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Re: theos-l digest: October 27, 1999

Oct 28, 1999 08:00 AM
by JRC

> >You are a *riot* ... welcome to the list! - this is some of the best
> >I've read in awhile ... very subtle (the copyright notice at the end is
> >a priceless touch).
> It was satire?  Oh, of course, I knew that.
> Help me, Jesus!!  I'm beginning to think that popular quote, "all you need
> to know is what you learned in kindergarten," is bogus.

Well, er, at least I'm assuming its satire - but hell, the only thing
funnier than the piece as satire would be if it *wasn't* intended as satire,
in which case, it would simply be a far deeper kind of satire - a case of
the collective unconscious itself satirizing the intelligent foolishness of
the conscious mind.

(Once, in an argument Bohr was having with Einstein about quantum mechanics,
Bohr became frustrated, threw up his hands and said "Well now you aren't
even *thinking*, you're merely being *logical*" - one of the worst insults
imaginable among genuinely brilliant scientists ... who understand the uses
of logic, but also know it is relatively useless in the effort to actually
discover and comprehend the world in entirely new ways, and has the nasty
habit of leading people down all sorts of circuitous and absurd paths
towards positively ridiculous, yet curiously self-important conclusions -
and I figured that gold article was a brilliant satire on how this works ...
imagine, the secret of turning base elements into gold - after having been
sought for literally centuries, and having remained undiscovered even in
modern times, where our chemistry and physics have drilled down into an
understanding and classification of even sub-atomic particles ... and
suddenly AHA! ... here it is, fully explained in a couple of pages, in a way
even a college freshman with one semester of physics and a couple of pop
science books on quantum physics under their belt could understand, and
requiring little more than the equipment one could patch together from stuff
bought at the local hardware store! I particularly liked the "sound" part of
things. Was thinking how wonderful it would be to hire someone to sit in
front of a lump of lead and simply hum for a few weeks - think I could get a
grant???!!! But the best part was the copyright notice, which - mind you -
did not say the article could not be *used*, but merely said it had to be
reproduced in *full* - I literally laughed out loud and almost choked on my
coffee - why? WHY? Out of concern that just in a case an experimental
physicist with a lab capable of applying the process happened to stumble
across the "secret", they might not be successful if a couple of the key
paragraphs were *missing*???  It was at this point I suddenly realized this
*had* to be satire).  -JRC

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