Thursday, December 13, 2007

Friendship v. Acquaintance

We say it all the time do we not? We are so care-free about our words and phrases that we fail at times to stop, weigh the situation, measure our response, and then acknowledge the truth--there is a distinction between a friendship and an acquaintance.

What exactly is a friend? For that matter what is different in that terminology that is distinguishable from an acquaintance? To address these inquiries one may suggest that only time, chronos or tempus will tell them apart.

This is not the case. One can be an acquaintance for a long period of time and never enter within the very interstitial walls of friendship.

Friendship is not to be decided by time alone, but it is a reaffirming, quantifiable commodity that informs its tensile strength.

The acquaintance is always ever on the outskirts of friendship; i.e. its only position is toward friendship in the measure of forward progress. In regress, the acquaintance can become non-existent and warrant a different label altogether.

Friendship can also regress, but not back from whence it came; i.e. friendship cannot return to a position of acquaintance. Why is this exactly? If taken seriously--a friendship lost, destroyed, and otherwise irreparable makes its repair, its mending, its cohesion rather difficult to undertake.

I will add this caveat, however, that a true friendship will go through the "ups" and the "downs" and the "side-ways," but in the end remain as it was, albeit with some apprehension[s], sound, solid and conretized in something greater.

This is why a re-evaluation of ones society is the best "cleaning of house" I know. Evaluate those around you--and figure who is a friend and who is an acquaintance.

Remember--this is not a negative versus a positive, but a reality check. Who are you considering friends and who are, under serious consideration, acquaintances? You decide. You have heard it said--Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but I tell you--Know your friends, know your enemies and keep a very close eye on your acquaintences who are still on the fence.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Of or Concerning Invention and Discovery--Is there a difference?

One of the more celebrated points of discussion that I have come across in the last 4 years is the necessary distinction between invention and discovery.

What exactly are the distinctions? That is--how would we define such terms, and then appropriate them to a respective community in context? With any new examination of ideas examples must follow that support a concretized response.

When this response receives criticism, acceptance and more criticism, and is further accepted by a group or mass--it becomes an established position for further inquiry, for further examination and yes--for further discourse.

"Invention" is a term taken from the discipline of rhetorical studies. The term "discovery" is taken from the early philosophy of Anaximander and Pythagoras--if not earlier. The terms are not synonymous.

At the root level of such an exercise that otherwise may be viewed as a splitting of semantic hairs--the essence of creativity must be considered. That is, what can be created and what ex nihilo, or out of nothing can come into view.

Let us take for example the light bulb--that concentrated hardware that allows for our controlled illumination. Edison is credited with its "invention," or should it have been his "discovery" of the proper filament (tungsten) after over 400 failed, other metal wires, which thus led to the proper connection.

At Purdue University, and even at my alma mater Michigan State University--I recalled that both Institutions held spaces of investigation called discovery zones; the former is known as "Discovery Park"; the latter, is known for housing the largest particle accelerator (a cyclotron) in the country as it "discovers" new elements.

The point here is if there is nothing "new" under the sun, but it is unknown to us--then, when that which was not, becomes that which is--are we not on the brink of inventing a name for our discovery?

Yeah--I wonder how much of our everyday is "new," and moreover--how much of our "new" is simply an emergence of our unclouding into a point of illumination.