Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Confusion Surfaces

Imagine my mind as it stumbled upon this mysterious reply to what I had considered a very witty and insightful comment of mine on some thread somewhere outside my normal stomping grounds. A member of this forum made up of many dubious intellects wrote -

"a clue to confusion surfaces"

I sat back and pondered this enigmatic reply. I sat with dull eyes and even duller mind and wondered just what the Hell were "confusion surfaces"? Nothing in my experiences to date had I ever run across "confusion surfaces". I was immediately interested. Instantly intrigued. I had to do some research and find what I could about "confusion surfaces".

Before I set my fingers to walking, I considered what just might make a surface confused. After all, the surface of a thing is but the ending of it's insides. Why and how could it be confused? Maybe it had trouble remembering to be inside out or outside in.

So I reversed my thinking, grinding gears as I searched for reverse. Turning it around in my mind, such as it is, I thought, "Does confusion have a surface?" And why would this other mind infer that it had more than one surface by making it plural? And if there was a clue, why then not include it?

Alas, I was at a loss to find any answers on my own.

Google did not help. Several books of science, philosophy and religion did not help. I was left in the wilderness without any of the support I have come to rely on. All I had were my own devices with nowhere to plug them in.

I have sat down now after much pacing and scratching my head. I have placed my problem on this blog for all to see. Call this a plea of sorts. A cry for help. Some kind soul must know what makes a confusion surface. Some mind less befuddled can certainly help a confused guy out.


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PipeTobacco said...


I am likely FAR off base, but before I read beyond the comment itself:

"a clue to confusion surfaces"

my initial thought was that the commenter was suggesting that (whatever comment he was replying to) gave him some sort of clue or understanding of why a point of confusion or misunderstanding surfaced in the conversation.

If my idea is true, this fits a very common manner of speech in academia, where succinct brevity is often so highly prized that it can lead to (in my opinion, purposeful) ambiguity and loss of meaning.

Of course, I may be completely off base in my idea, but I thought I would throw it in to see if it helped.


MRMacrum said...

Pipe Tobacco - Yes, of course you are right. I was just having fun with a brain skip moment I had when the comment first appeared. I did actually ask myself, "What the Hell is a Confusion Surface?" And then I got it. I just took the moment of stupidity and expanded it for fun. Proving that no matter how fast I think I am on the uptake, sometimes all the synapses don't close in the right order.

Anonymous said...

Oh, confusion does indeed have surfaces!

Best understood as a fractal.

Hope this helps clarify things.

MRMacrum said...

PresterJohn - Oh sure. That realky helped. Fractals huh? Now I have to worry about something that is similar to itself. Great.

Kulkuri said...

Maybe confusion is swimming underwater and occasionally surfaces to breath or see daylight. Just a thought!

PipeTobacco said...


I *thought* you may have written the essay tongue-in-cheek! I am glad to know now for sure.

I typically try to err on the side of caution when I am not 100% sure. Therefore, I gave a "straight" (aka dull) answer, because I was not sure if the essay was meant "comedic" or "straight.


Randal Graves said...

I think it has to do with the friction between the LSD and the biological system that said LSD is entering.

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

it could be that interconnection between what is now, versus what was then, but isn't now with what might be in the future, ----all in all confusion is but a moment in time, and invariable either gets clarified (non-confused) or just evaporates and is no more---its not worth getting ones shorts in a twist about.

BBC said...

"confusion surfaces"

Monkeys love to make up new terms and dream up meanings for them.

They also love to make up complex words to replace simple words and call themselves wordsmiths.

Anyway, It's nice and sunny today, I should change the oil and filter on the truck.

MRMacrum said...

Kulkiri - If so, mine has been treading water far too long.

Pipe Tobacco - Well you are on the logical scientific side of things. Me, I'm a loose dog willing to attempt to find meaning in the meaningless.

Randal - You are probably the closest to the truth of it. A flash back or maybe an unpurged rush from the bad ole days.

Old Dude - Now that's the spirit. Go with it. But I do think this important enough to twist my shorts over.

BBC - Well now aren't you the grumpy gus. Yes, I think changing your oil might be a good idea. The filter too. Especially the filter.

Middle Ditch said...

Read all the comments but the mind is still boggling

Utah Savage said...

Pipe Tobacco gave you the answer to your rhetorical question, but what I want to know is who did the painting that accompanies this post. It's amazing.

Randal is a smartass isn't he?

Demeur said...

I'm confused.

There does that count?

MRMacrum said...

Middle Ditch - Oh damn. Boggling rears up. Here I go again.

Utah - Yes Randal is. He is my hero. Uh, we are kind of reciprocal heroes. Twin heroes of different petri dishes.

Hopefully you read my comment about the painting. Just in case - The painting is "Constant Confusion" by Susan Proctor. She has a website.

Demeur - If you can't help, then no it doesn't help. This blog can only be confused by one blogger at a time. And I am not done yet. Get in line.

BBC said...

BBC - Well now aren't you the grumpy gus.

But a truthful one if you can see it.

BBC said...

Check this out.

The USSR was better prepared for collapse than the US

Bill said...

Sorry for the late post...
I almost missed the key point you made in your original post. You said this comment was a response to something you had contributed to the forum!
I can see clearly now :)
I get these kinds of replies myself!