“Basketball at Quantum State U.” / Memorable Fancies #1757

Particles playing basketball: a frustrating game because each shot both goes in the basket and doesn’t. And both the going-in and the not-going-in occur both before and after the shot is taken. Whether or not the shot is taken. And the particles themselves aren’t quite sure who they are: collapsed waves, perhaps, or maybe just coordinates in a vacuous spacetime that might, or might not, exist. Whatever “exist” could mean. [musing after reading Peter Lewis’ excellent book Quantum … [Read more...]

“Time for the Movies” / Memorable Fancies #1689

[“illuminating all the motionless world of Time” – Allen Ginsburg] Like a movie, there’s really no change, no time; just one thing and then another thing, motionless thing 1, then 2, then 3, that tricks us into believing there’s a something between thing 1 and thing 2 – something moving – like a movie. [Click ‘Random Post’ above – be astonished] … [Read more...]

“The Consciousness Test” / Memorable Fancies #213

         “We practice sensitivity and inclusiveness here at XYZ Inc., so be sure you remember that. Treat everyone as if she or he has this mysterious something called ‘consciousness,’ at least as a polite fiction; our HR people insist on it, and the government is watching, too. " We do administer the Chinese Room test to each new recruit. If they pass, we tell them that they have this mysterious, precious something called ‘consciousness,’ that no one can explain. “But if they fail the … [Read more...]

“Meinong’s Jungle” / Memorable Fancies #1467

[We can speak of things that do not exist (the golden mountain, and so on); so such things must have some sort of being. ‘Meinong’s Jungle’ is the name for this shadowy half-existence. (– Dictionary of Theories)] We humans speak of many things, too. And hope and believe with all our hearts that they’re real. We’re all living in the jungle, now.     <END> Buy it at amazon.com/author/terencekuch: The Seventh Effect. In this novel from Mélange Books LLC, a NSA-like organization knows – … [Read more...]

“Being, Ignored” / Memorable Fancies #1430

[“no others why no other have ever been” – John Ashbery] I’ve discovered that I made everyone else up. Out of loneliness, I guess, needing people to talk to, play games with, love. But if I made them all up, why do they ignore me, pretend they have lives of their own? <END> Buy it at amazon.com/author/terencekuch: Pictures of the Invisible, a fiction sampler.   … [Read more...]

“An Object” / Memorable Fancies #1240

[“He will find that after ‘subject relates to object’ comes ‘subject destroys object.’” – D.W. Winnicott]       “Destroys object” because the subject reduces the object to its relation to himself, ignoring what the object is in itself and for itself. The ceremony of noun-ing has captured the object, now struggling like a dying butterfly pinned to a collector’s trophy board. <END> Buy it at amazon.com/author/terencekuch: Try Try Again – A novel of deadly U.S. political intrigue … [Read more...]

Can the Past Be Changed? / Memorable Fancies #1233

We tend, irreflectively, to view the past as just as real as the present, and we go about finding out “what happened” the same way we find out what’s happening now: by collecting testimony, looking at records, searching for physical evidence — everything but direct observation of the past event, which is now impossible. Our unspoken assumption is that the past is just as real as the present, but can no longer be directly observed. A contrary view: The past is just what we conclude from … [Read more...]

“Friendly Skies – II” / Memorable Fancies #777

       The Infrequently Friendly Skies have announced a new policy to enhance frequent-flier delight: computer-matching of passengers to seats.        Those with intersecting interests are seated together: manufacturers with retailers, for example; politicians with lobbyists; payday lenders with desperate debtors; salesman with passengers who have brought hearing aids that they can make a show of turning off. Philosophers were originally seated together, but this policy was discontinued after … [Read more...]

“The Event” / Memorable Fancies #755

         The event – yes, it was reported on the evening news, said to be important, decisive. But what was the “event”? Wasn’t it several events that bore some relation to each other? Or perhaps it was part of some larger event we can’t yet see? How many layers of “events” can there be, like dolls within dolls? Or perhaps events overlap, so there never is a smallest discrete event. – This whole “event” concept – is it perhaps just an invention of the media, or the administration?        So I … [Read more...]

“Why Is There Something and Not Nothing?” / Memorable Fancies #483

1) As we haven't yet found the answer to the question “Why is there something and not nothing,” perhaps there's something wrong with the question. But what? 2) If we treat “nothing” as an empty state pre-existing the first “something,” then “nothing” must have been a “something,” or it couldn't have been a state of anything or pre-exist anything, there being no before-and-after, no “time” yet. Therefore how could there ever have been a “nothing”? 3) Even if God or a god or gods created the … [Read more...]

“Nihil est” / Memorable Fancies #473

          Current scholarship holds that the philosopher Metrodorus of Chios lived “at some time during the fourth century BCE.” It is believed, by those who keep track of such things, that Metrodorus wrote one treatise, and perhaps two others also. But all this is conjecture.      One fragment of the writings of Metrodorus survives, dutifully recorded by generations of careful philologists:      “None of us knows anything, not even whether we know or do not know, nor do we know whether … [Read more...]

“Harry Changes the Past” / A Memorable Fancy #122

Harry decides to change the past. He invents a machine and goes into the past and changes it. Now he can’t remember that he ever did that, in the old present that now never happened. -or- Harry decides to change the past. He does, resulting in Harry’s no longer existing in the present. So he couldn’t have decided to change the past. He’s still here, in the present. Harry’s head hurts. -or- Harry decides to change the past. He travels into the past, but then assumes he’s in the … [Read more...]