At university – back in the late middle ages – I spent many undergraduate hours grappling with the great metaphysical questions. Probably, as several patient dons might argue, I could’ve done with spending more hours in my distinctly average intellectual pursuit of human existence. But they coaxed, probed, and gradually opened my teenaged mind to unlock whatever potential they optimistically had divined. I swiftly moved to major in political history, useful for the succession of strange jobs I laughingly call a career, and ethics, about which you can crack your own jokes.
But let’s return to the cartesian coal face. Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume were my reading companions. What I concluded, I haven’t now the foggiest recollection. But they, thinking chaps all, advanced theory after another about how we know we’re still on this mortal coil.
I confess I haven’t really given my existence another thought in the intervening year or so (ahem) since leaving Britain’s oldest seat of learning.
So last night, it took twitter to bring me up to date. Followers of my feed will know it’s a fairly inconsequential stream of rugby, family, words and little politics, for professional neutrality prevails these days. But I tweet pretty often.
However, last night the world’s social media network had a glitch. Once again I was 18, slightly hungover, and grappling with the great questions of life. I was confronted with this.
“@MrTomGriffin does not exist.”