Christopher and Catherine are two of my Facebook and real friends. A number of years back I presided at their wedding. During our preparation time for the big day a bond formed that has continued to this day.
During the lockdown I came to look forward to their funny and entertaining posts about their bubble life. Then the posts became intriguing as they shared stories about Gavin, their pet caterpillar that lived on an indoor swan plant.
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” It is a philosophical question raised first by philosopher George Berkeley in 1710. He offered no answer. In 1863 the question was raised again in the magazine The Chautauquan. Their answer was, “No. Sound is the sensation excited in the ear when the air or other medium is set in motion.” Their scientific view was supported by Scientific American in 1884, “Sound is vibration, transmitted to our senses through the mechanism of the ear, and recognized as sound only at our nerve centres. The falling of the tree or any other disturbance will produce vibration of the air. If there be no ears to hear, there will be no sound.”
In deciding what to muse on this week I just needed to take a moment to reflect on what is happening around me. The first thing I noticed was the brouhaha surrounding Todd Muller’s first week as opposition leader. First there was the MAGA hat that he doggedly defended displaying in his office as just some political swag, a souvenir. He was apparently oblivious to its being a malevolent symbol promoting racism, nativism, xenophobia, anti-science, and gross misogyny as being okay at least to white supremacists. Muller might as well decorate his office with swastikas and Klan hoods.