What is a ladder?
When faced with the obstacle of a twenty foot wall, a good pair of boots just will not cut the mustard, it doesn't matter how comfortable, ergonomically designed or whether they are rated highly for hillwalking. They are not going to get you up that wall, you could spend a few years learning how to climb by your fingertips and whilst I am in favour of being as capable was possible, and the ability to manipulate your body is always useful, it builds confidence, inner capability and self-reliance. However your plan's might be spoilt by a good plasterer and a smooth finish, though you do not need to be the perfect tool for the job when there are perfectly good ladders in the world, and they would certainly seem up to this particular job, whilst it might take a little effort to source one, it is a lot less effort than doing a home diploma in Spiderman skills.
More than that, a ladder would enable others to get over the same wall, entire castles have been defeated by the unexpected deployment of a single ladder. That is the power of simple tools, whoa behold the adventurer who forgot to pack his rope, a simple tinderbox can provide you with a life-saving fire, which itself was a jealously guarded tool of the gods. It is the tools of civilisation that has enabled us to go from simple hunter gatherers to conquerors of the entire world, and some people may think that this is a bad thing, despite their idea of roughing being, staying at an bed and breakfast rather than a five-star hotel.
Tools increase our capabilities and empowers us to do more, and the simpler the tool, the more robust, intuitive and useful it tends to be. Almost anyone who can walk, can climb a ladder, they do not need an instruction manual, you do not need to be told where to put your feet or even how to balance yourself as you climb. You can just take one small step at a time, you can lean in and rest halfway up, you know how far you have to go and you can manage your energy so that you make it to the top.
When travelling through the stoic maze of life, we can end up with the impression that it is far from being a pleasant walk, that we have turned down the wrong turning, however the maze is what you make of it. The classical stoic maze has only one route through it, it is itself a tool for contemplation, you walk towards the centre taking the longest path possible without any choices, in the same way that we do not have any control over time, we just walk its path. Unlike a walk through a stoic maze, when we walk through time, we are not guaranteed a pleasant walk, sometimes it will put up a giant bloody wall and then chuckled to itself as you walk into it. Not in an unpleasant way but with the amusement at the fun it is providing you.
Life would be very boring if it was simple, straightforward and easy. Not that any of us have to worry about that, the maze is anything but uninteresting, it is full of mirrors and obstacle, it is an out of control fun house combined with a ghost train. However life does not expect you to be a passive passenger, it is delighted when you cheat, it will open up bonus levels and reveal secret Easter eggs, and you are allowed to use any tool that you can imagine or that anyone else can imagine. It is perfectly acceptable to smuggle in a cheats guide, to phone a friend or two, you can even look up the answer on the Internet and plagiarise the author.
In a very real sense any information that you do not gather from your own personal observations and experiments, is leaning over the shoulder of the class nerd and copying their answers. The human race has been cheating for so long that we have changed the name and call it education. The body of knowledge that we have acquired has now exceeded our capability to understand it, it is almost a being in its own right, some have described it as a living thing, that ideas are having sex with each other and producing ideas that in their own turn reproduce and spread. Considering how much good it does us, it seems a little astonishing that we try to slow the growth of ideas through ownership, patents and copyright, the intellectual equivalent of birth control. Luckily open source, pirating and rebellious natured souls provide a free range, organic environment that will only flourish as the corporations try to tighten their grip on their selfish monopolies. As we can do more with less, when we can produce goods independently and live with less central control, the velocity of ideas will increase, coming together in hubs, clumping in masses that produced their own gravitational forces, that will empower the world to be free in a way never has been before.
The more tools we use and take advantage of, the more we take advantage of the knowledge of others, and others will include artificial intelligence soon. The more independent we are going to become, free of herd mentality, free from the use of force by others and we are going to be free to choose our communities and what we value and care about. However before we rush ahead of ourselves, we should remember that there is only one way to climb the ladder of life, one small step at a time, we learn about ourselves in this way, and we will travel through the stoic maze however we can, but do not be afraid of using every tool you can, especially your friends. We are here to help each other.