This morning I was just about to congratulate myself that for once an important task at work had run smoothly (in contrast to the last couple of times) when someone noticed a glaring horrible issue which required an emergency call with tool support and half the morning to set up a workaround and trigger a correction. Then I had to wait until the correction was done, with took until the afternoon, and then I had to redo things (that last step was quick). It completely derailed my day. Luckily, I was productive yesterday and so didn’t have any other urgent tasks on my plate. Most of the stuff I planned to do today, I quietly moved to next week. Currently nothing ever seems to run without a hitch, but I guess that safeguards my job. At least today is my last day of work for the week, so someone else will have to deal if anything goes wrong tomorrow. Poor colleagues!
On another matter: I’ve always been interested in ancient Greek and Roman history. I studied Ancient History (with a focus on the early Roman Empire) as a secondary subject at university, but I never got into literature or philosophy which I’ve always regretted. So I decided that I would start reading some of these books (in translation: my Latin is very rudimentary and Greek non-existent). I did some research using the reading lists of various colleges for Classics undergraduate students and for some reason I can’t remember I decided to begin with Aristotle’s Metaphysics. I downloaded the Kindle version of a Penguin Classics edition. It’s now one of the books I bought this year and haven’t read yet and as I don’t want to end up with any unread books bought in 2021, I’ve begun to read it. I’m still on the Introduction and was rather fascinated by a bit of information about one of the earliest philosophers, Parmenides, who invented something called Monism, which maintains that the world is made up of only one thing that includes the whole of being. He came to this strange conclusion by arguing that anything that is can’t at the same time not be.
I say: I am a woman. I say: I am not a man. Therefore, I both am and am not, which is not possible according to Parmenides. As the book is not about Monism, it’s not explained how Parmenides got from two statements like those to his theory. It’s a strange idea, but it made me think.
I say: I am a woman. I say: I am not-a-man. If the “not” modifies the noun (man) instead of the verb (am), the two statement now no longer imply that I don’t exist. I am both a woman and not-a-man, no non-being involved. What does that say about Parmenides’ argument? One can get around it by playing with language? I don’t know, but in a totally irrelevant (and perhaps ignorant) way it was fun to think about.
So, I’m enjoying the book (so far), but I guess I will take ages to get through it if I keep having weird thoughts and feeling the need to write about them. Is that the point of philosophy, engaging in thought? Anyway, who knows, maybe at some microscopic subatomic level everything is really made up of the same stuff. People (other than myself) are still concerned with questions brought up ages ago. That’s awesome.
It was again wet and foggy this morning, as it rained during the night. Curious Dog and I nevertheless had a good time on our walk. We just missed meeting his best enemy, a Jack Russell terrier. The two of them hate each other and always engage in a lot of barking and growling and pulling on the leash so I was glad we only saw the other dog in the distance.
The weather improved during the day. It even became sunny. Some rain is forecast for the night but I’m hoping that it will be dry enough to mow the lawn tomorrow. The municipal collection point for gardening rubbish (and other recycling stuff) has opened again (it was shut last time due to contamination by illegally dumped waste oil) allowing me to get rid of all the rubbish that Mum has collected last time and during this week. I also have to go shopping and do some cleaning and we need to tidy up our grave plot – all the rain this summer has caused the Vinca groundcovering plant to explode. It’s encroaching on the other graves, so we have to cut it back a bit. It’s also half strangled the Lavender plant we put in to keep off the ants that keep trying to colonize our plot even though they’ve got the entire wood next to the graveyard to play in. Lots of things to do, but I’m feeling quite energized about it – probably because I managed to do Yoga again today.
Keep safe, world.