Another University Exam From Hell …

The list of fictional questions to university exams have been around for a long time. Such as:

Epistemology: Trace the development of human thought from 3000 BC to today. Compare and contrast with any other kind of thought.

Engineering: You have the disassembled parts of an AK-47 assault rifle in front of you. Also in front of you is an assembly manual, written in Navajo. In 15 minutes, a hungry Bengal tiger will be let into the exam room. Take whatever action you feel is appropriate. Be prepared to justify your decision.

Medicine: You have a scalpel, a clean rag, and a bottle of scotch. Remove your appendix. Do not suture until work is inspected.

Philosophy: Why?

The first three questions are bogus. But as the urban legend has it, the person who scored perfect on the last question answered with “Why not?”, signed his (or her) name to it and handed in his (or her) two-word essay to the examiner and left the room.

Here is another philosphy question, rumored to have been asked, and this is a new one on me:

Philosophy: “If this is a question, then answer it.”

As the legend goes, there was the usual reaction of heads hitting the desks, pages of paper being filled out with their perilous struggles against whether they were actually being asked a question or not. The highest mark in the class went to the one who handed in this 8-word essay: “If this is an answer, then mark it.”

I don’t care much for truth

I have no trouble searching deeper and deeper for truths in the worlds of math and science when they are revealed to me. I quite enjoy the experience, and find science and math fascinating areas of study for that reason.

What I mean by the title is that I don’t care for the truth in my personal life. It appears as though that the search for truth “about me”, when I attempted it, was circular and led to me thinking that I, along with the rest of mankind, are deeply flawed, and thinking about that in the effort to always “walk in the ways of truth” seemed to lead to greater hopelessness. Also I quickly found that the world does not care much about “the truth” about me.

What the world cares about is for me to contribute. Maybe explain some things. Teach. I’m good at that. Fulfilling such need in the world must come from a different place. You must believe you are the one to make a contribution. You must believe in something that isn’t true yet: your ability to provide a solution to a need.

And if it came to the choice between the happiness of achievement and the “search for truth” — that is, if I had to choose between truth and feelings of sadness and inadequacy; or to not care for truth and to feel happiness and fulfillment in my ability to contribute to the lives of others out of mere “belief” in myself and feel confident that I can do so, then I am strongly in favour of choosing the latter.