Tag Archives: logic

Investigations of a Kafkaesque Nature

I’m running through a lush field of yellow grass blades after a black cat under a blue sky. The cat jinks this way and that but I’m gaining on him. I’ve never run so fast in my life. It’s like I’m flying over the grasses and through the bushes. It’s like I’m synchronized with all motion and I’m lying still inside the motion while the universe is doing the running and the cat and I are one with it, but I am getting closer. From far away I feel something warm on my twitching muscles and jerk to attention but it is the calming hand of my human, soothing me but insisting that I awaken. The cat, the grasses, and the universe dissipate. They are replaced by another reality. My human touches a square on the wall of our cave and the eyelids open slowly, letting in the morning light. He brings the chain linked collar and long strap to put around my neck but I lay my head down, feigning sleep. It’s a game I play before we go out for my walk which, feeling my kidneys full once more, it’s probably time for. I rise to my feet and we walk to the mouth of our cave. My human sticks something into a small hole in the wall which opens sideways. We leave the cave and walk down the stepping-stones to another eyelid which my human opens. We walk down more stepping-stones to a path in which big blue, yellow, and grey metal insects roll noisily past on dark rubber feet. Of course I would prefer to run freely instead of being constrained by the chain and strap but I don’t know whether my human needs the strap for me to pull him along or he’s afraid I’ll run into the path of those big rolling insects. I don’t want him to worry about me, since worry smells like fear which is a sign of weakness, and I don’t want him to be weak. Sometimes my human doesn’t seem to know what’s good for him. When I smell a stranger who is menacing or afraid, I know it is up to no good and I’d better lunge at him before he attacks us, but my human yanks on my chain and strap when I’m already in midair. It can be so embarrassing and frustrating. We walk by the stranger and I feel so cowed, but nothing bad happens this time. It might have. Always attack first is my policy. It’s safer. The world is a dangerous place and if you want to survive in it, you have to keep your wits about you. A walk in the park is not necessarily a walk in the park, if you know what I mean. My human is too trusting and one of these days I won’t be able to protect him.

We start our walk but I get easily sidetracked in the here and now. There are so many stories to listen to and you can never know in advance which ones will be only just very interesting and which ones will be whoa I can’t move another inch before I hear the rest of it, like this scrawny grey yellow bush in the garden we almost passed by. A human who had just birthed two human pups had passed by and left their scents worth on the leaves. One of the pups didn’t take his mother’s milk so well. It might be related to the acrid smell of his urine. This takes time and I need more information, but my human is trying to pull me away already. I try to convey to him that this is important but he doesn’t seem to understand. Honestly, sometimes I don’t know what they’re thinking inside those inflated brains. I squirt a bit of urine near the spot to mark how far I’d gotten in this saga so I don’t have to start from the beginning next time around. The human and I always walk the same path, two or three times a day, but sometimes it’s not the same path because the smells are new. It’s the same but not the same. Go try to explain that to a creature who walks upright. It’s as though they don’t want to smell the world around them. Keep your nose to the ground I always say. We continue our walk and I sniff what I can. Somebody has to do the smelling around here.

Suddenly my bowels feel full and I release them. My human scoops it up in a bag and tosses it into a round container. Honestly I don’t know why I bother to do it. It’s such a waste of time.

As we continue our walk, we enter a cloud of digital emanations leaking out of the eye of a cave near us. Although the noise is annoying to me, it doesn’t seem to bother my human who is tapping with his thumbs on some small slab of plastic. The cloud contains an article on quantum physics and human irrationality. It states that although modern humans have attempted to base their rationality on the logical and mathematical models of Aristotle, that a thing either is or is not something, but the article goes on to say that our world is really a large number of states that can be and not be at the same time, at least until you measure them. Once you measure them and depending on how you measure them, they become one state or another. Quantum physics is a bit beyond me but it seems to me that logic and mathematics only derive their value from the premise that they somehow reflect how our physical world really works. If not, then what are they good for? I don’t believe in total chaos. The world kind of makes sense to me. Neither do I believe in a big dog in the sky who created this world and everything that happens depends on Its will or whimsy.

We passed through the cloud and continued our walk. My bladder was still half full but I had to save some of my urine for come what may. My human avoids other dogs, cats, and people when we walk together. I worry about his social life.

Finally our path takes us to the mouth of our cave. He puts his stick into the mouth so it will open. Then he pushes a square next to another mouth. I sit patiently beside him waiting for the mouth to open. When it finally does, we enter a small cave that’s not our cave yet. My human presses another square and the cave begins to jiggle and vibrate. Soon it stops and the mouth opens. I walk to the mouth of our cave and wait for my human to put another stick in the mouth of our cave. The mouth opens and we are home.

