. The wronged party however remains wronged.

But what about karma? By your act you have started a flow of causal origination, post hoc remorse cannot stop the flow that you have initiated. Trying to get away with it might increase the karmic demerit and amplify the consequences. Feigning remorse is another karmic demerit. Karma may not be sympathetic like God might be.

What do you reckon does saying sorry change anything much?

If you do something dodgy, do you try to get away with it?

Or do you take responsibility for your actions?

The PhD Funding Paradox

I have over the years looked into doing a PhD in a different area from mine. I was particularly struck by this paper by Belnap on causal origination and found that a Dutch philosophy group had received funding to look further into it.

There was a PhD place going and the stipend was enough for both of us to live off in Holland. It turned out that the funding protocol forbade anyone who already had a PhD. I applied for a related Postdoc but was told that they wanted a trained philosopher and not a scientist. I had figured that I could probably attend philosophy lectures and do catch up.

Similarly in the UK I started looking into doing a PhD in a Fusion at one of the doctoral training centres. An ex-academic seeking to start over was weird enough, but the funding rules were the same. If you already have a good enough bachelors to apply you can get funding provided that you do not have a PhD.

There is a funding paradox, if you are already qualified to do research in one area you are not able to get funded to do research training in another.


Empty Paths

beyond the point

of primal,

causal origination,

no cognition

nor perception


a void awakens

shimmering the nothing

into becoming

empty and yet Dao,

no re-cognition


before the void

no time

no place

no recollection

or, any memory


wide empty paths

towards the infinite

have no ending

nor any start,

the essence of being


a Soul alone,

sole and soular

radiates into space

a single spark

of a cosmic fire


beyond the point

of primal,

causal origination,

no cognition

nor perception


at the point before mind

bodhi svāhā