“Hey, you took Latin, right?” said Alex, over the music.
“Actually, we both did,” said Greg, gesturing a thumb towards Brigid, who was lurking in the corner apparently hoarding a bowl of party mix. “Why?”
“Well I just wanna know, what does ‘cogito ergo sum‘ mean?”
“Oh, that!” said Greg. “That’s Descartes. His idea was that you needed to drill down to the most fundamental level of thought you could get to, so he started with ‘if I am having this thought, there must be a me here to think it,’ or more elegantly, cogito ergo sum, ‘I think, therefore I am.’”
“I didn’t need the history lesson,” said Alex. “I just wanted a translation.”
“It’s meaningless without context,” replied Greg.
“I don’t think Descartes went far enough,” said Brigid. “There are too many loaded assumptions in ‘I think, therefore I am.’ How do you know you’re thinking? What if you only think you’re thinking?”
“Some of the folks who came after Descartes have tackled that one, too,” said Greg. “But you have to start somewhere.”
“There are too many loaded assumptions in that, too! Who says you have to start somewhere? Who says you have to start?” She waved a pretzel stick defiantly. “Throw off your shackles! Don’t be a slave to the establishment! Refuse to start! It’s the only way to be truly free! Let us begin a golden age of aggressive non-starting!”
“Eat your party mix, Bartleby,” said Greg.
“I refuse to start eating my party mix,” said Brigid, but she ate the pretzel stick anyway.