TEDxBeirut - Farid Younes - Why I stopped looking for answers

Uploaded by TEDxTalks on 09.11.2011

After I studied for about 35 years and went abroad for a period of time,
got diplomas weighing around 35 kilos,
I had in my head 10 books I wanted to write.
The first year passed and the first book flew by
The second, the tenth year passed and they were all published
Now they are of a different type
They are books but they have questions
I would like you to share your views on a few of these questions I will be asking tonight
There are some lame questions and some philosophical ones
Of course, all the philosophies of the world
can be summarized into 3 lame questions
Where are you from? What are you going to do? Where are you going?
Where am I from is hard to answer, it is not time for it now
Let us see what are we doing now. First, lets consider whether we are present
There was a guy called Einsten that told us around 100 years ago
That time is fluid. It goes forward and backward
So in other words, I can go back in time
Play on my parents bed, manipulate them
and prevent my own existance.
So do I or do I not exist?
Since when I want I can go back in time and change events
Ok, let us suppose that I do exist
Let us look at how we live
They tell us that water is vital to life.
But how is that
when water is not organic?
How can something that is not organic give life to something organic?
And what is funnier is that we eat salt
like someone eats rocks,
which is also not organic.
Ok, so we ate rocks,
let us see how we grow
We look at our bodies and we see there are cells
that die and replace themselves.
So in other words, this hand here
is basically replaced with another
Same with your leg, your stomach...
So how do we recognize them?
Since these parts are now different than the ones you had yesterday!
What is worse than that
is that the number of bacteria in your body exceeds the number of cells!
It's as if to say that when you get an insect repellant spray
and spray it on yourself, you will lose 10 kilos!
I advise women out there to keep it by their side!
in case their pants don't fit anymore!
Forget about that now
and let us look at how we behave
They say whatever you want to do in life,
there is always a reason behind it
What is behind the reason?
They say, for example, a "need".
What is behind that need?
It keeps going back until you reach something called the consciousness.
What is behind the consciousness?
Where is this consciousness located?
In the brain of course.
Great, but where in the brain? Is there like a center for it?
Turns out there isn't and this nothingness is responsible for all your behavior!
Let us look at what we do in the world.
Of course we need to secure our needs.
We eat, drink, sleep, leave the television on all night
and if your friend comes over you lower the volume
but you keep the T.V. on, it must remain on at all times!
There are 2 kinds of humans.
Ones that are vegetarians
And there are others that are classy and eat meat
There are also others that eat cockroaches, snakes, etc.
And we supposedly get disgusted by that
But we, on the other hand, eat brains, intestines...
...chicken behinds, tongues,livers. We even eat testicles!
Don't you eat goat's testicles?
It is weird there is one thing in animals that we are missing from our mezze
We even eat waste!
Those of you who eat shrimp will remember me everytime they eat it.
It is weird that abroad
they invented something called a drive through
because they don't have time to eat.
And for us, soon, Hookah will be offered at McDonald's!
Now straight to the delicous Lebanese cuisine,
where people sit at the table for 6 hours, sometimes straight, all day eating
The best thing about us...
have you seen an animal that eats all day, all day!
The neatest are the formalities that all revolve around food and drinks.
You would be visiting someone and you're in a hurry, they say:
"Have a seat at the cafe!"
Or for example when you are going to a burial
and you are supposed to have lost your appetite
Or when they offer you a glass of water with a plate under it!
Why is that? Doest a glass of whiskey deserve that too?
Now, let us consider our clothing.
Pay attention! what you are wearing today is different than yesterday
because each occasion has its own outfit, right?
I am sure there is someone in the audience whose shoes are really tight
or they are wearing those boots that stretch from your ankle up to your throat
Or for example their tie is suffocating them
Or his belt is too tight it will explode!
Have you ever seen an animal wearing heels?
Animals have their own clothing built in.
And when they invented the "maxi" for women,
it started off as a maxi skirt, then they shortened it into a skirt
then into a mini skirt, micro skirt, and then shorts!
They started making these shorts higher and higher
along the waste until they couldn't go any further...
Now they invented something to help her make it lower!
Now we have some questions about our relationships with one another
Specifically about the language.
You know when language started they used to copy pictures
until the Phoenicians came and changed those into the use of sounds
and we've been like this for a few thousand years.
30 or 40 years ago,
people who called themselves the post-structuralists came to us
claiming that this conception of language is wrong,
and that there isn't only one meaning to each word
It can have an infinite number of meanings.
So in other words, how are you all able to understand what I'm saying right now?
Am I speaking in hieroglyphics or in cuneiform?
We also have amazing metaphors
For example, to say I got goosebumps
That is easy to understand
But what does it mean to say,"I ate a badan"?
"Ebek", show me "ebek", hide it in your "ebek"!
Or "Khater" for example, it has a synonym
Ziad Rahbani also says in his song, " Saleemle Aleh"
But what does "Saleemle Aleh" even mean?
It means take my hand with you to the person
to shake his hand and then bring it back to me.
And the phrase 'kiss him on his cheek
a long kiss for me!
What about the 5 names in Arabic grammar
that they teach us when we are young?
You know them, right?
"Abo, Akho, Hammo, Fo, Tho"
Turns out there is a 6th one called "hanon".
What does "hanon" mean?
It is the female genital organ.
Imagine a young boy asking,
"Madmoiselle what does 'hanon' mean?"
It's rude!
But the question is why are they still keeping them as the 5 names?
Nowadays in life, you get cornered
when you're interacting with others
You go to the bathroom after someone, for example, and get disgusted
You take a seat for an hour or two
while you sit there inhaling gases;
there are some people that read the whole newspaper
while they are breathing in these gases!
The Roman bathrooms used to be placed next to each other,
And they were made as such in order to socialize.
and you could engage all your senses!
You can walk through and eavesdrop here and there,
smell around
Do you know why they put the toilet seat in public bathrooms
close to the door, not far away?
I recently found out this
and I discovered that it's because the lock is always broken
and you need to fasten the door with your foot to do your bussiness!
And the nicest thing
is when you want to wash your hands then open the door
What do you do?
Because what if the person before you didn't wash their hands?
You end up doing something that looks like this...
Why do humans like their bad odor?
It's weird, some people smell their armpits!
They smell it, they inhale it!

