Wednesday, July 22, 2009

There is no logic

Of course logic exists, but no one uses it.

As an experiment, I have tested various sayings and words. For example, UK and NZ people say they take a "maths" course, whereas people from North America say they take a "math" course.

Which one is better? Quick answer - neither. Words are arbitrary by nature and it doesn't matter if I call something a "blork" or a "bleen" as long as we all know what we mean.

However, note that all NA people take the "math" side and try to justify their use, and all the NZ/UK people take the "maths" side and try to justify their use.

The same is true for every other arbitrary spelling or wording there is - so, "boot" versus "trunk", "colour" versus "color" etc.. etc....

Even though we know these are arbitrary examples and don't really matter, emotion come out and I am amazed at how certain everyone thinks they are (Read "On Being Certain: Believing You are Right Even When You're Not" by Robert Burton for a very cool discussion of this phenomenon).

Imagine what happens with more complex issues, like capital punishment, legalized abortion, legalized marijuana, not to mention deciding if a religion is "right" or not. Can anyone actually KNOW they are right on any of these subjects? I contend that they can't really.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Chapter One Rewrite Club

Kiwiwriters has a new challenge posted that I thought was too fun to ignore. The challenge is called "The Chapter One Rewrite Club" and the challenge is this: Read and re-write the first chapter of Lord of the Rings and post your re-write on-line. Here I am, posting the first bit.

It runs from July 1st (now finished! I didn't write a thing!) to July 11th.

So, the beginning of Lord of the Rings starts with a Poem:

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

Which I have re-written:

The One Ring - a beat poem

A ring, just imagine, the thing that brings, doom
Like a groom leaving his chick behind in a room at noon
On his wedding day

Rings, three more, says the lore, for Elf lords
Rings, seven more, says the lore, for the Dwarf lords
Rings, nine more, says the lore, for the Mortal lords

Then the one, just the one, no more, says the lore, sits in Mordor
With the dark lord, on his throne, in that dark zone
Like a crone droning on whispering a Zen koan

Pour over the lore and if you can avoid a snore, it will say that the one is more
More than just a ring, but a thing that will bring, the doom to Middle Earth
Like the birth of the dearth, like the door's boom in a tomb
Shutting behind you