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Lesson Plans

Philosophers' Walk

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
carla schiller (
Sat, 24 Apr 1999 09:47:35 -0700 (PDT)

Hi all! I've been out of touch for a while because my school-owned laptop
computer died! I think it happened when a student plugged by printer cable
into the wrong connection, and probably shorted out the motherboard.
I'll know tomorrow whether my local repair shop was able to copy the files
from my hard disk onto zip files (the school laptop did not have a
working floppy drive, so I couldn't back up my files!) I don't want to
have to deal with that problem again, so I've bought my very own laptop (I
don't even want to *think* about the credit card bill later this month!)
so I don't have to allow any students to use it!
Anyway (thanks for letting me that I"m back online, I was
travelling along walk 3 of the Philsophers' Walk, the "Trash from the
past" section, and I was caught by this part of the dialogue:
"Look at how many feats of Roman engineeringaqueducts, baths,
roads, temples, and walls are still standing. This is really
different from what we do today. We assume that most
buildings, like almost everything else we use, will be disposed
of in short order."

I've always found that latter attitude - the idea that we will dispose of
buildings like we do trash - has always puzzled. me. When I was in law
school, on the first day of Property Class the professor asked a question
about why someone might take a long-term lease on a piece of ground rather
than buying it outright. I couldn't come up with the answer she was
looking for, because the answer dependedn on assuming that it made sense
to demolish any building that happened to be on top of that piece of
ground and build a new one. I just couldn't fathom the idea of pulling
down a whole building if it wasn't damanged in some way. Financially, it
can be logical because tax deduction snhad depreciation and the like can
actually make it chaper to build anew rather than modify what's already
there, but the waste of it all just floors me (no pun intended!).
On the other hadn, when I attended Cornell University lo these many
years ago, there were six large dorms that had been built for returning
veterans aftger wwii. They were built wtih the intention that they would
be temporary housing, and that is part of the reason they are ugly, cinder
block construction. But they are stil there and in full use in 1999!

Carla Schiller
webpage index:
"The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other
ages you've been."
--Madeline L'Engle

  • Maybe reply: KP RS: "Re: Philosophers' Walk"
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