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Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Answers

Human knowledge has greatly expanded in the past 130 years, easily tripled. Pictured above is the final volume of the series, Knowledge, which, in 1884, only went up to I.  The letter was invented that year specifically for use in the declarative sentences, "I don't know" and "I don't understand." Here is an example in which both phrases are employed:
  
     "Getting dark again."

     "I don't know, seems to happen every day."

     "I just don't understand it!"

We can peruse earlier volumes and find words like Audience and Cat and answers like, "Cats make very poor audiences because when they clap, no sound comes out." The set contains answers, only answers, because it is the Teacher's Edition. Questions, because they start with Q, had not yet been invented so all student texts were blank.

Alphabet goes clear up to Z now, so we can have Questions like: "What's it like outdoors today?" Then go out there and observe:
Those of arithmetical mind may point out I is the ninth letter of the alphabet and multiplying by three would give us 27 where there are currently only 26 letters. To them I caution, do not neglect what is yet to come. One might as easily step outdoors tomorrow --or a century hence-- and observe: "Wow, this is really a long time ago!"

30 comments:

  1. Every day is a long time from somewhere either forwards or back. Eventually someone will be everywhere.....I hope it's me. I'm so glad we finally got to Z in the alphabet, other wise we would have the A to I challenge.

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    1. I hope it's you too, Delores. After all, everybody's got to be somewhere --might as well be everywhere. Another reason I follow your blog!

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  2. The A to I challenge would at least be easier on the participants - and with no challenging X and Z posts either.
    Sometimes I like to invent questions to go with answers I already have. Letting my mind wander - in the hopes it will return.

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    1. By my estimation your mind consistently returns, with compound interest.

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  3. Dear Geo, I have come to a point in life where I have no more questions because I just don't care. I only need an alphabet that goes to P, and that reminds me......

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    1. Dear delightful Arleen, I know the feeling.

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  4. So you're saying that someday we may add more letters? Just when I'm am finally getting accustomed to 26? Times, they are always a changin'

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    1. Could go either way: More letters to express technological complexity or fewer, like texting, to make all literature read like personalized license plates.

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  5. Geo, love the shot of you in 'way the heck in the future'
    You are a delight 'on this rather gloomy morning but I shall soon rectify the spell of gloom as I step out in the sunshine.

    Have a great day
    Smiles

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    1. Margie, I have no doubts about your ability to de-gloom a day.

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  6. Ah ha, so now we know how the nefarious developers of Jeopardy! came up with the idea of providing answers and leaving it to others to supply the correct questions.

    Once again, you've managed to bend my brain a little. Dangerous stuff, that. It's already pretty twisted...

    Good to be back. I missed your quirky posts, dude.

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    1. And I missed getting called "dude" throughout April!

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  7. I suppose it is good that there are times when one is totally confused......just like now, for instance. It tends to put pseudo-reality, aka the virtual world into perspective. Let me out! The men in white coats are coming!

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    1. All part of a search for the most reliable realty, the search itself.

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  8. enigma? definitely.
    Perhaps there could be a post where things start with E for explanation?

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    1. Good idea! Enigmas prompt explanations as explanations generate new enigmas, which suggests they are closely related and share survival skills.

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  9. I laughed snortily and my daughter asked me why, so I had to read the bit about cats clapping. Cleverly done, you.

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    1. Most kind. My compliments to you both.

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  10. Dear Geo.,
    I hope you hear my applause when I clap my hands - and the answer will not be:"I don't know". Teachers' books - if they manage to rise questions in the minds of their pupils they are allowed to keep the book with the "Q".
    Being of a very curious nature - Curious Cat - I try to get at the bottom of things, and found out: Yes, the "I" is the 9th figure in the alphabet. Though nowadays - (sorry to say: I included) - many, many people seem to think that "I" is the first one. Oops.

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    1. Dear Brigitta, you touch upon Erik Homburger Erikson's phrase "Identity Crisis", which plagued young Americans in the 1970s. I was too busy working to have an identity crisis but remember reports of suffering all over the world --so "I" has been first and foremost in many minds for a long time. I don't know if there is a cure.

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    2. "Panta rei" - so there is hope.

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    3. Hope and Heraclitus--volume H.

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  11. I think feline applaws might do well, actually. Not too ostentatious.

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    1. Good point. But what about cat-calls? One hears them call each other awful things.

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  12. Cats are hard to impress, even if we had 260 letters. Hopefully we won't expand our alphabet that fast: it would probably get stretched too thin and snap into nonsense.

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    1. Agreed. It would be a tremendous snap. Cats would come from miles around to ignore it.

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  13. This makes my brain hurt (which migraine had already provoked). If only I had a cat to pet.

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    1. My migraines are barometric, cats don't help, but I sympathize and hope it soon subsides.

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  14. That was delightfully goofy, Geo.

    Pearl

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    1. Thanks Pearl! High praise from an authority of goofy.

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