There are some people that pass their finger
in some places of their body
and when someone isn't looking they...
In between their toes, for example
And they say they get disgusted
If I got you a cup of water
and I spit into it then I asked you to put your finger in it
you would not do it.
and if i snorted into it you will get even more disgusted
And if i put urine in the mix, that's a catastrophe!
But then you go into the pool and dive way down!
and you take in water through your nostrils
Yea right, you get disgusted!
By the way, does an animal get disgusted?
Since we are mentioning animals
Why is the "Mehmiya" animal shelter
called as such, to protect who from whom?
I have a problem I want to share quickly
Humans enjoys hurting themselves
like the saying that goes, "I want to burn my pants to spite my neighbor!"
or like when there are two kids in the same class
and they grow up, one of them gets a good position
The other will say, "But he had always been sitting next to me in class
he used to copy off my exams!"
Now if this boy ends up getting a better title, the other will say:
"His whole life he needed to be pushed to go forward"
What about when man invents things that are hurtful?
Like mobile phones...
My phone has a TV application
but I don't know how to answer the other call!
Or when the Windows system changes or when Word changes
This Word raised my blood pressure
when it changes
What about when they invented a microwave that can be timed
It can be timed up to a period of 1 month!
Who is this person that would put in a chicken
travel for a month and come back to eat it?
Weird indeed.
And now a new question came to me
Whoever organized this event, I'm very thankful to you,
but the light projectors are in my face
and I am supposed to see your reactions, but I can't
What if someone is crying?
I'm standing here feeling like an idiot talking to myself!
Even when we think we don't know
it might turn out that you do or must know
We used to go to the doctor and say
"Doctor check this boy, he has a fever and his temperature is 40 degrees"
He would check him and wouldn't know for example
but he would say, "it's a virus"
So we say, "what medication should he take?"
The doctor replies, "oh no, it will go away on its own."
The Lebanese doctor, however,
says it is an allergy!
They used to tell us a riddle when we were young
that goes like this,
There is something that whenever you remove parts of it
it gets wider
It turned out to be the hole, right?
Well for me, it turned out to be the mind!
I came to the realization that the mind is like this hole but in reverse
Everytime you put something in it, it lessens
it lessens knowledge and understanding
Here, there are 3 options:
First one is that what I am saying is wrong
which means when your knowledge increases
your questions decrease
Here we ask ourselves a question
We die really old, so we'd have so much knowledge
what good timing is that
Is this how they want it up there?
That is one question
The other question is
Your mind leaks, you put into this side and
and it leaks out the other way.
Or the third option which you need to accept with me
is that the more knowledge you gain, the stupider you become
You know what I mean?
When you know, you will be dumb
and if you don't know you will have already been dumb in the first place!
Either you become dumb by choice
Or you simply remain as you are!
I decided to become an idiot, whoever would like to join me
be my guest.
I would like to end with a quote from Nietzsche,
He says that
"a joke is an insult to someone but with a good conscience"
Think about it when you hear a joke
It works on any joke
and from the beginning of this talk,
I have been vilifying myself
vilifying you
and you were laughing while you should've been crying.
Thank you