OU blog

Personal Blogs

Same boat?

Visible to anyone in the world

Are there any past or present A222 students who read this blog?

How are you coping with?

A. The huge amount of reading required?

B. The lack of resolution of topics.

C. Thought experiments, i get a bit overehelmed with all the potential positions, do you?

I am keen to hesr your input.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post


Visible to anyone in the world

Bloody A222. I thought the first tma was to ease you into the module.

Not the case with A222, it is confusing and difficult.

I will be paying close attention to the tutorial tomorrow.

I need to get me some clarity about this 'ease in' tma1.

I cannot even imagine how hard the rest of the module is.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Personal identity as....confusion

Visible to anyone in the world

Okay personal identity.

Locke refuted physical identity as part of personal identity,

Locke decided that the continuity of memory is important to identity.

Locke decided we have a soul and it is a material thing.

But Hume...

Hume thinks we don't have continuity of memory as personal identity

The identity is made up of impressions (senses) and idea's (informed by senses)

Our identity is a mental stage that ideas and impressions float across like actors. 

Hume looked inside himself and could only detect ideas and impressions, hence he had no soul, he could only detect ideas and impressions. Hence the idea of a 'self' is only a fiction.

If I wrote my TMA1 today I would suggest that I agree with Hume, because when I look inside myself t the moment I just find confusion.

The self as confusion?

Now to wade through Taylor, lets hope Taylor proves insightful, because after that is Parfitt's bloody tele-transporter and that's not going to resolve anything!

'The self as confusion' so I must rely on the process of the study to see if it all becomes clear.

Perhaps Hume was right, my 'self' is the theatre that the ideas and senses play up, and only by having a organised process to make clear stage directions to those bloody ideas and impressions can I make a clear 'play' out of all of it.

The self as 'mental play- director, stage manager, orchestrator, lighting rigger, critic, actor, audience, in fact just the whole bloody theatre'.

So is, 'my self' just the auditorium that all the external impressions  and internal ideas perform in. The performance is a fiction, the theatre is not.

Can you quote Nick Hornby in TMA'S?

Rather than ponder so much about personal identity,

I could reference Hornby's 'about a boy'

'they say every man is an island!, fucking right, and if I am to be an island,

I will be I-fucking-biza, thank you very much'


Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Personal identity

Visible to anyone in the world

I have to say, The first month of A222 is really challanging.

I cannot even begin to imagine how hard months four and five are.

I might not be the worlds most natural philosopher 

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

First tutorial of the this module

Visible to anyone in the world

So Saturday is the first tutorial of this module. A222 exploring philosophy 

This year the tutorials are in Guildford.

It will be good to catch up with my cohorts from last year.

Looking forward to seeing Simon and Stephen again.

I might even get some insight into what ever the hell it is that the first A222 book has been on about.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post


Visible to anyone in the world

My blog hit 7000 views.

Which I am delighted by.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my Witterings.

It is very much appreciated.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

University challenge

Visible to anyone in the world

Well i did my online application to be in the Open University challenge team.

hopefully I did well enough to get a call back for the second round of interviews.

I would so love to have a go at it.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Irony of fate

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Wednesday, 11 Oct 2017, 20:55

My current job is only s 6 month fixed term contract.

I am currently half way through 

So time to apply for another position.

I am experianced for the new role i have just applied for.

Operations director of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Home of those ships of Theseus.

HMS Victory and the Mary Rose.

Come on fate, i dare you too.

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Michael Gumbrell, Thursday, 12 Oct 2017, 17:00)
Share post

Hit count.

Visible to anyone in the world

Just looking at the hit counter for my blog.

By this time tomorrow it should pass 7000.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Spain again

Visible to anyone in the world

Now that catalonia has declared and immediately suspended its independance, does that make it the shortest ever sovereign state. Independant for 5 minutes.

Will the king of Spain declare the declaration treason.?

Treason for 5 minutes.

Sounds like the title of a Robert Ludlam thriller....

