I spend a fair amount of time waiting for and riding in elevators. One day I had an epiphany in one. We were waiting, as usual, for the elevator when a pretty full one opened its doors. "There's room at the inn" announced a voice from within the elevator. I got on and the doors closed. My colleague Norm remarked, "History would have been different if they had said that at the inn [presumably, to Joseph and Mary]." I said, "Maybe they did, but it got revised in the retelling." "Oh, revisionist history," another voice contributed. "All history is revisionist," I glibly declared, drawing a nod from the guy in the suit, apparently a judge making a guest appearance in a class. "But there must one original story before the revisions," said a student standing next to me. "What if the alternate versions go all the way back? What if events happen in multiple ways from the get go, and perception is (wait for it) always already a revision?" At that point the doors opened on the first floor and I got out to rejoin the student I'd been waiting with up on the 5th floor, who had decided to walk down.
My poor law students. How are they supposed to learn the rules from me? (reposted from my dusty live journal)