Saturday, June 13, 2015

Explain A Rocket Launch To A Roman

Not modern Romans but Roman Romans, from SPQR days.

Why should you try to explain things to people of long bygone ages? Because then you know you're not being limited by the intellectual potential and mental capacity of your subject. You know that any failure is your fault alone and not simply because you're dealing with a Gaian or a Psychopath.

If you can't explain a rocket launch to a Roman in a way that they actually understand then you know you're a loser of an intellectual. So let's get on with it.

Do you see that metal spire over there? It's a star lifter. In just 30 heartbeats it will lift a star into the night sky. Feel its fury against Terra as it wrenches itself away from its grasp. See the scorching pillar of fire it spits out against anyone and anything that would dare to hold it.

And then hold your breath in awe for on this night there will be a new star in the night sky. A star that moves unlike any other star. It will shoot through the night sky like a shooting star but it will never ever fall. And this star will watch over people or talk to them or provide the magic for our divining rods.

I imagine the Roman's reaction would be less "holy shit" and more "by Cronus and Jupiter!!".

Well, it's done so you can't do it anymore because that wouldn't count. Explain instead the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. To someone who has never and will never see any footage of it nor artifacts.

If you can't do that then you have no understanding at all of human minds. And if you don't even realize that you can't do that then you have no understanding that minds even exist. Like most of the human population, who misuse "mind" as badly as they misuse "empathy" and "self-esteem".

It's funny, nobody capable of understanding human minds would ever study linguistics. And nobody who would ever study linguistics would ever be capable of understanding human minds. And yet, it's impossible to understand human language without understanding human minds. Therefore, nobody who studies linguistics studies language. Just like nobody who studies paint manufacture studies painting.

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