“You are an abstraction”
“Open up, man. It's me, Dave”
1: Dave's Not Here
- Uh, Abstraction. Hmmmmm. It's like a concept of something, you know? Like, you have this thing, right? And if you have a concept about that thing, it's like an abstraction, right?
- Wait, let me give you a concrete example . . .
- Hold on, dude. A concrete example is the exact opposite of Abstraction. At least, I'm pretty sure it is.
- Yeah, you're right. <Pause> <Gets excited> But, like, if you had like theories and shit, that would be an abstraction of the concrete right?
- Theories about the concrete?
- Yeah, dude! Like, "How did the concrete get here?" "Where did it come from?" "Did aliens pour the slab?"
- I don't think that's an abstraction dude. Trust me on this one. I'm not sure why not, but I'm pretty sure that empiricallistically it's not what an abstraction is. It's kinda hard to explain.
- OK, dude. I trust you. You got a C in that philosophy class. I flunked it. I overslept during the final.
- I think I got it! How about this! Like there's the world and shit. And everything in the world, right? Everything that's there. I mean, we think it's there, right. Because how do we really know? We see it's there, right, but we're seeing through our eyes, right? We're seeing an abstraction of the world and everything in it, in our heads! It's like there's this little guy sitting in a little room in your brain, right? And he's watching it all on this little TV. He's watching these Abstractions in his little room and telling you what's really there, right? Like if you're about to walk into that chair over there, the little dude is all like, "Dude! There's a chair there! Don't walk there or you'll smash your shin!" Like, he sees the abstractions and interprets them and tells you what he sees.
- But dude, how do we know what he's seeing is really there?
- What do you mean? It's there. If you walk into that chair over there, dude, you're gonna like bump into it.
- But maybe there's a little dude in your head that feels abstractions, like through your skin and shit? And another little dude in a little room that's like tasting abstractions? How do we know that there is really there? Woah! That's trippy, man! I mean think about it, dude.
- Dude! Listen to me dude! There is no little man in a little room in your brain that tastes things. First of all, how would he taste it? There's not like a TV for your taste buds. There's no such thing! You're tripping! Second of all, I just made all that shit up to try and explain . . .
- . . .
- . . .
- What were we talking about, anyway?
- I dunno, dude, but like, I could use another bong hit about now.
- Dude, you're a genius. A TV that you can taste flavors and shit on. Any flavor you can think of. Woah.
- Not only that, but how do we know we're really not just the dreams being dreamt by little microbes resting in the asshole of a ladybird beetle hooked up to electrodes being manipulated by scientists that are really just figments of the imagination of some weird space alien that itself is being tested in a lab, by God, only he's not God, but he's, like, Jerry Stiller?
2: Limited Ignorance
An abstraction is a concept that you know but you don't know. So you are an abstraction because you aren't reading this right now. I mean, of course you are here now but not now now, because I am writing this and you are not, except there is someone reading this and it is me, but unless ... just pretend this never happened.
Since not everything is known at all times to all people, there are abstractions, the ideas of things that you don't know but use to fill in the gaps (like caulk). Unlike caulk, abstractions are not watertight.