Eiron’s Archives 04

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( alternatively, throw your baseball-cap over your webcam )

Dear Goodgleer

It is rather refreshing to receive a question on the topic of social psychology – a subject area which for some reason generates but little pique in my inbox.

So here are my thoughts regarding your question  “ At what age does it become socially acceptable to wear a monocle ? “

Clearly it would be highly inadvisable to wear one during school years ( the only exception would be if one was very considerably bigger and stronger than all the other pupils in one’s class )

Between the ages of 20 to 40 I would also suggest that the benefits of wearing one would be considerably outweighed by the negative reactions of one’s associates.

Post 40 begins the period when monocle-wearing could, in some individuals at least, become a viable proposition – but only if used occasionally, and supported by some other accoutrements which help to instill credibility in others – say, by the use of spats, loafers, waistcoats or oversized umbrellas.

I would submit to you though that it is not until one is past 55 that one could seriously consider using a monocle on a permanent basis. And beyond 60 it should pose no disadvantages whatsoever.

Oddly though – and to my knowledge this is largely unexplained – somewhere past 80, the monocular credibility quotient begins to ( somewhat literally ) drop off.

Dear B4nk_st4t3m3nt

Charming !

I could not have asked for a better (not quite) Christmas present – or as a gift for any other time of year come to think of it.

Until today, I had always considered that large pinecones were more suitable as decorative objects rather than for the purposes which your letter so succinctly outlined on my behalf.

Many thanks also for the accompanying drawing, which more than compensated, in terms of sociological enlightenment, for what it lacked in anatomical accuracy.

I sincerely wish you all the success and happiness you deserve for the coming year.

Dear LysTereem_team

No, I don’t think you should be unduly concerned about what you call your ‘ obsession ‘ – viz. to double-check the strength and position of your chair every time you are about to sit on it.

Viewed in the ice-cold light of the laws of physics, it is only a matter of probability that the particles which make up your chair happen to ‘decide’ to remain in a chair-like formation.

Like any other entity, all the atoms and molecules in the chair are in constant motion due to thermal energy – were they , by chance, to all move in the same direction ( and if you could wait long enough, they would ) then obviously the chair would no longer be where you expect to find it.

This is compounded by the fact that the subatomic particles which make up the atoms are also subject to the laws of probability. They can pop in an out of existence at any time – and indeed they do – but luckily for you and your chair, the odds against them all disappearing momentarily at the same time are vanishingly remote.

But they could.

Thus your chair-checking routine is far from the inconvenient delusion that you seem to think it is. It seems remarkably reasonable, intelligent, and circumspect to me. You should carry on.

I confess though that I don’t always follow my own advice – and occasionally forget to check my own chair before sitting down. ( especially after a few [ ███████ ] ! ). Rest assured though that I will not complain to you or anyone else if I come a cropper due to my own negligence.

Dear Trans_plif7_NT

Well, I have to disagree that my photo [above] “ makes me look like some kind of feeble vegetarian “

Actually, I’m not vegetarian ( at the moment ).

Over time though, I have tried most of the known variants of food-ist regimes. For example, in my very early years I was a thoroughly committed Lactarian.

At a later date I became a Fructarian eating only fruits and berries, and this developed into becoming a Fallen-Fructarian – whence I only ate fruits or berries which I found on the ground ( to avoid the so called pick-violence ).

Moving hungrily on, I also tried Myco-arianism ( eating only fungi ), Algae-arianism ( just seaweed ) and briefly experimented with Aajonus Vonderplanitz’s Primitive Paleolithic diets ( but I discovered that I am not constitutionally suited to raw rabbit and suet in large quantities )

Nowadays I’m more inclined towards Liquitarianism.

And yourself ? Could I perhaps guess a lifelong BurgerAndChips-arian ?

Dear cuuplarGime

If your genetic makeup is reasonably similar to the rest of the humanity, then there is very little you can do about it.

Why do you want to “ get a good suntan “  on the palms of your hands anyway ? No-one else has suntanned palms do they ?

Before you e-mail me with a supplementary question along the lines of “ why’s that then ? “ I can tell you that I haven’t the foggiest idea. It is self evident of course that the skin cells on our palms ( and various other places ) do not produce much melanin – but why we should be built that way goodness only knows.

It wouldn’t surprise me if some over-imaginative evolutionary anthropologist chasing a research grant from somewhere has already hypothesised that it’s for ‘signaling’ at dusk across the Savannahs – or some such balderdash.

I don’t know. Nobody does. Get over it.

[ A little more decorum towards our valued readers please Eiron. Thanks, Ed. ]

Dear VGpr4wn

No, I’m not at all sure that ‘ nostalgia ‘ could ( or indeed should ) be classified as a psychological disorder.

From the burdensome symptoms which you describe though, I would guess that you are suffering from an obscure form which I would call proto-nostalgia – in other words, a yearning for times past, but, specifically, before you were born.

I hope you don’t mind if I point out that it is normally considered necessary to have lived though a time-period in order to experience nostalgia for it.

I do sympathise though, as I myself occasionally have twinges of meta-nostalgia – typified by fondly longing for times which have not arrived yet.

Dear modlager

You are in very good company if you “ find that it’s impossible to visualise ‘Time’ as another ‘dimension’ “

Although I am of course utterly unable to fully explain for you, perhaps I can give an example which might clarify things just a little.

Imagine that you are walking briskly along a city street. A malevolent pigeon, seated on a tree branch above you, decides to downwardly dispatch a decidedly disagreeable dropping. As luck would have it however, it lands on the pavement [sidewalk] a metre in front of you.

Now, if you had been a metre further forward it would have landed on your head.

And, with complete similarity, if you had been a second earlier.

From your point of view then, what is the difference between a metre and a second ?

Dear BezAmphert

In some ways you are correct. It is quite possible to conduct your own ‘genetic engineering’ experiments without any expensive equipment, any detailed knowledge of DNA, and without having to wait too long for the results.

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