I wrote a new short parable today on the ObjectOpus and thought it might be useful to write a short piece here as to why I wrote it. It’s a silly little story that doesn’t really tell anything incredibly interesting, but just gives a perspective on some simple concepts of philosophy.
I started reading “Objectivism: the Philosophy of Ayn Rand” by Leonard Peikoff. I have been jumping back and re-reading many sections to make sure I completely understand them so it’s a slow go. Shortly after reading the beginning which covered the base concepts including ‘identity’, I already started playing with the ideas for that story.
I tried to imagine a situation of ascribing ‘identity’ to something and communicating it to someone that had no concept at all as to the identity of the thing in question. The easy way to create such a scenario was to imagine two groups of men, one technologically advanced, another primitive – the first presenting a product of his technology, the other only being familiar with his surroundings.
As I read on further in OPAR the story didn’t really change much, but I did add some additional emphasis such as cleaning up some of the concepts of integration and reduction that I had stumbled on myself in creating the story. I also added a bit [more] of the concepts of the emotional responses as related to context that comes up further on in Peokoff’s book, even though I already had conceived of the primatives’ response to the use of ‘mud’ as a corollary to clay.
If you haven’t read OPAR, then you can still enjoy the story. Suffice it to say, it is just a simple allegorical parable on how one might go about reducing concepts down to (or closer to) their underlying primaries – and how without doing so, the lack of context and the difference in perspectives might lead to considerable confusion.
Check out the story: Primative Reduction