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From Nothing to Something - 8823
To err is human; to forgive, divine. - Alexander Pope
Sitcoms and philosophers on a Tuesday! So let’s jump in!
The Daily Rabbit Hole: Norm from Cheers was the only character on the show based on a real life person.
“I worked at a bar after college, and we had a guy who came in every night. He wasn't named Norm, [but he] was always going to have just one beer, and then he'd say, "Maybe I'll just have one more." We had to help him out of the bar every night. His wife would call, and he'd always say, "Tell her I'm not here."
Aristotle is well known for … fill in the blank. The man was prolific in his ability to ponder tough questions. Developing the foundations of everything from botany, to chemistry, to ethics and even physics. It is no surprise then that he is the founding father, of sorts, to the field of logic.
At first glance through the eyes of anyone in the 21st century, it seems rather needless. That all of humanity is mortal, and I am a part of humanity and therefore going to die seems obvious - but the structure of that deductive reasoning wasn’t available until Aristotle constructed it in the 300s BC. Aristotle, like many of the philosophers we frequently reference today, was ahead of his time in large part because he thought about thought.
I find it endlessly fascinating how time and copycats are able to ruin the original. These days, basic logic and reasoning are featured heavily in our lives as early as children’s television programming. So when many kids begin to learn of Aristotle and his peers later on in their education, they have little reason to be interested because we are taught about what they did rather than how they thought.
It’s like how every adult television sitcom being Cheers or Seinfeld with a different cast and setting, but by the time younger generations sample these two shows they’ve already seen them done so many times they feel unoriginal. All of this to say, the next time you do a dive on one of the greek philosophers take some time to think about how they thought - not just the results.
The ‘Wait, What?’ Vortex: John Ratzenberger, (better known as Cliff the mailman from Cheers), is no longer in every Pixar movie.
“Among Ratzenberger's roles in the Pixar universe are Yeti in Monsters Inc., Mack (and others) in Cars, and The Underminer in The Incredibles. Ratzenberger was even considered a "good luck charm" for Pixar for years, but that's no longer the case.”
Spontaneous Generation …
To err is to be human. Which is why it is both surprising, and yet not at all, that Aristotle - the founder of the study of logic - set in motion well over 1000 years’ worth of scientific belief that … living things just spontaneously formed out of non-living things. This conclusion was the result of observing that snails, slugs and worms would often appear with higher frequency after the rain so they must be formed in those conditions from the inanimate water and soil. Really fancy scientific research going on in that era.
But! You want to know why we were able to disprove this theory in the 19th (!!) century? Louis Pasteur followed how Aristotle thought, not just his conclusions, with new knowledge in tow.
That person you admire? Living or historical? Better to understand how their mind works than to understand their conclusions. That’s how we make progress.
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