Thursday, February 22, 2007

The joy of underthinking...

An old philosophical conundrum goes like this: When does a chair stop being a chair? When you lay it on its side? When you saw an inch off one of the legs? Two inches? Remove the leg entirely? What if you saw it in half? What if you put it in a woodchipper? Is "chairness" related more to form or function? Both? How many chairs can you imagine? Are those chairs chairs too? It's a maddening excercise that reminds us how infinity is contained within things we might consider to be finite. Another famous example of this is Zeno's paradox of the Tortoise and Achilles.

Life on earth is characterized by such quicksand. You can draw as many lines, fix as many rules as you like. These are ultimately the futile acts of the control freak. Nothing is what it seems.This awareness creates such a mind-boggling, hair-splitting reality, we often have to pull back and choose not to think too hard about things lest they fall apart in our minds and drive us mad. I have a friend with a very good brain for deep logic and philosophical inquiry. He became a chef.

("The Innocent Eye Test" by Mark Tansey)



Anonymous Dubi Kaufmann said...

Ignorant bliss keeps us sane. If we would be aware of all the ills that might lurk at us we would become paranoid. They don't call it bliss for nothing. BTW here is my reaction to the painting

4:50 AM  

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