ISIS Smuggles Calculus Into New York City

Achilles and the Tortoise – 60-Second Adventures in Thought

Boxes labeled “Zeno’s Paradox” went undetected by the regular Joes and Janes of Homeland Security and reached New York City, it is alleged. The Homeland Security did not know that Zeno’s Paradox is connected to the feared Calculus. Now there have been preliminary reports such as the following, coming from the omniscient secret sources:

On Thursday last, a typical New Yorker was approached by a rather shabby, non-descript gentleman who yet had an aura of threadbare respectability. “Excuse me, sir,” he purred, “but I have a question about the Zeno’s Paradox.”

Being a typical New Yorker, the approached man was calm yet alert. He paused in his daily stroll and thereby willingly detained himself. “Zeno’s Paradox? What’s that, mac?” the man – let us call him Joe Bronx – replied.

The seedy non-descript gentleman, who was in fact one Hookah bin Hashish, a known ISIS operator on the terrorist watch list, came closer and began to explain. “Achilles and a tortoise are in a race. The tortoise got a head start. Achilles must catch up to the tortoise, but by the time he does, the tortoise will have moved on further. So Achilles must again catch up to the tortoise.”

“Yeah, so what’s the big deal, mac?” asked Joe Bronx.

“The big deal, my decadent American friend, is that Achilles can never catch up to the tortoise,” quietly snarled Hookah bin Hashish. “Each time he does, by then the tortoise will have moved on.”

Joe Bronx thought about this, and somehow began to feel uneasy yet did not know why.

“The big deal, you American dog, is that the Zeno Paradox deals with the infinitesimals!” cried Hookah bin Hashish triumphantly as he pulled a Calculus book from his trenchcoat. “And the infinitesimals are the pebbles, the indivisibles, the Calculus!”

Hookah bin Hashish and his ISIS gang knew full well that nothing frightens the typical American more than mathematics and that the most terrifying of all is the Calculus. The word “Calculus” triggered repressed memories in Joe Bronx, unspeakable memories of 50-minute “tests” taken in high school and the scuttlebutt saying an especially terrifying subject, “the Calculus”, lurked just beyond. It is best left unsaid the result of Joe Bronx’s encounter with the ISIS operative. Suffice it to say that Joe now resides at the Bellevue Hospital where the kindly doctors are doing all they can to keep him isolated from slide-rulers, abaci, and the like.

For the satire-impaired, the above has been a satire and is not literally true. However news has just now reached the desk of Ersjdamoo that two U.S. agencies have issued warnings on an imminent ISIS attack. The FBI and the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) have reportedly issued classified warnings that ISIS is planning an attack on U.S. soil. [1] What the nature of this “imminent ISIS attack” is is not stated, so conceivably it could involve Zeno’s Paradox and the Calculus.

There has been historic dispute as to the nature and even existence of the infinitesimals suggested by the Zeno Paradox, with implications thereby which could undermine the Calculus. Nonetheless, the Calculus seems to work for real-world problems and so it has come to be accepted. So long ago as the time of Aristotle, the Zeno Paradox was considered and rejected. Achilles and the tortoise run their race and Zeno bisects it into little pebbles of “instantaneous time”, which also does the Calculus. The problem is that as you approach the  specific instant, “time” disappears! In Book VI of Physics, Aristotle argued that “the now” is “indivisible and is inherent in all time.” Nothing can be in motion in a “now”, for the “now” is only a point without dimension, the “limit” on a line between the “past” and the “future.” Nothing can be in motion in “now”, nor can it be at rest, asserted Aristotle. That only can be at rest “which is of such a nature to be in motion but is not in motion…” Because nothing can be in motion in “now”, nothing can be at rest in “now” either. Where “time” fits into all this is that “time” is “that which is intermediate between nows…” [2]

——- Sources ——-
[1] “2 U.S. agencies warn on imminent ISIS attack”, WorldNet Daily, April 25, 2015. http://www.wnd.com/2015/04/2-u-s-agencies-warn-on-imminent-isis-attack/
[2] Physics (Book VI), by Aristotle.

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About ersjdamoo

Editor of Conspiracy Nation, later renamed Melchizedek Communique. Close associate of the late Sherman H. Skolnick. Jack of all trades, master of none. Sagittarius, with Sagittarius rising. I'm not a bum, I'm a philosopher.
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