Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Chapter 7: What is real and who is answering the question?

The statement that everything real must in principle be quantifiable is an interesting one. I must say that I find myself on both sides of the fence. I agree with it because when applying these terms to my personal life it makes sense. For example, I know that my mother’s love for me is “real”. This is measured by my experiences with her. She not only tells me this daily but she her actions show it. I can call my mother any time, day or night, and she will be there. If I need advice, prayer, someone to talk to, mercy funds added into my checking account she’s there to meet the need. Even growing up, her providing a roof over my head, clean clothes, food to eat and even dance tuition for dance camp, these actions are quantifiable to me.

 My question is what is real and what is not?  Who is answering the question? According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of real is “actually existing or happening: not imaginary” To quantify something that means “to find or calculate the quantity or amount of something”. If you asked me if success is real, I’d say yes. My success would be measured upon my education. For example, I was the first in my family to graduate high school, graduate college receiving a bachelor’s degree and working on a master’s degree. Obviously I know that there are other scenarios that fit the question better such as how much money will you have in bank after working a 40 hour work week making $20 an hour. That is very easy to define as real and quantifiable; however, what is the definition of real and who is answering the question? 


  1. Missed you yesterday! But we must have channeled your virtual presence, because we did spend a little time talking about this question. "Knowledge is power" because we can turn some numbers into actions and objects. With the right measurements we can build bridges and rockets and computers, cure diseases, etc. etc. But we must also acknowledge the limits of quantifiable engineering, and the depths of imprecise and subjective (hence non-quantifiable) but still VERY real experience. It's the source of some of our best poetry, music, literature, and philosophy. More than that, the lack of an appreciation and aptitude for the non-quantifiable dimension of life deprives us of some of our best human qualities: empathy, compassion, toleration, respect.

  2. Furthermore you could try and calculate the amount of realness that something has. According to the definition provided by Webster you could say that Math is more real than emotion, however as humans we know this isn't true. I think there is a huge mis-translation between academic realness and human realness. We all know that love is real, but there is no universal quantifiable measure that we can plug into a formula that tells us how much or to what duration love existed, we just have to use our sense of intuition and common sense.