Friday, December 17, 2010

The Fushigi Ball

I just received a spam-mail about something called "Fushigi - The Magic Anti-Gravity Ball."

Instead of pressing an immediate "spam" I went to the Fushigi website. Here's what I found, with some philosophical comments attached.
  • "Fushigi." The very word connotes mystery.
  • "Fushigi is a brand new, dynamically designed ball use in the mysterious art of contact juggling." Note this sentence. "Brand new" = which means "never before, until now." "Dynamically designed ball" = which denotes... what? "Mysterious art of contact juggling." There's that word "mystery," which connotes "unknownness," "darkness" (as in: "shrouded in mystery"). Just plain astounding inexplicable weirdness.
  • "Fushigi is an incredible form of therapeutic relaxation." Incredible? Now think of this conversation. "John, you seem stressed out." John: "Yes, I am. I need to spend a few extra hours with my Fushigi ball."
  • "The art of maneuvering a reflective sphere through mind and body isolation and manipulation creates the illusion that the sphere may be defying the laws of gravity." This is quite a claim, even acknowledging the word "illusion." "Reflective sphere?" The thing is just a ball! But when it comes to "mind isolation," I've seen a lot of that in my philosophy students, so that doesn't impress me. What would impress me in my logic classes would be to see a student in the middle of serious mind isolation whip out a Fushigi ball and do a "Prayer Cross" (I'm not kidding).
  • "Fushigi is strictly recommended for ages 12 and up." I assume this is because, at age 12, kids enter puberty, which is clinically defined as a 10-year period of mind and body isolation. If the Fushigi ball can heal the struggles of adolescence then I'll support it.
  • It is recommended to begin with the 3-inch Fushigi, and then advance to the 4-inch Fushigi. These things are dangerous!
  • Store your Fushigi in its protective pouch. Like a baby kangaroo.
  • "Everyone loves Fushigi." That's quite a claim. I think it's false. I don't love Fushigi; therefore everyone does not love Fushigi. As Karl Popper taught us, all it takes to falsify a univeral claim like "All crows are black" is to find one non-black crow. This is Popper's falsifiability criterion. I therefore utilize Popper's criterion to falsify the claim "Everyone loves Fushigi."
  • "Fushigi is sweeping the nation." I guess so, because it just came to my laptop tonight.
  • Finally, re. the BIG QUESTION, does Fushigi actually defy the laws of gravity and float? The official Fushigi-answer is: No. And a good thing too, because if it did we'd have to rewrite all the laws of physics, which would create so much stress and economic disaster that we'd all be institutionalized and in big-time Fushigi-therapy.