Posts under ‘Ontology’

As simple as that

The most basic of all questions, underlying everything we know or think we know, is really a simple one: What is real, and what is not? Everybody has an answer to this, though few may be consciously aware of it: Reality is that which we act upon. Our actions are real, because every time we […]

A solution that works every time

Life is filled with challenges. Sometimes they match situations we recognize; then, we do what worked before. Sometimes they are unknown, or our first assumptions failed. At that point, the temptation is to move forward instead of upward by choosing a totally different direction. If what we were doing didn’t work perfectly, abandon it and […]

What it is

We see a human and think “that is a human”. Without being aware that this is what we do. Having identified it as a human, we then expect it to display what we have decided is suitable behaviour, for a human. We see human behaviour and think “that is right” or that is “wrong”. Without […]

You are a toaster

Yes, a Toaster is what you are. And here you were, thinking you were a human. Please bear with me, while I explain… You go to Sears, or wherever you go, when you decide you need a new toaster. You choose one, from a selection of too many, because you like its appearance, and it […]

The fall of the dinosaurs

When I was young, dinosaurs captured my imagination. What thrilled me was not so much the fossils, the categorization of bones, the reconstruction of the skeletons or the various hypotheses surrounding how they lived or how they became extinct. It had nothing to do with the science behind it and surrounding it. My fascination did […]

Gravity and other laws

Humans are fond of observing things, and calling what they observe ‘laws’. This is the big hobby of scientists, whatever scientists are. Isaac Newton, for example, had a thing for apples. Most people might simply eat them, but not Newton. He preferred to observe them falling from trees, instead, and form wily hypotheses as to […]

Divine wrath

Why is it we enjoy thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards so much? Even if they are disastrous, even if our day is ruined, even if people die, we secretly enjoy them. Why? We enjoy them because we are reminded that we are not really in control. Secretly we don’t want to be in control. We […]


In this picture by Hans Holbein the Younger entitled “The Ambassadors,” an odd shape floats at the bottom. It is a skull or “Memento Mori” (reminder of mortality) drawn in the style of anamorphosis. Anamorphosis is an artistic technique that distorts an image unless one views it at the proper angle or perspective. If one […]

A sign in the sky

When thou seest an eagle, thou seest a portion of genius; lift up thy head! – William Blake Like black clouds of war, our fears of the unknown perpetually haunt us as if they are looming in the sky. Terrorism, death, accidents –- how does one combat such things? Men on the ground? Education? Awareness […]


At good universities, they talk about devolution. A good thinker recognizes that to use a word is to be in two domains at once: the source domain for whatever is being talked about, and the liberal arts, where language is put to consistent use. At less-good universities, if you talk about devolution, someone comes out […]

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