Sunday, November 20, 2011

Puck on... Names

So, what shall we discuss first?  Sex?  Drugs?  Rock and Roll?

I thought I’d let you pick.

Oh, that’s dangerous.  You don’t want me to lead.  I’ll take you places you don’t want to go.

When you were talking before, about names-

Ah, yes, names.  Humans love names, don’t they?  Why do you think that is?  Go on, I’m very curious.

I guess, we want to be able to distinguish things.

Perhaps.  A good start, but it’s not the whole truth.  Really, you want to quantify things.  Oh, there’s quality as well, but it mostly exists as a means to an end.  To what end?  Why to put everything in little boxes, of course.  To divide and subdivide until you get to the real central nugget of everything, and then you can take that and pigeonhole it somewhere, with a neat label, so that everyone can know, so that you can progress your conquest of nature by every inch.

And you pridefully tout your knowledge.  You claim to know so much, but how much do you really know?  You haven’t begun to understand a fraction.  Even what you think you understand represents but the barest comprehension.  You are such ignorant things.  But still you make laws and state fact, or what you call "fact."  How quickly you forget that not long ago you thought, without a doubt, that the world was flat and maggots sprang miraculously from rotting meat.  Why should what you call now “science” or "knowledge" possess any more permanence than that?

And names.  Oh, you should not have gotten me started on names.  Everything must have its proper title, what is and isn’t such and such.  Oh, and only you can be the judge.  You prattle on incessantly: this is this and that is that and this is a rock and this is a planet and this is a tree and this is a bird and this is a completely different bird.  “Why?  Because I say so.”  Things are what they are, and they will continue to be so after you have changed your mind or stopped caring.  You make these “laws” and then rage when nature refuses to follow them.  It’s almost comical.

And it wouldn’t be nearly so bad if you restricted that kind of thing to just the observational sciences.  But, no!  Unsatisfied, you must get your fingers in everything.  You seek even to quantify what has only quality.  Beauty and Art and… ahem…  love.  You murder to dissect, you know.

But that is a speech for another post, I think.  You must be careful what you get me started on, my boy, I will talk your ear off.

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