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A Box Of Stories
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Spock Prime: “A trick I learned from an old friend.”
“Few years ago the city council of Monza, Italy, barred pet owners from keeping goldfish in curved goldfish bowls. The measure’s sponsor explained the measure in part by saying that it is cruel to keep a fish in a bowl with curved sides because, gazing out, the fish would have a distorted view of reality.”
What is an egg? It is that which has not yet been born. A paradox, is it not? For how can Humpty Dumpty be alive if he has not been born? And yet, he is alive - make no mistake. We know that because he can speak. More than that, he is a philosopher of language. ‘When I use a word, Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.
The question is, said Alice, whether you can make words mean so many different things.
The question is, said Humpty Dumpty, which is to be master - that’s all.’ ”
Turtles Upon Turtles: Turtles All the Way Down
“A well-known scientist once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said:
“What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant turtle.”
The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the turtle standing on?”
“You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s turtles all the way down!”
— cited in Stephen Hawking’s, A Brief History of Time, 1988
“Turtles all the way down” is a jocular expression of the Infinite Regress problem in cosmology posed by the “Unmoved Mover” paradox. A comparable metaphor describing the cause and consequence problem as a cycle is the “Chicken and Egg” problem. In epistemology the problem is known as the Münchhausen Trilemma.”
‘Cats don’t have names,’ it said.
‘No?’ said Coraline.
‘No,’ said the cat. ‘Now you people have names. That’s because you don’t know who you are. We know who we are, so we don’t need names.”