*My encounter with a Russian and where it led me*

or _Plato vs Aristotle_

Read my story to understand the story that follows. Or read the story that follows first then my story, afterwards. Or skip this post. Or read them both simultaneously.

”[…] There are either Plato#s children or Aristotle#s children.[…]

- When I tell you that every day at three you have tea with Svetlana and at the moment it#s half past two, then what are you doing in thirty minutes?

Aristotele children add and subtract and their answer is that in thirty minutes they#ll meet Svetlana.

Plato#s children instead, ask who the f*** Svetlana is?

- A shepherd is walking with his sheep. In the morning he has ten sheep. During the day one sheep decides to elope. How many sheep will the shepherd have in the evening?

Aristotle children, who keep dividing and classifying, way that the answer is nine.

Plato#s children say that none. Because when one sheep leaves all the others follow.” [1]

Hi! Ken here. Why am I posting this? Because I feel like it and think you might find it interesting and you may learn something like I learned something.

I spoke to a Russian this morning who had a lot of questions about what his problem might be and how we might solve it.

I knew we weren’t going to make any money off of him. (experience – I could explain but that takes away from the story)

As I llistened to his almost perfect-but-not-quite-perfect English, I followed his flow of logic, and how he asked questions and probed deeper and deeper, then he would spiral up and he started thinking about possibilities, ”What if…?” … and when there was a rare pause for me to correct his navigation through the maze of understanding, I caught on to his style, nudged him where to make a left or right turn… then he would carry on following down the tunnels of the maze of past and future and left and right and how it relates to him and to me.

I doodled a series of interconnected spirals going in and out as he was talking and I was listening…

He described a mysterious animal that was neither a cat nor a raccoon, but it was graceful and he was crossing the boundary between the outside world and the inside space of his attic through a hole that was a half inch thick by six inches wide by eight inches tall…

It was beautifully woven and completely natural. His logic was clear, easy to follow, he zoomed in and out, took left and right turns – and something both at once (”What if…”), traveled forward and backwards in time… specific and broad alternatively… it was a wonderful journey we both went on.

I wondered, ”What brings such beautiful, clear logic? It wasn’t American logic, no no – it was more like the logical flow we use in programming languages. Not TRUE and FALSE but complete with LOOPS and IF and CASE and WHILE and even GOTO (which most programming languages have removed, but are actually more natural, both to people-logic AND to the assembler language that computers run on) loads of uncertainty and higher dimensions and time…”

So I looked up Russian Logic. I didn’t get the answer I expected. I got what I wanted but also something a whole lot better.

A new way to think about what happens inside people’s heads.

Or it was exactly what I wanted, but what I got was also far more amazing than I expected.

Like wanting a piece of candy but that candy you got tastes WAY better than you could have imagined. Like that.

[1] http://avantourists.com/2011/07/27/venelase-loogika-vs-eestlase-loogika-platon-vs-aristoteles/#comment-5823