Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Readings: Fun Stuff from Kurt Vonnegut

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Here is an interesting satire of numerology that Kurt Vonnegut employs in his prophetic novel, Hocus Pocus:

The context is that the novel's protagonist is working as a teacher in a prison. Vonnegut has this character explain his teaching methods at one point in the book. Part of that method is described by the character this way:

"I showed them a chart a fundamentalist preacher from downtown Scipio has passed out... I asked them to examine it for examples of facts tailored to fit a thesis.
xxxx"Across the top the chart named the leaders of warring nations during the Finale Rack, during World War II. Then, under each name was the leader's birthdate and how many years he lived and when he took office and how many years he served, and then the total of all those numbers, which in each case turned out to be 3,888.
xxxx"It looked like this:



Churchill
Hitler
Roosevelt
Il Duce
Stalin
Tojo
Born
1874
1889
1882
1883
1879
1884
Age
70
55
62
61
65
60
Took Office
1940
1933
1933
1922
1924
1941
Years in Office
4
11
11
22
20
3

3,888
3,888
3,888
3,888
3,888
3,888








xxxx"As I say, every column adds up to 3,888.
xxxx"Whoever invented the chart then pointed out that half that number was 1944, the year the war ended, and that the first letters of the names of the war's leaders spelled the name of the Supreme Ruler of the Universe."

Okay. So Vonnegut's character has pointed out that the first letters of the names above = C,H,R,I,S,T

And here’s something Vonnegut's protagonist didn’t point out:

1+9+4+4 adds up to 18, which is three sixes (666) = the number of the Beast.

Isn't that interesting?

Vonnegut's character never tells us if any of the convict students found any "facts tailored to fit a thesis."




9 comments:

Fiocle said...

Wow, that is fascinating.
I signed up for a course in numerology a couple of weeks ago. I am definitely going to give it a whirl now. Great post.

Rodak said...

Thanks for reading, Fiona.

Amy Wood said...

Freaky.

Rodak said...

Nobody is taking Kurt's challenge...

Katley said...

I'm not taking Kurt's challenge. However, my next blog post has been inspired by numbers and numerology. Look for it next week :)

Anonymous said...

The war ended in 1945, not 1944.

Rodak said...

Correct, Anonymous. And there is something else worth noting...

Anonymous said...

It is all crap as:

Churchill lived till he was 90, Hitler was 56, Roosevelt was 63, Mussolini 61, Stalin was 74 years when died.

Rodak said...

That Vonnegut is a pip, ain't he?