Thursday, November 06, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 71:
whuther pi is a priori

whenever virgil n i begun goin to skool over at utk, the routine of life changed cumpleetly. twuz the fall of 1977 n we had us only my vw wurkin reglar, so we rode to skool together. ye mite could be wunderin bout my frienship with virgil. i aint sed a hole lot bout it on a counta tiz hard to splain since twuz jes talk fer the mos part. i hadnt never met a nuther frien better at conversayshun, tho i reckon i met sum real good talkers since then.

but thar wuz always sumthin speshul bout the way we could talk n the thangs we wuz dreamin n such lack. we gut us into sum truble sevral times back in californy on a counta how we wood start talkin bout sumthin n then fergit to go home on time. twuz virgil that taught me whut the wurd rapport means even ifn he dint know it his own self.  but we had us one frum the mint we met n that wuz purty much our hole frienship. corse, we wuz both at lease hot fer darlene at one point, n i figger ye mite could say we wuz in luv with her, but that wuz jes a coincidents.

we talked bout mos everthang thar could be. he lacked trine to splain his inventchuns n perdickshuns of thangs to cum. he tole me thay wuz a'gone be flat screen tvs years befor thay wuz inny, n he had idees bout car transmisshuns n gear ratios n how wheels should wurk n how to make thangs levitate n how to use microwaves yew name it. i cant ritely say i unnerstood everthang he had invented, but it stretched my brain to try to keep up with his conceps.

we wuz poor as could be n dint have no money fer theevil weed nor lots of tuther thangs we had smoked or dropped or whutever, n that wuz a good thang since skool wuz gittin harder all the time. we did grow us a bit of theevil weed in a patch of tall weeds nex to the garden n thang wuz, folks couldnt even pick out theevil weed frum the weeds. corse, folks wood figger thatn out in a nuther cuple years, n ifn ye gut innythang a'growin, twuz lackly sumbidy else wood git the harvest frum it. but we had more or less acksidently grown us sum n that purty much had to do fer us till the nex year.

so whut we dun wuz load jes a pinch in a lil pipe that we lef in the glove box durin the day n whenever we wuz drivin home, we wood smoke it. n thang wuz, we dint have but one or two tokes frum it n frum that we larnt that it dont take but a lil to git ye hi. mos folks never larns that on a counta they keep smokin n never give jes a cuple puffs a chants. n thats how we cum to unnerstan the concep of reverse tolerunts, witch ye have with theevil weed but not with hard likker, sad to say.

innywho, we fell into the habit of leevin fer skool early in the mornin. n we gut into a argumint that we kep at fer purty much the res of our lives. i reckon i could call him today n ifn i caught him sober n started splainin my half of the argumint, he wood fall into hisn quick as ye could blank yer eyes.

befor i git into the details of the argumint, i should splain that he wuz studyin to be a engineer n takin as many fizzicks classes as he could. he called em the hard sciences, n i had to add mitt they wuz hard. i wuz studyin flossofy n histry n whut he called the librul arts or soft sciences. n thang wuz, my corses wuz hard on a counta ye had to be able to rite essays n his wuz hard on a counta ye had to be able to do math.

in later years he even claimed that the hard sciences wuz all publicans n the librul arts wuz all demcrats, witch that prooves to ye how he wuznt whut ye wood call a empericull scientist. he wuz a theoreticull one, ifn he wuz one atall.

that quarter i wuz takin four classes, witch they wuz science vs. pseudoscience, the flossofy of literchur, existentchulism, n flossofy of mind. i speck ill splain bout sum of em direckly. he wuz takin statisticks n lecktricull injuneerin n such lack. the wunder is that we wood have innythang atall to talk bout.

but we did, n heres the basick argumint. on his side, he bleeved that befor thay wuz innythang, thay wuz pi, witch thats whut ye git whenever ye divide 22 by 7, fer eggzample, or when ye wonta figger out the circumfrunts of a circkle n such lack thangs. tiz a concep that ye need to deescribe mos innythang in the hard sciences, n twuz one of virgils faverts. so whenever the universe wuz about to start up, he figgered pi alreddy existed, even right thar in the nuthinness befor the start,  sumhow twuz already thar, jes a'wurkin away, gittin set to guide everthang thru the steps frum bein nuthin to bein everthang.

my half of the argumint wuz that pi wuz sumthin folks made up to splain as bes they could the thangs they wuz seein round em. i argued that thays no such thang as a purrfeck circkle, but frum lookin at all the near purrfeck ones ye could see, ye gut the idee of whut a purrfeck one wood be lack, n frum that ye gut to whar ye wuz able to make rules bout how twood wurk ifn ye used it to figger distuntses n ratios n such in a purrfeck worl, witch thisn aint tall purrfeck. but figgern thangs fer the ideel wuz useful in the ackshul on a counta twuz close a nuff fer gummint wurk.

twuz really jes a rehash of one of the mos basick conceps of flossofy, witch that wood be whar plato sed thar wuz a worl of ideal forms n the real worl participates in it, n aristotle cum long n sed why did ye half to cum up with a maginary worl of ideel forms when ye had the reel worl rightchere to deal with.

n thang wuz, virgil dint bleev thar wuz a god n i bleeved thar wuz, witch when ye thank bout it, seems lack we shoulda been on the opposit sides of thatn frum the sides we wuz on. ye mite wunder why wood i say this. tiz on a counta if thar wuz pi befor thar wuz the worl, then how could thar be no god on a counta ifn thay warnt nuthin but pi, woodnt that be god?

we wood talk n talk n talk bout this n take off on ever tangint we could find n git the inventchuns he wonted to make. but sad thang bout this is how them inventchuns wuz lack them ideel forms.  they never did git into the reel worl.

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