Thursday, July 29, 2004

To come of age

"Among the most famous of Zeno's "paradoxes" involves Achilles and the tortoise, who are going to run a race. Achilles, being confident of victory, gives the tortoise a head start. Zeno supposedly proves that Achilles can never overtake the tortoise. Here, I paraphrase Zeno's argument:

Before Achilles can overtake the tortoise, he must first run to point A, where the tortoise started. But then the tortoise has crawled to point B. Now Achilles must run to point B. But the tortoise has gone to point C, etc. Achilles is stuck in a situation in which he gets closer and closer to the tortoise, but never catches him."

(Extracted from

The paradox has a tremendous paralelism with age and experience and us trying to accelerate time. My brother is 5 years older than me, and no matter how hard I try I will never have as much experience and knowledge as he has in any given moment, he is the tortoise and I am Achilles trying to reach the unreachable. Not that there is something wrong with it, this was troubling my mind when I was younger but coming of age (not necesarily the legal age) is a bit about realising the good things that you are neither too young nor too old to enjoy. On the other hand, there is the issue of me having travelled a lot more than him, even though he has had more experience dealing with people.
In sort, each one of us has its own area of expertise and has more experience in something that the others might lack, and there is no sense in trying to grow old too quickly, since it will happen at its given time.

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