An English Propaganda Magazine

‘Or, alternatively, the greatest work of fiction since vows of fidelity were included in the French marriage service.’

– Joseph M. 1998. Blackadder The Whole Damn Dynasty London, Great Britain: Penguin Books (1999) p. 319


The philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist. Solipsism is an epistemological or ontological position that knowledge of anything outside one’s own specific mind is unjustified. The external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist. In the history of philosophy, solipsism has served as a sceptical hypothesis.

Philosophers try to build knowledge on more than an inference or analogy. The failure of Descartes’ epistemological enterprise brought to popularity the idea that all certain knowledge may end at “Cogito ergo sum”.

The theory of solipsism also merits close examination because it relates to three widely held philosophical presuppositions, which are themselves fundamental and wide-ranging in importance. These are that:

  1. My most certain knowledge is the content of my own mind—my thoughts, experiences, affects, etc.;
  2. There is no conceptual or logically necessary link between mental and physical—between, say, the occurrence of certain conscious experience or mental states and the ‘possession’ and behavioural dispositions of a ‘body’ of a particular kind ‘The brain in a vat’;
  3. The experience of a given person is necessarily private to that person.

Solipsism is not a single concept but instead refers to several world-views whose common element is some form of denial of the existence of a universe independent from the mind of the agent.


A tomboy is a girl who exhibits some characteristics of the gender role of a boy including the wearing of typically masculine-oriented types of clothes and engaging in games and activities that are often physical in nature, and which are considered to be the domain of boys.

A Tomboy

There is a perceived correlation between tomboys and lesbianism. While some tomboys later reveal a lesbian identity in their adolescent or adult years, masculine behaviour typical of boys but displayed by girls is not a true indicator of one’s sexual orientation.

Gender scholar Judith Halberstam has found that while the defying of gender roles is often tolerated in young girls, older girls and adolescents who display masculine traits are often repressed and punished.

“Throughout their history, tomboys have had to contend with the stigma of presumed lesbianism or the accusation of wanting to be male. Both assumptions were categorically refuted by twentieth-century psychology, which established the normality of the tomboy experience among girls of all identities. However, for many, the tomboy stage is the first manifestation of a gender-fluid life journey.”

There has been little study on childhood gender nonconformity and the causality of women’s behaviour and interests, when they do not conform to the female social gender role. It has been considered, first and foremost, to be a phase one might go through in early years of life. It is unclear whether there is any correlation between these behaviours, and whether these causes are any different from what causes men to exhibit behaviours such as wearing a dress, or an interest in mathematics and science. One report from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children suggests that preschool girls engaging in “masculine-typical” gender-role behaviour – such as playing with toys that are typically preferred by boys – is influenced by genetic and prenatal factors.

Ant Defences

‘If the colony is threatened, many species emit a pheromone from a gland in their mouths. This causes some workers to grab the larvae and run underground while others prance around with their mandibles open, ready to and sting. Brunei ants even have guards that explode their own heads when threatened, leaving a sticky mess which slows down the intruders.’

– Lloyd. J., Mitchinson. J. 2007. The QI Book of Animals London, Great Britain: Faber and Faber (2009) p. 9

Hersey-Blanchard Theory

The fundamental underpinning of the Situational Leadership Theory is that there is no single “best” style of leadership. Effective leadership is task-relevant, and the most successful leaders are those that adapt their leadership style to the Maturity (“The capacity to set high but attainable goals, willingness and ability to take responsibility for the task, and relevant education and/or experience of an individual or a group for the task.”) of the individual or group they are attempting to lead/influence. That effective leadership varies, not only with the person or group that is being influence, but it will also depend on the task, job or function that needs to be accomplished.

The Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory rests on two fundamental concepts; Leadership Style and the individual or group’s Maturity level. Hersey and Blanchard characterized leadership style in terms of the amount of Task Behavior and Relationship Behavior that the leader provides to their followers. They categorized all leadership styles into four behavior types, which they named S1 to S4:

– S1: Telling – is characterized by one-way communication in which the leader defines the roles of the individual or group and provides the what, how, when, and where to do the task

– S2: Selling – while the leader is still providing the direction, he or she is now using two-way communication and providing the socioemotional support that will allow the individual or group being influenced to buy into the process.

– S3: Participating – this is now shared decision making about aspects of how the task is accomplished and the leader is providing less task behaviors while maintaining high relationship behavior.

– S4: Delegating – the leaders is still involved in decisions; however, the process and responsibility has been passed to the individual or group. The leader stays involved to monitor progress.

Of these, no one style is considered optimal for all leaders to use all the time. Effective leaders need to be flexible, and must adapt themselves according to the situation.

The right leadership style will depend on the person or group being led – the follower. The Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory identified four levels of Maturity M1 through M4:

– M1 – They generally lack the specific skills required for the job in hand and are unable and unwilling to do or to take responsibility for this job or task.

– M2 – They are still unable to take on responsibility for the task being done; however, they are willing to work at the task.

– M3 – They are experienced and able to do the task but lack the confidence to take on responsibility.

– M4 – They are experienced at the task, and comfortable with their own ability to do it well. They able and willing to not only do the task, but to take responsibility for the task.

Maturity Levels are also task specific. A person might be generally skilled, confident and motivated in their job, but would still have a Maturity level M2 when asked to perform a task requiring skills they don’t possess.