Monday, July 30, 2007


Here is a list of some of the things the Monkey saw on the short drive between our house and the house of some friends in Alexandria (about 5 miles away as the crow flies):

* A tower crane
* The underside of a stone bridge
* A creek (Rock Creek)
* A river (Potomac)
* Another tower crane
* A tunnel
* Sailboats
* Kayaks
* The presidential helicopter, buzzing down the Potomac at approximately eye-level to the bridge we were crossing, and possibly containing either the President or the Prime Minister of the UK
* A large passenger jet on final approach
* A large passenger jet on take-off
* A dock
* A backhoe
* An ambulance
* A freight train
* A subway train

Sometimes I wonder if he is overstimulated. In a sense, no. It's all real: the various stimuli are really Dinge an sich, not some digital simulacrum of reality. It's hard to argue that he's getting too much reality.

But what would he do in the country? Could he ever build his own log cabin and fulfill the Great American Myth of the Self-sufficient Bootstrap-Hoisting Individualist? Or would rural life hold just as many stimuli, but in the unbuilt environment?

Maybe we'll move to the country when Baby August is born, and do a controlled experiment. Or maybe we should build a Skinner box. That would certainly be cheaper.



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