An Allegory of Thinking

In response to Ulmer’s allegory of thinking, I posted the following to the Invent-L list:

So did this ice cream story come from the ka-ching database of early childhood experience?!

Some questions that Greg’s allegory raised for me:

1. Why is it the ice-cream store of “Reason”? Is thinking only about reason, or is there more to it than that?
2. Since this allegory invokes a landscape metaphor (what else is there?), I wonder what other stores and places there are to go and what they represent other aspects of thinking.
3. Why is thought represented as something solid that melts (e.g. ice cream)?
4. What is the mother of thought? What is the father of thought? Why is thinking represented as a child?
5. Why does the mother tell the child not to pick up the fallen ice cream? Why does the father say “nicely done” after clarifying the lesson learned? What does this suggest about the nature of thought and thinking?
6. Am I thinking too much about all of this?

Some implications for thought and thinking:

1. Thought is slippery. Thought doesn’t last long: it’s transient, it melts away.
2. Thinking is something to be enjoyed, while it lasts. The joy is ephemeral, though.
3. Thought is something we try to contain. The “waffle-grid sentence/cone” suggests the striated space of Deleuze and Guattari. Thought inevitably escapes, however; it cannot be contained.
4. There is plain thought (vanilla and chocolate) and there is specialty thought (bubblegum-clam flavor with sprinkles).
5. Curiosity about something else (here, about the ants) leads to losing your thoughts. You must stay focused in order to engage in sustained thought.
6. The visual nature of allegory/analogy provides *the* way to think within the electrate apparatus. A “proof” will be a scene unfolding in the space of allegory/parable.

If this is the way we are to think in the electrate apparatus, which Greg’s response suggests, then what will happen to the practice of philosophy?

I am also thinking about how Second Life could/would become a staging area for collective thought/allegorical “happenings” (e.g. Craig’s and Will’s VirtaFlaneurazine-SL experiments in SL).

Eagerly awaiting part 2…..


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