Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Loaves, Fishes, Olive Oil... and Zeno

From: Zhengzhou Amisy















A bottle of olive oil: when you get to the bottom of it, you think it's empty, but it's not. You let it sit for a while, then give it one more try, and again a day later (I hate waste) there's still some left. It's weird  the Zeno's Paradox* of olive oil.
     Okay. Try this, next time you sit down to write… it's going well, better than you thought; and before too long you have a page or two of rough-hewn, first draft. It feels good! You're on a roll! So you carry on, and then it peters out for some reason. (You're distracted by something, or the words start looking forced or crappy (the infamous, "shitty first draft"). The rush of the "roll" fades. The endorphins dry up too...
     But don't stop.
     Like the olive oil in the "empty" bottle, there's got to be one more drop. Keep typing for one more minute — what have you got to lose? Tap, tap, tap… see what happens. It's amazing sometimes how much "oil" appears our of nowhere. Enough to garnish a tiny salad, cook another mushroom... or a whole meal sometimes.
— Michael Hale

From: Philosophy Monkey

*"Suppose Homer wants to catch a stationary bus [in the picture, that bus looks a lot like a tree... maybe it's an olive tree]. Before he can get there, he must get halfway there. Before he can get halfway there, he must get a quarter of the way there. Before traveling a quarter, he must travel one-eighth; before an eighth, one-sixteenth; and so on…
     There are thus an infinite number of steps that must first be accomplished before he could reach the bus, with no way to establish the size of any 'last' step."
Wikipedia (Zeno's Dichotomy Paradox)
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