27 July 2006


The Poor Man offers a parable.
Far away, in the magical country of Epistomolia, there live two peoples. One people, called the Seers, believed that Truth is, that to know Truth requires Knowledge, and Knowledge is gained from observation, and from the application of reason. The Truth is the Truth is pretty much the Truth, the Seers believed, and the only trick was knowing how to see it. These people are, in many ways, much like you and me.

The other people, the Makers, believed that a tribe can create knowledge through the incantation of belief, and, either by overwhelming with volume or harmonizing with the incantations of other tribes, truth becomes. When choosing to harmonize, ancient custom dictates that for something given, something must also be taken away, for the exchange must be fair—always “a lie for a lie, and a truth for a truth” as their ancient saying goes. At first blush this might seem a more generous way of that of the Seers, and in many ways it was. But the deals the Makers made were not meant to last — after you had agreed to meet them half-way, it wasn’t long before they came back a bit stronger and declared you had to meet them half-way to half-way, and then half-way to that, and so on until, after a while, it always seemed like one tribe had exactly what it wanted, and the other tribe had nothing. These people are, in many ways, much like certain people who shall remain nameless.

These two people must live and work together, and, in such circumstances, misunderstandings constantly arise ....

Reminds me of so many things I encounter these days.

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