Re: Pyramidiocy (was Re: Strange Maths)

Madeleine Page (
Tue, 1 Aug 1995 13:07:26 GMT

Adopting a tone somewhere between the Old Testament and the Twilight Zone,
HarryR6047 treats us to some measured words on the topic of pyramidiocy.

> Why pyramids and calendar stones and dolmens, etc? Because man will ask
> why, that's why.

Why will man (sic) ask why? Why do you think that's why? What does your
paragraph mean? Where do you get these ideas? When will you go away to
alt.loons? Who told you all this stuff?

That, I guess, is the trouble with Woman. She keeps asking not-why questions.

> Look at all of this discussion. "Everyone's entitled to his opinion." So
> we stop listening to opinions.

Oooh. I've got a 'why' question. Why does this style remind me
irresistibly of Alan Bennet doing the Sardine Can Sermon? And another
one. Why don't we call this one the Sermon from the Mount Ebank?

> But someone builds this monument in the middle of the desert. And we
> really can't figure out how they did it. (Remember a group of Japanese
> engineers tried to duplicate the feat in scale a number of years back and
> couldn't.)

Yeah. You told us that. Several times, as I recall. Of course, there
are a number of possible explanations as to why (there's that word
again). They could have been really bad engineers. They could have been
working from flawed data. There could be some skill the ancient
Egyptians had that we haven't yet figured out. The Japanese engineers
could have been members of a loony group intent on showing why man asks
why, rather than how the pyramids were built.

Or it could be <slow, mysterious crescendo> That The Ancient Egyptians
Predicted the Birth of the Internet and were Sending A Message that Could
Only Be Deciphered by the Infinitely Wise in The Late Twentieth Century.

>And as we're playing around with how and why, we start
> measuring things. And we slowly realize that certain cycles are showing
> up.
> As someone said, any artifact will calculate into certain cycles. Because
> there are certain cycles in the universe.

The artifact in question was a soda can. You are telling us that Pepsi
is in tune with the Harmony of the Spheres?

The reasons that certain 'cycles' (numerical relationships) are observed
when you start measuring things is inherent in the nature of numbers,
ducks. A bibliographic suggestion for you: _Principia Mathematica_ might
be a tad more useful to your ruminations than Nostradamus. If, of course,
you are interested in being rational.

> And Stonehenge, the Pyramid, Sphinx, Calendar Stone, all of these things
> were left to communicate certain knowledge.

Ar. Right. "And the Ancients said 'let it be good'. And they saw that
it was good. And they said 'let it be sore puzzling'. And they saw that
it was sore puzzling. And they said, 'in fact, let it be bloody
confusing, that the bafoons of the late twentieth century will spend many
hours drivelling on about it, hours they might otherwise spend developing
conspiracy theories and other forms of florid paranoia'. And they saw
that it was bloiody confusing."

> Write it down. Sure. The Bible has lasted 2000 years + (when you consder
> the old testament) and you've got how many religions which will argue with
> what the written word means.

Ideas. They're hell, eh? Can't just plonk'em down and have everyone
agree. Buildings, on the other hand. No one can argue with a *building*,
can they? (Well, actually I've a neighbour who argues with buildings. A
lot. But that's another story and his meds are helping).

> But here's this thing sitting in the middle of the desert, and it can't be
> dismissed as someone's opinion.

I don't think anyone on this thread, even the loopiest of contributors,
has suggested that 'this thing sitting in the middle of the desert' does
not *exist*. I'll even make a bold epistemological move here and declare
that the existence of 'this thing' is a fact about which there needs to be
little discussion. (Thanks to the Berkleyan rump for keeping quiet here.
Besides the WWW Pyramidcam means that someone is always observing the damn

But our discussion has not been about the existence of the building. It's
been about the meaning that is ascribed to the building's design and
construction. What people have taken rational exception to is not the
fact of the pyramids, it's the dime-store numerological pap that gets used
to manufacture mystical meanings for them.

>Because it had to be either a massive
> building (engineering) effort. Or someone had to know a lot more than we
> do today about moving objects, etc.

Both may be true. But you seem to move from two propositions that are
(gods forbid) almost rational, to a bizarre conclusion:

The pyramids were a massive engineering effort (T)

Ancient Egyptians knew some things that we don't about moving large
objects (U)

Therefore, the Egyptians knew about the future/could calculate just about
anything you care to name/were speaking to us about the Cycles of the
Universe/used the pyramid to calculate the quickest route to the nearest
Walmart/etc. etc.

> That's what monuments are. Even the Washington Monument.

Love that rhetorical flourish. Love the portentous tone. Wonderful
dramatic finish.

Waitaminnit. What does it *mean*?

'That's what monuments are'. *What* is what monuments are? Are they Big
Things? Well, usually. Not always. Are they Significant Things? Yes,
to the people of the time that pay for them, build them, use them to
commemorate a locally important event. Trivially true, but true.

I have, however, a dire feeling that you are trying to say something more here.

And how does the Washington Monument prove the ancient Egyptians knew
about Universal Cycles and Walmart? What Universal Truth does the
Washington Monument carry for the edification of future, less
knowledgeable generations? What startling measurements does it
prefigure? Does this have anything to do with the circumference of Mars?
The dimensions of a pop can? Which Japanese engineering company was
unable to replicate the feat of building it?

> And the dollar
> bill doesn't have an eye and a pyramid on it for nothing.

Damn right. You have to pay one hundred cents to get that eye and that
pyramid. Wait! One *hundred*! That's the same number as there are years
in a century! Do you think the designer of the dollar bill was trying to
tell us something? Do you think it's actually a Calendar Bill? Wow!

Maddy 'those pyramids were *heavy*, man' Page