Harari asks, “In what sense can we say that Peugeot exists?” The idea is that a company, or any institution, has no physical existence, but is just a social construct. The theme builds to his much-quoted summary, “There are no gods, no nations, no money and no human rights, except in our collective imagination”.
Another example crossed my mind as I was writing the heading “Christmas, Saturday, 25 Dec. 2021” on a note card. I had a funny thought that this was unbalanced, for should not “Christmas” be so big as to blow away mere “Saturday”? I got to thinking, what if Parliament passed a law mandating that Christmas this year will not be a Saturday, nor indeed any day of the week at all, just a special space of its own between Friday and Sunday?
No, the collective imagination is too strong. None of us, as you might say King Canute once observed, has the power to stop Saturday being Saturday.
[27 December 2021]