Monday, November 22, 2004

King Midas, The Philosopher, and the Blogger

Whatever King Midas touched turned to gold. The philosopher’s is an analogous alchemy: whatever he touches turns into a puzzle, a problem, a conundrum wrapped in a rhubarb and hidden in a mystery.1 You thought you knew what time was until the philosopher asked a few simple questions and made a distinction or two:

What, then, is time? If no one asks me, I know. If I want to explain it to someone who does ask me, I do not know. (Augustine, Confessions, Bk. 11, Ch. 14)

The blogger’s alchemy is different still: whatever he touches, or encounters in any way, is transmogrified into blogfodder. And when the philosopher is a blogger . . .

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1To give credit where credit is true, the comparison of the philosopher's touch to that of King Midas is made by Wifrid Sellars in one of his published works.. But I can't remember where. In any case, my formulation somehow strikes me as more elegant than his.