Permalink Add your comment
Share post


Visible to anyone in the world

You know you are in the first month of a new module when....

The book says....

'This activity should take 15 minutes'

And it takes you a full hour....

Oh well, slow and steady wins the race?

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Still stone age study.

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Monday, 9 Oct 2017, 17:26

8 year old A222 strikes again.

None of the forums work in a mobile format.

So i have to dig the lap top out to use A222's completely non interactive study planner just to read the forums.

Here i am currently on my mobile, blogging that my module planner will not work on a mobile.

And i am still getting charged full whack for it.

Come in A222, your time is well up.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

what words mean and stuff

Visible to anyone in the world

Is it just ME feeling a little overwhelmed by this module so far, or is anyone else in the SAME BOAT.

For clear use of language, informed by the chapter one glossary.

By ME, I am not referring my physical self, I am referring to my personal me, my conscious self. SAME BOAT is not used in the sense of an numerically identical boat, regardless of its state of continuum, as in the ship of Theseus. SAME BOAT implies a shared position of consciousness potentially shared by YOU*

. *YOU refers to my fellow students senses of self identify in consciousness, not their physical existence. (Which cannot be empirically proven until we have physically interacted with each other at tutorials).

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Tom Petty

Visible to anyone in the world

R.I.P Tom Petty.

That is a sad loss.

I wish miss Toms music.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Mind- blown

Visible to anyone in the world

So I have completed week 1's work, the study planner for week 1 is done.

Happy days, I think!

So I have looked at the ship of Theseus and john Locke's ideas about personal identity.

So Locke separate's the self, from the physical existence of a 'me', thats not relevant, to the idea that I am my self.

It is the continuity of memory and the persistence of self-consciousness that make me a self.

Okay I can get with that, no problem, week one done. Feel smug, happy its done, I can do this, no worries.


I clicked the link to an article from the additional reading list:

Mind blown------ they were words, but I could not follow them,

temporal identity, empirical duality of purpose, four dimension definition of spatial existence.

There are even formula's !!!!

if a is to b as x is to y, across a continuum of t1 to t2, then t1a is the same as t2b if X(t1a) is spatially separate to Y(t2b).


This years blog posts might turn into a whinging set of 'I do not understand' entries.

Or I might get an handle on it all, after all my self now (OMFG1) might be temporally identical to my self in 9 months time (OMFG2). So (OMFG1)=(OMFG2) if I add the empirical factor of time (t). OMFG1 x (t) = (omfg2) / T.

This might be a very long nine months......


Permalink 3 comments (latest comment by Michael Gumbrell, Monday, 2 Oct 2017, 18:12)
Share post

More Spainish ponderings

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Sunday, 1 Oct 2017, 16:53
Perhaps i am not thinking wide enough about the situation in Spain.

Is it a wedge that if driven hard enough might cause wider problems.

Catalonia is at the centre of the Mediterean zone.

Does the situation in Spain cause a wider ripple effect with Italy and Greece, perhaps less so in Portugal.

Perhaps i should stop considering that situation and get on with my philosophy course work...

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Politics of Spain

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Sunday, 1 Oct 2017, 11:40

Such a serious situation in Spain at the moment.

Spain as we know it has only really exsisted since 1974. Just 43 years and now it faces instability and police ( and not the police from the region- police shipped in from outside the region) firing on its own people.

The central spanish government are on a hiding to nothing from here on in.

How much damage will it cause to a country still struggling with high unemployment, low growth and debt repayment?

So today we see a couple of political theories being put into sharp practice.

Politics as violence


The legitimste use of force by a central government against its citizens.

I wonder how much more pressure from, the Catalonia country trying to become the country of Catalonia, can the central spanish government can stand?.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post


Visible to anyone in the world

Sorry i forgot to ask.

How are you all getting along with your new modules?

A222 has been much better organised than DD211 last year.

The module website does not open untill next week, but i already have a tutor and all my tutorials booked for this year.

Glad that is all organised, leaves me free to get on with all the reading...

