Monthly Archives: June 2012

Immortality

A puzzling question I sometimes hear is, “What would you do if you knew you were going to die in two months?”. A closely related admonition is, “Live each day as if it’s your last”. Presumably, these sorts of statements are an invitation to live life to the fullest, “Carpe Diem” or something like that. […]

Reverse Solipsism

In the previous post, you were challenged to convince yourself that real people are imaginary. But most people would rather do the opposite. Most people spend a lot of time convincing themselves that imaginary people are real. The imaginer mistakenly imagines that his imagination is fully under his control, so he assumes that imaginary people […]

Puzzling About Solipsism

I’m not sure how to frame this. Imagine that you’re talking to someone about imagination, and you exclaim, “I’m not even convinced that you are not a figment of my imagination!”. Now, it is easy to imagine saying something like this. But can you imagine saying it convincingly? The best way to sound convincing is […]

Contemplation

To arrive at the simplest truth, as Newton knew and practiced, requires years of contemplation. Not activity. Not reasoning. Not calculating. Not busy behaviour of any kind. Not reading. Not talking. Not making an effort. Not thinking. Simply bearing in mind what it is one needs to know. And yet those with the courage to […]

Remember

One of my favorite poems about the intersection of memory, identity, and death is “Remember” by Christina Rossetti: Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land; When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay. Remember me when no […]