Paul, fortune tellers & feng shui masters

life's short

Aw, Paul the Octopus Oracle is dead!

How did he die?

Did he go quietly into the night or did he in fact die in July as some conspiracy theorists are now suggesting?

Most importantly did he foresee his own death?

Paul beat the odds during the World Cup by correctly forecasting all eight games he was asked to predict, including Spain’s 1-0 win over the Netherlands in the final. If he was so prescient about the World Cup results, why not about his own demise?

But therein lies the tragedies of oracles. Not that they tell truth without belief but that while they are so clear sighted about others’ future, they don’t have the same foresight or insight about their own.

There is a pair of Chinese sayings which aptly captures such tragedy: “Fortune tellers never know when they are going to die; feng shui masters have no burial ground.”

Still, perhaps it is a blessing to know everyone else’s future other than your own, especially when there isn’t much of it, as in Paul’s case. Octopuses have life expectancies of fewer than 3 years, or so they say!

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