Today, Fox reports that the US government went out and paid $130,000 to 16 professors. Their job? To study the "truth and meaning" of life according to Aristotle.
I sat there thinking over this.....probably like Socrates would have done.
There are several problems with this. First, any idiot could study the truth and meaning of life according to Aristotle.....it doesn't have to be university professors. You could have paid me and 15 other guys $100 each and two cases of beer each....to proclaim the same "meaning". You could have saved yourself $125k.
There's the question here how you pick the 16 professors. I'm pretty sure.....they are all from upscale eastern universities or from California. They wouldn't dare pick 16 professors from Auburn, Georgia Tech or University of Alabama. That would be another problem.
Then there's the issue of this being the four hundredth "meaning" published on Aristotle. Have we really improved this "meaning" over the past thirty years? Lets be honest....Aristotle is Aristotle, and it's very likely that nothing has been improved for well over 1,500 years.
There's also a problem here in that the sixteen guys likely met at some resort in Bali....sipped good whiskey for an entire week while debating, then got on the plane and wrote eight hours of text while flying back to their lousy job at Ohio State to fulfill their obligation of some kind of script for their idiot government supporter.
Then you have to wonder why sixteen guys? Why not eight? Why not four? Could you have come to some meaning with just two guys at the Birmingham Marriott hotel? Couldn't we have paid them $500 each for a 3-day weekend, with plenty of ribs and some ice cold Pabst instead?
I think Aristotle would have been kindly upset over this. He was fairly simple in his analysis and thinking. To believe that you needed sixteen professors to hire up to the US government and take our tax money.....to announce a new "meaning".....makes no sense. Even Aristotle himself would have said that.
So finally, what would have Socrates said? Socrates probably have asked fifty or sixty questions to these professors....till they kicked him out of the meeting room. He would have gone down to the hotel bar....sipped some juicy fruity wine....and argued some more with some traveling salesman and an engineer from Berkley.....and then got tossed out of the hotel at 2AM for arguing too much with customers.
Greek philosophers were the lucky guys who came along when agriculture got smart and a guy could easily grow everything he needed and twenty hours of real work a week meant you had time to think about things. Nobody really worried about making money because you had your 'hut', your wine, and enough food to survive off. So they sat around and talked alot....kinda like guys at a flea market or barber shop.....and asked questions until they got them right. Then they made a couple of interesting simple observations. Someone wrote these down....and then they got passed down over 2,000 years. It was that simple. A bunch of guys just sitting around and BSing....coming to a simple analysis. Nothing has changed in 2,000 years.
So the government forked over $130,000.....to repeat what a bunch of guys at some tree stump said, and to just say it differently. That's the sad part of this story.