Moulton Lava

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Location: New England, United States

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dialogue on the Fooled Cheat Duel Schism

A parable on the parting of the ways.

Two travelers named Capricio and Stormidio meet at a crossroads where they encounter an intrepid Innkeeper named Solvitio.

Capricio and Stormidio are having an argument. The Innkeeper, Solvitio, serves them each a warm cup of tea as he listens to their argument and to their individual tales.

Stormidio, who is traveling along Discovery Road from Ponds Pt to the Fleisch Manor, is waiting for Good Dough. Capricio, who is traveling on Theory Road from the Low Country to the Highlands, predicts Good Dough will never come.

The two argue incessantly. Solvitio, having nothing better to do, compiles a transcript of their protracted argument, which he frankly doesn't understand.

Eventually Solvitio suggests that the two travelers say their goodbyes and depart, each continuing along the road they were on when they first arrived at the Crossroads Inn. It takes a while, but eventually the two travelers agree to part company with each other and with the good Innkeeper and they each continue on their respective ways.

Solvitio sends off the transcript of the argument between Capricio and Stormidio, where it is published (in an obscure English journal) as "Boxcars of Gibberish" and (in a prestigious German publication) as "Frachtwaggons von Kauderwelsch." Alas, neither of the editions become a best seller.

Solvitio also writes his own personal account about how terribly long it took to say goodbye to the two curious travelers who met up at the Crossroads Inn. Solvitio's account is published under the title, "Much Adieu About Nothing."

Alas, no one reads it, either.


Blogger Moulton said...

Over the holidays, one of the programs I listen to on NPR spent an hour appreciating the Dickens classic, "A Christmas Carol."

Jack Beatty of the Atlantic Monthly selected as one of his readings this portion:

"You don't believe in me," observed the Ghost.
"I don't," said Scrooge.
"What evidence would you have of my reality beyond that of your senses?"
"I don't know," said Scrooge.
"Why do you doubt your senses?"
"Because," said Scrooge, "a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!"

In scientific measurement, it's important to both use one's senses and to doubt them. Our senses are notoriously subject to error, which is why we prefer carefully instrumented measurements when observing ghostly substances.

But how does one measure such ghostly substances as Belief itself?

7:30 AM  

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