Saturday, August 11, 2012

Existence, Sales, and the SSSDSSSSTS

I'm sorry I haven't said much over the last few months. I guess I was a little busy with this and that.
Anyway, I've decided that every 11th of a month, I'm going to start writing something. Then on the 12th, I'll put it here.
Today, it's recognition.
Ask yourself, do dragons exist? Do they? Of course not. If there were giant green scaly things that breathe fire was out and about, then don't you think we'd be a bit worried. Don't be silly Mr. Hester, dragons don't exist. Now keep on going like that, and we'll put you into an asylum.
Ah, but don't they? I mean, look at time. You can't feel it, you can't smell, and you certainly can't affect it. We're not sure that it even exists. But still, we have little round things on our wrists that actually measures this non-existent time.
Likewise, dragons exist. Not as actual manifested flesh, but at least as ideas. There is this definite idea of dragons that we all know, and it exists.
But obviously, there's a problem. When Lewis Carroll wrote The Jabberwocky, did he make lots of things suddenly exist at once? Did all the Bandersnatches, and the Borogroves started to jump up from their ethereal non-existence, into this wonderful new world of existence? Everytime I roll a dice 5 times to choose 5 random letters, hkldn, and I call it one of the legendary monsters that live in the ocean, has 3 wings, and shows no remorse, does it suddenly exist.
I say yes. Yes, they all exist. They exist now. Disagree? Then you might as well time doesn't exist, and turn up 2 hours late to a meeting. I mean, it doesn't exist.
Then dragons. Say we have 10 people gathered round. We all have slightly different interpretation of a dragon. Does that mean 10 different dragons exist? Or do 10 different things exist that happens to have the same name?
Let me also put this in another way. The Western view of the dragon is something scaly, fat, with big wings, breathes fire, and acts like a bully. Say that to the Chinese. Their dragon is long, thin, short limbs, flies with little to no wings, and is generally nice.
So if different cultures have different dragons, then different people would also have different dragons right?
So what if we export this idea from dragons into sales. Say someone gives you a some paper telling you about the Super Sucka Sucky Ducky Slooper Sucker Sackless Sackle Tackle Sucker (SSSDSSSSTS). The bit of paper tells you that it will suck up 99% of all aldehyde on the floor with ease for either a one off payment of $399.99 or a monthly payment of $23.99 over 2 years.
Now, you being clever, say to yourself, instead of paying long term, it's very much cheaper if I buy on the spot. I'll take it!
Of course, you being not clever, find that aldehyde aren't very plentiful on the floor, at least in remotely lethal quantities. It also happens to be awful at sucking up anything else on the floor.
And then there is one interesting thing here. "Ease". Does this thing called "ease" exist? Not physically. But we would recognise it right?
The problem with the SSSDSSSSTS was that every time you would run over a patch of aldehyde, it would suck up 99% of it on the floor, but only 99%. So once you had the first 99% off, you had to go over it again to get 99% off the resulting 1%, and then get the rest off whatever was left again.
Even worse, there was absolutely no "ease" involved. It was big, heavy, luggy, awkward, unethical, and most certainly uneasy. It was hard to operate, it stuck to the floor and went on munching it if you didn't move it quickly. (Well, now you have a good excuse for why it looks like gophers have been going around your home.) It was definitely something you would call "ease".
So obviously, you would go ring up the company selling the SSSDSSSSTS and complain about it. They want to contest that you're probably not using it right. They would send over a professional to show you how it's used.
And what a professional it was. Professional assassin it looked like. He was so big, so menacing, so strong, that you would have expected him to be winning gold for the weight lifting world wide, if he was a little less strong. Consequently, due to his immense strength, he obviously operates in the shadier places of town.
And when you see him operate the SSSDSSSSTS, you can't help but feel you're using it wrong. He swept up most of the aldehyde in your home very quickly, and he carried the thing like it was made of feathers.
"Dat was easy." the scary man said.
Of course, when you actually got hold of your SSSDSSSSTS again, it was back to being that clump of concrete again. That's not easy at all.
So you phone the company again, complaining that the machine is not easy to use at all. You could almost here the lady on the phone (I mean, I'm not being misogynistic. It's just that whenever you phone a company to complain about something, it's always a woman, because as a man, you would feel horrible about yelling at ladies.) shrugging and saying "Well, it's really subjective I guess."
Is it? Is ease for me different to ease for you?
Well back to dragons. Sure, my dragon might be better than your dragon, and my dad is probably better than your dad, but really? If you drew what you thought a dragon was, I would probably recognise it, and if I drew mine, (provided I'm a good enough artist) you would recognise it as well.
So although we all have different views of dragons, we can to a certain degree, recognise dragons.
Likewise, we can recognise ease.
If you were shown a photo of a beach resort with happy surfers on the sea, with sunning bodies on the sand, and dads cooking (burning) sausages on the barbie, you can recognise that as ease right? (Well, apart from that act of arson I guess.)
Likewise, if I showed you a photo of a slave market with young children being made to work day and night, old people being subjected to abuse, and young ladies doing who-knows-what, then that's obviously not ease is it? (I apologise for the graphic display I'm showing here, but at least it's easy to visualise?)
So here, we can probably assume that we would not recognise using the SSSDSSSSTS as ease, and so would we not be entitled to sue this evil company for their false advertisement?
But again, it's probably subjective.
If you want to go poking holes in my logic, go ahead. Humour me.

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New Zealand
He has many ambitions, some of which include art, while others include food. The common feature of all his ambitions is that they involve him staying at home. This comic is one of them.

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