For most people, it seems hard to believe that we’re already four weeks into the first semester of Uni. For all intents and purposes ‘most people’ is a gross generalisation including anyone doing sciences, maths, nursing, sports, media and just about any course that isn’t forcing you to study philosophy.
For those of us poor souls who are studying the ‘Great infinite abyss’, it’s hard to believe we’ve survived this first month with The Riddler as our course advisor.
Twice a week I rock up to uni and sit as my lecturer, my tutor and my peers intimately unravel the universe with questions like ‘What is thought?’ ‘How is thought?’ and say things like ‘Descartes’ theory of rationalism is sound in the knowledge that God is always able to perceive…’ blah blah blah.
I’m just that kid that sits in the corner with my eyes rolling in two different directions as the creepy voices in my head sing “round like a circle in a spiral, like wheel within a wheel…’ and blood drips slowly from the classroom walls.
Okay, so I may be dramatizing just a little bit, but if you were there you’d get it.
I am a person who, despite a deep-seeded hatred of maths and science, likes things to have answers. I like black and white, none of this ‘shades of grey’ crap.
Two plus two equals four. That is definite. Stop questioning it.
From what I’ve gathered so far, Descartes was just some guy who stood up one day, said “Cogito ergo sum” (which is Latin for “I think, therefore I am”) and impressed a bunch of other dudes who probably spent large amounts of time watching paint dry as an exciting alternative to listening to their mate Rene babble on.
A few years later, an Irishman named Berkeley put his Guiness down for a night to suggest that if a thing could be perceived it could exist, and everything existed because it was perceived by an all-seeing God.
Then a Scottish bloke named Hume came in, stirred shit up, argued with some other philosophers and then died just as confused as he was before he started asking questions.
You know what isn’t great, though? I still can’t answer the really big, important questions about life, love and the universe.
Is a zebra white with black stripes or black with white stripes?
How long is a piece of string?
Do goldfish sleep?
Do Siamese twins pay for one ticket or two tickets when they go to movies and concerts?
Do bartenders have to go to another bar after work so they can unravel their problems on someone else?
What do I actually want for dinner tonight?
What was the best thing before sliced bread?
I need someone to explain this to me in a way that isn’t terrifying. As it is, my tutor is great but I’m at that point where I can’t even be sure that I exist, let alone any of you or the world we think we live in. The only reason I know God exists is because I’m drinking a cup of it right now; double shot cap, no sugar.
If you start freaking out (which is totally understandable), don’t stress too much. You can come and stay here with me – we’ll get bunk beds and matching jackets.
– by Blaire Gillies (I think.)