In Search of the Feral Gibble

A delightful morning so far, despite a rather rough arising. The educationalists seem to continue to use a MWF schedule so the gym was adorned this morning with the absence of them and their stridency. And for once the Science podcast episodes flowed rather well if not particularly mind sticking. Not that they were not informative but none were attention riveting.

I was however, on the way home, searching for keys in pocket when I came to consider the term “gibble.” My experience with the term, which is not, per se, in the OED, seems to follow from “gibble gabble”, which is in the OED, and means ‘senseless chatter’, in that gabble means chatter so gibble must mean senseless. Whether that means senseless in the sense of absence of sense or absence of sensation is unclear.

The focus I was considering was what is known as pocket gibble, which is the stuff one accumulates in one’s pockets, not necessarily with any remembered purpose other than forgotten expediency. In similar sense one has desk gibble, drawer gibble, and automobile gibble, even house gibble. In this particular case I suppose one may even refer to podcast gibble although that may be so transient as to be meaningless since gibble implies some unwanted permanence rather than some undesired transience.

There is also, as I have commented frequently, browser gibble (and software gibble and computer gibble, obviously) that is frequently the source of the mastications that turn into blots. For example, I noted yesterday, on Lifehacker, [Link] an article about how to make one’s Linux desktop have the appearance of MegaHard’s Windows 7. These things seem to abound as people are offered ways of making their desktop look like some one of the other OS. At one level it is nothing more that the tenor of eye candy, which itself is as old as graphical displays (as opposed to teletype displays.) Certainly back in the DOS days there were all sorts of things to change background and foreground color, display a wallpaper or some frivolous screen-saver and these things continue today.

I have heard it argued, mostly by OS fanatics, that such Ovidian metamorphoses are an expression of OS envy. I also consider these arguments to have some basis but mostly in the reverse of what the pundit intended. Half of all instances of desktop are organizational and making self-woo with eye is nothing more than safe rebellion against tyranny. But in the other half of the cases I suspect it is nothing more than being happy with one’s OS but also liking the eye candy of another OS, after all, the philosophy of each of the big three is different in this arena.

The other piece I noticed was an article in the student newspaper of the campus of the Boneyard [Link] considering whether students should imbibe spirits in drinking establishments near campus – students pubs – or in establishments away from campus that catered to permanent residents, a clear instance of the old town or gown division. What was compelling about the piece was not the argument but my own memories of student days.

Yes, there was student drinking on the campus of the Black Warrior when I was an undergraduate. This could hardly be argued given its notoriety even then as a party shul. And I drank on occasion, even when I was underage. But my consumption was in moderation compared to that of the bogs. Indeed, I usually had the role of designated driver. But the thing that sticks out was that in my undergraduate days I never once consumed spirits in a drinking establishment. And I am in a bit of wonder that any undergraduate does, since I never did. And that advice on such would be dispensed in student newspapers. Why in my day they didn’t even talk about contraception or pledge hazing, even when the kid was crippled for life.

So there has to be mind gibble as well, doesn’t there? Which brings us to the rather more complicated question of what does one do when one encounters gibble? Is it to be left alone, rather like sport fishing where one releases one’s catch? Or is it the focus of some episode of Puritan rage against disorder, implying religious disease, necessitating eradication that is probably not only folly but harmful and/or negative? Which gives rise to the nerdish question of whether gibble is an accumulating state or can it be transformed into a state of value?

If it were not for nerdery humanity would have exploded from self-satisfaction millennia ago.

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