ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

bloke down the pub told me

Updated on November 23, 2009
crassnsilly profile image

crassnsilly is not a real name. It's made up, like everything else in the world.

blokes in pub discussing Descartes
blokes in pub discussing Descartes

Christmas is coming. This means many things to look forward to, most of them accompanied by television. You can't get away from it, that benign cancer. So take what you can, because you can't give television anything. When I was young, we used to look through the Christmas edition of the Radio Times, not to see if, but when the Wizard of Oz was on, usually Christmas Day or Boxing Day afternoon. Then everyone in the house would moan: "Not the Wizard of Oz again. Every year, the Wizard of Oz." And fall asleep.

It's a great film of a great story with a great lesson: believe in yourself. The cowardly lion is given a medal for bravery by the Wizard. He was cowardly, now he is brave. How does this work? Because he believes it to be true, it is true. Rene Descartes nailed it. The Tin Man thinks he hasn't got a heart, so the Wizard pins one on him. The Scarecrow thinks he hasn't got a brain, so the Wizard gives him a diploma. This is my favourite part: how many dimwits have you met who have been educated for 16 years and still know nothing? They have certificates, diplomas, qualifications, bits of paper which say they are clever. Some of them still cross the road without looking.

So our Scarecrow is now officially brainy and because he believes it, he is. Descartes would have loved it, but he never got to see the Wizard of Oz, having died prematurely in 1650. Cogito ergo dead. I'm sure he would have enjoyed reading the Wizard of Oz, then watching the film and comparing the two. But he went and died. So who's the clever guy? You and I, as stupid as we are, have managed to stay alive and that idiot Descartes went and died. In 1650. Idiot. If he had only thought, or believed: "I think I will live to be 400 years old," he would be here to give us his wisdom about the world today.

Descartes was obviously influenced by Hans Christian Andersen, who was born 185 year after Descartes died. Andersen wrote the brilliant Emperor's New Clothes. Andersen must have adapted many dollops of folklore for his stories, but this one sits on your shoulder every time you are trapped with a liar. Yes, the Emperor may be naked at the end, but he believes he is wearing the most beautiful clothes made from the most... etc. And more importantly, so does everyone else in the story. Except one.

The Emperor believes, so he is both wearing the clothes and not wearing the clothes at the same time, This is quantum mechanics flashing in your face. How can he be both wearing and not wearing these clothes? At the same time? Because you and I have wasted our lives, you reading and me writing, and didn't dedicate our lives to particle physics. So don't be insulted if I call you an idiot, because I'm one. too. And so was (is) Rene Descartes.

I used to believe everything I was told. Why would anyone want to tell me a lie? It doesn't make sense. It's sidetracking, irritating, insulting and loses any friends you may have. Lying wastes people's time and none of us have any to waste. I won't bother to think of an explanation for the urban myth, or the Chinese whisper.

A woman fleeing from would-be murderers jumped over an eight-foot wall, holding her baby. Two Dobermans or Rottweillers held a burglar captured, taking turns to eat and defecate, until the householders returned two weeks later. Of course this is/is not true.

The empty shop on the corner of the Broadway and Leigh Hill, once the Broadway Wine Stores, is going to be a tattoo parlour. No it's not. Yes it is. It must be true: bloke down the pub told me. So we carry on believing things until we learn that they are not true. Then we believe these previously true things are untrue, until we are told that they were all true in the first place. So we believe what we want to believe. We think, therefore we are. Then we all die, like Descartes.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)