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July 15, 2002
Zeno and the paradox of Fitzroy
Q. If Zeno stood at one end of Rae Street and shot an arrow down it, would the arrow hit the other end?
Q. If Zeno stood at one end of Rae Street and shot an arrow down it, could you explain why it wouldn't hit the other end?
A. Oh. Well, it's fairly straightforward. An arrow fired down the length of Rae Street wouldn't make it to the other end because Rae Street is a very long street. As they say in the classics, "it's, like, really long." Several times I've attempted to walk its entire length, and was forced to retire hurt. An arrow has no chance at all of covering the entire length, as Zeno once famously demonstrated, while swaying around looking tipsy.
There's a great theory around here that Rae Street is actually infinite. At the very least, it's so long it's hard to measure accurately. Ergo, it's infinitely long. This theory is lent extra weight by the lucky fact that it's in Fitzroy. There are many people around here who wish to believe they have a ringside view of infinity.
Q. If a tree falls on Rae Street, and hits a mime, what do you say?
A. "Zeno, pass me that bow and arrow. Let me see if I can hit something a little nearer."Posted by Sean Hegarty at 09:39 PM in the Fitzroy category | Comments (0)
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