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cousin_it comments on The Apologist and the Revolutionary - Less Wrong

161 Post author: Yvain 11 March 2009 09:39PM

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Comment author: cousin_it 28 July 2009 10:01:46AM *  20 points [-]

I'm reminded of the story about this junkie who had the Most Profound Idea Ever while stoned and hastily scribbled it down. This is what he read afterwards: "The banana is big, but the banana skin is even bigger."


While working an the material I was reminded of a story George Orwell once told me (I do not recall whether he published it): a friend of his, while living in the Far East, smoked several pipes of opium every night, and every night a single phrase rang in his ear, which contained the whole secret of the universe; but in his euphoria he could not be bothered to write it down and by the morning it was gone. One night he managed to jot down the magic phrase after all, and in the morning he read: "The banana is big, but its skin is even bigger'.

-- Arthur Koestler, "Return Trip to Nirvana"

Comment author: byrnema 28 July 2009 10:16:03AM *  7 points [-]

That's funny. And it rings true, suggesting the story hasn't been significantly altered in the telling. There's something about it which tingles my "that's profound" sensor. It's a straight-forward physical example of a simple logical principle, that happens to be about bananas.