University of the North Pole
B.A. (Hons) in Life
Answer as many questions as you find helpful
Time Allowed - One Lifetime
1. "Hitherto philosophers have sought to interpret the world by finding answers to questions. It would be better to seek new questions and leave it open for each individual to find the answers in the unique circumstances of their individual lives. " Discuss.
2. Something that you get up in the morning for and that provides purpose, meaning, direction, organisation and structure in your life can be described as a personal "life game". Discuss the relationship between a life game and paid employment. When might they be one and the same and when different?
3. Compare the life games of any two of the following: Margaret Thatcher, Bill Gates, Karl Marx, Pablo Picasso, the Buddha, Mae West, Albert Einsten, George W Bush, your partner.
4. If living your life game were like writing a script for your biographical movie, then what would be the ideal next scene if you were made unemployed tomorrow?
5. According to Nietzsche superman isn't living in the pursuit of happiness but suffering terribly in the pursuit of greatness.
(a) Discuss the problem that everyone cannnot be great and
(b) Say if you think that if everyone was great for 15 minutes it would be an acceptable compromise.
6. Your obscure life game suddenly becomes popular. Either
(a) Write a business plan for your life style boutique or
(b) Write a popular "How to" book and explain
(c) How you will reconcile your quiet life on the cheap with your new status as a media celebrity.
7. The philosopher Epicurus thought one should retreat from the nasty world of politics to garden with one's friends, enjoying the simple pleasures of life together. Does your town or city have adequate cheap garden space for political drop outs?
8. You have been unlucky: politicians have adopted your life game as their own and have started measuring your effectiveness in pursuing your chosen goals. Do you (a) emigrate (b) choose a new life (c) quit complaining and improve your performance (d) explore the connection between government policy and stress at work with your trade union?
9. Being bigger, faster and richer than others through your life game might be very energy and resource intensive. (a) Explore the ethical and ecological consequences of people modelling themselves on your chosen life game. (b) What would be a slow life game?
10. In the choice of a life game is it important to you to tackle something difficult, frustrating and risky with possible long term rewards, or something easy with a short term pay off?
11. How do you understand the concept of "reward" in your life game? Which of the following must it include: power, fame, money, clarity of mind, peace of mind, self respect, travel, trusting friendships. Explain your anwers.
12. Discuss 'active citizenship' as a life game. From your personal perspective when would it involve (a) agreeing with a government agenda (b) disagreement with government policy (c) pursuing your own agenda and ignoring the government (c) challenging abuses of corporate power (d) social and environmental entrepreneurship?
13. "Life consists of managing relationships in a habitat with your income (and credit) earned through your job. The higher the income the easier this is. To do this you develop your skills, your capital and you market yourself. There's nothing else to know." Discuss.
14. Discuss the different between living to work and working to live.
15. "We are what we eat" Ludwig Feuerbach. Most animals get their purpose for living in rearing their young and seeking food. Is running a fast food franchise a sufficient purpose for living?
16. 78.6% of an official sample of ground beef in the USA contained potential food poisoning microbes spread by shit and more than one quarter of the US population suffers a bout of food poisoning every year. What kind of life game is appropriate to tackling this?
17. (a) What is the most trivial conceivable life game you could play and keep your self esteem intact? (b) What is the noblest you could play without becoming pompous? (c) Which question was hardest to answer?
18. Purposes are often given to people or chosen for them. Either (a) Identify a cause with which you identify or (b) discuss life games that do not require other people to become your audience or serve time in your army.
19. A chronic loser is playing the wrong game and needs to change their life purposes. Discuss.
20. Which of the following can be described as "living authentically" (a) writing editorials calling for tax cuts (b) being employed by a bank as financial analyst but never saying "sell" lest it upsets the banks customers (c) making your best shots to help prevent global warming (d) painting multiple soup cans.
21. Reconcile the following two aphorisms "Small things for small minds" and "Small is beautiful".
22. "An addiction is an ideal answer to an empty life - it gives you a social network and a regular purpose". Discuss.
23. "The G7 are energy addicted societies led by money junkies" Comment on typical life games as advertised on CNN.
24. "In the last cosmic nanosecond microbes on this planet have evolved ways of tapping carbon and nuclear energy to modify their habitats. The result is crystalline concentrations of population, much movement of materials, intensive energy nets, extensive de-vegetation and climate change. This yeast-like phenomena is self limiting and extinction is imminent." Where is this? If you were a microbe on this planet what would you do?
25. Do humans belong to the planet or does the planet belong to humans? How might the answer to this question effect your choice of life games?
© BRIAN DAVEY