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Zen Tightrope

the walk of dread
(+4, -4)
  [vote for,

Zen Tightrope is set up as a perfectly straight wire stretched between two points. It's easily accessed by two ladders that reach up to the platforms positioned at either end of the wire. A balancing pole placed at one end completes the arrangement.

The Zen aspect is manifest by the fact that crossing the tightrope is an action that may only ever be contemplated, but never acheived, even for an expert.

This is because the actual wire is in a constant state of slow speed rotation, facilitated by an electric motor at one end, and a bearing at the other.

xenzag, Jul 29 2012

Zen Koan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C5%8Dan
[jurist, Jul 29 2012]

We'll just need something to counter that rotation. http://i513.photobu...31/thcthc/27645.jpg
[swimswim, Jul 30 2012]

Tightrope http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tightrope
When you say 'tightrope', xenzag, can you be a bit more specific, please, about what you actually mean by that? [DrBob, Jul 30 2012]


       I'm going to assume that one of the kohns that I'm not familiar with (ie: any of them) is the basis for the idea, so [+], while I contemplate the idea of a tightrope people-mover.
FlyingToaster, Jul 29 2012

       //one of the kohns that I'm not familiar with//...like Alfie, Richard, or Melvin? I think you meant "koans".
jurist, Jul 29 2012

       Not George M Kohan, then ?
8th of 7, Jul 29 2012

       it was in one of the dictionaries I'm not familiar with.
FlyingToaster, Jul 29 2012

       Ah, but what is to stop a practitioner from climbing the ladder to the platform which has the wire scroll in-line with the direction of travel thus facilitating a crossing?   

       Just make the wire so thin that it cuts like a cheese slicer. You will not want to step on it, and get sliced; therefore you will not walk its length.
Vernon, Jul 30 2012

       Ah, but the zen goes even deeper than that. In that the wire is "perfectly straight" - not only can the act of crossing it only ever be contemplated (not achieved) but the existence of the aparatus itself can only ever be contemplated, (but not realised).   

       In any force field (such as gravity) not colinear with the wire itself, the wire will form a catenary curve, and not be straight - due to self-weight. I actually posit that even in a zero - gravity environment, as long as there is atmosphere, the rotating wire will have a magnus effect pushing it into a catenary curve. (Check Question for the physicists - is there a magnus effect in zero gravity? Let's assume you've found a way to hold an atmosphere, but zero gravity - does a rotating object incur magnus effect - I'm now thinking maybe not).   


Custardguts, Jul 30 2012

       Why bother with having an actual tightrope? Seems more zen that way, anyhow.
ytk, Jul 30 2012

       The presence of the tightrope is essential, as is all of the associated apparatus. The zen-ness comes from the questioning of the reality of walking across an impossible journey. Yes this is a real tightrope, but to be called a tightrope means that someone can walk across it, but no one can walk across this tightrope because of its rotation, therefore it is simultaneously not a tightrope.
xenzag, Jul 30 2012

       But if you call it a tightrope, is it not then a tightrope? If not, then what is the intrinsic characteristic of a “tightrope” that separates it from merely a tight rope? If a tightrope is defined by its usefulness, a tightrope that cannot be crossed is, by definition, not a tightrope.   

       Even more Zen would be to simply build a brick path under a cherry blossom, and then ask students to cross the tightrope.
ytk, Jul 30 2012

       Its zen nature is derived from the duality it manifests. ie it possesses all the characteristics of being a tightrope, including the necessary physical strength to support a walker, yet is incapable of fulfilling that function except in someone's mind.
xenzag, Jul 30 2012

       I believe an ant could navigate this.
sqeaketh the wheel, Jul 31 2012

       What you need is two platforms set up so that the shadow of a third structure high above them creates the illusion of a rope that connects them.
Gallus, Jul 31 2012

       // I believe an ant could navigate this   

       Ok, you provide the video of the ant wearing the robes.
not_morrison_rm, Jul 31 2012


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