Thursday, October 20, 2011

Reading tastes

There is an informal interfaculty meeting to be held in the Social Science Faculty. Dean of Science and Dean of Humanities arrive early and are told to wait in the Soc Sci dean’s office. They are drawn to the stack of books on a side table.

Science: He appears curious about many things, but seems to lean towards the humanities.
Humanities: But the ship?
Science: The ship is not a book. 

Humanities: But it’s an artifact, it accompanies the books, it reflects an interest in vessel-building, in navigation, those are sciences.
Science: Show me the software manuals, astronomy books, show me the books on politics, economics, global affairs. Show me the hard stuff. This stuff is for wimp-readers.
Humanities: Maybe you haven’t seen all his books. Maybe these are just his bedside reading. Who reads software manuals before sleeping? 

Science: You can’t assume anything from what you can’t see.

What do your reading tastes say about you? It can compromise you. The absent Soc Sci dean has an adversary in Science and an ally in Humanities. Their jousting exposes Science's  hard nose approach and casts Humanities in the role of Wimp Defender.

Never apologize for your reading tastes (Betty Rosenberg), but you may need to defend them.


rolenzo said...

Two stacks, not one, he groused. And the photo's too small to read whose letters in the righthand stack... the left stack is non-fiction; the right fiction and letters. Right and left brains? Gad, sir, where's China Miéville's The City and the City, the perfect third stack, the zone where the two hemispheres commingle, yet in the strangest way. Back to the ship, lads, the rum's being ladled out!

Barry Natusch said...

"There's more loot in books than there is in a pirate ship," is what my uncle Jack Sparrow used to say. And that was odd, because I also on occasion heard him say, "Life is pretty good and why wouldn't it be, for I am the very model of a modern privateer." What need would Jack have had of books? There again, he must of got his grammar from somewheres other than below decks.