BOOTSTRAPPING THE MODEL
Chicken or egg, which came first?
Where do you check the spelling of a word? Where do you check its meaning? Being transatlantically bilingual, or aspiring to that state, I'll check the OED or Webster's, depending on context. But did you realize that every single English word is defined in terms of other English words?
Well of course you did. As a kid, sensory referents (perceived real objects) became attached to referential indices (words) in your mental model of the world, as you began to learn your first language. Something outside the dictionary kickstarted your language acquisition.
Have you ever tried to make sense of physics as a logical system, without applying intuition to any of its concepts? Honestly, you can't. There's no fundamental axiom from which the other relationships (equations) and concepts are constructed. Distance, time and mass are referential indices to proprioreceptive, kinaesthetic and visual sensations of real-world referents. They're concepts that we learn from outside formal physics; without them, the full richness of our model of the universe cannot come into existence.
If that doesn't translate into specific examples, think of simple relationships like force = mass x acceleration, work = force x distance, power = work/time. Now see if you can derive a meaning for any of the fundamental concepts from the whole collection of equations. Good luck, and you can't!
And yet, even though physics requires the basic concepts to exist a priori, our understanding of force, distance and time are very different now than a hundred years ago, before Einstein twisted our minds.
So while your unconscious mind processes that, here's my recent news. I handed in Dark Blood, the final draft, on time. That was a big rewrite draft, followed by some polishing up. In the last few days of the rewrite, I was working on it 24 hours a day, near enough. At least, every dream seemed to be part of the book.
Of course I took out a little time to exercise. On Sunday Yvonne and I ran a 10K race which was hilly. I was slow, but then again I'd run late on Saturday and very late on Friday, and the cat ate my homework. After the race, my legs gave way (as illustrated).
Now about that chicken. I'm thinking of the usual species, gallus gallus. According to wikipedia, there are several ways of hypnotising chickens. Trained in powerful hypnotherapeutic techniques though I am, entrancing chickens is beyond my experience.
And finally, the answer to the question of which came first. Obviously every chicken grows from an egg, so my answer is -- the first chicken appeared on Earth before the first chicken-egg.
Why do you think that is? And what do you think I mean by 'chicken-egg'?