Confirmation -- Life in the City

Subject: Confirmation -- Life in the City
From: Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM
Date: Fri, 12 Apr 1996 15:11:00 -0600

This thread on confirmation of messages brought something to mind:

I come from rural Wisconsin (no surprise to those who've been on the list
for a while). When I first moved to the city, I was surprised at what I
found there. Car alarms going off at all hours of the night, kids yelling,
radios blaring; the decibel level was significantly higher than what I was
used to (where, after midnight, crickets were the loudest noise this side
of a disaster). I learned that many of these sounds were the urban
equivalent of a cricket, just as uncontrollable, and from the perspective
of your life, just as irrelevant.

A more difficult sound to get used to was the constant banging of garbage
cans at unpredictable hours of the night. Brought on by children of
advanced age, these sounds were just as uncontrollable and irrelevant as
the cricket, but since they were of human origin, harder for me to learn to
ignore. But I did. I had to; it was part of the price of living in the
city.

And that's the bottom line. A few useless, irrelevent, even stupid messages
have shown up on techwr-l. Some juveniles with nothing to do and fewer
brains with which to do it have run through the alley of our virtual city,
kicking over our electronic trash cans before fleeing into the night. So
what? Do we form neighborhood vigilante societies to check the papers of
all who travel through our alleys? Or do we simply ignore them, refuse to
pay them the tribute of our attention which is their unspoken demand upon
us? I'd say instead we should simply accept the urban noise level, and pay
them as much attention as their display of intelligence deserves. None
whatsoever.

OK. I'm off the soapbox again. But it was just something I thought needed
saying. This whole thing reminds me of a characterization drawn by Abraham
Lincoln. It reminds me of "a steamboat with a five-foot boiler and a nine-
foot whistle. Every time it whistles, it stops."


Have fun,
Arlen
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 124

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
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In God we trust; all others must provide data.
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Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.


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