Day by Day

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Random Nuclear Queries

Mark at Random Nuclear Strikes solicited answers to some heady questions.

I volunteered.

Here goes:

Mark: Who was the greatest man in history, the one who's life had the greatest impact on the course of human events?

Tim: I am tempted to name an inventor, but I cannot think of anything that would not have been invented or discovered by someone else given time. Were I to not believe that I'd hunt down the name of the guy who invented gunpowder and cite him. Or Benjamin Franklin. He was out there. And there's Plato. He left politics to travel and invent. If only Charles Schumer would follow suit. And then there's Sun Tzu.

But I guess for all time - all mankind - all influence, it's the Prophet Mohammed. Two billion people cannot be wrong.

Mark: If you had it within your power to go back and rewrite history just once, what would you change? Would you still do it even if you could not know the outcome?

Tim: If you impose upon me the caveat that I'd not know the outcome of my actions, I'd choose the simple thing and go back in time to tell my maternal grandfather: "I love you." I never did that, and I'll never get over having missed the chance.

If I get to change something with the benefit of knowing an outcome, I'd change the way the imperialist West carved up the Middle East during the middle of the 20th Century. Churchill et al screwed up the whole thing, and it just might be the death of civilization as we know it.

Mark: If you could toss a pie in the face of anyone on earth and get away with it, who would you pick? And what would you put in the pie?

Tim: I'd slap Alec Baldwin with a pie filled with foie gras.

Mark: Do you believe or disbelieve the faces on Mars are real? Please explain your answer.

Tim: What faces? On Mars? I know of no faces on Mars. Whadda-fuggya-talkin-bout?

Mark: Do you believe a person controls his own fate within the limits of events, or do you think we are all pawns in the hands of others?

Tim: Jeepers, I consumed my most recent cup of coffee fifteen hours ago and you come up with this. Firstly, we can't all be pawns.

Secondly, this is a self-fulfilling ideal, at least on the latter notion; if you think you are powerless flotsam floating on the river of time, you are.

Thirdly, control is an illusion.

It's like Mark Knoppfler said it all when he wrote: "Everything can change in the blink of an eye, so let the good times roll before we say goodbye."

Train dodge - dig it.

Are we in control or are we pawns? Both. And neither.

Thanks for asking.

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