Monthly Archives: May 2019

Ghost stories, reality, and The Philosophy of Flawfulness

I love ghost stories, but I love ghost stories because they tell us something fundamental about being human – that we are imaginative.

Even if ghosts are real (they are not) they do not interact with us in this physical world, the reality. So we may remove or dismiss them from the equation of reality.

But when ghosts interact with this world then there is trouble. The rules of reality no longer hold true. Things do not behave as expected. We cannot predict what will happen because there is something else in the equation of reality.

If ghosts do exist and things move accordingly their interaction then we must take into account their influence. And when that happens then that will then be the reality.

As long as we account for everything in the equation then we can predict what will happen. This is even true if there are ghosts.

I love ghosts and ghost stories only because they tell us not the truth about reality, but a truth about how we, the human being, flawfully see reality all the while being in the reality.

I can hear you now: “Flawfully isn’t a word!” Sure it isn’t. But the word flawfully is as necessary as ghosts are to being human. We are imaginative creatures. I would argue that the meaning of flawfully (to create and use something imperfect deliberately) is a necessary part of being us. It is also what separates us from other animals. You can perhaps even call this philosophy, the philosophy of flawfulness.

What is knowledge?

What exactly is knowledge?

If we take a dictionary definition of the term knowledge then it is the information, skills, and understanding that you have gained through learning or experience.

And if we take definitions of the definition of knowledge then information are the facts or details that tell you something about a situation, person, event etc. A skill is the ability to do something well, especially because you have learned and practised it. To gain is to gradually get more and more of a quality, feeling etc, especially a useful or valuable one. Learning is knowledge gained through reading and study. Experience is knowledge or skill that you gain from doing a job or activity, or the process of doing this.

Definitions are inescapably tautological. Because we cannot avoid the circularity of definitions we take it as a constant and move on.

Perhaps the most important of the definition of the main definition is from the term experience. In short, knowledge is a process. When the process of knowing comes to an end – death – the possession of information ends. It is this point that we must keep in mind (ironically as information) at all times in the pursuit of knowledge and philosophy.

Captain’s Log 1419.145

I had dreamt I was at Florence’s concert, trying to suppress my laughter. The others were laughing uncontrollably all the while she continued singing, oblivious to it all. Cole Porter sitting to my left let out a short giggle. Eventually he gave up trying and quite literally rolled on the ground laughing, but as if in pain.

She had, in the unflattering sense, quite the voice. No voice mixer could fix her deficiencies. No musician could play along with her. Invariably they would all miss a beat or miscue notes. Mildly put, she was tone deaf.

And the dress! She wore the most hideous of creations! Hand-stitched by her or her mother, no less. One had to be embarrassed for embarrassment.

When she had finished butchering the song as best she could she came to our table. She sat down in the empty seat beside me. Cole regained his composure somewhat by adjusting his jacket. The crowd watched and talked in whispers.

“How was it, Darlings?” she asked.

“Couldn’t have been more magnificent,” I replied suppressing a grin.

Cole took out a cigarette, tapped it upon the case, lit it, dragged on it, and blew a steady stream of smoke toward her.

“Bravo! Now where’s the champagne?!”

The waiter nodded and walked away to fulfil the order.

Florence lent forward passed me to take the cigarette case from Cole’s hand. I saw the gentle brush fingers upon his. He didn’t flinch. She didn’t blink. I offered her a flame. In the glow I could see her eyes stare intently at Cole’s gaze. Never once did she look at me. In that moment I had been invisible to them. Their private connection was severed only by the returning waiters, as though for my sake. But secretly, I was happy they had found each other like two ships in the night.

And like a key, the tacky metaphor woke me from the impossibility of the situation.