“All Flockbinkers Are Treadknicious… And Other Salient Observations” (the PechaKucha mix)

by David Kennedy Bird

Wowzers.  I can’t help observing that it’s been nearly a year and a half since i’ve posted to this blog.  Yikes!  I should be whipped with a lash woven from my own hair, and throttled with my own intestinal tract.  (If you think those punishments to be a bit harsh, just know that they were suggested by my most supportive fans.  I’d rather not go into what the less enthusiastic readers have said on the same subject, except to note that it involves tar, marshmallows, glitter, and an iPod loaded with nothing but Justin Bieber’s greatest hits.)

But on to less macabre topics.  Let’s talk about flockbinkers.

This seems to me a suitable topic for the present blog entry, not just because “flockbinkers” are the putative subject of this blog, but also because they were the topic of a presentation i gave last night at PechaKucha Chattanooga’s event “PechaKucha 20×20, Vol. 19,” hosted by the Society of Work, a very interesting organization that i had not previously been familiar with, but which served as an ideal venue for the event.

“Petcher-clutcher?” you say.  “You spoke at a petcherclutcher event?  Doesn’t sound familiar.  Just what are we talking about, here?”

PechaKucha is a type of public event that was first conceived and put on in Tokyo about a decade ago, but has spread around the world.  Lots of cities now have a PechaKucha association of some sort (over 700 at last count), and Chattanooga, being a particularly hip sort of mid-sized Southern metropolis, is not to be left behind.  At a PechaKucha event, each presenter (our PechaKucha Nights tend to feature about eight presenters per evening) shows 20 slides for 20 seconds each, and talks about them.  That totals out–in case math is not your strong point–at six minutes and forty seconds.  So you get 6:40 to talk about whatever it is that you’re passionate about.  And what i’m passionate about… well, one of the many things i’m passionate about… is flockbinkers.

But allow me to put it in my own words, a thing relatively easy to do on one’s own blog:

“These PechaKucha events tend to address community challenges and exciting new initiatives.  All very good and proper.  What i’m going to be introducing you to is somewhat different.  It’s a bit of what i like to call ‘stand-up philosophy.’  In the next six minutes / forty seconds, we’re going to blow through a range of issues, including an introduction to the structure of logical inference, and the truth-status of propositions; paradoxes, word games, and game theory; nonexistence, truth, and absurdity; and, at the center of it all, the ontological status of flockbinkers.”

Wow.  I couldn’t have put it better myself.

And ya know what?  We DID cover all of that in six minutes and forty seconds.  I ain’t a-joshin’ ya.  We really did.  You shoulda been there.

Ahem.  You REALLY should have been there.

We started out with a brief dip into how logic works.  “Here is a logical syllogism,” i helpfully observed, while displaying the syllogism in question on my slide.

“First Premise: All flockbinkers are treadknicious.

“Second Premise: All wamwams are flockbinkers.

“From these two premises we derive the conclusion:  Therefore, all wamwams are treadknicious.”

Ah, you’re beginning to wish you hadn’t missed it, aren’t you.  Hey, look, you snoozed, you loozed.  Here’s a further taste of the enlightening sort of stuff that the audience was regaled with:

“It’s easy to assume you know more than you really do.  Here’s a syllogism that might seem right at first, but on closer inspection, turns out not to be valid:

“1. Some flockbinkers are treadknicious.

“2. Some wamwams are flockbinkers.

“3. Therefore, some wamwams are treadknicious.

“Nope!  You see, the treadknicious flockbinkers might not be the same as the ones that are wamwams!  Hmmm!  Caughtcha!”

And it just got better and better.  That’s probably enough of a taste for now.  In my next posting, which may or may not occur within the next year and a half, we might go a bit deeper into the absolutely GRIPPING insights that our hungry audience was treated to in the brief course of our time together.