Author: Ben Mcleod Wilkie

Currently Studying Law at Liverpool John Moors University, running my own photography business alongside my studies, and maintaining a part time job. I am an extremely self-driven individual, when I have a point to make I make it, I believe that it's only fair to listen to all points of view. I don't mind opinions and debates, expanding ones horizons is part of learning and developing an understanding, not only of the world but also ones self. When it comes to the Law I know I have a few hard years ahead of me, well a hard career ahead of me, it's not a decision I made lightly, I did my research on what it takes, I believe I have it. I don't enter a race or games to come second. I was selected to be part of my universities external mooting team, I had competition for the two places from second and third years, someone who already had a P.H.D, yet I was still selected. My ability to formulate a logical argument and then guide the person I am talking to through each and every step makes me a difficult person to argue against. This has come in handy in my essays and my Mooting. 'Variety is the spice of life' is a very common saying. I believe this is true, experiences give us a rounded personality and the ability to empathise with a lot of different people. My experiences from stacking shelves to beating body panels for vans and then painting them has allowed to me meet a variety of people and has really opened my mind. This has manifested itself in to another part of my life which is photography or more specifically street photography. People can tell you a whole story without uttering a word and this is done through their body, the way they stand, their expression, their clothes, our bodies betray us and it's these moments I love. Art in general is a love of mine but photography is preference.

Birthday

It was my Birthday on Tuesday. My parents got me an Armani Ceramica watch. I picked it out as I had been looking for a black watch for a while, I own a silver one but I was looking for more dressy and formal wear one. My mum also knew I was getting a record player for my 21st from my girlfriend, more on that in a second, and she got me the single that was number one on the day I was born. I had never heard of it but the band was D:ream and the song was ‘Things Can Only Get Better’. It’s not bad, not my kind of music but one to keep and is personal to me and one for my collection.

My girlfriend amongst little ‘silly’ presents as she calls them got me clothes and thins that I had previously picked out but she did get me my record player. This record player has not been off since the moment it left the box. My collection is only small at the moment but it is growing. My better pieces are Oasis, Green Day, The Ramones, U2, Plan B, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Smiths, Black Sabbath, Meatloaf, Sammy Davis Jr, Kiss, The Eagles, Guns N’ Roses, and some other records. It has to be one of the best presents I have ever gotten and I couldn’t be happier. I am lucky to have her.

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Storytelling vs. science

Violent metaphors

Things are not always what they seem. Things are not always what they seem.

Several organizations exploit vulnerable parents by claiming that they can “cure” their children’s autism through various approaches.

As Left Brain, Right Brain observes, these “autism cure” movements persist because of the power of storytelling:

“Nothing sells unproven “treatments” like testimonials. For autism it has been true since the days of chelation and even before that. Tell people that your “treatment” cures autism and you have testimonials to show it and you can just about guarantee sales.”

As we all know, anecdotes aren’t scientific evidence, but they do appeal to us on an emotional level. Unfortunately, one woman’s recent experience has starkly illustrated just how untrustworthy such stories actually are.

Camile Saulnier (a pseudonym) was recently given a book by Kerri Rivera called “Healing the Symptoms known as Autism”, which prescribed a “Treatment” for curing autism:

“I began looking into the background of CD/MMS…

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iPhone 6 Plus

2015/01/img_1511.pngAs I sit here typing on my iPhone 6 Plus I have come to realise that either my hands have grown in the last week (very unlikely but not unwelcome) or my hands (but not my eyes) have become use to a bigger phone and have learned how to use it properly (more likely the answer)

I do realise that big phones have existed for a long time now but it’s not just about doing it first it’s about doing it right and I feel Apple have done that. I’m not saying that any other phone is wrong, I personally feel that the Apple phone’s aren’t for everyone, I tend to find that people who use Apple products tend to be more motivated about their carers and tend to want things that work without the risk of bugs and things going wrong, they get this but pay a high price.

Other phones tend to feel cheaper and flimsy and use sub par components but more of them to offer other more ‘fun’ capabilities and offer the performance so the phone can play games and movies that others who don’t want to take life so serious can enjoy all the apps and movies on offer. Apple have a consumer audience, that is for sure but the serious way and still quite corporate way things underlying are done doesn’t fit everyone and that’s fine too.

In all I wish people would stop arguing over what is best, what is best is what is best for that individual. All phones available today can play the latest movies and apps but Apple is best for me because it does what I want, it is a true premium product and to me the 6 plus is the best phone to grace the face of the earth, until next September that is.

