31 March 2011

[liff] Powell's City Of Books: Philosophy on the Return Carts

2593.The nifty thing about going to Powell's is, of course, you never know what sort of thing you'll take away from there, and I say that because if you don't leave with books, you leave with something to think about … a little philosophy, perhaps.

Seen on a book return cart in the Pearl Room (my favorite because that's where the art-how-to-books are) was this sagacity:

No Belly button, No conscience

Now, if you're having any trouble reading this, here's the transcript:

The sticker reads:

NOTE to Supreme Court: Corporations have no belly buttons - Corp are NOT People!

The first response:

Note To Parents: Babies have no conscience - Babies are NOT people!

And the rejoinder to that:

Nonsense! Sociopaths have no conscience, and they are certainly people!

And, in an attempt to graphically define the proposition, there is a kind of circle-diagram below. I say kind of because the curve enclosing People looks more like an amoeba, which is fair, because some people I've met in my life strike me as amoebas (others as anaerobic organisms, but this isn't Rant Day, so I won't go there for now). The breakdown is kind of like this:

  1. Babies and Sociopaths are both People but have no conscience;
  2. Babies and Corporations both have no conscience but only Babies are People;
  3. Sociopaths and Corporations both have no conscience but only Sociopaths are People;
  4. Babies and Sociopaths and Corporations have no conscience as a commonality.

Sadly the diagram creator did not treat presence or abscence of belly buttons; hopefully they will revise the diagram when they figure out where the oval has to go. Hey, I'm not doing their work for them! I'm all hoi-polloi here, I do not trouble my mind with such fundamental building blocks of human thought!

I'll check again on this cart and see if it ever gets updated - providing I ever find it again.


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