Introduction to Strong Like Water Philosophy

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Philosophy has been an undercurrent of Strong Like Water since its inception but we have resisted tackling it because it tends to use a lot of words, time and frequently fails to reach satisfying conclusions.

That’s only because it’s so slippery.

The hairball that is philosophy seems to come from the lack of common ground and common words people use.

Philosophy is full of declaration of what things really are, of revelations of truth or of declarations of fallacy.

It seems to me that most of the topics in philosophy over time, especially questions about the nature of the physical world, which have reached satisfying consensus are those which have been taken over by science and have ceased to be philosophical questions. I will provide examples in a future post.

In fact some of my least satisfying moments in studying philosophy have been occasions where the speaker, writer, professor or drunken student interlocutor has been ignorant of the relevant scientific evidence that bears on the question being debated.

Philosophy walks a tightrope between science and mysticism.

The Strong Like Water philosophy is presented as a reflection of existing ideas from history and the present day, bundled and spun, maximized for fun and utility.

This is the way I hope to avoid using excess time and attention on your behalf and it’s a system you can use to keep me honest. Now let me clarify this “utility”.

Utility is usefulness, but without the assumption that the use is a great need. A buggy whip has utility because it can be put to work as a tool. When you drive your buggy to town, you give the horse a little signal with a flick of the wrist.

It’s not useful, however because nobody drives a buggy in the 21st century. A bike pump would be very useful but never more than when I have a flat tyre to inflate. Its utility is similar to its purpose, though not the same. Purpose implies design. Like purpose, however, a thing’s utility is unaffected by my need, while its usefulness is really where its utility and my needs align.

So to conclude this first post, I think the approach I recommend with philosophy, at least how I present it, is to consider this: what can I do with this philosophy? How does it change the possibilities I see before me if I adopt it?

It will sometimes be difficult to approach a novel or unfamiliar idea (which is where the pay dirt is) without resolving all the inconsistencies that it infers when trying to incorporate all the many thoughts that seem to fight for the same mental real estate. But do you need to resolve them for it to be fun or have utility?

If you can fall back to the yardsticks of utility and fun, you can cut straight to the chase: is it worth thinking about?

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