The Researcher’s Objection

To a nomad, the researcher is a curious type.

They spend their days in a laboratory, studiously measuring and tracking the convoluted and multi-faceted ways that objects relate to each other.

From the nomad’s view, these breadcrumbs of relation stretch far and wide, and are well worth following.

But the researcher insists they remain still, even as they travel the path.

Wherever there is one path of relation, there are always at least two—so no doubt, exploring these trails is a good way to stay busy.

But it is an odd traveller who insists they haven’t moved.

Besides, they build machines and well-designed objects that can travel faster than any nomad ever could, even if the researcher who did the work asserts bizarrely that they haven’t done anything at all.

They insist beyond insistence that they’ve only uncovered what was already.

They have not moved.
Or so they say.

They never left the lab.
Or so they say.

They are unchanged, the same as they started.
Or so they say.

If the nomad points out the journey,
If the nomad points out the flow,
The researcher objects.

It is only the relations and their objects that have shifted.
The subjects remain unchanged.
Or so they say.

Yet it never fails to entertain when researchers and their whole public-facing domain go haywire every time someone shows definitively that the systems they build are relationally objective instead of objectively relational.

If you listen, you can hear the cries of exasperation, “Why are all the relativisms we build so reliably relativistic? We keep finding more systems for relating objects, but we never seem to find the objects!”

You can also hear the uproarious laughter around them, stretching all along the path from here to Tabriz.

And yet… I must admit it. They build some damn fine systems of relation, some almost transcendentally shiny toolkits.

I have to respect that, of course. And it is much appreciated.

I just hope I can use them to someday show something they might not have noticed before.

Then, perhaps, we can both help each other.

After all, nomads and researchers have always been friends.

With their newest tools, we can make better discoveries. And with our newest discoveries, they can build better tools.

I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

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