The device with rechargeable batteries. When they run down the device loses definition, if it were sentient we could say it’s having an ‘identity crisis’ but of course it’s not so we can’t. You’re shaving with it when the note of its buzzing drone drops and fades and suddenly instead of an electric razor you find yourself rubbing your jowls with a mobile phone.
Well, what if? What if quiddity, that which makes a thing itself and not something else, was as fluid and precarious, as subject to fluctuation and entropy, in a thing as identity is in a person? What if it required as much energy to maintain?
I went into the bathroom to shave this morning. Looked mournfully at myself in the mirror, noting the demographics of my beard: white stubble now outnumbers dark 2 to 1. And found that what I was holding in my hand was not the electric razor I thought I’d picked up but a mobile phone. Or a remote control for the TV. Or the one for the VCR. I can’t tell these gizmos apart.
That’s what prompted the ‘what if?’ scenario above. Because, as my batteries run down, I plan to amuse myself for as long as I can. My brain once blazed with ratiocinative candlepower. Now I’m experiencing a drop in wattage equivalent to a ‘brown out.’