I am assisting in the promotion of the 94th Annual Busselton Wildflower Exhibition to be held on 26 &27 September 2019.
The Exhibition Committee and volunteers work in partnership with the Geographe Community Land-care Nursery Inc. and Coordinator, Rod Cary, a former TAFE lecturer in Margaret River. Rod’s scientific knowledge of native plant species is invaluable. He assists Exhibition volunteers with the accurate identification of wildflowers for display at the Exhibition. Rod is also available for the two days of the Exhibition to answer questions about the native plants and their requirements. Barry Oates, Chair of the Exhibition Committee, said the relationship with Rod is highly valued.
This amazing nursery is a not-for-profit community organisation, located at the Queen Elizabeth Avenue site in Busselton for the past 16 years. They look like being there for many years to come.
They are self-sufficient through plant sales for their daily requirements and they sometimes receive Government funds for special projects (a recent building was funded by the Royalties for Regions funding).
Some numbers to impress
The Nursery grows up to 90,000 plants each year.
They have around 80 volunteers with up to 60 assisting each week.
Volunteers may be retirees, people with disabilities (some with carers) and work-for-dole participants. Volunteers help each other with the tasks to be undertaken.
They have about 250 Australian native plant species available for wholesale customers plus there are around 300 species of cultivars (cultivated varieties) of native origin.
About 10% of sales are retail with the remainder of the plants sold wholesale to mining companies, local government, developers and small property owners.
Growing native plants from locally collected seeds produces much better results due to their genetic diversity – better chance of some of them surviving because of this diversity. They have had breakthroughs with a range of species.
***** I just love the wildflowers and really enjoy finding images to share!
Over the past few weeks we have been discussing David Hume (1711-1776), Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) and Georg Wilhelm Hegel (1770-1831).
I have to say I have found them at the same time, very hard work and yet brilliant. If I had just read about them in the book we are using I would never have grasped some of their concepts but having a group discussion about them was really stimulating.
David Hume spoke about causation and that we can never assume that because we observe something happening once, we can’t be sure that it will happen the same way again! Lots of talk about billiard balls.
From Kant I learnt about the Categorical Imperative – I understand it to mean that if I need to determine if an action is moral I need to consider how it would be if it was a universal law that the action be carried out by anyone/everyone.
And then there was Hegel. I found him the most difficult to understand and yet the most fascinating. Hegel’s philosophy covered such a wide scope. I think I almost understood his “thesis – anti-thesis – synthesis” but don’t ask me to explain it here. Again, the group discussion really helped my understanding.
Next fortnight we will discuss Bertrand Russell and I am looking forward to it!
We had two interesting discussions on Thursday based on information on Descartes in Tom Butler-Dowdon’s book, 50 Philosophy Classics. I also provided some handouts based on my research mostly on the internet. This morning’s group found Descartes famous ‘I think, therefore I am’ difficult to grasp. Also the idea that Descartes could discard all existing knowledge and experience and start again in judging what he believed to be true. Is it really possible to imagine that all your past ideas and experiences can be erased to the point that the only thing one can know is that they are a ‘thinking thing’.
Descartes goes on to to say:
“And the whole force of the arguments I have used here to prove the existence of God consists in this, that I recognise that it would not be possible for my nature to be as it is, that is to say, that I should have in me the idea of a God, if God did not really exist.”
We discussed that people throughout time and in different cultures throughout the world independently believe in some form of higher power. But does that really prove that God exists? It doesn’t disprove it either!
The afternoon group suggested that Descartes’ attention to God in his writing was more pragmatic due to the time (early 1600’s) in France. Many of his ideas in maths and science, astronomy could have been seen as heresy if he didn’t publicly pay homage to a belief in God. Galileo suffered being called a heretic for his advances in scientific knowledge so Descartes, as a witness to this, withdrew some of his writings (The Book of the World).
Primarily our group is about having a stimulating discussion and keeping our brains active. The participants know that I am not a philosophy academic and hopefully that enables them to think and to express valid views on the topics raised in the book. And we can get to know each other and start to build some social networks in our community.
I got a pleasant surprise today when a distant cousin sent me some old photos and scans. One family member who is well known to me from stories but I didn’t ever meet her – my Great Auntie Mary. She was born in 1892 and died in 1994.
We had two lively discussions last Thursday on Machiavelli. He is mostly remembered for the words “the ends justify the means” but I don’t believe he actually ever used those words specifically. In his book, The Prince, he develops something of an instruction manual for a Prince who is about to lead his kingdom.
There are around ten people in each group competing to share their ideas. I try hard to let everyone have a chance to talk.
It was inevitable that we would end up discussing some well known politicians such as Donald Trump and Theresa May. We also tried to discern if Machiavelli really supported unscrupulous behaviour or whether he was just “telling it like it was/is”. We generally believed he wrote from his knowledge and experience within the government of the day.
Since Thursday I see so much Machiavelli wherever I look. People in power presenting an acceptable face to the world but barely hiding some of the measures they take to continue in their roles.
It could be argued that we all have a dark side or shadow but hopefully most people work towards bettering themselves and not at refining their dark arts!
Today we met and considered happiness (the Greek word is eudaimonia) as described by Greek philosopher, Aristotle. We each talked a little about what makes us happy. There was a lot of common ground with friends, family and nature featuring highly. I will include some of the ideas we looked at today:
Happiness comes from discovering who you are, developing your distinctive talents to work for the overall benefit of others as well as yourself.
Aristotle’s way of achieving happiness: activities that are in accordance with our virtues and the person having a noble purpose in those activities.
Happiness is having a sense of well-being that is achieved through good living. (Dr Martin Seligman).
According to Aristotle, ethics is about how people should best live, while the study of politics is from the perspective of the law-giver, looking at the good of the whole community (Wikipedia).
We talked about happiness and reflected on other positive emotions of which there are many examples as explored through the Positive Psychology field.