Thursday, November 10, 2011

Zeno's Arrow or How To Get Rid Of Univited Guests.

Don't you hate it when you invite friends to your house for dinner and they drag along their friends who are staying with them. People who you would never have invited under normal circumstances. People who even your friends didn't invite but just happened to be passing through Mexico and thought they would drop in and have now stayed for a month. People who you need to hire a mechanical digger to shove out the front door.  More often than not these interlopers are downright terrible company.

Their dress sense is also a dead giveaway as an uninvitable dinner guest and you would rather cross the road or dive into a doorway or dig out your false beard than speak to them on the street. We at the offices of MazReal are considered so insular we do it all the time. So if you see someone in a plastic Grouch Marx face disguise hiding in a doorway it won't be us.

f you haven't already guessed, these are examples of a dress code that for us make the wearers undesirable company. We know it is extremely shallow minded but life is really much too short.

Creased slacks and two-toned shoes just get my goat and are best kept in the confines of those 'men only' 19th holes on the golf course.

Tasseled shoes are OK when kept well out of sight under the ostrich skin desk of your cheapskate lawyer.

Slapping lederhosen is also a no no at our dinner parties. Best kept to Bavaria.

No explanation needed for these poodle-haired 'hard boys' of soft rock image above. That lot I would set my dog on.

This man below is borderline and welcome if he redeems himself and his acid green outfit by bringing along a bottle of outstanding wine and some interesting chat.

Discussing philosophy is a great way for people, if they have enough alcohol under their skin to get involved in a discussion that would allow you to quietly slip away and sit in a dark cupboard with a bottle of vodka and wait for the undesirables to bugger off.

This mind game is one that amused a whole contingent of early Greek logicians and is a paradox called Zeno's Arrow and illustrates the impossibility of motion or change.

Zeno's Arrow by Magritte ( La fleche de Zeno)

The flight of an arrow, said Zeno, is an apparent example of motion. But at any given moment of its flight, the arrow is either where it is or where it is not. If it moves where it is, it must be standing still, and if it moves to where it is not, then it can't be there; thus it can't move. In other words, at every instant of time there is no motion occurring. If everything is motionless at every instant, and time is entirely composed of instants, then motion is impossible.

There you go, try to get your head around that. There is a vast literature trying to prove or disprove or avoid Zeno's conclusion. Lay this on your uninvited guests and the mere mention of discussing philosophy and paradoxical mind games will hopefully get them reaching for their coats and telling you they have forgotten to feed the dog.

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