Today I encountered the word pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis for the very first time. It was in a book I picked up at the thrift store entitled, By Hook or By Crook by David Crystal. A little later in the day, I happened to see that very same word on the Dictionary.com homepage. Now pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is an unusual word, supposedly the longest in the Oxford English Dictionary, so the fact that I would run across it twice in one day seems kind of odd to me. I’ve read all the figures that mathematicians and rationalists like to throw around, about how coincidences like this are inevitable given the large number of events we experience in our lives, but I wonder how much I can trust that kind of handwave explanation. The rational part of my brain understands that given my inherent interest in words and writing that something like this was bound to happen sooner or later, but the rest of my brain (lets call this the Fun Brain) begs to differ.
The Fun Brain thinks that there’s got to be something deeper to it all. Like maybe I’m a cosmic fish swimming in a conceptual sea. I am a part of what might be called the “real” world, but I am incapable of perceiving it, so the beings in the real world are trying to communicate with me through these strange coincidences. Of course the rationalist thinkers that would dismiss these communiques out of hand, are actually agents of those beings who would keep me enslaved in my conceptual reality for their own nefarious purposes.
Okay, so yeah it’s a little weird, but I think I’m entitled to a little weirdness every now and then.
If you want more weird, read on here The Matrix has nothing on Boltzmann brains.
And always remember: you are the only real person.
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