A Broken Koan

by Eliezer Yudkowsky1 min read24th May 200811 comments


Personal Blog

At Baycon today and tomorrow.  Physics series resumes tomorrow.

Meanwhile, here's a link to a page of Broken Koans and other Zen debris I ran across, which should amuse fans of ancient Eastern wisdom; and a koan of my own:

Two monks were arguing about a flag. One said, "The flag is moving."

The other said, "The wind is moving."

Julian Barbour happened to be passing by.  He told them, "Not the wind, not the flag."

The first monk said, "Is the mind moving?"

Barbour replied, "Not even mind is moving."

The second monk said, "Is time moving?"

Barbour said, "There is no time.  You could say that it is mu-ving."

"Then why do we think that flags flap, and wind blows, and minds change, and time moves?" inquired the first monk.

Barbour thought, and said, "Because you remember."