Mario and I were sitting at a table on the deck at Fido’s last Wednesday when he hailed a guy who was passing by on the beach.
I asked, “Who is Sylvan?”
“He’s probably about the smartest man in Belize,” Mario said. “He’s got all kinds of degrees from universities in the States and Mexico.”
Sylvan joined us for a cup of coffee and explained that he had been away for a year studying philosophy in New York.
“What is philosophy?” Mario asked.
“It’s the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge.”
“I knew you was smart, Sylvan,” Mario said, “but you been missing out on all the news while you were gone. Let me tell you about Linsford.”
“You can tell me but only if the news passes the Philosophers Triple Filter test. The first filter is Truth. Are you sure what you want to tell me is true?”
“No. Not for absolute sure.”
“O.K. The second filter is Goodness. Is what you want to tell me about Linsford something good?”
“Oh, no. It ain’t good.”
“All right. You want to tell me something bad about Linsford even though you don’t know if it’s true. There is one more filter. It is Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me something useful to me?”
“I’m not really sure,” Mario said. “It might be.”
“If you want to tell me something about Linsford that is possibly untrue, is bad and probably not even useful to me, then, it’s just gossip,” Sylvan said. “I don’t want to hear it.”
After Sylvan left us, Mario said, “That’s a shame. He ain’t ever going to find out that while he was gone, Linsford was fooling around with his old lady.”