Thursday, December 31, 2009


Two Funnies From the 5-Year-Old

I was reading my son his bedtime story and he had a long hair in his mouth. So we commented on its yuckiness and so forth, and then he started rubbing his head. He said, "I have lots of hairs." Then he rubbed my head and said, "You have 2 hairs."

Later on I was getting ready to leave the room and he said he needed his lamb (i.e. a stuffed animal). I asked where it was. He pointed and said, "Right there." So I'm looking all over the place and don't see it. "It's right there?" I demand, gesturing at the wall. He says yes.

After some exasperation, he finally gets up to get it himself. He walks out of the bedroom and into his play room. I start cracking up and say, "So you were pointing through the wall?!" and he answers "yes" as if that's totally normal.

In retrospect, who ever said you can't point through a wall? We adults impose all sorts of constraints on our minds.

Maybe he could see through the wall.
Your son just taught you Wittgenstein.
"Symbols" only has significance in the context of shared ways of going on together.

As Hayek explains, unarticulated shared patterns of behavior are primary and foundational -- a point also made by Wittgenstein.
Wittgenstein discusses stuffed lambs?
The 5-year-old appears to have good three-dimensional visualization.

He should be good at those puzzles where you have to predict how a two-dimensional figure folds into three dimensions, which are a fixture of various standardized tests.
"Wittgenstein discusses stuffed lambs?"

Wittgenstein's examples include:

a banjo

a block

an arrow

and dozens of others.

I wouldn't rule out a stuffed toy in there somewhere.
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