Sunday, November 1, 2015



Assalaamu'alaikum Warahmatullaahi Wabarakaatuh dan Good Morning to all.

Dear readers,

The following chapter is from another book by Dave Trott which is rediscovered in my 'FILE OF IDEAS' after having 'lost' the book itself, hopefully just mislaid, if not borrowed but not returned, by a trusted friend, from the TOETI JUAIRIAH LIBRARY.
This chapter appears satirically relevant to all Malaysians, particularly the Malays, in the present atmospheric and psychological haziness.
It could be a stimulus for further deliberations.
This blog entry is labeled as PART 2 in a series on THE ART OF THINKING CLEARLY and this entry relates to the earlier PART 1 entry of the same title.
Although PART 1 carried a title similar to the title of the book from which it is borrowed, subsequent chapters, as this entry, need not be from the same book.

This series is introduced for sharing with all interested readers in the hope that we have an additional common input while looking at the relevancy of the various institutions in our country which appears to be exploited, misguided and non-functional on which we cannot rely to look after our future generations.

Your comments will be greatly appreciated.


Plutarch used a conundrum to illustrate how the human mind works.

The Ship of Theseus was built to travel to the furthest points of the known world.

During the voyage it was tossed around by storms, battered by winds and waves.

Sails had to be replaced.

Ropes had to be replaced.

The planks in the hull, even the nails holding them, had to be replaces.

By the time the ship returned, not a single piece of it was made from the original material.

So, could that ship still be considered the real Ship of Theseus?

Some people thought not.

Because not one atom remained from the one that left port.

In which case, when did it stop being the Ship of Theseus?

When the first piece of wood was replaced?

Surely not, that's just a minor repair?

OK, how about the second, third or fourth repair?

When there isn't one original plank left, is it still the Ship of Theseus?

Hmmm, probably not.

OK, when does it change, when does it lose its identity?

Some people said it never lost its identity.

It was still the Ship of Theseus.

It had just restored itself bit by bit.

The basic concept hadn't altered.

In which case, what was the Ship of Theseus?

Was it just an idea?

That couldn't be either, because you could see it and touch it.

So what was the actual Ship of Theseus?

Two thousand years later the philosopher Thomas Hobbes took it further.

He said, assume the crew of the Ship of Theseus didn't throw any of the old parts away.

As they replaced them, they stowed them in the hold.

Then, when they got home, they unloaded them in a big pile on the dock.

Splintered planks, bent and rusty nails, frayed ropes, torn and battered sails.

Now, which one is the real Ship of Theseus?

The beautiful ship that looks exactly the way it did when it left?

(Although not a single atom of the original ship remains.)

Or the rusted. rotting pile of junk that looks nothing like a ship?

(But every atom of it is made up of the original Ship of Theseus.)

There isn't an easy answer.

But most of us would choose the thing that looks like the Ship of Theseus.

At least it floats; it looks and behaves like a ship.

The alternative, the pile of wood and metal and cloth, doesn't do anything.

Without a mind to envision a ship, to build a ship, to use it as a ship, there isn't a ship.

It needed a mind to think up the concept of a ship.

Then the mind shaped matter to fit the concept.

And then the 'ship' existed.

And that's what creativity is.

Having an idea for something that doesn't exist.

Then shaping matter to make it exist.

Concepts aren't sitting around waiting to be discovered.

We have to create concepts, in our minds.

Then we have to make the concept real, out of matter.

Only then does it 'exist'.

Creativity is creating something out of nothing.




1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tahukah anda bahawa majoriti manusia mempercayai adanya kehidupan lain selepas mati yakni syurga dan neraka. Apakah mereka ini telah memikirkan perkara itu secara mendalam dan meluas sebelum mempercayainya? atau mereka hanya berkata 'kami dengar dan kami patuh' sebab itulah ajaran sacred nenek moyang turun temurun. Bagaimana jika dikatakan bahawa semua itu hanya ajaran palsu yang di turunkan oleh nenek moyang yang tidak berfikiran jernih dan mereka juga sebenarnya telah terpedaya. Bagaimana juga jika dikatakan seorang manusia yang dikatakan berpendidikan tinggi masih terkunci akalnya? sebab, bagaimana untuk berfikiran jernih jika akalnya masih terkunci mati dengan hidup tidak berpijak bumi nyata?