In yesterday’s mysterious blog post, the philosopher Ray Fosse asked us to “talk about how it’s not a journey.”
The philosopher Alan Watts talked about that better than I can, so I’ll present this video (animated by the staff of South Park!):
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Today, the San Francisco Giants are having their victory celebration in downtown San Francisco.
And if you’re a Giants fan, you say, “My God, I’ve arrived! I’m there!”
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My essay last week about where science, religion and sports meet didn’t seem to open a lot of eyes, but it opened my own. I tend to have a future-oriented outlook on life, thinking about where we go next instead of where we’ve been, and working in the high-tech industry has amplified that way of thinking for me. But realizing that so many things we’re trying to say and do have actually been said and done thousands of years before, only in a slightly different way with a slightly different terminology, has sent me down a bit of a rabbit hole. I’ve been looking at all these old philosophies with a fresh new vision. Suddenly I understand how incredibly much I don’t understand, but that others have understood for a long time, in their own way.
I once said this on Twitter:
Human nature is static. Human knowledge is not. RT @baseclogger crazy this game has been played so long but stats are still being invented.
— Ken Arneson (@kenarneson) March 2, 2012
But now I’m not so sure that’s true. Maybe human knowledge is static too, it’s just that the language we use to express that knowledge gets jumbled up every so often, like a generational Tower of Babel. And then we fight about that knowledge because we don’t understand each other.
Take for example, the battle between stats and scouts in baseball — the “Beer and Tacos” argument, that we’re now also seeing shifted into the political realm by Nate Silver. Seems like a new, modern problem, but actually it’s not. It’s ancient. Alan Watts explains again:
Hmm…there’s that particle/wave analogy again. My writing just seems to be going around and around in circles. But that’s OK. It’s not a journey. It’s music. Let’s dance.