Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Several items of interest.

To start off, I'm ditching the all lowercase thing. Too hard to read. I thought it was cool, but I thought wrong. I might try out the "&" thing someday though.

Today's ride:
Eric Henderson and I went for a quick 20 mile road ride today. He's a little out of shape after the winter and I rode my cross bike with knobbys so we were a pretty good match. There was a lot of pushing each other faster and such, which was great. I don't mind some friendly competition on a shorter training ride (just not on a gravel century). The wind was brutal going South, but a blast going North. No surprise there. It was great to get out and spin, plus my Achilles tendon didn't bother me a bit. When Eric gets into shape (which won't take long) he'll be able to beat me, no problem, on the road.

Sunday's non-ride:
I had considered doing a local MTB race at Peterson's Pits on Sunday, but decided against it. Too bad really, it would have been fun and good bike handling practice on the cross bike. There were two big reasons I didn't do the race. One was the entry fee. $20 pre-registered, $25 day of, plus a $5 NORBA day license. Thirty bucks for a little race at a county park seemed like too much. When I did this race two years ago with Nick I think the entry fee was $15, no preregistration, and no license required. That was more like it. I mean c'mon nobody in their right mind is taking this race seriously. The second reason was the course. On a good day the Pits isn't too challenging. It's pretty flat and not too tight with lots of double track and some gravel road mixed in. The good things about it are that it's close, only about 5 miles from town, and free. The thing about the course they had planned for the race was that it avoided nearly every bump on the trails. The only two "technical" sections were cut and there was an extra dose of gravel. Sure, I might have mopped up in Sport on my cross bike, but I wasn't really going in order to win. I wanted a challenge.

Define your terms (a philosophical post):
I had a pretty interesting discussion at the coffee shop this evening. A woman noticed me listening in on her Bible study group and decided to come over and ask me a few questions. As a former (and perhaps future) Philosophy major I was game. The discussion turned to moral relativism vs. absolutism. I come down pretty strongly in the relativist camp (with a few qualifications) so we had plenty to talk about. One counterexample she came up with was one from C.S. Lewis; he could not conceive of a society which held cowardice (as in the opposite of courage) as a moral good. I argued that I could and gave my own example to hold it up, but I really should have tried a different strategy. I think that the reason Lewis couldn't conceive of a society that held cowardice as a virtue (or moral good) is the same reason that we can't conceive of one that would hold murder as a virtue. Murder is just killing that is deemed wrong. Saying that something deemed wrong is deemed right is obviously contradictory and therefore inconceivable. Similarly cowardice might be defined as wrongful retreat, or something like that, and therefore incompatible with being right. Hardly a serious attack on relativism if this is the case.


Endurosnob said...

I was a philosophy major as well. If I can hold your wheel at TI, it could make for some great late night conversation.

Btw, I think you had the debate if you pushed it. I actually just erased a very long worded comment on the subject, but maybe we can do it live. :)

Matt Maxwell said...

I'm pretty sure I had the debate too, but I'm not really too confrontational by nature. I really just wanted to explain the whole relativist thing. It's a toughie if you're used to thinking absolute. And yes, as in all ethical arguments, Hitler made an appearance.