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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Why Homer is even more relevant today

On this most forgettable inauguration of my new blog I suppose I should begin with Homer, the author of the Illiad, and other Greek epic poems. Why? You ask...

Well, I am first and foremost, a scientist. I view the world through a lens of observation, measurement, experimentation, and theorizing. This could be called a naturalistic view of the world. AND one I think is most appropriate, as the world we all live in is 100% natural.

That brings us to Homer. Homer viewed that world as one of natural characters, heroes and foils, supernatural creatures and gods. But his heroes were purely naturalistic (even though thrown into supernatural circumstances). His heroes were human, they had their strengths and weaknesses. When his epics are viewed in this way, it is easily understandable why his writings survive even into modern times. They are timeless. His heroes faces situations where the odds were stacked against him, to the point of almost certain failure. That is indeed timeless, and applies to today's heroes as well.

Today's heroes face nearly insurmountable odds against foils who employ oddly supernatural cartoons for their ends. Who would have guessed that a cartoon sponge or an animated rabbit would exert so much pressure on the natural realm of humanity, that these foils can employ them as proof of the supernatural? Because these foils have a nearly godlike level of power -- they control the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court -- they are the modern equivalent of Homer's god-foils. So then, where is our hero?

In these times, our hero is also metaphysical, science, mathematics, logic, and above all, rationality. Fortunately, these have not yet been killed off by the forces of our foils.

In the future, we will examine science, politics, religion, and most importantly, pure reason.


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