A reply to: A letter from Tad
Greetings and Salutations, Thanatos Dustpine!
We (that would be the both of us, Gee-Jay, in other words, Giuliana and Jasper) like your name!
For the sake of fairness, reciprocity, collaboration, and turn-taking, Giuliana (also known as Gee, among a host of creative and inspired nom de plumes), has decreed that I (that would be me, Jasper, also known as Jay, or the old bearded one) must write this letter.
So. Here I am at the keyboard, writing while Giuliana, also known as Gee, yada-yada-blah-blah, dictates what it is that I should write while it is my turn to write the letter on behalf of Gee-Jay.
On behalf of Gee-Jay, we think you’re funny.
No, really funny. As in side-splitting, hysterical, better-stop-before-the-Grim-Reaper-comes funny.
First, we were tickled when we read, “spiky but not unfriendly.”
But it was, “Names condensed into sounds that are like letters in your alphabet,” that just about slayed us, and “I do not know if that is a proper way to start a letter,” that fairly did us in.
Actually, I (Jay/Jasper, you know the rest) became a bit concerned for my young friend (Gee/Giuliana, and so on and so forth), and so I left the room for a moment before reading on to give her a chance to compose herself.
When I returned, she was deep in thought, something that is not at all unusual for Gee. (She asks me to write that it’s not at all unusual for me [Jay/Jasper, etc.], either.)
And you, our new friend, Tad? We (Gee-Jay, ad naseum) would like to know if it is or isn’t unusual for you to be deep in thought. In fact, Gee (you can recite it by now) reminds me that you wrote, ” I do spend quite a lot of time for thinking…”
“Time for thinking”–that has a nice ring to it.
In fact we think that we would like to start a club called “Time for Thinking” club. Would you like to be in this club with us?
Giuliana says that the title sounds a lot more intelligent that the former title of her other club, which was called “Stop Bullying, Stupid,” but is now called “Now!” and is a club that it also about pirates.
After we finished reading your letter–and didn’t die of laughter, I’m happy to report–we wanted to know what was so funny about it.
“I think it has to do with saying something very obvious, ” I suggested, “like Gee-Jay being our initials, but saying it as if it’s surprising or not obvious at all.”
We tried it out.
“Your shirt is actually a t-shirt!”
“Yours is, too!”
“It’s because the words are formal!” Gee suggested. (She is very perceptive, my young friend.)
I read aloud from your letter again:
It is a safe assumption that one needs time to write. Though sometimes I wonder whether – if contained properly – timelessness actually grants more time. Or at least takes away schedules. Then again, that might only work for beings who exist in a state that is not bound and guarded by time.
“It’s beautiful, right?” said Giuliana. “But funny, too.”
And I had to admit she was right.
Gee reminds me that I have lapsed into writing from myself, when I’m supposed to be writing from the both of us.
We both think that beauty and funny can go together, but we don’t think that being beautiful makes something funny, nor that being funny makes something beautiful.
We read a little more: ” I am not funny, at least never on purpose. I just do not seem to have a knack for it… And I do not think that I am very smart either.”
When we finished chuckling, Giuliana said, “It’s because it says one thing, but it’s really not the way it is, but it says it in formal language and kinda beautifully, and so we’re lulled into believing it, while we know it’s not like that, and so the way the two feelings don’t fit has to come out in laughing!”
And we think, maybe, that Gee is right on this one.
But we don’t have the knack for that type of humor.
We tend to go in for knock-knock jokes.
We are very touched by what you say about Gee being able to continue writing Dusk Mann, Tad. And we also thank you for the kind words you said about him. Gee wants to tell him about you in her next letter. She thinks that he will like knowing about you, even if he can’t write back.
Gee suggests that I (Jasper, also known as…) try writing to some of those that I’ve said goodbye to, also. I’m not sure that I will. I speak to Bess, my wife, often, though she left this realm nearly a decade ago. I still feel her with me, always. I don’t have an explanation for this, except that I feel there’s more to a person than the body that houses them, and when that body fades, what’s more doesn’t.
We are curious about universes without time or space, which you propose might possibly exist. We feel they might, too. It’s not something we’ve thought much about, but intuitively it feels that it could be a possibility.
What we want to know is if consciousness needs time–or space–in order to exist. We’re looking into the work of Giulio Tononi, Christof Koch, and Max Tegmark to see what they have to say on the matter. So far, we are fairly certain that Tononi and Koch hold that consciousness requires the presence of time, while Tegmark posits that it requires space, but we must admit that we don’t understand their mathematical equations well enough to be sure.
Giuliana assures me that she’ll be able to understand the math when she’s twelve. I assure her that, for me, it is likely hopeless.
We, Gee-Jay, would like to know if you, Tad, would like to join our “Time for Thinking” club, and if so, if you would enjoy thinking about the puzzle of consciousness, time, and space, with us.
We are happy (as in delighted) that you are our pen pal. Already we feel very cheerful, and we know that these smiles will return every time we think of, “Names condensed into sounds that are like letters in your alphabet.”
With that, we are hoping to be clever and sign our letter with something other than “sounds that are like letters.”
I (that would be me, Jasper) will sign like this: %(*)%
And I (this is me Gee, that would be Giuliana) will sign like this: dsajkpwaorijwapeindklcxpidrheiawmvdmfg @@ aseprieam ## amkdfpaewi 56g967
Or you can call me Tazer.
Over and out,
And it’s already way past time for someone to go home,