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in the hoosegow

Thursday, March 08, 2007

you must be this tall if you're a monkey

There was a great Curious George on this morning. George couldn't ride on a roller coaster because he wasn't tall enough, so he spent most of the episode trying to grow. At the end, he realized that his measuring stick had grown shorter, but he hadn't grown taller. The carnival man, seeing his disappointment, turned around the "You Must Be This Tall To Ride This Ride" sign to reveal a shorter outline of a monkey on the reverse.

Clear example of how "one size fits all" policies don't work and why boss types have the power to bend rules. There is always a small bit of joy when I get to give out an exception to someone who A. isn't asking for it and B. isn't being served by the rule. There are times when we need to see and be seen as individuals. I think, unfortunately, that our current state of being, at least here in the U.S., is that rules don't apply to us or that there should always be an exception made for us. The way people drive is a constant example of that. This idea requires that people be able to see beyond themselves, recognize that they are individuals surrounded by other individuals, creating a mass that must work together, because if we do that, the majority of people benefit.

I have another example of when this breaks down. I spent most of this week at the De Lange Conference on Emerging Libraries this week. During Brewster Kahle's talk, my friend and I were using the Way Back Machine to look up various websites, including the li-berry where I am currently employed. Much to my disappointment, I found that we have blocked the Machine's spiders, essentially dooming ourselves to the termites and book lice of the cyberworld. Perhaps not tragic, but certainly shortsighted.


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