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Friday, August 15, 2003

Clap Off

I wasn't caught in the blackout in Philly a few days ago, and obviously missed the one that hit all those major cities in the north part of country yesterday. Part of me is kind of sad about this. "What? Rowan, plays video games, likes his computer, wanting to not have power?"

I like seeing strange things happen. I like to see routines broken. Part of this is personal - a break from routine offers a perfect excuse to talk to new people, or change my boundaries with people I know. It's kind of like the first day of school - nobody knows anyone else, so everyone is okay to talk to. After a few weeks, though, everyone's settled into their groups, and you need A Reason to talk to new people. Something like a power outage, which make people like me have to not do what they're doing, and maybe leave their rooms, is perfect for that.

This is kind of getting into the philosophical reasons I like things like this: I like watching how people think. What they care about. What they like. How they react. For those of you who want to know about things that Rowan likes, that's a big one. It's why I read film reviews of movies I'll probably never see. Or analyses of sports I don't watch. Or read people talking about politics, about things that aren't happening for months, and probably aren't that important anyway.

In short, I'm more interested in the perception of reality than the actuality of reality.

Thus, when I say that I want the power to go out, I don't actually want the power to go out. I want to see what happens if the power goes out.

See, I normally look at the media to gather these perceptions. But this is an essentially flawed process, because the media isn't simply a marker of what people think. It has its own little methodology for determining how to find out what is thought, which gets filtered through its own perceptions. In other words, it's a perception of perceptions of reality. Not good enough, I'm afraid!

So bring me chaos! It need not be something so major as a city-wide power outage. Just put me in a situation where I can see people pushed even slightly out of their comfort zones, and you will have Rowan's interest.
- Rowan Kaiser, 10:14 AM
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