Like always, ideas and thoughts come to my mind when I'm taking a shower. I heard that it was because your mind is able to roam around while you're relaxing or taking a shower. Divergent thinking it is.
Anyway, it must have been excruciatingly hard for people who lived in ancient times to realize the principles of science as we now know.
Consider this: You were born into an ancient society. It has extremely strict culture as to forbade challenging the wisdom of the elders.
Well, science is doomed in that case. And that was the case for all human societies at the time. Of course, the elders knew more than the young. But what the elders knew wasn't science, but mere collection of common sense and biased conclusions from experiences.
Not only that, you would have to realize that what seems the simplest thing to humans is not really the simplest thing there is. What I mean by this is that you might think that water and dust are atoms (as did ancient Greeks). But it was impossible to think of a thing so small that you can't see, because you can't see it. Since you don't know the existence of real atoms, you do not feel the need to develop microscope or other device to really see it.
Paucity of really scientific knowledge and the interference of religion, common sense, and biases render scientific endeavor in ancient times extremely difficult.
It is truly amazing how we humans managed to break out of such biases and impediments to achieve the great science of our age.
I never considered myself a humorous person, but I think that this joke that came to my mind isn't so bad after all:
What do you call a SAD GATSBY?
If you don't get this, here is the explanation:
The Great Gatsby's main character is sad when his lover Daisy is not around. So sad Gatsby would lack a Daisy, thus "lackadaisical."
This is just a thought that I had after reading and considering the book, but I believe this to be true.
When Camus published The Stranger, he also published his essay "The Myth of Sisyphus." The essay is concluded by this sentence: "One must imagine Sisyphus happy." The main idea of it is that even if you are condemned to roll a rock up the zenith of a mountain, from which the rock would inevitably roll down, you can be happy since life is meaningless and living for the moment, just rolling the rock up is what constitutes happiness.
It is very peculiar thought to consider, but it is kind of what I believe, for I am a ex-Christian turned atheist. As Camus put it in The Stranger, "You die when you die and nothing remains." We exist for no reason, so what does anything matter?
Anyway, my thought about the ending of The Stranger is that it is a happy ending. Just like Camus' essay concluded that Sisyphus was happy, The Stranger ends with Meursault finding happiness in the meaninglessness of life.
So I should say, "One must imagine Meursault happy."
He controlled his fate. By choosing not to appeal. By choosing to kill the Arab. By choosing not to feign guilt. By choosing not to show sadness. He chose his fate. And that made his meaningless life happy. Although happiness is meaningless, according to Meursault himself.
Since I am kind of a grammar nerd and pedant, I acknowledge that I wrote some fragments and other erroneous sentences in this post. However, I am also an advocate of the liberty of expression and I wrote fragments and other erroneous sentences in order to heighten the effect of such sentences.
Jin Woo Won
An undergrad at Columbia University, studying Computer Science and in particular artificial intelligence.