GIANT, BEAUTIFUL MOOSE
Once there was a giant moose who liked to drink Diet Dr. Pepper. She was a fine moose, with fiery red hair and deep blue eyes that sparkled when she talked about the nature of the universe. She was a very introspective giant moose. Her thoughts were formed in a symbolic structure; her thoughts combined sym-bolic elements from sub-symbolic elements that could themselves be represented in the structure. This surprised people because she was so pretty. People rarely think of a pretty giant moose as combining sym-bolic elements from sub-symbolic elements. They expected her to twirl a baton, not talk about the nature of the universe.
She tried to be more concrete. She tried to think of the Universe in a factual sense, that Galileo had not invented the telescope, that he was not burnt by the Church for any reason, but condemned for simply "doing science." That is what people cared about. Facts. But the beautiful moose did not. She generally believed that the universe and heaven were one in the same, and that heaven, or the universe, was important but mythical. And if Heaven were mythical, then so too was the Universe.
The other moose did not like hearing this. The Universe is real, they told her. Look up at night, what do you see? Myth, she said. The other moose sighed heavily at her and became angered. She acknowledged the need for serious and detailed observational records, but certainly no significant models for predictions. Predicting the Universe is like predicting Heaven, she said. And Heaven is thought, just as the Universe. She begged, she pleaded: how can you predict thought? how can you be so arrogant? The Universe does not make value judgments, she said. The Universe does not define itself in contexts and goals.
But they called her stupid and retarded. They regarded her thoughts as terrible. They talked about her in their moose chat-groups and laughed at her behind her back. You are a pretty moose, they said, with a bright future. Please go learn how to twirl a baton. The giant moose tried to stay true to herself but eventually the thoughts of the collective began to take root. One fall day she he saw a baton twirling moose during the half time show of the Orange Bowl and thought that baton twirling was something she actually might like to do. As an introspective moose she knew that knowledge was simply rendered as a theoretical extension of a publicly observable base. Easy.
As an introspective moose she knew it was possible to create her reality simply by focusing our thoughts on it. She knew this because she could write her thoughts down on paper and the other moose would understand her meaning as long as the other moose who read her thoughts were in agreement as to the meaning of her individual words. She knew that if thinking were being, then baton twirling would be as easy as introspective thinking. So the giant moose talked her mother into buying her a pink baton at a yard sale one Saturday morning, took it home, put on a one-piece orange bathing suit very similar to the one she saw the bison wearing on television, and lit the ends of the baton on fire.
She did this in the closet of her bedroom because she didn't want her introspective moose friends to know that she was seriously interested in such foolish things. Three hours later the beautiful giant moose heard her mother say "fuck" for the first time. She also heard her mother say, "Why in the hell did you ever think it would be a good idea for us to have a giant moose?" She heard her mother say this to her father. Thankfully she would not remember hearing this until she was in her late thirties and already a well-established physics instructor at a respectable state university with an awesome basketball team that placed in the top eight of the NCAA Championship three years in a row. Thankfully her father was a patient moose who from that moment on decided to encourage more talk about the nature of the universe with his moose daughter. In turn, the beautiful moose tried to explain to her father how lexical quotation fails as an account of introspection because it violates the constraint that symbolic structures be productive.