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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Three Proofs

When Harrison Brandell was age two his universal reply to any question was, "I not." Before that he was giggly, cooperative and agreeable. He was enjoying his "terrible twos" and he was so cute that he could get away with it -- for a while. His mother understood that he was in the stage when babies realize they are separate entities from their mothers and are "trying out" their new autonomy. When he broke his mother's best flower vase and replied to her accusal,

"I not,"

his mother decided it was time for a lesson.

She told him he couldn't just go around saying, "I not" all the time. It was o.k. to disagree with people, but that he should have and give a reason for it. She gave him an example. Question: "Would you like to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?" Suggested Answer:

"I not, because I not hungry."

Right after the lesson, he returned to his mantra, "I not." Mother reminded him of the lesson and re-asked her question:" Would you like to watch Sponge Bob?" He replied, "I not." Suddenly, apparently remembering the lesson, squinting his eyes, looking off into the distance and, indeed, reasoning, he said in a calm and statesmanlike manner,

"I not, because I not. "

That is pretty good thinking for a two year old, right up there with the philosophical proof of Descartes,

"I think, therefore I am." (Cogito Ergo Sum)

And my artistic rewrite of the above,

"I paint, therefore I am." (Depingo Ergo Sum)

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