We make holes in teeth!

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Truth, one of the 6 great ideas, is not as easy to define as you might think. Sure, there are things like "2+2=4". If you're not willing to cede that, stop reading, go outside, and start whistling to the aliens. For the rest of us, let's look beyond the idea of mathematical and scientific truths. Equations are true, gravity is true, and all those other things we can quantify in equations and laws are true. That's not the truth we care about. What I'm talking about is stuff like, "Murder is wrong." Or, "God you look stupid in that green shirt." Stuff like that.

What we have here is the fundamental question, What is true? From wikipedia:

"Standing beside these problems are the issues of how we know something to be true. The way in which one knows that one has a toothache seems different from the way in which one knows that the Earth is the third planet from the sun; perhaps one is subjective, and determined by introspection, while the other objective, and determined by a combination of shared observations, reasonings, and calculations. Similarly, some truths seem to be relative to one's position or background, while others appear absolute. Philosophers have diverse opinions on each of these issues."

Yes, perhaps one is subjective and one is objective. Or maybe, in studying this casually interesting topic, someone along the line decided that it was time to take it to a new level and ruin any fun people were having discussing this. Now we have entire studies on such retarded subjects as, "Is the sky really blue?" Yes fuckwad, the sky is blue.

I was faced with two undeniable truths this week. The first was at the train station one day. A woman pulled into the parking lot just as the train was coming into the station. She started running, entirely in vain because the parking lot is on the other side of the tracks from the station, and the train is so large you can't sneak in front or behind it, unless you're willing to run down 5 cars length of railroad and back. Probably a tough chore in high heels.

Anyway, this was the Hoboken which was running 15 minutes late, not the New York, which was yet to come. This line was a meager 3 cars, and it didn't block the walkway from the lot to the station. The woman ran across the tracks, then started walking to the train. Seeing several of us standing there, she asked me, "Is this the New York train?"

"Hoboken," I mumbled.


And this was when I uttered the first the undeniable truth of the week. "You got lucky."

Philosophically, subjectively, and objectively, this statement was about as true as it gets. "Tell me about it," she replied.

The second truth of the week came today, while mountain biking. We were blessed with an unseasonably warm winter day, with temperatures reaching 57 degrees at one point this afternoon. Not letting it pass, since I'm dying to get the biking season under way, I put the bike in the car and headed down to Chimney Rock. I should mention I was sick all week, some sort of chest or head cold taking me down for most of the week. In fact, the reason I mumbled "Hoboken" earlier in the story was because I was sucking on a cough drop at the time.

About halfway through the ride, I was taking a break in the midst of climbing up the big hill next to the quarry. I decided I liked the view there, so I stopped for a moment. My stopping had nothing at all to do with the fact that my heart was threatening to jump out of my chest and stick it's ventricle down my throat, forcing me to puke all over myself, while my lungs meanwhile were employing off-season paint scraping services to remove the phlegm from their insides. Really, not at all.

While standing there, the second instance actually since another breathtaking set of rocks was underfoot, another rider huffed and puffed by me, going up the same hill. Surprisingly, he did not stop to admire the soil, or rocks, or trees barren of leaves. What he did do was to utter the second undeniable truth of the week. "Not riding for two months really hurts when you get back out."

"Tell me about it," I replied.

Truth. The sky is blue, that woman got lucky the other day, and I am way out of mountain biking shape right now. Those are three undeniable truths for you.


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