Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Long Shadow of Rene Descartes


Clear, efficient communication is a key skill to accomplishing anything as a group. Once a project is so big and complicated that one person can't do it alone, the ability to clearly express the Who, What, Why, When, Where and How becomes crucial. The story of the Tower of Babel is illustrative of this principle. Genesis 11:16 comments:

"If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them."


Do you doubt it?
Such is the power of clear communication. However, there is another force at work which we overlook at our peril. It is the outgrowth of the Modern Scientific Method as fathered by Rene Descartes; The universal application of doubt, which turns "probable" into "possible", possible into unlikely, and unlikely into; "Ain't happening, bro'."

Descartes clearly had a problem with ambiguity and spent years trying to eradicate it in himself and others. He eventually retreated to "I think therefore I am." and realized that he was certain that he couldn't be certain of anything, and therefore was at least capable of being certain of something about himself.

We shouldn't be to hard on Rene. His intentions were good. He just wanted to be able to test the truthfulness of everything in the face of the limitations of human perception and thought. The difficulty arises when the subject of interest shifts from being something which already exists to something which has as yet only been imagined, that is; when our role shifts to being a creator.

We'll come back to this later...


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