Tuesday, June 11, 2013


“Reality is nothing but a collective hunch.” Lily Tomlin

From time to time, the old man waxes philosophic, wondering, "What is reality?"

Megaloceros, an ancient deer, Lascaux from Wikipedia.

The Lascaux caves in France hint that man has been puzzling over this question since homo sapiens first climbed down from the trees and out of the forest. The intricate paintings these early homo sapiens left over 17,000 years ago suggest that man has been searching for intelligence in the universe from the very beginning of recorded thought and before that.

Almost 17,000 years later, the ancient Greek philosophers put the question to stylus and sheepskin parchment.

"What exists is what matters," Thales of Miletus (c.624-548 B.C.) suggested. Then again, Pythagoras of Samos (c.580-507 B.C.) found the nature of things not as important as their mathematical relationships. Others, including Socrates (c.469-399 B.C.) and his pupil Plato (c.427-347 B.C.), instead argued that it is "mind over matter," reality is in the "essence" of things, which brings one back to the punch line from a joke attributed to Satchel Paige (1906-1982). When asked by a reporter how old the old pitcher was, he responded, "Age is mind over matter, if you don't mind, it don't matter." Back to Lily Tomlin, who muses that answers don't really matter, for everyone has their point of view. What matters in life is to find someone who will listen.

Comedians seem to have a better grasp on the realities of life.

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