Sometimes I like to watch philosophy videos on youtube before I got to bed and paradoxes really interest me. One of which is Zeno and his paradoxes, his most famous ones being Achilles and the tortoise and the Dichotomy Paradox as explained in this Numberphile video:
Achilles and the Tortoise
Achilles and the tortoise have a race and Achilles lets the tortoise get a 100 meter start. Then Achilles catches up with where the turtle was. In the time Achilles caught up to where the tortoise was, the tortoise advanced 50 meters ect ect ad infinitum.
The Dichotomy Paradox
The Dichotomy paradox can be thought of as a moving of the hands to clap except one hand stays still, while the other halves the distance and halves the distance and halves the distance until there’s contact however according to the paradox, this should be impossible.
Another paradox of movement is Zeno’s Arrow as explained in this video by carneades.org:
This is a strange one where it argues that if an arrow is in motion, every moment it holds a single space in time and to be in motion it would be moving through spaces in time but every single moment it is not any other space in time but a the single space it occupies at that second therefore movement is impossible. I like to use this one as an excuse to not get out of bed in the morning.
Zeno starts to loose me in the second round with The Paradox of Place:
if everything that exists has a place, place too will have a place, and so on ad infinitum.
As in all places have places until you get to the point of “Everything” as in “Life, The Universe, and Everything” which I feel like I can pretty much wrap my brain idea around the idea of “Everything” being a bubble in a sea of no-things, though I guess in a philosophical extent I can’t really construct a proof around a feeling. Maybe someday.
The Millet Paradox in it’s original phrasing is dated so I’ll attempt to update it so it’s more relevant.
Original: The argument is that a single grain of millet makes no sound upon falling, but a thousand grains make a sound. Hence a thousand nothings become something, an absurd conclusion.
Updated: A single vote in an election will not make a difference. However 1,000 can make a difference. How can 1,000 non-difference making single votes make a difference? (I realise this kind of misses the point, but I have voting on the mind with all the political drama in the US and UK)
All these paradoxes hint at this idea that Zeno had that nothing ever changes and maybe even that nothing is actually real.
This Wisecrack video sums it up in a pretty interesting way with their 8-bit Philosophy series.
As we learn in the video, Zeno’s teacher Parmenides argues that existence is timeless and that all things that ever were and are and will be exist at the same time, implying there can be no change because things exists at once, which sounds strangely like Nietzsche’s theory of Eternal Return or the “time is a flat circle” stuff (insert true detective picture).
I have no answers today. These paradoxes have stood the test of time themselves without changing which might be a reflection of their importance. Or maybe this is just several accounts of reductio ad absurdum, which itself would not be a new claim but a good one to make since it draws the connection between Zeno’s paradoxes of change and the practice of reducing arguments down to the absurd.
Tune in tomorrow for my first philosophy comic: Zeno’s Pantry Paradox
I’m continuing from a Wednesday from a few weeks ago, The Changing Times Are Asking for a Soundtrack, which featured the highlights of Pat the Bunny’s early work with Johnny Hobo and the Freight trains with their album “Love Songs for the Apocalypse” and Wingnut Dishwashers Union “Burn the Earth Leave it Behind”. The album I’m featuring today is a silly hip-hop side project by Pat the Bunny and friends.
- 1. Spit true 4.33
- Gamers 3.11
- Best of All Time Final 4.19
- 100 Trashbags Full of Weed 3.00
- Bags of dro mix 3.49
- The perfect Recipie Mix 4.11
- Everything Crash 4.43
- The same 3.25
- Total time: about 30m
Spit true – I like the punk rock anti-authority carry over of fighting the po po just before paying a library fine so he can read. The political jab “Fake as Tonkin” is pretty good. Keeps a militaristic notion through the album, sober like a riot cop, mercenaries, watching your six. I like the reference to MC Esher.
Gamers – The second song gamers is kind of a proto-nerdcore rap. Strip solitaire?! Sounds awesome, haha. There are some cool lines in here like “the smooth as gillette” and they scope of games they cover is totally MC Chris territory: go fish, candy land, four square, the ace of spades, civilization I and II, wii, vr, movies home alone peter pan, tamagotchi. Also like Mc Chris they have a sketch at the end starting at 2.51
Best of All Time Final – I really dig the r&b opening vibe and the self deprecating humour about mc onaning in tracks trope is pretty good. “my rise is mediocral”
100 Trashbags Full of Weed – This is a nice change of pace with a reggae thing and I really like the trumpets. The drinking “oatmeal from my goblet” reminds me of my flatmate who eats pounds of oatmeal kinda looks like a goblet.
Bags of Dro mix – I felt like the repetitive beat kinda worked here because of the acoustic guitar, gave it a richer sound to listen to which made start tapping my toes unconsciously.
The Perfect Recipe Mix – Great parody on the rap charm song with the staying in cooking and drinking wine. However the matzo balls and tiramisu make me think of nerdcore plus space restaurant mention. I like all the food rhymes particularly “I’ll chef you till there’s nothing left girl” and “pardon my french but the dinner was bitchen and she helped clean the kitchen” (I’m in love)
Everything Crash -An end of world rap is a kinda unexpected song. Reminds me of Deltron 3030, kinda reminds me of other nerdcore apocalypse rap rap like mc chris is dead. Common themes of dystopia post-fall society. It has a really nice beat, best one on track maybe because it sounds like it has more layers.
The Same – The false start is silly but the real start is nice. The beat is back to basic but more decoration (like the chimes). Kind of a “recovery”/”taking a holiday” type rhyme talking about memories. One of the best lines is “I’m higher than a vampire on fire”.
Overall – For a silly side project with self and genre depreciating humour it’s not too bad. The beats were okay on most tracks but Everything Crash which had some cool layering going on. Overall the album is worth a listen and I will be picking out a couple of songs to add to the Pat the Bunny playlist.