Adam's Beanstalk

A daily adventure-bag of insights and old bones from an unknown poet in Manitoba's south. Caveat: Not everything is to be taken literally. Things are often shaded with poetic crayons; be the owl. Also, not all these bones are collected from different fields. Find themes that run througout each post and the journal as a whole; the most insignificant event may be part of an ear.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Turkey and Other Countries

What has been going on?

1)Played a cutthroat game of Star Wars Monopoly over the weekend with Paul G., Shane, and Krystle. I managed to come out on top with a railroad/Podracer empire. Krystle alone must have paid me over $2000 on the one location with the help from some generous community chest cards. We still don't know what Paul was trying to accomplish with his mad mortgaging.

2)I won the E.D. Hirsch memorial scholarship for best creative writing piece at U of M, which has paid above and beyond the costs of my next semester. The winning piece is a work called "One Shovel Full, or Where the Gravel ends and Turns to Dirt". You may download and read it by clicking here: STORY. Note that though it is framed as a memoir, some situations have been distorted, so you can't get all "what's up with that?!!?" after reading it (though I know you are not that kind of people anyway).

3)We watched "The Notebook" at College and Career. I say no more.

4)I got a car! It is a 2002 Cavalier (a 12 year upgrade), and it drives without going "Rrrrr.....RRrrrr....rrrrr....stall". It even goes into reverse when I want it too. And there's no large dent in the driver's side door (remember when you have a hitch if you back up, people). Now if only the battery wasn't dead...

5)I bought a sweet edition of William Blake's "Songs of Innocence and Experience" which I have been delighted to read through.

6)There is snow on the ground that I think will stay. It was sunny today and the wind was making the snow swirl and things looked beautiful. Too bad it was so cold that my eyes were freezing.

7)Travis and I put up the Christmas tree, while listening to an Osmond's Christmas special on TV. We don't have any decorations for it yet, so donations are welcome.

8)We had our Kroeker Thanksgiving gathering over the weekend, and it was sweet to get together with all of our Iowaian cousins, some of which had been gone for a long time. Kody had been in Palestine, and we got to see some of his fantastic pictures he took from that part of the world. We also had some exceptional turkey.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

My coming to grips with Priest's identities

Priest says, "The identity of an object is not determined by its properties at any one world" (90). This is all well and fine, but then what is identity for Priest? These were my humble thoughts. Perhaps they reflected a concern similar to the "What the Hell?" objection, where Priest has to hold that identities are sui generis entities, unlike other things we have seen.

My worry with Priest's theory of identies reached its apex on page 121, where he writes, "Suppose that you and I decide to write a story about Holmes(Doyle's character). But our stories, whilst presupposing all that Doyle said, are incompatible. In my story, Holmes has a maiden aunt; in yours, not. Then in the worlds that realize the way that I have represented Holmes, he has a maiden aunt. In the worlds that realize the way that you have represented him, he does not. Different worlds, but still the same Holmes."
This, I thought, led into dangerous territory. Suppose that we said contradictory things about Holmes himself, not something superficial like the fictional existence of an aunt, or even the location of a wound, but something that is essential to Holmes.
-if your story denied an essential part of Holmes, and mine accepted it, SURELY we could not be talking about the same Holmes.

This, I thought, was a huge mistake on Priest's behalf (unless identities, like the mythical direction of a toilet flush, somehow functioned differenlty in the Southern Hemisphere).

But then I asked myself - "what is essential to Holmes?" His detectivehood, perhaps? But this cannot be, for surely there are possible worlds where Holmes has a successful career as a chimneysweep, and would still be Holmes.

In my search for another example, I turned to the chimera mentioned in Chapter 3. Let us suppose that a chimera is only such that it has the essence of a lion, the essence of a goat, and the essence of a serpent (this is the second way a chimera can be taken, see p.71). Now there is no doubt as to what is essential in a chimera as a whole. So if a class is given an assignment to write about a particular chimera (call it Nadirub), I, in my fictional story, describe Nadirub as above. My classmate does not; she tries to describe Nadirub as lacking the essence of a goat. However, she cannot do this - There is no way she could imagine a chimera without it having the essence of a goat.

In the same way we will find that if we, in a story, denied that Holmes possessed something essential to him we would, we could, NOT be talking about Holmes.

So I came to see that Priest, and the noneist account may be right; identity is far removed indeed from its properties at any given world.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Top Ten Foods Adam No Like

Indeed, the topic of food no no's has come up quite frequently in recent conversation. I thought you'd like to know my top ten most hated foods. Here they are:

#10-Ham and Pineapple Pizza (how in the world did this get to be one of the three main pizza choices?! Even anchovies make more sense than the combination of meat and those sweet watery packets that pop in one's mouth.)

#9-The Chicken Drumstic (being forced by culture to eat like a caveman off of the bone! It is so easy to imagine the living chicken flapping all the way down. Notice that if you will allow me to eat the meat with knife and fork, I have no problem with it)

#8-Corn on the Cob (why? It reminds me of eating chicken. I actually love the taste of corn)

#7-Steamed Peas (though a bowl of peas looks attractive, their mushy consistancy and stale taste is a big turn-off. Not so for peas straight from the pod!)

#6-Cold Fish (please! cold fish of any kind should be banned from public places. No, I don't want to smell your tuna sandwich while I eat my yogurt.)

#5-Pumpkin or Rhubarb Pie (don't hate me because I'm different. Things that can't be eaten by themselves do not become better when squeezed between a pie crust. I'm sorry!)

#4-Mushrooms(okay, so I like the taste...but I just find them CREEPY!!! Especially when you can see the gills.)

#3-Bananas (something about the texture, and the fact that Mrs. Kroeker forced me to have as many bites as my age (6) in kindergarten).

#2-Bugs, except for ants, they taste minty. (although this is probably not on the menu, I felt compelled to add it to the list.)

#1-Tomatoes, plain/sliced (No, I don't hate ketchup. In fact, I love ketchup. The best condiment! But my hatred for this transvestite vegetable grows deeper every year.)