“What the hell is water?”
Five year ago, David Foster Wallace – American philosopher – took his own life. Wallace is more commonly known as an author; five years after his death his 2005 commencement address – an articulation of his understanding of life – at Kenyon College stands as his greatest work. Visit Brain Pickings for a great recap of the address, including the audio, and find a pdf here.
1) He begins with a metaphor. Like all great teachers, Wallace understands the human desire for storytelling, for the human psyche’s ability to retain a story when facts and arguments slip away.
There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at…
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