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Are you resding me?

Visible to anyone in the world

Are you reading me?

Cause i am reading text books.

A222- philosophy contains so much reading.

This might be a long module.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

One year of OU blogging

Visible to anyone in the world

So in my first 2 years of OU study i posted twice, an average of...let me think for a minute...once a year.

Last year i decided to blog more frequently.

So here i am one year later with 6 pages of posts and 6400 views.

I think it has been fun and i will commit to another year of being an OU blogger.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Sponsored walk

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Sunday, 24 Sep 2017, 19:54

So today I did a sponsored walk with my mate Steve.

1.5 miles along Southsea sea front.

1.5 miles or 2400 meters, the meters are important, I will come back to that later.

I was not sponsored, Steve was doing the fund raising himself, for the Solent MS Therapy Centre. I was along as his minder, OT, carer, how ever you want to frame it.

So what is the story behind my walk along the seafront with Steve?

Well 3 years ago Steve had a stroke, not a minor one, a full life changing and debilitating one.

Steve died three times in the first 24 hours following his stroke, but each time he was resuscitated he responded. Steve then spend 4 months in the ICU. At the end of the 4 months, Steve's consultant told Lin, his wife, that Steve had lost all use of his right side, lost complete use of his speech and would spend the rest of his life in the agonising neuropathic pain he was experiencing, all day, every day.

Steve was moved to a permanent residential care facility, where he could only lay in bed and cry with agony of the pain he was in. Steve was medicated, but that just meant he slept for 20 hours a day. Steve was there for 8 months, with a daily routine of 20 hours sleeping in bed, and four hours awake to eat and experience the agony of the neuropathic pain in his right side.

That was the first year after having his stroke. His consultant repeated the prognosis that Steve would never talk, move from his bed or be free of the pain again.

Lin was at the end of her wits end by then. I remember very well the day she phoned me at the Solent MS Therapy Centre and told me that she had been looking on the internet about Hyperbaric oxygen Treatment, that we did it at the Centre, and would we see Steve, even though he did not have MS (Multiple Sclerosis). That was the first time I had spoken to Lin, she did not know me and I think I threw her a bit when I said, 'yeah bring  him down, we can try'.

Bringing Steve down was not easy for his first 2 months of sessions, he had to come in an ambulance, on his medical bed and could only do external oxygen therapy ( not the Hyper baric part, that requires going into a pressure vessel, and Steve's bed would not fit through the pressure door).

But after a couple of months Steve did very well, Lin got to the point where he could come in a taxi, not the ambulance, and could sit outside in a chair for the hour session. Steve also started to become a lot more vocal, at first, from nothing, he progressed to yes,yes and no,no.

A couple of more months of oxygen, once a week, on the outside of the chamber and Steve started to weight bear on his right leg, more words entered back into his vocab and the pain was subsiding.

At that point Lin, Steve and I thought it would be good for him to try a session inside the Hyperbaric chamber. So Steve did a session inside, from that point he just shot along in leaps and bounds, he started to see Katie, one of the neurophysio's at the centre and Simon, the Centre's Shitatsuist. I was rather pleased the day he walked out of Katie's treatment room and walked 20 meters along the centre, so pleased was I that I did him a sticker for his fridge to celebrate walking 20 meters.

Steve persisted, coming to the centre every week to do oxygen and physio. Lin also persisted, she got Steve a FES system to help trigger his right leg when walking, and Steve just got his head down, did his rehab and progressed. The Portsmouth stroke group got Steve some speech therapy, and Steve really started to get many more words back in his vocab.

Steve progressed beyond the walking 20 meters thing, I remember the first time he appeared at the front doors of the centre with a big grin, my first thought was 'crap Steve does not have appointment today, so I asked him where Lin was so I could tell her she must of got the treatment days mixed up, Steve had the last laugh, and the biggest laugh, when I asked him where Lin was, he replied, 'at home'. He had walked from his house to the centre, half a mile away, just because he wanted to do it. Lin appeared in floods of tears about 10 minutes later...Steve had not told Lin he was going for a walk!

