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30 January 2004 @ 04:29 pm
non sequitur  
I entered work today, and standing before the help desk was one of the gadflies of the department we serve. I thought, "Oh boy," as an impending sense of doom settled over my caffeine buzz. She left just as I entered- yay- and milords mqstout and Josh flipped a total of four birds at her back. "Oh boy" indeed. I won't go into details, but the thing that really stood out to us from that little ordeal was the phrase "An empty box means nothing," which said gadfly fondly spouted about a dozen times during her rant.

"An empty box means nothing." Oooohkay. Let's play with that one in some deductive proofs, shall we?

*note: Recall that if you reach a contradiction in a proof, you're allowed to assert anything as true afterward.

Proof 1

P1. An empty box = Nothing
P2. Nothing = the presence of no things
THEREFORE An empty box contains no things
P3. Air and dust are things
P4. An empty box contains air and dust
THEREFORE ((insert anything here, yay! =D ))

Congratulations, you can now prove that Elvis is alive or that newts are the ultimate form of life on Earth, if you so desire.

Proof 2

P1. An empty box = Nothing
P2. A box is composed of itself and its contents
P3. An empty box = cardboard (composition) + air + dust (contents)
THEREFORE Cardboard + Dust + Air = Nothing
P4. The bible says, "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
THEREFORE We (humanity) = Dust
THEREFORE We (humanity) = A component of Nothing
P5. The basic needs of human life = Air + Food + Water
P6. Air = A component of Nothing
THEREFORE Humanity and that which it needs for sustenance = Components of Nothing.

We're not even wholly nothing, we're just a part of it. How depressing.

Premise 4, of course, assumes the bible to be a credible source of information (which I think is a crock of shit, but that's another argument for another time).

We can replace P4 thus and reach a slightly different conclusion:

Proof 2b

P4. From Macbeth's "Out, out, brief candle" speech: "Life... signif[ies] nothing." In other words, Life = Nothing
P5. An empty box = Nothing
THEREFORE Life = An empty box

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mqstout on January 30th, 2004 03:24 pm (UTC)
though she be but little, she is fiercegolden_d on January 30th, 2004 03:34 pm (UTC)

...that's depressing.
(Anonymous) on February 5th, 2004 07:11 am (UTC)
this makes my head hurt
(Anonymous) on February 5th, 2004 11:10 am (UTC)