Sunday, March 1, 2009

Saxons, grocers and other Fundamentalist Materialists

Patapsychology begins from Murphy's Law, as Finnegan called the First Axiom, adopted from Sean Murphy. This says, and I quote,"The normal does not exist. The average does not exist. We know only a very large but probably finite phalanx of discrete space-time events encountered and endured." In less technical language, the Board of the College of Patapsychology offers one million Irish punds [around $700,000 American] to any "normalist" who can exhibit "a normal sunset, an average Beethoven sonata, an ordinary Playmate of the Month, or any thing or event in space-time that qualifies as normal, average or ordinary."

In a world where no two fingerprints appear identical, and no two brains appear identical, and an electron does not even seem identical to itself from one nanosecond to another, patapsychology seems on safe ground here. [..]

The canny will detect here the usual Celtic impulse to make hash out of everything that seems obvious and incontrovertable to Saxons, grocers and other Fundamentalist Materialists. Patapsychology follows in the great tradition of Swift, who once proved with a horoscope that an astrologer named Partridge had died, even though Partridge continued to deny this in print; Bishop Berkeley, who proved that the universe doesn't exist but God has a persistent delusion that it does; William Rowan Hamilton, who invented the noncommutative algebra in which p times q does not equal q times p; Wilde, who asked if the academic commentators on Hamlet had really gone mad or only pretended to have gone mad.
- Robert Anton Wilson



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