Lose to Win and Win to Lose

Sunday May 12th 2024 by socraticDev

JACK Tyler, you are by far the most interesting "single-serving" friend I've ever met.

 Tyler stares back.  Jack, enjoying his own chance to be
 witty, leans closer to Tyler.

JACK You see, when you travel, everything is small, self-contained--

TYLER The spork. I get it. You're very clever.

JACK Thank you.

TYLER How's that working out for you?

JACK What?

TYLER Being clever.

JACK (thrown) Well, uh... great.

TYLER Keep it up, then. Keep it right up.

Elitism and Pedagogy

It's between these two poles, elitism and the desire to uplift others' wisdom, that philosophical thought dances. Elitism promises depth for the inquisitive but often gets mistaken for snobbery by the rest. Because the first thing a philosopher drops is that humans are generally quite dim. While for most of us, it's all about flaunting our smarts.

Is the legitimacy of teaching wisdom proportional to the price the philosopher pays for enlightenment? Socrates cashed in his life, others got exiled. Saint Paul lost his sight.

Lose to win or win to lose?

Heraclitus of Ephesus's simplicity and depth have amused me greatly. This Greek philosopher, a generation before Socrates, known only through fragments from other authors of his time, has always floored me with his elegant way of uniting opposites while preserving them.

He notes that the road up and the road down are the same. So, most of our opinions are brewed from a partial understanding of things. We're stuck in our viewpoint. We're dozing off. And sadly, we cause havoc by making our opinions absolutes, while human affairs are often as serious as child's play...

A profound thought with a sprinkle of amused relativism. Heraclitus got that nothing's really important except what truly is. And what is, he finds so sacred that he doesn't even talk about it. As for the rest, human affairs, he's having a blast. He doesn't mind ruffling feathers.

Not understanding after hearing they are like the deaf; 

the saying is evidence for them 'absent when present'.

What if it's true? Especially if the reader, with rigor, takes this critique from the Ephesian philosopher seriously, then what can we learn about ourselves?

Similarly, if Time is a child playing checkers and not a wise judge or efficient banker, what can it teach us about the world?

translated from french by chatgpt 3.5 with the prompt: "I want you to translate this blog post from french to english in a playful tone"


Fight Club, Jack and Tyler Durden's first meeting while on a plane