Randomness, Years 3 & 4
Issue 68
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Issue 64
Issue 66
Issue 67
Issue 68
Issue 69
Issue 71
Issue 72
Issue 73
Issue 74

The Napkin Principle

I found this cool site the other night: randomness.com. At randomness.com I also discovered links to napkin.org and toiletpaper.org. Napkin.org is based on the concept that we often have great ideas, so we just jot them down on napkins (I call this The Napkin Principle). Therefore, napkin.org is a sort of virtual napkin. Toiletpaper.org is the "crap that napkin.org rejected." I decided I would share with you, in this, the 69th issue of Randomness, something I wrote on a napkin one day. I was studying in the library, probably for Roman Civilisation. During breaks, I would read from the book Truth Is Stranger Than It Used to Be, by J. Richard Middleton and Brian J. Walsh. I would recommend it to any of you. I was reading all these great ideas and felt that I needed to write them down, so I reached into the pocket of my great big coat and pulled out . . . a napkin! Here's what I wrote:

--The tower of Modernity is crumbling. It was built on the foundations of false gods: scientism, technicism, and economism. Now it has rotted from the ground up. The top, fourth floor has had its roof blown off and is subject to the howling winds of winter. Those of us in the 4th floor doubt the validity of the optimistic, humanistic worldview of the other three anyway. We are bewildered as everything we once held true is questioned or cast aside. We are afraid, wondering what will come next. We doubt the progress myth of modernity, that Western man is capable of anything and will cast off the shackles of our hierarchical past and shed the bllindness of superstition, ushering in a new age of humanity. A new age has come, but it is not what we expected. Rather than being the pinnacle of modernity, it is postmodernity. Now we laugh and scoff at "progress". In this new age of postmodernity, the answer to Where are we? is, "We are in a reality that we have constructed." We are no longer in a world that is ripe for the taking, a veritable Eden.

-March 13, 2002



Coyright 2003, Matthew Hoskin