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Thursday, August 3, 2000

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Shades of being

I was listening (half listening) to a book on tape, "The Flamingo's Smile" by Stephen Jay Gould, and one of the essays was how more and more taxonomists and others are realizing that nothing fits into a pigeonhole. The animals all shade into each other. The plants shade into each other. You can't say this is this plant and that is that plant since there are all gradations between that could be either.

He also went into how Kinsey also found this when he was doing his famous sex surveys. You can't say this group has these sexual habits and this group doesn't, because it doesn't work that way. We can't say this person is caucasion and that person is oriental since there is no group that fits into an ethnic pigeonhole.

This made me think how neither myself nor anyone I know fits into a little pigionholes. You can't say that if someone is in favor of this, they are also in favor of that. I doubt that this was ever the case but most people pretended to fit a particular profile because it was easier or to avoid problems. This isn't the case anymore and there are some strange bedfellows.

I have problems listening to books on tape. At home I can only do it if I'm doing something mindless, like housework, and it's not like I do housework that much. I try to listen at work but I can't listen to the tape and also concentrate on what I'm doing. Even when listening to talk radio I miss half of it. NPR seems to be the easiest to listen to for some reason. I do much better if I buy the book but I can't read a book at work.

I work with one lady who data enters and listens to a stream of books on tape. She loves it and seems to do her work ok, but she doesn't think about what she's data entering, just lets it go from her eyes to her fingers. I can't do that with my job so it get's frustrating trying to listen to most things. Essays, such as Gould's, are the best since if I tune out something, another essay will start in a little bit and I can start again. It helps sometimes to have something as background noise to tune out the office sounds, but music gets on my nerves after a while.

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(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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