The short history of the rhino thing

Do you remember the story of the six blind men and the elephant?

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

Each blind man generalizes from his local perception to the whole elephant.


They don’t arrive to a consensus about what the elephant is.

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

Why? Probably because their blindness means a lack of geometrical expertise. Coupled with their unwillingness for conversation, they don’t succeed into transforming the elephant into a thing.

But what is a thing? It is not an object, it is a conversation, and in the same time is the conversation about something.

An object is a  reification of a thing. Reality is made by objects, by consequence. For more along this line of thinking (inspired  by Kenneth Olwig) see Internet of things not internet of objects.

But this is only a story, right?

This  is the real history about the rhino thing. I am not talking about living rhinoceros, I am talking about how it went about the appearance of the rhino thing.

You may see this  history as an evolved version of the story of the six blind men and the elephant, where the six blind men arrive to have a conversation about the elephant and they succeed into transforming the elephant into a thing (i.e. they agree about the qualities, shape, location and uses of the elephant, as they felt it).

Only it is not about an elephant, but about a rhinoceros. Details, if you missed the link, HERE.


Later on, the rhino thing becomes an object, in fact many objects, among them a emblem used by an Italian duke


and a  real, 3D sculpture made by a Spanish artist (which you can feel and locate using GPS coordinates).


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