That’s all I wanted to be.

Daisy Stone

Raanana Israel

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Independence Day

American flag

This is not the day to dwell on our strength because that makes us forget that our liberty is not a foregone conclusion around this world and that the dangers to our liberty are ever present. This is the day to remember when we were weak but had the courage to draw the line on our shores and say in a single unwavering voice “let our enemies step over this line at their own peril!” While logic whispered in one ear that we were outnumbered and wisdom whispered in the other that we should withdraw back to our home fires to fight again another day when our enemies would be weaker than us, courage spoke from our heart and told us our liberty and that of our loved ones are worth fighting for against any and all chances.

Courage is always disproportionate, inordinate, and can never be counted on by our enemies.

Happy Fourth of July America!

From your friends in Israel

Mike Stone

Raanana Israel

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Filed under Essays, Journals

Chapter 58: What Have You Done to Him?

The boy fell back onto the bed, his whole body twitching violently.

“What have you done to him?” Ellen shrieked. She held the boy’s head and upper torso in her naked arms, keening and rocking back and forth, “What have they done to you, my love, what have they done?”

You understand what has happened to you, don’t you?

Ellen looked from Lem to Yani and back to Lem. They stood next to the bed so calmly as though nothing had happened. All of a sudden an over-powering hatred welled up, taking over, and she leaped at Lem from the bed, pummeling him in his face with her clenched fists. “What did you do?” she screamed at them.

Yes, I understand. Bear with me … I haven’t got the hang of thinking like this … so that I hear you and you hear me.

Lem held Ellen’s wrists while she resisted, kicking wherever she could. “Why did you do this?” she pleaded. “You monsters … both of you!”

“Ellen please!” Lem held Ellen close so that she could not maneuver or kick, but he was careful not to hurt her. “He asked me to do it. I couldn’t refuse Father’s request.”

Ellen spit out her next words piercing everyone’s heart, “And if he had asked you to kill him, would you have done it?” She hung limply, suddenly exhausted in Lem’s arms.

Lem released his hold on Ellen and guided her gently to the bed. “I can fix Father up but it will take a little time. Please let us think. He can’t talk yet but he can think.

How is it that I can think but I can’t talk or move?

Thoughts don’t have any moving parts at least not any that are real. Talking and moving are another matter, literally another matter. You need to reprogram your associative memory, your white matter. You don’t have much time left to do it, so I will help you reassociate.

“How can you two stand there doing nothing when he is having a seizure like this?” Ellen asked incredulously. “Do something!”

Ellen my love, please, for my sake, trust Lem and Yani. I’ll be ok. Just this once I need to be alone with Lem so he can help me get back on my feet. I’ll be as good as new. I just need absolute quiet. I need everything around me not to move.

Ellen looked around her, from Yani to Lem and back again. Then she looked at the boy twitching in bed beside her and her eyes widened.

Yani put a robe around Ellen’s shivering shoulders. “Yes, Ellen, that was Father thinking,” Yani said softly to Ellen. “Come with me. I’ll make you some hot cocoa and we’ll sit in the kitchen. I promise to explain everything to you.”

Yani put her arm around Ellen, who was so fragile at that point that she could have shattered like glass, and guided her gently out of the bedroom to the kitchen.

 

Now where do we start?

I think we should start with stopping my epileptic seizure. I might hurt myself.

Alright. Can you feel me inside you now?

Yes.

I’m going to detach your corpus callosum temporarily so that the seizure will stop.

The boy no longer twitched. He lay still in his bed, his eyes looking at the high ceiling.

Thanks. That’s a lot better.

Your right and left brain hemispheres are going to start thinking independently of each other, because the corpus callosum is detached. Don’t be disconcerted.

Maybe I can have the two hemispheres communicate with each other like you and I are communicating.

It doesn’t work that way. Both hemispheres think they are you.

That’s stupid. Who constructed it that way?

Nobody. Let’s continue. What next?

I think we have to take all the neurons that were attached to my amygdala, detach them and reattach them to neural pathways in the neuronal axons in my cerebral cortex. That’s going to take an awfully long time, isn’t it?

Don’t worry about it Father. There is a higher dimension in which I am replicated in multiple spaces at the same time. Do you remember how I engaged the entire Sap army? Nobody else at the Refuge offered to do it, so I volunteered.

Yes, I remember. It’s like that? How will you know what to attach to what?

I’ll copy my own neural programming, more or less. You’ll start out like me but you’ll end up pretty quickly like you as your experiences change your neural patterns.

What about my feelings toward Ellen?

I won’t touch your memories or your judgment, but your emotions will be replaced by your logic.

How will love survive that?

Love has its own logic.

 

Mike Stone

Raanana Israel

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