I spent a few hours in a library yesterday. I generally find that these palaces of paper, these bulwarks of bindings are a wonderful place to spend some free time. I sat in a chair as I did some work (being int he same room as a hundred thousand books is enough to draw my wonder) as hundreds of college students were studying for upcoming tests, reading or listening to lectures, or finishing assignments due in scant few hours.
What I first noticed was the noise. I have been in a few server rooms in my few years associated with technology, and when my music stopped playing for a moment, or when my companion inquired about whatever her mind wandered to I was struck with a noise that rivaled the hum of a room full of racks of servers, and the massive turbines that cool them. It was horrific. I was told that this was only indicative of the first two floors of this library, but even that I couldn’t readily accept. There was a time when I was chastised for getting too excited about a book, or walking too quickly over the creaking floors of the small North Bennington library. Somehow, people were studying in this racket.
But once I manage to hurdle over this observation, I found myself smacked in the face with another: there were no guys in the library. I did a quick count from my chair and found that out of the 68 people that were within my field of vision, there were only 16 males including myself. Less than a quarter of the rooms’ occupants were of the genetically masculine nature. I can add some leniency to my figures, and I can perhaps assume that this sort of place is outside of the norm for guys, and maybe assume that they spend their study time away from this library. Maybe if I went to another library on campus I would have found that the figures were reversed.
My evidence my be anecdotal, but there is plenty of evidence that is not. Males are now the minority in college, and the trend continues higher degrees are attained. Perhaps I can understand- I was not the best student by any stretch of the imagination, and I cannot reasonably remember going to the library to study while I was FSU. I only visited the USF library a handful of times, and each time is was appalled by how loud the study areas were. Regardless, I had still assumed that the numbers wouldn’t be so obvious.
So, what the hell. Guys, let’s not rest on our laurels.
I generally don’t like dealing in absolutes. I may have mentioned this before on this blog, or somewhere else in conversation, but I recently read an article titled “The Tesla Model S Is The World’s Most Expensive Beta Test” and it inflamed memories and opinions. Why does the Tesla have to be the most expensive? Surely we can consider a few other things more expensive for being only nearly ready for proper and safe consumption or usage. Off the cuff, I could think that there were a few Apollo missions that would be in the beta stage, if not barely experimental.
Usually I see these terms of absolute on products and services. Without anything more than anecdotal evidence, I would say that the poorer the quality of the consumable the more an advertisement for it deals in absolutes. The “best” attorney in town actually took a half dozen tries before he barely passed the bar, ‘first-class’ sushi is found in a gas station. I have noticed this rings truest in television commercials.
This past weekend was the fist time I watched television programming on an actual television in over a year. Apparently my guilty pleasures of ‘pawn stars’ is still showing episodes. But between the moments of history than I enjoy and bits of drama about some very obese idiots there are commercials. What I found in those few minutes was shocking. These commercials now seem like a blur to me, and even pressed I cannot remember the contents of a single 30 second spot but I can remember what I thought of them. They were horrid, and I hoped they appealed to the lowest common denominator. Unfortunately if I assume I know even the slightest bit about marketing, I would say these ads appeal to the middle of the bell curve, to the average and grabbing as much o their demographic as they can.
Most ads were for the best thing in some category. You have a sedan that is barely distinguishable to its rival? It is now the best in class for headroom because the roof is lifted a mm over your competitors’. I suppose this has always been the case, and many notice these same things- but the shock of it all hit me quickly when I turned on the set after a very long time of commercial abstinence.
This all reminds me of why I was watching TV. I was sitting on a couch in the state of my birth, recovering from a day of skiing. That was a trip that I would say may be worth of an absolute. It was a great time, and was exactly I needed to relax. Being as eventful as it was, my extended weekend adventures will have to wait for another entry.
As always, more to come: these damn thoughts don’t seem to end.