Thursday, June 7, 2012

How to say this

A Procrustean bed is a classical reference which has come to mean a situation where the facts are forced to fit. Perhaps it also refers to crustaceans? Oh, let's make it fit.

Crustaceans are the order to which lobsters belong. This particular crustacean, was in my mind when I thought how similar were lobsters and binary thought. The lobsters have two front claws to manage their environment. Each claw has a two sided pincher. Just like people, well, okay, just like people's rational mind.

The rational mind is characterized by binary thought, according to the philosopher Jan Cox. Binary thought focuses on the fact words define everything according to an either/or formula. Everything is either this OR that. Whenever you speak, really, you are using binary thought. Cause or effect, everything or nothing, now or never, electron or proton, wave or particle. Oops, that last, is a GOOD example, because that simple polarity refused to fit the scientific bed. And refused to go away, which is what usually appears to happen to facts that don't fit. It is even becoming less tenable now to throw the old bedspread of statistics over the messy reality. Both/and confuses the scientists. Thus their procrustacean logic.

But still the linguistic domination of modern man continues. That ambiguity is intended. Over the preceding several centuries man has become increasingly defined by his linguistic realities, to the point where people who get Oxford appointments can assume, the verbal reality is all that counts. And THIS is like living on the sea floor, and telling the children, there is no such thing as eight tentacled creatures. There is no octopian reality---that is a myth. That there could be, not one explanation for a phenomenon, but eight explanations, in a both/and configuration, is not plausible. For instance, if evolution explains something, there cannot be other explanations which also contribute to understanding an event. Just like stories of cleavers and boiling pots are tales to scare the children.

So I myself AM procrustacean. Otherwise I couldn't really talk.