Tuesday, January 31, 2006

have you stopped beating your wife yet?

no this post is not about domestic violence. its not a discussion on the institution of marriage either. and it is certainly not a poll on all the wife beaters out there (you know who you are). rather, this post is about a logical inadequacy in the english language in answering this question. i know, saying "i dont have a wife" is sufficient for the problem. but it is not elegant; for all those people pressed for time, and not interested in following up their answer with a detailed discussion on all the aforementioned topics. the problem can be summarized with a short draft, borrowed from answer.com:

"Assuming that you have no wife or you have never beaten your wife, the answer “yes” is wrong because it implies that you used to beat your wife and then stopped, but “no” is worse because it suggests that you have one and are still beating her."

i hope you can now begin to appreciate the earnestness and enormity of this problem. how does a single, never married, guy answer it without bringing on the wrath of the femme libertine. but fear not! our anime country cousins are here to the rescue; armed with samurai swords, free hentai, and short word aphorisms for large worldly problems you dont know of and dont care about. the answer is ... *fanfare* (and no its not 42) "mu". here is what answer.com has to say about mu:

"According to various Discordians and Douglas Hofstadter the correct answer is usually “mu”, a Japanese word alleged to mean “Your question cannot be answered because it depends on incorrect assumptions”. Hackers tend to be sensitive to logical inadequacies in language, and many have adopted this suggestion with enthusiasm. The word ‘mu’ is actually from Chinese, meaning ‘nothing’; it is used in mainstream Japanese in that sense. In Chinese it can also mean “have not” (as in “I have not done it”), or “lack of”, which may or may not be a definite, complete 'nothing'). Native speakers of Japanese do not recognize the Discordian question-denying use, which almost certainly derives from overgeneralization of the answer in the following well-known Rinzai Zen koan: A monk asked Joshu, “Does a dog have the Buddha nature?” Joshu retorted, “Mu!” "

for those with a curious bent of mind, here is an interesting article on Discordianism on Wikipedia, that source of all divine knowledge. going through it will jam your normal cognitive processes enough to be able to give your roomate a chance to call in the Men with Straightjackets. i especially liked the part where they say "atheists are people without any invisible means of support". hmmm...! to get you further interested in clicking on that link, here is one more quote by one of the founding fathers of Discordianism: "If organized religion is the opium of the masses, then disorganized religion is the marijuana of the lunatic fringe. — Kerry Thornley (aka Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst) in the introduction to the 5th edition of Principia Discordia"

you still here? or have i lost you completely? ok, for the all the practical people out there. this is the perfect answer to so many questions in life. imagine your father walking up to you and asking, "what have you planned for your future?" or your sweetheart of long asking, "where is this relationship headed?". now you know the answer dont you.

cheers!

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh My Flying Spaghetti Monster.. how dare you mock the Draconians you [heathen, Gentile, infidel, disdraconian, un-FSM] take your pick...

In case you're wondering what FSM is...
http://www.venganza.org/

Rajat Goyal said...

hehe! you have a converted pastafarian at your hands!

poppy said...

Mu!

Kya sahi post hai.

Informative, to say the least.

Lets discuss this further over a drink of vodka tonic, shall we? Good!

Anonymous said...

very intriguing post, that. Mu is just the perfect ans to LOTS of questions.makes you wonder how no one thought of comin up with it earlier..or maybe it just got discovered late..

Rajat Goyal said...

@ misty: lets make it single malt scotch on the rocks, or korbel spumante with nice italian... and you got yourself that discussion!

@ anon: or perhaps we were born in the wrong religion? @ late comers

J.R. Woodward said...

Dude,

I absolutely love your post. It is helpful, logical and clever. I loved the quote "If organized religion is the opium of the masses, then disorganized religion is the marijuana of the lunatic fringe." That is great. And now I have a good answer for those with non-sensical questions.

Peace,

JR Woodward

S. R. Nirmala said...

You rascal beating your wife?

Neha said...

thts not me.. someone's using my link to write comments.. i dont noe who and why!

Rajat Goyal said...

@ neha: i know! its ok.

Anonymous said...

:0 what is wrong with ppl, what kind of comments are THOSE?!!

heh, yeah born in the wrong religion, i liked the article at wikipedia as well, very interesting stuff, esp the part about the grids in the window that it mentions :) take these comments off btw!

Anon said...

!!u

Rajat Goyal said...

yeah me!!!

Vaibhav said...

long absence again ?

Anonymous said...

hmm dematerialised into thin air? Where u?

026 said...

its been really long since you last posted!

D said...

Hey,
whats with the houdini act?Or have u shifted base elsewhere?

an old friend said...

come back. i need fresh air to breathe.

Anonymous said...

WTF dude!
MU MU MU ??

move ?

was there nothing better?
how much criticism is enough?
we'll have a procession outside the embassy of sudan and demand that you immediately take this thing down. garbage is clogging the internet. thanks to another 25 extra bytes. and for wasting my 25 minutes. so fcuking confusing. challenging an IQ of 90 in public is a crime. did you did it? or do you did it? lets talk about this next time?

btw ... wheres my car dude?

Mauve Stocking said...

Interesting blog you have here...