We’ve come a long way since the end of the nineteenth century. Only today I had occasion to gaze into the Abyss, and of course those words of warning were foremost in my mind, giving me pause until I thought, “of course!” What had I come up with? Mirrored sunglasses. You look one way, people looking into your eyes end up looking the same way you do, only back to front. Spent a happy hour or two watching the Abyss gaze at itself, till I felt I might be intruding.

These ruggedly-engineered, existentially-tested mirrored research lenses are just the first in a line of products from my new Institute for Experimental Philosophy (we’re going to need more than the glasses, after all, they’re only going to appeal to a Nietzsche market). Why should we, alone of all the speculative arts, be satisfied with the same eternal questions? Why should we not make best use that we can of our wonderful new technologies to shield ourselves from the harsh extremes of the philosophical working environment? What is wrong with a straight yes-or-no answer in this age of discovery and advance? We shouldn’t; we should; nothing: those are my answers.

You see how easy it is to break free from our rhetorical shackles, if one has half a mind? I was helped, of course, by these gloves: can’t say how they work at present, valuable commercial information, terribly sensitive, but they’re invaluable for dismantling metaphor of all kinds. Comfortable, too: we’re working on a new breathable fabric, Gorgias-Tex. Five minutes with these and you won’t want to describe anything else as fitting like a glove. It’s not just protective gear, either: we’re doing a lovely range of architechtonics, fizzy and still, really put the colour back in your arguments, and for the little ones a Lego version of Milinda’s chariot. And we’re working on a set of diagnostic tools: “Locke’s Socks” mast and axe-handle DNA-gathering kits, a set of nested plastic heap measures (“Soriteaspoons”) and a range of webcams and microphones specifically tailored for trees in all locations (quads, forests, makes no difference).

This is all awfully exciting, obviously: not just me involved, needless to say, tremendous amount of brain working away in the back rooms there, signal honour to be counted as a colleague, can only hope my humble efforts in some poor way support their great strides, &c., &c. Really, I wouldn’t talk about it at all, if it wasn’t for the fact that our new Google map affair is telling me I’m where I can speak, and so I feel I ought not to be silent.

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