Sunday, July 22, 2007

Aporia: the Beginnings of Philosophy

It is clearly shown that
the wise men
of the Gentiles,
that is to say the philosophers,
were so named rather in praise
of their lives than of their
learning (Peter Abelard)

What’s the Problem?

“the thing thrown

Reading biographies of
game theorist John Nash;
prankster & bongo playing
physicist Richard Feynman;
& Manhattan Project director
Joel Oppenheimer: I am
taunted by how-it-is physics
& math people get to carry
PROBLEMS with them over
long periods of time, years
inside their heads: koans,
conundrums, perplexities,
paradoxes, tantalizing tango
tangles, thorns in the flesh,
peas under mattresses:
Atlases un-shrugged,
Sisyphi un-hugged.

Stuck in Enigma;
Wit’s End: their Briar Patch!

And they get to talk it over
with each other: colleagues,
fellow travelers, busy bodies
in common, cerebral gaggers
coughing up some same kind
of theoretical hair ball, some
proballein got them in its spell:
solution begging ab-solution,
soaking wet & waiting for the
sunrise—some elegant
of reductions
of reductions
in a nutshell.

Lucky ones: the kind who
see snake biting tails on a
London trolley & imagine
benzene rings or sink in a
warm tub & recognize the
displacement necessary
to assess a king’s gold

Eureka-ists, Holy Smokes
& Ooo my Gawd-ists

I would say it elegant
if I knew how. On my
mind for years but can’t
pose the problem that
poses the problem that
poses the problems so
I can brood & it can
ripen and a ha! in the
middle of night or some
car radio song: I get it!
& run naked thru the
streets of Syracuse.

xxxooo, Presbyter

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