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Though i have already overexplained this whole thing, i predict most realists will not have accepted any of my arguments.

This happens because they apply the idea of truth to a criticism of truth. It is their belief. But it also is poor methodology. And i simply can’t do anything about it.

I realize it will sound patronizing, but indulge me just one last time, as i try a more “allegorical” approach.

I wont go for simpler or clearer explanations, but instead a kind mind-stretch, a hopefully funny exercise for the brains.

The issue, if you’ll remember, is whether the external reality is itself the embodiment of truth — if we can equate externality-to-subject with truth.

I say we can’t, and the reason is that this so-called reality lacks properties that are needed to truth (as, say, uniformity, univocal-ness and describability).

We can learn a lot about “the world out there”, but we can not ever learn anything about it’s essence. For all i care, the likeliness of reality having any essence is very dim.

What actually happens is that we are constantly forcing an essence from our minds on reality.

For example, it is not possible to test whether the sensation i have when i taste chicken is the same sensation you have when you taste exactly the same thing. We might as well measure the brain waves produced each time, or even map all the chemical reactions fired by the meat, but that will not prove anything about the sameness of the sensation.

In the same vein, when you impose a ruler against your hand and measure it, it is the ruler that puts the 22cm in your hand, not the other way around.

Say, for example, that tomorrow you have overexerted yourself, and you feel a little crampy, and then your hand will probably stretch less and will measure 21 cm. Or maybe the day before yesterday you had some kung-fu training and your body is specially nimb and you can open your hand to 23 cm.

Even more dramatic, take two iPods and measure them: you will probably come up with the same number, but they do not have the same size, they only have similar sizes. There is nothing, at all, in the whole universe, that measures exactly 22 cm. More likely it’s 22.002300728984923… The more precision you have, the more measurements use the precision. There is no bottom to this hole.

Even the that metallic bar somewhere in France that is supposed to be exactly one meter by definition would be irregular if scanned in a narrow enough scale, say the size of your processor’s transistors.

Now, even if you hate me for saying such rubbish and will take my (not so) humble blog out of your Google Reader after this one, please imagine a ruler forcing 22cm into your palm instead of the other way around. Force your brain to think this one thought. Force yourself to mockingly-believe this for at least 3 seconds.

Really, please do this before reading on. Pretty please with sugar on top. If you could actually find a ruler and substitute your actual palm-measure for my 22cm, i would be even more pleased.


See, your hand does exist by itself. At least, i am here hoping so. But it does not have a measure without someone to measure it.

See, your hand does exist by itself. At least, i am here hoping so. But it does not have a measure without someone to measure it.

It does not have a size without someone else to conceive this idea of size as a property of physical objects. If it does not sound complicated enough: your hand just is, without materiality or extension or intrinsic properties.

Even a property can only exist in the head of a person who makes the judgment regarding what is or is not intrinsic to the objects. A mind that devises the ingenious game of punishment and reward, of naming and referring, of vocabulary building, a game that gets so complex as to allow an idea of property.

What’s more, to create this trick|game it was long ago necessary to make the brilliant but risky gamble of accepting arbitrary association — and let me remind you that this means we could instead of “object” and “property” use the ideas of “zorliker” and “haypt”.

Ideas are messy bio-electric (and maybe something else) processes that go on someplace near the nervous systems of those beings from the Animalia kingdom. In this sense, they are just as real and truth as a rock or the sunlight or a jump. An idea is just an action. It is a behavior.

Why should we believe that it is near the “essence of reality”?

So why should we, for example, believe the (x, y, z) coordinates of the first atom of your hand are real, and that each of those atoms have the same real properties and that a mathematic procedure can be abstracted from all those properties so as to produce the average distance of your hand — why should we believe that all those minutia and complications are part of the essence of reality? Even when it took centuries without end for someone to create the exploit that permitted one third axis that was still 90 degrees apart from the first two. WHY?

Let’s pretend there are two frogs in a forest, of the kind that have those inflating balloons under their mouths, and let’s say they fight over a female, who ends up mating with the one having the bigger sack.

You might have spotted, i implicitly referred to size, a thing i had just said exists only in my head. Does it render my argument invalid? You did think about the frogs, didn’t you? And yet, the frogs do not exist. And if i didn’t refer to their sizes, they would still not exist.

If i think about an unicorn, is it an unreal thought? It does use as much electric energy in my brain as the thought of a horse.

If i say “this text is foolish”, the “this” word has no link whatsoever with the text you are reading. It is just a bunch of phosphors emitting light on your screen, the connection between the “this” word and the text is just as illusory as the connection between the various pixels into a letter. The pixels are not connected. It is just an illusion in your brain.

Cest nest ce si une pipe.

And it is OK that it is so.

It does not render you stupid that things are this way. It does not make you incapable of reading this text. It does not make it harder for you to “compete in the global market”. It does not diminish your chances of growing up and mating and producing offspring thus conquering chromosomal eternity.

All this are just a bunch of tricks, some very clever, but let’s face it, most of it kind of boring, and so is measurement.

Before someone came up with this idea of “measure” to be “BIGGER” was something a bit messy, maybe if you did compare open arms the first boy would win but if you compare tops-of-heads the second one would, and still if you did compare the height of the eyes yet another boy.

Say it all began in an primeval Greek village and some boys where making a pissing contest and the cleverest of them said that instead of comparing in couples who was taller they would all see how many times the village’s leader’s knife could be flipped over each of their bodies.

Without the knife, or after it, each of their bodies where still their body, with all it’s details and peculiarities, but the ruler-would-be knife imprinted in each one a number.

The act of flipping the knife as many times as possible creates the number, not the body, not the knife, not reality itself, but the kid’s game.

The game and it’s modern counterparts do have the peculiarity of always creating the same number when repeated with the same objects, but without the game there is no number. Without the ruler there is primary direction of measurement and therefore no size.

It is the ruler that forces the 22cm into my palm.

And now, if you want, you might forget all this foolishness. You might tell me i am just another sloppy academic trying to hide my weak arguments behind poor metaphysics. I will accept it.


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