Deterioration. A bit, at least. And not in the digital, computer sense. But as in small but not infinitesimal. Much grrr brrr about fog when it is patently evident that the visibility isn’t low enough. Ah! the joys of a society of bogs.
One of my colleagues sent me this cartoon: [Link]
and it struck me to consider the matter of chewing gum. I have always been rather lukewarm about chewing and bubble gum and when I became an adolescent I gave up gum on the guidance of my orthodontist and have never resumed it. Sadly however, that did not remove me from its influence.
I see many people chewing gum. It is implicit to this that if you can see someone chewing gum, then they are doing it wrong. Gum chewing is supposed to be covert. Socially, gum chewing is second only to flip flops in proclaiming that one is trailer trash or some similar social parasite/failure/cancer. There is also data that indicates a connection with cigarette smoking at least statistically. This may be a matter of correlation, of course. I rather doubt there is any cause and effect between the two other than undesirableness.
One of my other colleagues has argued that the two are both related to the aversion of humans to actually think. At least among bogs. This has a certain appeal since I have noted an inverse relationship between nosiness of gum chewing and perceived intelligence.
Nonetheless, the cartoon does not address this. Rather it addresses that natural inclination in humans to want to disobey rules, especially the ones that aren’t fully justified and explained, which is the entire set, at least in my experience. Lawyers and rule mongers seem to universally have zero inclination to obey the rules of communication, although whether this proves or disproves the inclination is quite unclear, I can happily report that I feel no such motivation in regards to either gum or playing nasty music too loudly in my motorcar. I can however, admit to feeling betrayed by the rules involving the use of high explosives on people who chew gum and/or play nasty music too loudly in their motorcars. So while there is a possible selectivity I suspect there is no universal immunity in anyone.
I also rather dislike stepping on chewing gum and would gladly support a program of gum enemas for those who drop their gum on sidewalks and paths deliberately. Although that would likely lead to all sorts of nastiness in public toilets.
Ah! It does shape up to be a nice two-day!