Tag: Metaphysics

Day 991: The Subjective Science of Getting Friendly With Your Water

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Good morning, water. You look lovely today. The way you have meticulously extracted the energizing essence of those crumbly brown nuggets of Sumatra in my coffee maker really brings out the glimmer in your droplets. Look, I’m a married man, but if I wasn’t, I would totally be gettin’ up in dat aqua, you feel me?

According to Dr. Masaru Emoto, I may have just created a more healthy and vibrant cup of coffee. Dr. Emoto is a revolutionary oracle of scientific knowledge, inasmuch as he has concocted his own definitions of the words “scientific” and “knowledge”. Dr. Emoto has “proven” (and it’s hard to find a source for his work that doesn’t nestle that word between the comforting pillows of quotation marks) that positive energy makes water better.

Not better-tasting, not more nutritious or refreshing… just better. Happier. More wholly fulfilled. Dr. Emoto unearthed that line where metaphysics and alternative medicine cross over into crazed Lynchian fiction, then leaped across it like a doped-up Olympian. He landed among the Technicolor bobbles of the absurd, cultivated his own particular brew of ludicrous reasoning and slapped a price tag on it.

And we bought in. Oh, how we bought in.

How could we not trust that sincere face?

How could we not trust that sincere face?

Masaru Emoto earned his doctorate at the Open University for Alternative Medicine in India, though I feel “earned” should be yet another resident of Quotes-Marks Manor, as I have unearthed a couple of sources which claim that such a degree can be bought for around $500. But Dr. Emoto’s doctorness is relatively moot, as he immediately set out to sail the vague ocean of alternative medicine, which contains far more fetid flotsam than it does navigable current. Read more…

Day 966: Which Came First And What’s On Second?

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While the central focus of this project has been devoted to the kind of esoteric trivia that will one day allow me to run the category of ‘Obscure Miscellany’ on Jeopardy, sometimes I like to ask the big questions. The paradoxes. The queries that prompt chortles and didactic witticisms in some company and distant frosted-glass stares with maybe a “woah” among stoned people.

Why did the chicken cross the road? To teach us about existential nothingness, of course. How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Only the most fleet-footed of Broadway angels know that one, and they’re keeping their collective yap shut. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Ah, now we’re getting somewhere.

It’s a paradox that has been juggled from philosopher to philosopher, flitting through the fingers of the rhetorically-inclined while attracting the occasional wordy summation from the theological or scientific camps (who are divided by a fuzzier line than even they would admit). This is the stuff of mental meandering, the kind of riddle that the mind loves to lock itself in the bathroom with and do wicked, self-abusing things. It’s an A-or-B multiple choice question with a clear and concise C and D hiding in the margins.

My favorite kind of question.

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The most obvious (and therefore buzz-killing) answer is “the egg”, using the justification that other animals – reptiles, dinosaurs and their cool-blooded ilk – also came from eggs. Let’s toss this smirking solution into the semantic garburator  right away by clarifying that ‘egg’ for the purposes of this riddle refers only to ‘chicken eggs’. We’re trying to untangle a paradox here; no one is suggesting that the chicken was the first creature to poach its zygotes inside a calcite shell. Read more…

Day 597: That Damn Falling Tree

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If a writer posts a thousand words and no one is there to read them, does he make a point? As a person who faces that possibility every morning – usually before consuming that first cup of coffee that could potentially render the answer easier to digest – I prefer not to dwell on such riddles. These unanswerable questions are nothing more than mental self-wankery anyway, right?

Actually, as that very same internet would be quick to remind us, people enjoy self-wankery. Drivin’ the ol’ floppy jalopy might be the most common leisure activity in the known world, and when the physical act is not on the table, we’ll happily slap some brain-lube on our think-wang and try to find a logical release.

If a writer posts a rambling tirade of masturbation puns and no one is there to tell him to cut it out, should he still feel shame?

It’s all a twisted variant of the tree question, and I won’t be the first to run head-first into that problematic brick wall.

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George Berkeley, noted double-cravatist and gang-sign originator, proposes in his 1710 Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge that objects only exist when we are there to perceive them. William Fossett agreed in 1730, asserting that a tree falling in the park with no one around would be silent, invisible and nameless. In fact, if all of humanity were to disappear, there would be no more tree, no more park, and no more anything because all meaning would disappear with us. Well, except for what cats perceive. Fossett would never be so bold as to discount the sensory experience of his beloved Mittens. Read more…

Day 237: Class Calendar – Fall, 2012

With Labor Day weekend approaching and my mid-summer hangover showing signs of abating, it’s time to turn our attention to the upcoming school year. This will be my final year of post-secondary studies, unless the University discovers that the credits I claimed for Marine Biology 335: Touring With Phish are phony.

I’ve been scanning the latest course guide from my alma mater (University of South Virginia State Community Tech A&M), and I need some help in choosing how I’ll earn my final credits. Any advice you can offer would certainly be welcome.

Drama 247 – Ventriloquism Mime

Course Description: Our culture has thus far limped along with its two most dynamic components having yet to fuse together into a single united spectacle. We at USVSCTA&M hope to change that by training young performers (Drama majors preferred) the subtle art of projecting one’s voice to a dummy, but without using words or sounds. Ventriloquist dummies will be provided for a reasonable rental fee. Spots in this class are limited, so register early!

English 424 – Beyond The Steele

Course Description: Friends, family, and intrusive passers-by may scoff at the notion of a university course about Remington Steele fan-fiction, but once you explore the milieu and unearth the thick breadth of inspiration within the genre, you will understand its value. It’s a very thick breadth. A thick, chewy breadth. RemSteele Fan-Fic draws motifs from the likes of Chaucer, Hemingway, Poe, and Jesus. No slash-fiction, skronk-fiction, hump-fiction or the like will be examined. No student – and I can’t emphasize this enough – will be given a passing grade for contributing a RemSteele/Twilight cross-over story. Read more…