The War against Reality

Reality is a formidable opponent.  It never loses.  Sometimes the victory is immediate; in the political, cultural, and economic domains, it may take a while longer.  In any human confrontation with the intractable facts of life, physical or historical, the outcome is never in doubt.  Ignorance is a serious liability in any transaction with the real world.  Denial is ultimately lethal. The most succinct definition of reality I know of is the deceptively simple dictum of the pre-Socratic philosopher Parmenides in his fragmentary poem "On the Order of Nature": "Whatever is is!"  Human error and ensuing catastrophe consist in the unfortunate propensity for believing that "things that are not are."  The modern update of the formulation is Ludwig Wittgenstein's "Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus," where we read, "The world is the totality of facts" (Proposition 1.1).  A lie is also in itself a...(Read Full Article)