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Spoken Word Performance: Understanding Reality

J Shafagh's picture





Somewhere out there we have

the truth:

An untouchable entity

we will never fully grasp.

That which happens

really does happen.

The sandwich has been eaten. The crumbs have fallen.

Yet if the details are emitted from our story,

are they emitted

from our reality?

You see what I see and know what I don’t know but what I know isn’t what you know and do we know what we know at all?

 But who’s to decide which version of the story is the most complete

 Most accurate

 Most appealing?

 All those details go lost

 all these vantage points combined will never fully add up

Add up.

 Truth is an unreachable landmark,

 a destination not even Columbus could broach.

 Here we all are,

 sharing the same experience

 Yet forming different stories of our different realities




 Options for interpretation of reality

 No limits.

 Science’s goal is observing reality

 Reality is unattainable.

 Science is an account that gets it less wrong.

 Less wrong.

 Less wrong.

 Less wrong.

Less wrong.

 The observations of science

 are based on the crack of subjectivity:

 Seeing what we choose to see,

 interpreting it how we choose to interpret,

 and then calling it fact.

 So will we ever understand

 Ever know?

 We are all just sound vibrations

 in an orchestra we can’t fully hear.

 Just pieces of the story.

I am reality.

I am truth.

I am the complete story.

And I am the story teller, getting closer and closer yet never quite touching.

 So why do we bother constructing reality?

 Why we do recount



 stories that may not ever mirror what actually happened

 It’s the pragmatic way of life

 The only way to accept knowing you go through life

 not fully knowing

A flower. Before us.

 I see growth.

 I see life.

 I see the

We agree to disagree.

 Our different interpretations of reality are uniting forces

 in our quest for truth.

 If we realize that every individual truth has merit

 we will accept each other’s ideas.

 Only connect over variations of what can be seen.


 Beyond us.

 Yet we come closer.

With our stories.

Final Comments: For our final group presentation, we wanted to put together a spoken word presentation which captured the essence of the major themes and our combined interests of what we have drawn from this course over the semester.  The big theme we believed we have been talking about this semester is reality.  We have discussed and talked about biological evolution, the “truth” and evidence for that version of the story, and also discussed the evolution of stories.  However, in between all of this intense discussion, we have constantly been questioning if reality exists, about how everyone’s interpretation of things is different, and if there is no one real or “true” story, then that reality may not ever exist, except in the eyes of the beholder, for we create that reality.  We have summed up that science’s goal is to make observations based on our realities, and to try to make stories that gets it less wrong (with our pragmatic intention of knowing that we may never know the full story or get it less wrong).  We tried to incorporate specific things that were talked about in both Thursday groups, and tried to make it interesting and thought provoking for our audience.  After our presentation, we asked the audience to form into two groups, with professor Grobstein in one group and Professor Dalke in the other, and to make a story about their observations from our performance.  After a few minutes, we convened, and talked about how each group came up with a different set of observations about our performance and the message of our performance.  The point was to again demonstrate that each individual observes/pays attention to different things and interprets things differently, so that no one truth can exist.  This is how we have been studying biological evolution and the evolution of stories.  We have learned, throughout the course, that biological evolution is just a story that we are getting less wrong, based on our observations, and creating our reality of the subject as we progress though life.  And we used our application of evolution to the evolution of stories to conclude that everything in life is just a story, evolving over time, with the intention of getting things less wrong, yet never really reaching the unattainable “truth.”