The Truth About Science

Background: An accomplice wrote: Well, there is one fact. As Rene Descartes put it, "I think, therefore I am." (Or is that I drink, therefore I am?). I chose to disagree.

There have been some problems in the translation. It may have been "I pink, therefore I Spam", "I sink therefore I swam", or even "I stink therefore I swam". Once, when the wheels came off Descartes, he whimpered "I kink, therefore I cam". It was a hard axle to follow.

But in fact, Descartes said it in Latin, and it was: "Cogs I tow, ergo sump", leading Wittgenstein later to pen his opus on intelligent agricultural implements, "Tractoratus Logico-philosophicus". The tractoratus later took up travelling in an obsessive way, and became the first touring machine when Wittgenstein tried to negatively gear it. (Some people may doubt this: I draw your attention to the first line of the Tractoratus, which reads "The world is all that is the Massey-Ferguson". Later editions have another version (The world is all that is the Case"), after his sponsorship deal broke down, but I quote the original.)

Descartes next experimented with galvanoplasty, a means of coating entire dead pigs in a layer of metal (to be marketed with the slogan "I zinc, therefore I ham"), but then found that Galvani and Volta had not yet invented the battery.

Crazed by his failed attempts to get electricity from battery hens linked with chicken wire (the wire was slow, while the electrons all travelled faster than a speeding pullet), Descartes suffered multiple personality disorders and ended up as a vegetable ("I cinq, therefore I yam"), inspiring Wittgenstein once more. Many people thought Wittgenstein was into shovels, but it was actually potatoes that caught his fancy when he observed that he believed in calling a spud a spud, adding "thank heavens for small murphies", whereon his friends chortled hoe hoe, hence the confusion, but they were a bunch of rakes anyhow.

Wittgenstein did in fact engage in a soft-shoe shovel, every now and then, and he was familiar with cinematographer Charles Shovel, saying that 40 thousand horsemen can't be wrong - a comment that was later corrupted to 50 thousand Frenchmen, and attributed to Descartes, who did not, in spite of rumours, pay ladies of easy virtue to follow him around Paris, so that people would say "there goes Descartes before the whores".

I hope this clarifies matters.


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This file is part of a series, written by Peter Macinnis, and last revised on November 8

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