I really enjoyed the illustration for Malcolm Gladwell’s review of “The Myth of the Paperless Office” on page 92. I enjoyed the article itself, of course, which is a reflection on messiness in the workspace as an organizing principle. Both the review and the illustration appear to reflect the ideas of David Gelernter, CS guy at Yale, victim of the Unabomber and the author of the pretty great “1939: The Lost World of the Fair”.

Piles, it seems, are actually a really efficient way of organizing information.

Although a piler, I’m not so sure I agree. But then, as with much of Gelernter’s work, I see lots of things I agree with but don’t necessarily reach the same conclusion.

]]>“1939”, for example, posited the pretty arguable theory that what is missing from our world today is “the voice of authority”, and that this voice is what invests that mythic event with its’ power. This is hogwash. But Mr. Gelernter loves the Fair as much as it’s possible to do, and his book is a great way to learn about it.

The other thing I found amusing was under the heading “Ink: The Watchdog of Ocean Parkway” in the Talk of the Town, up front (p. 38, by Seth Mnookin). It seems there’s a very angry partisan of, well, I can’t say “the left”, so maybe of the Democratic party, who whiles her days away writing invective-filled letters to the richly deserving journalists who waste their lives on puff-piece profiles of, well, Republicans. Not to mention attack pieces against Dems.

If the Democratic party was one-half as dangerous and committed to really playing politics as their Republican counterparts, this woman would be the Editor-in-Chief of something I’ll think of as the “Ocean Parkway Spectator”, or perhaps the “United States Spectator”. She’d be paying piles of dough to James Carville to drive Republican politicians into bankruptcy and suicide.

Alas, Reba Shimansky, you are ill-used.

Not that I expect the Dems to ever adopt these tactics, as crucial as they are to the long-term survival of right-thinking values, democratic power structures, and the possibility of a continued decent standard of living in this country. Why go after Trent Lott when you can savage Ralph Nader, as I heard Al Gore’s campaign manager do during a call-in radio appearance last December here in Seattle?

The Democratic party is dead, and I wish that there was some possibility of effective democratic bare-knuckle American politics which might be successfully deployed against the stinky, stinky evil men. If the Dems ever start showing signs of a willingness to get in there and fight, I’ll be there to help pick up the tab, just as I did for Ralph this past November.