Enzymes jump like water in hot oil across synapses, from neuron to neuron, until some, terrifying or soothing, mundane or wonder-filled, idea has been cooked behind eyes, nose, and mouth of a single skull. The idea chef presents coherent sentences, “good” art, and purposeful action – evidences of the thought’s raw pieces.
Serve yourself a piece of pie and ask the pastry chef, “What’s in this?” This, asking the cook, is an often neglected task for the idea eater. Ideas are most often swallowed whole, without a thought for the cook or for the raw ingredients.
Even careful munchers, cannot fully know the raw thoughts that precede the noxious or delicious concoction of an ingested idea. Ask our nationalized scientific religion. It cannot tell for sure.
Like a line in a Shakespearean play, a collection of concepts, the very roots of understanding, and propositions, the simplest bits of communication that can be judged true or false, may eventually cover what seems like the world. Of course to gain popularity, this collection must be profound, or, at least, it must have an attractive arrangement. Its truth, or lack of it, must be valued. Its goodness must be genuine, or, if it is truly evil, its corruption must be adequately cloaked.
Evil often appears good and good evil. Sometimes good morphs into bad like Anakin Skywalker turned Darth Vader or bad to good as with Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge.
So, it is almost impossible to discern the character and origin of motivations that compel pieces of thought to gather in one pot. Perhaps these bits of thought have their beginnings in the soil of heaven or hell or, possibly, they grow from both.
The terminal point of these intangible mixtures is mysterious too. Through perceivable sound and image, whole thoughts dribble or gush, or stream, as one philosopher put it, out of one skull into another and another sometimes for centuries on end. Who knows what rises, falls, or reformations will occur as they bump and crash into compositions leaked from other skulls from there to here, from then to now?
If ideas could comment on themselves, with Shakespeare’s Ophelia, they might truthfully say, “… we know what we are, but know not what we may be.” Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” has surely been used to convey meanings The Bard never intended and to have gone places he never imagined.
On & Off, True & False
Switches start and stop energy flow. Line and circle declare on and off. In logic, where truth is valued and where these symbols first emerged, line says true and circle false. Trace line and circle and their attachment with the search for truth or falsity back to the Irish soil of the 1800’s. There and then you will find thoughts streaming from the skull of George Boole put on paper before their delayed explosion hurled them across time and the world right onto your laptop.
George Boole, of course had no idea where his thoughts would end up or what they would be used to do.
Headline: MIT Makes Communication Breakthrough
New Technology allows conversation with the dead.
Transcript of First Conversation between Earth and Not-Earth
MIT Grad: By George, literally by you your thoughts George, life has changed drastically. Powerful search engines use your algebraic operators, AND; OR; NOT, to find information and solve complex problems.Circuit board functions and computer languages are based on your theory. …
Perhaps somewhere on Not-Earth, Boole already had a twenty-first century conversation with Claude Shannon, a real MIT grad. Before Shannon died, he had herded Boole’s logic into electronics technology, and therefore, by today’s understanding, “practical” application.
Boolean Logic and Results
Boolean Logic had been, from the start, meant to be practical though he used it to prove truths that many people in our post-truth society would find outdated and, therefore, ridiculously impractical.
- Assign algebraic symbols to philosophical premises (propositions).
- Set symbols in an algebraic formula.
- Preform algebraic operations to determine: 1=true, 0=false.
- Deduce conclusions.
“There has existed some one unchangeable and independent being.”
“The unchangeable and independent being is necessarily self-existing.”
“Whatever is self-existent is infinite.”
The “more advanced” of our species of course consider Boolean Logic brilliant and the results of his search absurd. Today his logic is used to search for more thoughtful topics like:
- recipe for smoothie high in antioxidants.
- best hiking shoes.
- things to do in Cleveland.
Contemporary Search Results
The results of these seemingly innocuous searches could, of course, stir random pieces of raw thought into sinister, or excellent ideas. Some will be false and others true. Perhaps theses ideas will pour from one head into another. And, as ideas go, it only takes one to make the world nauseous or to give it everlasting satisfaction.
Boole, George, An Investigation of the Laws of Thought, On which are Founded the Mathematical Theories of Logic and Probabilities, “Chapter 13,” London: Walton and Maberly, 1854, pp. 185-218.