I was given a copy of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Also sprach Zarathustra, or to be more accurate Alexander Tille’s translation Thus Spake Zarathustra, by a good friend of mine in the spring of 1986 (he’d written the date, with “love and best regards”, at the front), but had never got around to reading it. I’d always thought it would be better to try to read it in German, or perhaps to start with another of his books (another friend, who knows something about Nietzsche, recommends Die fröhliche Wissenschaft ), but when that first friend died a couple of years ago I decided I really ought to finally make use of his present. When I looked the book up in Wikipedia I got the distinct impression that this translation is the oldest and generally regarded as the worst of all the English translations, but (at least partly because of the emotional connection) I decided to give it a try anyway. (more…)
Let no one say that I didn’t give Jeremy Griffith and his theory of the Human Condition a fair chance. I don’t think I’ve ever looked quite so deeply into any single document or theory, or spent as much time looking up background information, checking claims and looking at alternative viewpoints as I did on the subject of the World Transformation Movement (originally known as the Foundation for Humanity’s Adulthood). As well as reading the entire Expanded Transcript of the Introductory Video, including the ‘testimonials’ by several members of the organisation, I also read an extensive ‘Critical investigation’ of the theory on the site of Australian commentator Peter Minogue, and made long detours into Wikipedia and The Skeptic’s Dictionary on such varied subjects as homeopathy, acupuncture and Atlantis.
I was totally fascinated from the moment I came across Griffith and his theory. He’s certainly an interesting character, and his theory basically claims to be the explanation of ‘the Human Condition’ and the answer to all the world’s problems. My initial reaction was one of scepticism – this was ‘obviously’ too good to be true – but my second was to realise that my first wasn’t entirely logical: what if someone really did come up with the answer to all the world’s problems, and everyone ignored it because it was ‘obviously’ too good to be true? If it really was too good to be true then I’d soon find out… Even though in the end I wasn’t at all convinced by this theory, looking into it was a very worthwhile experience and I wouldn’t hesitate to describe the Expanded Transcript as a ‘unique and fascinating document’. (more…)