Monday, December 17, 2007

Conan Doyle Was Right. Almost.

Heartening news from the wilds of Papua - a Giant Rat, pygmy possum and who knows what else swim into the ken of an astounded science. I always enjoy these stories, as they put into perspective our arrogant assumptions about what we know of the world - never mind giant rats, there may well be large apes we've yet to discover - and what our powers of, in any sense, comprehending it, actually are. (The same arrogance, imho, that convinces us we are destroying the planet...) Better, though, this story almost confirms Conan Doyle's hunch that there's a Giant Rat of Sumatra out there (it's mentioned in a Sherlock Holmes story), not to mention the Lost World. A man of vision, Doyle.


  1. Not arrogance in my case, guilt. But, yes, how true. Since we appear to be the only people here or the others are too hungover to comment, I thought I'd better say something.

  2. But feeling guilty for something you're not responsible for must count as arrogance. Were it the case. Anyway, how are you today? I'm afraid I'm a little the worse for wear myself, after a party in Hampton Wick and an ill-judged Port or two towards the end. All rather fraught at NigeCorp too.

  3. A man of vision, Doyle...

    Of course, one has to remember that Conan Doyle also believed in fairies, that Bryan believes in Ufos, Stephen Hawking in Black Holes, and a great many others, that Jesus turned water into wine.

    Anthropomorphic concepts then, introduce epistemological contradictions. And there is the catch. We tend to see “facts” in terms of the dominant discipline of the day, or trust a swindler to make decisions of conscience for us. Some day perhaps, when they have become more generally serviceable, students of space, time and causality will come to consider in more transcendent ways the enormously fruitful configurations inherited from such arcana - or >what our powers of, in any sense, comprehending them, actually are.<

    Meanwhile >an ill-judged port or two< may be stretching the facts somewhat, but will certainly give you the most apt experience of scientific penetration on the planet of the apes...


  4. Ah Selena - you put us all to rights....

  5. This giant rat sounds far too amiable to be the fearsome giant rat of Sumatra: "With no fear of humans, it apparently came into the camp several times during the trip," according to mongabay. Let's hope it didn't end up in the pot! Selena's "catch" is closer to the giant rat of Sumatra, I'd imagine, the thing that bites us we can't explain or (after an evening in Hampton Wick) would prefer not to. The finger-muncher lurking behind the letterbox. My guess is that the beast will soon be "discovered" by a lightly nibbled postman in search of a compensation claim.

  6. Blaaaaa im not drunk i just drakn a lot of ink !!!!