Not meaning to start a war or an argument, I hope that this explains where I sit? I’m not a blind Apple follower, it took me a while to decide what to upgrade to from my iPhone 5, I came very close to the blackberry passport or the Xperia Z3 but I went for the 6 plus due simply to a offer bringing it in my price range. I will admit though the Blackberry Passport does look very professional.

Why I am not Charlie

I am still processing my own thoughts on what has happened in France and I am now looking at the rest of the worlds reaction, I feel conflicted between free speech and it’s purported glorious stance in the western world, and I by no way condone what happened in France, but if you know people are known for extreme behaviour don’t poke them with a stick and be surprised by their reaction.

a paper bird

imagesThere is no “but” about what happened at Charlie Hebdo yesterday. Some people published some cartoons, and some other people killed them for it.  Words and pictures can be beautiful or vile, pleasing or enraging, inspiring or offensive; but they exist on a different plane from physical violence, whether you want to call that plane spirit or imagination or culture, and to meet them with violence is an offense against the spirit and imagination and culture that distinguish humans. Nothing mitigates this monstrosity. There will be time to analyze why the killers did it, time to parse their backgrounds, their ideologies, their beliefs, time for sociologists and psychologists to add to understanding. There will be explanations, and the explanations will be important, but explanations aren’t the same as excuses. Words don’t kill, they must not be met by killing, and they will not make the killers’ culpability go away.

To abhor what was done to the victims, though, is not…

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Money, Now TV, and University

This is a post about three things, I combined them due to me not having enough to have three separate posts.

Firstly I would like to concentrate on money. I know money is important and unfortunately money does make the world go round but the cost of everything these days is astronomical! I mean I’m a student and people seem to think we have loads of money, I assure you we don’t! If it wasn’t for the interest free overdraft I would be in trouble big time, I can’t wait for my student loan, not to go on a spending spree but for my account to go from red to black, just going for a coffee now days requires you to have money to burn! By the time you have got your books for the year, sorted your travel, and got your uni supplies you have eaten a god chunk of your loan, you then need food, bills paying, and for law students you need to fund the social events that get you work experience. I’m glad I have a part time job that’s giving me 18.5 hours from September, I need all the money I can get, this illusion of students having money to burn is incorrect.

Second is TV, I’m not some who who sits and watches a lot of TV, if something catches my eye I tend to get it on catch up at a later date when I have time, law students don’t have time to sit around that often but i often watch movies who have things on in the background and NOW TV is a gem! No long term contracts, easily affordable with my part time job and it gives me fantastic TV, movies, and sports if I want them. You can change your monthly outlay at the drop of a hat, handy for students. I emit i was sceptical of this at first, wasn’t quite sure of its relevance but after a 30 day free trial I love it!

Finally is University. I love it, the feeling of people getting work done, you hear knowledge flowing, pages turning, highlighters being used, staples keeping notes together, sounds geeky I know but I love that sound and feeling. I find that being in a place where others are working and learning makes you want to do the same, learning is conducive to learning. A mistake I made early first year was trying to work at home, to many distractions and nothing making feel like I should and want to learn. I wanted to learn but it wasn’t he same feeling you get at University, I think it has something to do with me feeling like I belong there, I really enjoy my degree subject and I think thats the key to it, if you don’t enjoy it you won’t succeed at it to the best of your ability.

The Equipment.

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The new laptop is for taking to uni, its light, very quiet, meant to have a 12 hour battery but I can get 16 out of it, and is going to be my primary note creator. My plan for the new uni term is that of taking notes on paper during lectures and then heading the library to turn them in to typed notes and using my revision guides to flesh them out with key cases and statutes. Starting early and keeping in front of the eight ball is important this year, got a lot of distractions with external mooting and work experience.

The suit is a add on if you will, it is not directly applicable to uni day to day but is what I need. My old navy suit is looking past its best and a new one is needed for work experience in chambers and is the attire needed for mooting competitions. I need to make a good impression and you can’t find a better cut than TM Lewin unless you start looking at luxury £750 plus suits like G+H.

I know a lot of people think I am mad for buying £220 suits and £1449 Laptops but you get what you pay for and you can’t beat Apple for reliable computing and TM Lewin for quality yet affordable suits.

Just to clarify yes I am a Law student with Despicable Me Minion bedding (Some would say Despicable spelling and grammar too)

Sorry for the long absence, the new Mac should help with that too!

Where have all the decent people gone?

Where have all the decent people gone? Seriously everything you do now days seems to be put down or someone else has already done it so why are you talking about it?

