Stories are one of the things we tell ourselves to keep ourselves sane. They are the way we keep a sense of self. What are we but an accumulation of stories, a sense of continuity, a series of past interactions that have led to this moment, and then the next, and the next, and the next?
“I look upon logical proofs the way a well-bred girl looks upon a love letter”
Memories fail. George Lucas has given numerous accounts of the various ways in which Star Wars was conceived. John Lennon and Paul McCartney have told several stories about the making of Magical Mystery Tour, each of which contradict one another. There is no sense in any of these interviews that they are lying or trying to mislead us. Memories change. What the past looks like, from the standpoint of the present, is altered by our memories. In a way, it’s a crude and brutal form of time-travel, a way for the present to alter the past. If no one remembers it, does it matter if it happened or not? If there’s no evidence otherwise, who’s to say it didn’t actually happen that way?
“We nicknamed Heidegger ‘the little magician from Messkirch’ … His lecturing method consisted in constructing an edifice of ideas, which he himself then dismantled again so as to baffle fascinated listeners, only to leave them up in the air. This art of enchantment sometimes had the most disturbing effects in that it attracted more or less psychopathic personalities, and one female student committed suicide three years after such guessing games”
Ambiguity leads to fear. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. And hate leads to the assertion that what was ambiguous is, in fact, not ambiguous at all, but in fact very clear, and also quite stupid, and how could anyone not come down on a particular side of this blindingly obvious issue, because the one declaring the ambiguity is a charlatan and a fraud with no motive other than to befuddle and confuse you all for profit and prestige, regardless of how much time and effort he or she seems to be putting into what could be a really low effort scam that’d involve maybe pumping out one short book from Verso every year or two with a $30 price tag that those morons would eat right up, rather than huge compendiums of thought on any and every subject, almost as if I, the speaker, have misunderstood something because I figured I could skim the book and the Wikipedia article and understand the entire POV and worldview being presented in a weekend the way I can most logical proofs… If it were really meaningful, it could be turned into something easy to read.“I like bullet [points] or I like as little as possible. I don’t need, you know, 200-page reports on something that can be handled on a page.” to use the words of the Philosopher.
“Monsters cannot be announced. One cannot say: ‘here are our monsters’, without immediately turning the monsters into pets.”
Like many stories, there are multiple versions of Star Wars. Just as there are, for example, multiple Gospels all with different details, so there is no truly definitive version of Star Wars — is the version that the fans prefer more pure than the one that Lucas has fixed again and again? Which script is more accurate? Which novelization? If it is still around in a couple hundred years, no doubt there will be debates.
Variously called Star Wars, A New Hope, Episode IV, this story has been transformed into all sorts of media, from the multiple film versions and novelizations and comics, to parodies and homages, to bootleg adaptations and inspirations.
“Furthermore, if in the fictional mode of discourse, I say ‘Mrs Sherlock Holmes wore a deerstalker hat’ I fail to refer, because there is no fictional Mrs Sherlock Holmes. In short, in real world talk, both ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and ‘Mrs Sherlock Holmes‘ fail of reference because there never existed any such people. In fictional talk ‘Sherlock Holmes’ refers, for such a character really does exist in fiction, but Mrs Sherlock Holmes fails of reference for there is no such fictional character. The axiom of existence holds across the board; in the real world, one can only refer to what exists; in fictional talk one can refer to what exists in fiction (plus such real world things and events as the fictional story incorporates)”
One of the main problems that myself and people like me run into is the idea that logic is convincing. It isn’t. No one is convinced if it doesn’t feel true. The truth, in this sense, doesn’t matter.
This isn’t to say that the Truth isn’t important. It is. If I have to convince you of that, well… another time, perhaps. On the other hand:
Let a represent “Mary is a human”. Let b represent “Humans all deserve equal rights under the law”. Therefore c “Mary deserves equal rights under the law” ought to follow quite plainly (I’d write it out in symbols, but I don’t care).
But notice how this statement has convinced exactly zero people? You either already agreed with it, and are saying “Yes, obviously, move on to something less blatant and self-explanatory”, or you’re thinking about all the exceptions, how women need more or less rights.
Logic is wonderful for computer programs, building bridges and buildings, scientific studies… but usually does fuck all for persuasion.