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Showing posts from April 19, 2015


The sleep of reason isn’t the only thing that gives birth to monsters. Language does, too. Last week, Adam and I were walking to the store when we passed by a big office building on Wiltshire. The building presented a big window to the street, through which one could see a very empty atrium. I’ve passed by this building hundreds of times without thinking much about it. Adam posed his standard question to me – what’s that, Daddy? I said it was an office building. He seemed a little disturbed that it looked empty, so I assured him that somebody worked there. He repeated my words. It amused me that he said somebody like it was somebody’s name. The next day he mentioned somebody again, telling me that somebody is in his office. We were walking home. I said that somebody is in the car and somebody is in the house we passed too. Daddy. Funny daddy. Little did I know that somebody seemed ominous to Adam. And his multiplication was a bit terrifying. Gradually,  I understood, but not bef

the island of laputa - competition 2

It is said that Chryssipus the Stoic held that there were, for all problems, true solutions. But he also held that at times, we can’t see them – and those times called for a morally disciplined silence. It is in this spirit he approached the paradox of the heap – the sorites. The paradox is as follows: if we construct a heap from seeds, say, we can, by adding seeds successively, reach a point where we might say that we have a heap, and identify that with the number of seeds we have used – say, 200. And yet, when we subtract one seed, we are disinclined to say that we no longer have a heap. Given that fact, we might play the game by claiming that we haven’t reached a heap no matter how many seeds we use in order to avoid identifying the heap with a certain number of seeds – but then, paradoxically, we will never achieve a heap. In fact, we don’t really seem to be able to quantify a thing like a heap; neither do we want to say that the heap is a quality when clearly it can be analyzed i