03 February 2012

Against the Sophists

1.  My mother and your mother were hanging up clothes.  My mother punched your mother right in the nose.  What color of blood came out?

2.  At this point the easiest thing would be to piece together a Foucault-inspired short reflection on the role of violence in the formation of culture.  How competition is based on the alienation of the victor from the disinterested masses.  How trophies are just cairns raised over the corpses of the dead, sacrificed for the sake of one's own glory and at the expense of the substance of one's being.  War after all is nothing but the willful oblation of one's friends for the sake of material gain.  Better to die together than live alone, no?  And if one is pursuing a definite good that is capable of being attained through violence, then isn't it mere idolatry?

3.  Instead of that let's have a parable:
There was once an old professor who took the bus to and from work.  Every day at 5pm he closed up his office, walked down to the bus stop and waited.  As he sat there, sometimes for ten or twenty minutes, he would pick something to count.  In the winter he might count women wearing scarves, or people not wearing jeans, or birds flying by.  Each time a new one passed by, he would match to it something else:  one universe, two electric charges, three knives in a basic set, four cardinal directions, five days since I visited an ATM, six edges in a complete graph of 4 vertices... and so on.