Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fine, The UCSD Snake Exists

Previously I had dismissed the existence of the "snake path" at Geisel Library on the UCSD campus, despite the insistence of others that it was real. I had gone to the library specifically to look for it. Not finding it, I declared, "The snake does not exist." Reminiscent of Einstein's dismissal of the ether, or Buddha and the Atman.*


This will come to no surprise to any student at UCSD who uses their sense to form a model about the external universe. Apparently this does not include me. I discovered it while running up the trail, and didn't notice anything amiss until I thought to myself "well why are these tiles making this big forking kind of shape? Oh."

Well there's a lesson in how expectations affect the perception of reality! I thought the "snake path" was only a path that looked metaphorically like a snake; I thought in the woods preserved north of the library, that there would be some twisting trail that when viewed just so, would look like a snake, so I squinted out the window trying to force those rough-hewn dirt tracks in the canyon to come together into some kind of a snake-shape. I didn't know that these literal-minded philistines in San Diego meant there is an actual, obvious snake made out of tiles coming up the east side of the hill the library is on. That's B.S. Things should always be metaphorical. So really you can't blame me for missing it.

*always skip these parts if you're not high

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