Zero the Hero - Nature abhors the vacuous
Nature abhors the vacuous
There's a recipe for good debate; a good chair, a good hypothesis and smart contributors. Not one of these was present at this event. The chair couldn't help chortling and bringing in his own, rather stupid, experiences with dervishes and the like, into the conversations. To be fair, engaging this lot was rather futile.
Isabel Losanda was a giggling idiot, who had clearly given the topic no thought whatsoever prior to the event. She literally had ZERO to say. Apparently she's written a book called 'The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment'. Now if that title isn't enough to put you off, try listening to her banal comments and cod-philosophy. She was about as empty a vessel as one can imagine can be.
As if she wasn't vacuous enough, enter stage left, Micheal Landy, the guy who destroyed all of his personal belongings in a C&A window. Now this was a smart and interesting idea, but he was remarkably inarticulate about this event and the topic at hand. Most of the time he was literally stuck when asked a question. Thankfully we had a mathematician who could explain the mathematical concept of zero, as a number, placeholder and its complex role in algebra.
It was ashame that Julian Baggini couldn't show up as he, at least, would have had the philosophical training to have distinguished between the several meanings of zero and nothingness that were being bandied about, and could have pointed out that we've had at least two and a half milennia of philosophical discussion aroud such concepts. the last thing deep philosophical debate needs are morons who don't understand the questions and concepts, never mind supply answers.
The only saving grace was the far brighter audience, who posed interesting questions around the use of silence in music as a negation of the concrete sounds, the comparison of conscious nothingness and a lobotomy and so on.