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Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Achillis and the Tortoise.

It's a philosophical paradox. I never actually completely got it... because if it were true it totally defeats the purpose of chronometer races (like in bikes competitions) where the best time is the one to win.

I heard about it pretty late in my life, I was in high school already, beacause my best friend Giorgia was reading The Abyss (L'OEUVRE AU NOIR) from Marguerite Yourcenar. The paradox says that if Achillis (supposedly the fastest man on Earth) and a toroise were to race against each other, if the tortoise starts first it will win, because for every step Achillis will take the tortoise took one too. I never stopped to ponder too much about the philosophical meaning of this paradox, but I did have my own personal interpretation of the fact... which maybe is way more superficial than what the real meaning of the story is... but it did help me somewhat during my life.

there are times in which we compare ourselves to others. When I was in school my mom always complained about my grades because I was smart enough to get straight A's, but always settled for B's (as long as they got me through school getting unnoticed and leaving no problems behind). I would alwasy say: why do you complain? there's people with worse grades than mine. She would reply: do not look at worse peopl always look up to the better ones.
In one way what she said made sense, why should we settle and compare with something that is too easy to be compared to. Silver is better than iron, but hey there's always gold.
On the other end there's was something wrong about what she said: why compare myselt to something different, something "other" than me... when it is me I should deal with?
I am silver, gold is a whole different material.

So, I was just thinking, she is wrong, until Giorgia told me: I read this in this book, I do not understand it but it is a funny story. And she told me about the paradox. So I thought, it does not make sense, like this... the biker who leaves first in the tour the France wins the tour! Five laughed for about five minutes then I thought: although this turtle... defeats Achillis by just being a turtle. (actually a tortoise) I got enlightened: the tortoise is not competing against Achillis, the tortoise is competing against itself.
So she does not have to be anything but what she is and no matter how fast Achillis is... the tortoise too is taking things one step at the time, at her own pace. So going back to silver too... there's silver 750 and silver 800 it depends on how it is refined.... there are diamonds and brilliants it depends on how they are cut.
I will set standards for myself. If I challenge myself to be the best that I can be and compare myself to myself at all time, I will improve too, I will grow up, I will learn, but I will be me.

That was the day I chose I will never measure myself again, using someone else's meter, because the only meter that can measure me, I have to set. I have to say, that challenging oneself's is way harder than competing with someone else. It is not a matter of defeating another person... it a defeat there will be, it will be our own, so we better not get defeated... but we have to win. How tricky eh?

When I started my "production" company, I called it: the little wizard (because I wanted to turn into magin anything I touched)
When I started my "musical production" I called the company: Achillis and the tortoise.
We had a song that we had to sing before a show:
"I lived all my life, with just the right pace that a tortoise life can't but envy and not compare, and so if I think, I will only sit, If I have to run, I feel oh so bummed. Never, Never I would expect in life to come to this, I was so sure I will always be true me and what me is, but if you give me a rhyme or reason, then I will change. It's like magic, just look at that, was I meant or not for success, I am that magnificent tortoise Achillis will never defeat".

heh, I wish I could attach music to this (it sounds completely different and less stupid when you sing it)!

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