header photo

Project Vision 21

Transforming lives, renewing minds, cocreating the future

Blog Search

Blog Archive


There are currently no blog comments.

How many absurdities can we tolerate in a single day?

Recently an update was made on my computer and soon after a message appeared on the screen: "You have a new notification." Then, I opened the message and read it: "Your computer is not configured to receive notifications." And I literally didn't know what to do.

Let's analyze the issue step by step: if my computer (by my decision) is not configured to receive notifications, why do I receive a notification? Can I get some respect for my desire not to receive them?

And if I receive a notification, even though I don't want to receive them, what is the purpose of notifying me my computer is not set to receive notifications if I just received a notification?

No matter what perspective is adopted or what you want to say, it is an absurdity taken to the extreme. But that absurdity (a notification that informs me that I cannot receive notifications) is only a symptom, a sample, a preview of an immense network of absurdity in which we are so trapped that we even consider it both normal and real.

"That's the way things are," people often say. Another real example: I received a message from the telephone company telling me that the monthly payment had not been made and that if I do not immediately pay the incredible sum of zero dollars with zero cents I will have to pay interest on that amount .

So, I called the company and asked them how it could be possible that if my debt was zero, they would tell me that the payment was late. And if the debt is zero, what will they charge me interest on?

Without departing for a moment from his script, and without paying attention to my impeccable logic, the representative of the telephone company merely told me that I should pay the amount due, even if it was zero. "That's what our records say," he explained.

That is the level of absurdity we have reached and which, unfortunately, grows incessantly. But it is an absurdity that neither has the wisdom of the Zen koans nor the humor of Yogi Berra's sayings.

When a koan asks "What is the sound of one-handed applause?" or "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody listens to it, does it make noise?", the goal is to create the "great doubt" that leads, well understood, to rethink our own thinking.

And when Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra (1925-2015) says " No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded." or "You can observe a lot by just watching", those sayings reveal an unusual confluence of humor and sarcasm so, although absurd, they contain a truth.

But none of that happens with the absurdities of today's life, which neither invite us to think the unthinkable in thinking what we think nor help us to feel the truth involved in nonsense. When technoscience develops its own history, separated from human beings, absurdity prevails and neither Yogi Berra nor Buddhist monks can help us.

Go Back