Ostomy Memories of Philosophy


FOR SOME REASON I CAN NO LONGER RECALL, I chose to minor in philosophy in college.  Now, there is an academic area that is about as worthless as one can get vis-à-vis real life, but I was not a practical young student, and just to emphasize that impracticality, I chose English as my major field.  Depending upon how optimistic or pessimistic one is, I was assured to come out of college either qualified for nothing or qualified for anything.  Samuel Butler once offered that philosophies are nonsense, but some are greater nonsense than others.  Lucky for me, I quite accidentally discovered that, in taking final exams in philosophy courses, the more BS I could expand upon, the better grade I got.  Philosophers, and philosophy professors, have a tendency to have their heads in the clouds, and BS that comes across with just a small degree of academic fuzz on it impresses the hell out of them.  I mean, these poor fellows, over 2000 years later, are still worshipping Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.  I’m afraid to ask what they do in their spare time.  But I moved on from there, got work in the real world, made a life.  In the Sixties, the philosophers were Bob Dylan, Noam Chomsky, and R. Buckminster Fuller.  Today’s philosophers are about as well-known as Thales of Miletus.  I guess we’ve moved on from over-thinking to over-acting.



It seemed to be purely an academic exercise and not well suited to the real world...for the most part . At that age we are looking for someone with answers and in the shelter of a College Campus the growing mind could carry out these " thought experiments " to make an attempt at making sense of the confusing world !!Real life is Real Life and in the Bronx New York that very real life reared it's ugly head going home on the old citybus with exhaust fumes pouring into the back 5 or 6 seats ( not enough to kill you ?? But just enough to give you a pounding headache . A strange character on the buschattering in the throes of a mental Fugue , ranting ...lookpast him out the window , avoid all eye contact and remain expressionless . Philosophy in the classroom and Philosophy on the street are two different animals !!My Philosophy became ,mind your own business and you might survive the big city. The other key survival technique waswalk away when in any shadow of a doubt about the people around you !!Never have anything to do with the Police because Deportation is always an option if you piss them off .

Real life Philosophy provides a rude awakening !!

Then again my Bro became an Attorney and he said that Law School ( as with Philosophy discussions) discussions had little to do with Lawyering out there in the big bad world . " Law and Order " is Not a Documentary !!!Just a fantasy tv show !! The Technical information was top shelf but the panic inducing experience of facing a Judge in a court ....that was the real world , steep learning curve !!


This thread is way beyond my mind's simplistic capacity. &zwj

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LOL !!Henry is always clear as a bell but I tend towander off on a tangent sometimes into the weeds . I have to warn myself to "Straighten up and fly right "!! ...Magoo

Reply to AlexT

Hah, you're nowhere near as 'simplistic' as you pretend.  I've seen your posts too, you know.  LOL

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Reply to HenryM

LOL !! Reminds me of the .." I'm just a simple ole'country boy " !! When you hear that , watch out, he's got a lit more going on than he pretends !!! . My Dad was like that Alex , would listen quietly and jump in with the Wisdom when someone loses the plot!! Magoo


Magoo again . Alex's comment reminds me of my Dad .

Dad was a Builder and was a Master in Tiles " Brick and Blockwork , as in Wet ( in Ireland so mostly wet !) Concrete blocks . The lime in the Blocks burned the skin off his fingers ...huge fat Sausage fingers . I would struggle , using both hands , to pick up these blocks but he grabbed them with one hand like it was Styrofoam !!!My Dad didn't even get to go to High School , forget about College back then but he was one of the smartest people I ever had the pleasure of knowing . The key to his wisdom was more than the average Common Sense !! He read books constantly and I or a Bro , Sis would regularly head out on a Book-Swopping visit around our area . We wouldbring 5 or 6of his books with us and come back with a bunch of new books for his reading pleasure . I would read most of them before swapping . He was a Font of knowlege and wisdom .

Dad came off as the " simple ole Irish Builder ", not too sophisticated !! ...Yea...sure !!

One incident sticks in my mind . Much later in life , we were all grown and ( myself and four Brothers ) we were rebuilding a burned out Bar/ Rest and B Bin the Bronx , NYduring the frozen,snowy Winter . The building was just a 3 story shell with thick brick walls , only walls . We were installing steel beams on which the roof would be laid . The crane came and positioned the steel beams . The beams were huge , about 30 feet long and can't even guess how much they weighed !! 3 stories off the ground . One beam was a bittoo low on one endand off-level after it was positioned and there was a lot ofFffsflying when we saw it .

How much to get the crane back !!! was the first question , wages , profit down the drain !!My Dad was quietlysipping a coffee as we panicked as the roof construction would be held up for days . He quietly and calmlycalled me to bring him the two longest4×6swe had . Then he said " learn from an old Dog "and grinned . Following his direction we set up a giant size Lever with the 4x6 ( second 4x6 on the Fulcrum )using some solid concrete blocks . Walks to the end of the Lever and rested his foot on the end of it . Everyone just laughed and cheered as the end of thehuge beam slowly lifted . Got the Level on the steel beamand a stuck a couple of steel Shims under the low end and "Bob's Yer Uncle !!! " ...perfection . He didn't have to buy a singlebeer at the local Pubthat evening !!!

We might have come up with the solution but it was how Cool he was during the whole thing that wasso impressive . That inbuilt common sense won the day . In construction you have to get creative to get things accomplished and use a lot of "Book Smarts"without ever havinglearneditfrom a Science book!! Pythagorasoftenshowed up too !!

Some might think the solution was obvious ? but when 4people are in a panic it's not easy to find it !If there's going to be a Panic let it be Organized , one ofDad's favouritesayings . He was gifted with moreCommon Sense than anyone I know !!! Magoo .

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