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Showing posts from July, 2008

A Little Study in Anarchy

A short but violent storm hit here yesterday, and while I was largely unaware of it in my dark little cubicle, it wreaked a bit of carnage outside. On the way home from work, I came to a very busy intersection of two major roads where the traffic lights had very recently gone out and there was not yet an officer on the scene to impose order. Behind my anxiety and eager desire to get home, I found the situation interesting on a conceptual level. What would happen, I was curious to know, in the absence of some kind of arbitration of order, without the presence of law? Last year an acquaintance of mine tried at great lengths to convince me that any kind of prescriptive law or governing body was by its very nature repressive and restrictive and that the only truly free and happy society would be found through anarchy. In the absence of these repressive orders, he argued, there would not be violent chaos but some kind of spontaneous and natural order that needed no enforcement by some kind…

Matt Gets a Job (with a wry and extremely critical attitude)

One grows accustomed to all surroundings, of course, but on the first day my fresh eye was drawn to the foreign, the strange, the slightly off – so that by lunchtime on Monday I felt unsettled by the nagging feeling that something was decidedly odd about my new place of temporary employment. It looked nice at first - high ceilings, marble floor in the lobby, ultramodern flourescent lighting, but upon closer inspection there were cracks in the fa├žade. Many of the lights were broken or barely working, and a crack in one wall let in a stream of curious local bugs. Immediately on entry I noticed a sign: “No Smoking – No Weapons.” I was delighted by the implicit assumption behind the sign that these two rules were of equal importance and severity, and then immediately horrified by mental images of a cigarette-smoking gunman running rampant through the building.

Then there were the doors, which are somewhat narrower than average yet very tall, reaching right up to the ceiling. Each one is i…