Monday, April 15, 2013


Offender Details:
age: 22
projects completed: senior thesis
department/area of concentration: architecture

Dumb shit art school kids say:
offender: "That party was so lame."

DSASKS: "Yeah. I don't dance anyway. Especially not in crowded apartments without air conditioning."

offender: "I was talking to a girl who was pretty cool though. I think you know her."

DSASKS: "Who?"

offender: "The short girl."

DSASKS: "That's really specific. Which one?"

offender: "I dunno, the short girl!"

DSASKS: "Does she wear red-framed glasses?"

offender: "No."

DSASKS: "What color HAIR does she have?"

offender: "Red!"

DSASKS: "Red, curly hair? That's Jamie."

offender: "No, the short girl. She lives with Alex."

DSASKS: "Lisa? Lisa's 5'9."

offender: ----

offender: "Well, I dunno! She's shorter than me."

A judgment of height is not baseless. When you ask whether Lisa is short, you're not asking whether she's short compared to a sunflower, a garbage can, or a stingray. When you ask whether Lisa is short, you're asking whether she is a short person -- because, fact: she is a person. And when you ask whether she's a short person, you're asking whether she is short for a person.

That's when you'd need to refer to some statistics on the height distribution of people:

Compared to the rest of the population, Lisa is tall for a woman, average for a man, and tall for a person (average for man + woman = 5'6-5'7).

Alternatively, you might be asking whether Lisa is a short person compared to the people at the party. The people at the party represented a very random sample respective of height (because it wasn't an NBA party), so no, she isn't. Actually, she is tall compared to the people at the party, like she is to the rest of the population.  

But if you use yourself as the sole basis for comparison, and you just so happen to be 6'2 (like the offender), then yes, Lisa is "short". And yes, obviously, the sun revolves around YOU.

When you use yourself as the universal basis against which everything and everyone is judged, you make no sense -- unless you happen to be average in every way imaginable. Even then, you might happen to make sense, but you won't be aware that you make sense or understand why it makes sense.

On top of that, your understanding of the world will be very egocentric.