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Post No. 99

October 4, 2012

Only last Friday I was reminded of the insight in Mt 10:14 – a translation of which would go something like:  If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town

Something – I forget what – had me started about the intelligibility of the “laws” of nature, about their constancy through time and space, etc.

“And what’s all this in aid of?”  asked my interlocutor (I’ve always wanted to use that word in a sentence *grinZ*)

“It underpins existence, don’t you think? And the fact that we can attribute beauty to it and perceive a logic in its workings, I daresay it points to a “sort of contingency” to the whole thing.”

He shrugged. “Doesn’t make much of a difference, does it? We’re all headed six feet under. Whatever sense we make of the universe and how – or even why – it is here,  is a zero-sum endeavour.”

I decided not to answer. Not out of embarrassment, or lack of arguments. I just felt that it would be pointless. “So… what you up to at the moment?”

“I just started my second year computer science degree. Part-time. Can’t not work to study. Mind you, when I’m done, all I’d have studied would be obsolete, worthless or both. You’ve no idea how fast stuff changes in the computer world.”

It took all my self control to not ask him what’s the point of the trouble – using his same logic, of course. So I just told him “Hm. Interesting. Very interesting”. Which was not a lie. It was very prone to equivocation.

What I found interesting was the fact that this guy was willing to undergo all the trouble to achieve something that he himself had classified as “ephemeral” and at the same time implying that it was going to make a huge impact on his life. Let me clarify. I’m all for educating oneself and I see absolutely nothing “useless” in a computer science degree – if anything it keeps you on your toes because you’ll have to keep upgrading (haha) yourself all the time.

What I thought ridiculous – and this was what shut me up – was the guy’s implication that knowledge that doesn’t deal directly with the here and now is useless and irrelevant. Our society has become too scientific for its own good.




From → The Elephant

One Comment
  1. Too scientific, too cynical and too self-centred.

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