Trapped in a world of labels

I came across the reference to Theseus’s ship paradox in ‘Dreams of Light’ and the chapter ‘Trapped in a world of labels’ and it reminded me of this classic British comedy, ‘Only Fools and Horses’. This short video clip from an episode is an equivalent comedy version of this paradox. In the story, Trigger the road sweeper is showing Del and Rodney his photo of receiving a medal from a local Councillor for looking after his broom:


When I was in the military, we used to wonder about some of the airplanes and equipment we serviced because many of those things were pre-WW2 or post-war vintage and literally every nut and bolt and fabricated piece had been replaced—yet it was the same plane or machine! Or was it? No one had heard of Theseus or his ship, but the question was just as relevant. Young, barely literate, twenty-somethings, pondering the nature of things. There was always one fellow who was adamant that it was the same plane (machine, thing . . ), while some others didn’t believe it, or hadn’t thought about it enough. So to resolve issue, we did what troops usually do on a Saturday night, we all got went downtown to discuss it in a bar and got drunk.

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