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I'm interested in such statements as "Life is strange", "The world is an amazing place", etc. How meaningful are they when we don't have other examples of "life" or "world" to compare them with? If they are not meaningful (and I don't know whether you will conclude that they are) why do people have a propensity for making such statements?

October 29, 2005

Response from Peter Lipton on October 29, 2005

Even if in order to find something strange or amazing you need something familiar or mundane to compare it with, we could make sense of your statements in terms of the variety within a single life or a single world. It would be something like the sentiment that no matter how much you have experienced, you are in for more surprises. So even though some things become familiar and mundane, there will always be new things strange and amazing.

And maybe we can even have strangeness without familiarity, the amazing without the mundane. Could there be a life where everything is strange and a world where everything is amazing? I don't at the moment see why not.


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