Life seems to be about what can I get from that person to further myself but I don’t care what I can do to further that other person. Yes I may not be the smartest person to ever do Law, I may not get a 1st but that doesn’t mean that others have a right to look down their noses at me and treat me like some underling. I work hard, I try my best and frankly that’s all a person can give. If I or any other person achieve something that I or they have worked hard for and are proud to have achieved it why is it that the first thing I hear isn’t a well done or nice going but a oh Bob did it first or Fred did that last year or I never really saw the point in it so its stupid.

People seem hell-bent on making themselves out to be the best and put everyone else down in the process! That doesn’t make you a better person it makes you a parasite, a leech on life and someone who needs exterminating. I use an analogy of someone working out in a gym, why laugh at them and call them weak because they can’t lift what you can, you started off lifting smaller weights than someone else so by your own model of society you are weak and pathetic and fat and a low life. if you give people encouragement and support then they may well reach what you can do one day but if you just put them down you aren’t helping at all.

Same goes for people who pretend they are doing something for you because you are a friend but really just want to use you for something else. For example hey yea come to my party on Friday but can you bring all your DJ equipment and put a playlist together and bring lights and stuff. So I’m not invited to the party you want me to DJ your party well then that will be £300 you knobhead, in fact £600 because I just added the mandatory you are a douchebag delivery charge.

Why cant things be simple? Friends with some one? support what they do you may not like it but it’s important to your friend so support them. Not friends with someone? Then have nothing to do with them, don’t talk to them don’t contact them and leave them the fuck alone just exchange pleasantry remarks like hello if you ever pass each other. Where friends and now you aren’t? Just tell them, sorry but I don’t want to hang out/be your friend whatever but just tell them, everyone knows where they stand and that’s that. No awkward texts from them where you don’t want to talk but they think you are friends and you don’t want to be.

Its puts and end to all this bollocks of putting each other down for no reason just be civil, is it so hard to support someone just because they feel like they have achieved something?

Game of Thrones

5sz5qm472h_big_518b6f60007d2da4923b71f85e55883818a92547Just seen the season final of season 4 of Games of Thrones. It was truly superb. The pace, mood, script, acting, all were superb. The fact that the two people behind it all have signed on for another two seasons is terrific news and most of all the fact they are also developing story lines that where not developed in the books which allows them to remove slower less interesting parts and they are changing the order of things around a little is a sign of confidence but the fact that the fans are also so happy with the series shows you they are doing a good job.

I must admit the first two episodes of season one did test my patients but you quickly get drawn in and once that has happened you are never let go so you may as well buckle up for the ride. I thin the most refreshing aspect fr me about Game of Thrones is that no one is safe and I mean NO ONE. I think a lot of people are accustomed to being attached to one character or a group of main charters and they go through struggles and problems nearly dying on many occasions but they always survive and live. That’s the standard script type for the majority of films/TV Shows. However Game of Thrones just ignores that, will spend hours even seasons getting you really attached to characters and then in the space of 5 minutes they all end up dead, their heads in a stick and it’s done in the cruellest of ways. This not only makes it more realistic to the world that is created and is aimed to be created but it stays true to the books give or take a few chronological issues. I personally felt that this sense of no one is safe and all can die is what makes it so gripping, you get to know a wealth of characters, families, places, people but you know that they could all be dead in 5 minutes time without any real warning it makes it very real.

All in all I absolutely love Game of Thrones, I can’t recommend it enough but always remember, valar morghulis.

On going Plan.

Two Theatres in Liverpool have an option for students to get in to see a show for £6. If any tickets are available on the night of a performance and you can produce evidence that you are under 26 and a student then you can buy a ticket. So me and my better half have decided to do this, if we are in Liverpool and the play that is on takes our fancy then we will go and see if any tickets are left. I think it’s a nice gesture by the company to put this in place.

On a separate point, I have decided to write a book, I have the best part of 5 months off so I may as well do something i enjoy, yes I am still looking for work but in the mean time I may as well be productive. My photography is coming along, not as fast as I had hoped but you can’t rush a project.

I feel like my book should explore a lot about society, with everything in the news, I feel a hard-hitting book needs to made, it should deal with areas like, nootropics, society’s take on male and females, the law, the notion of the elite getting everything and the poor getting nothing, the idea that politics is a sham, democracy is nothing more than a glamorous production for the masses.

As you can tell from this post and my previous posts, my mind is very active, creative, and I’d like to think a little complex.