Wednesday, August 19, 2015

№ 206. Of Vice Presidents and Of Facts

"Once again the facts have been erased." - Ai Weiwei

Election worries are again brewing in the Philippine political horizon. Are we reverting to analog as a safer option towards peaceful, honest and credible elections or are we plowing through with automation, regardless of the costs?

Speaking of elections, we have a line of Vice Presidents who eventually assumed the top post: Macapagal-Arroyo, Estrada, Ramos, Osmeña, Macapagal, Garcia, Qurino and Osmena. Eight and we're counting as we go. Does this mean Binay?

There's an interesting article about the Vice-Presidents today and it's good to know that the history of the office carries a lot of promising read. What lessons can I take home from this? It's not easy to extract actionable wisdom from a layered material like Philippine history especially when the material can rival the fiction of magical realism, mythical personalities and Marvel realms.

Meanwhile, a quote from the first Vice President of the United States who lived a very principled life:

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."  ---John Adams

What are facts, anyway? Are they immutable and, therefore, stubborn. Really. Or are they somewhat translucent, allowing for some light of lucidity to pass through and blocking a few? Aren't facts, or what comes off as facts anyway, subjective in the sense that their truth depends heavily on the observer--- his senses, judgments, biases, mental opiates, willful blindnesses, consciousnesses and an array of levers that tweak his appreciation of reality?

Exhibit A: the optical illusions that distort, trick or test our views.

Optical Illusion

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