Chariots are fine, but cars make more sense

Posted: January 4, 2015 in Comedy Journal

My roommate’s dog wont grab his bone if it’s next to his water dish. He just stares at it helplessly like a little idiot and whines. He’s a Boston Terrier so he already looks sort of pathetic with his big dumb eyes that couldn’t convey understanding even if his McNugget sized brain could achieve it. He’ll shake his head back and forth and drive his face into the carpet. He’ll try to roll over and offer up his tummy, trying to coax the bone away from the water dish. He’ll paw frantically near the bone, but he won’t just grab it with his mouth and move it. Something about the bone being in immediate proximity to his water dish wrecks his understanding of the universe. The reason for this is simple. He’s really stupid.

That’s not accurate at all, I just can’t miss an opportunity to call a terrier stupid.

He’s as smart as is average for a terrier, but this isn’t a case of smarts. This is something wrong in his head. The wiring’s wrong. His program that handles his understanding of: food, water, toys, drowning, play, smells, what you can eat, what can’t you eat, and where warm spots are has a glitch in it when his toy and his water bowl overlap. It doesn’t reboot the whole program, but it works really slow. Exactly like some levels in old Nintendo games where your guy could go to one corner of the screen and all the pixels would go wonky. An electrical impulse misses or something else like that. I’m not smart enough to know exactly, but I like my understanding of it. And I wish the guys who wrote The Bible had it, so there book would make more sense.

Our understanding of the world is shaped by the understandings of people ahead of us. It’s how we know so much. I don’t think I’m smarter than Leonardo Di Vinci, but my understanding of the natural world’s better, and he helped. When “we” (and this is a collective “we,” the biggest “we” we’ve got, all of us) learn things, it influences everything we already know, and everything we will know in the future, so long as we’re sharing information, and not intentionally misleading others. Discovering the wheel didn’t just lead to carts, it also led to Lazy Susans, and the idea that a body in motion likes to stay that way. Realizing mass can’t move at light speed fundamentally changes our view of the universe. It’s not just that we know it can’t, it’s that because of that, we know travel and life and time are imperfect measures to apply to the whole universe. The discovery of code is the biggest challenge to religion, faith, and basic understanding since the acceptance of a heliocentric universe. I hope fewer Italians get excommunicated for it.

It always used to bothered me that images of Revelations peaked out with bronze era technology. The old men and bad preachers I grew up with would speculate that “scorpions” were probably helicopters and the chariots mentioned in the end times were almost certainly tanks. I kind of grew up waiting for Armageddon. I sort of still am. The antiquity of the visions always threw me off. It’s not the fault of the writers.

They just hadn’t learned enough stuff. If David grew up with an rudimentary understanding of DOS, I think we’d all be much better prepared for the next world. If he was early or we were late is up for discussion, but we’re certainly here now, and I like it.

That little idiot dog not being able to grab his bone when it’s near his water, helps me understand god in a way I’m pretty comfortable with.

He’s a big math equation, maybe every math equation. He’s a big program, and it can be perfect without its parts being perfect. Or perhaps perfection’s all relative, and all that really matters is, it is.

That dog’s inability to understand that the bone is fine regardless of is position next to the water makes no sense, and it shouldn’t. His head makes too much sense as it is. He’s a pile of cells loosely arranged to best stay alive. It does a ton of work, it can screw up something like that.

It’s okay that some people are allergic to peanuts, or are color blind. Our currently limited understanding of programs is a revolution in thought that won’t be able to be appreciated until we’re off this rock, but it’ll be treated like fire or language or at least the scientific method, and I’m thankful for it.

I like this notion, because it meshes with my worldview, and it’s up to date with how I understand the universe. In a world where the sun goes around the earth, and where we’ve been here since the stories started, it’s easy to believe in an observant lord. It isn’t wrong, but it’s outmoded. I like to imagine fundamentalist polytheistic Romans arguing that god’s didn’t have wheels or swords. I hope people freaked at the idea of Vulcan getting an updated anvil. I hope it broke people’s hearts and old men walked out flustered when young men talked about it. I hope we’ll all laugh about it when the world ends.


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