Steve walked to the centre a lot during spring and summer, Lin would follow along 10 minutes behind him. He even walked home too.

Steve decided he wanted to do a sponsored walk, so I set it up, got him a tee-shirt and made all the arrangements. About six months ago Steve had a follow up with his consultant, the same one that had given the never walk talk or live without pain news a year before. I think the consultant got quite a shock when Steve walked into his office, sat down and told the consultant to 'fuck off'. As Lin tells it, the consultant was fine with Steve's little show of character, he was just delighted that Steve has done so well.

Steve had a party, which Lin organised fantastically, last month to 'celebrate' the third anniversary of his stroke. It was a lovely party on a Sunday afternoon, there was cake, songs and yes, Steve gave a speech.

And today Steve did his sponsored walk along Southsea Seafront to raise money for the Solent MS Therapy Centre. 2400 meters, I did not do him a sticker this time, it felt like it would have been patronising if I did. Steve has raised £1000, and has become an inspiration to me, his family, everyone who visits the Solent MS Therapy Centre and to all the service users of the Portsmouth Stroke group, many of who now also attend the Centre.

I took this picture half way along on our walk, behind Steve is the statue for the Marines who yomped (Marine speak for walked) across the Falkland islands. One inspirational man stood next to a statue remembering many inspirational men.

The most amazing part of the day was two fold, Steve walks with a FES sensor and control box, his gait can be a little slow, we set aside 2 hours to complete the 2400 meter walk, he stunned me by doing it in 45 minutes! We chatted the whole way along, talked about the cricket, the weather and the joys of a wind swept walk along the sea front, when Steve got to the finish line at the Rose Gardens (in 45 minutes), a tape was broken , fuss made and photo's taken. Steve didn't stop there though, he wanted to walk around the Rose gardens, so I walked around with him. He pointed out the red and orange roses and then stopped, Steve asked me 'what colour does red and orange make?' I knew better than to answer, Steve wanted to pull the answer out of his memory and say it. So I let him think for a minute and he told me:

'Red and orange make crimson'

I just said to Steve,

'yes, yes'

So here's to Steve, who made a journey today and has much more journey to come.

I give you Steve, an inspirational bloke of Portsmouth.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Sources of inspiration

Visible to anyone in the world

I am off to do a sponsored walk today. 1.5 miles. Easy enoigh for me to do, but a challange for Steve who is doing it with me.

Rather than tempt fate, i will do a longer blog post about once we have finished, at teatime today, and all had hopefully gone well.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Seeing things for the first time

Visible to anyone in the world

My new glasses came today.

I can finally see what i am doing now.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Other blogs

Visible to anyone in the world

I noticed something today.

I was leaving a comment on Simon Reeds blog, Simon has commented on my posts many times.

I like Simons blog, it is always interesting and never dull.

Hopefully the OU will sort out them blocking Cuban students, something Simon has said he will leave the OU over.

So sort it out OU, its quite an easy win for you, and after all the bollocks we have had to put up with from you so far this year, its the least you could do.

I would be sad to see Simon leave, i am disappointed that Cuban students are banned.

So please try to do the right thing OU, after all, is the vice chancellor considering how many chunks of £3000 dollars the Cubans could add to his rapidly reducing budgets?

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Michael Gumbrell, Friday, 22 Sep 2017, 11:23)
Share post

Stone age study

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Thursday, 21 Sep 2017, 18:40

Last year i did DD211. A brand new module last year. Only 2 books, all the audio materials online, interactive puzzles and very good 

Now i am on A222. Which is a 8 year old course. 6 books, 1 set book and 7 audio cd's.

The module website does virtually nothing.

It feels like i am studying in the stone age...

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Frances Caple, Friday, 22 Sep 2017, 11:10)
Share post

This blog might contain posts that are only visible to logged-in users, or where only logged-in users can comment. If you have an account on the system, please log in for full access.

Total visits to this blog: 376551