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Old 09-07-2012, 12:44 PM   #74
Andrew H.
Grand Master of Flowers
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prestidigitweeze View Post
As a teenager, I used to think that beautiful homes and lofts devoid of all but self-help and coffee table books exemplified the shallowness of modern culture. The eyes of one owner whose kid I knew seemed to have the hollow allure of the TV screens he worshiped.
When I graduated and was able to afford an apartment without a roommate, I was very happy to be able to move my books out of my bedroom and into the living room because I had become so tired of the visual distraction of having so many books always in my sight. Once I got a house, I moved them (with the exception of a handful of large format art books) into my office and into my (finished) basement. Both rooms with books are cozy...but books really do produce a cluttered effect that it's nice to be able to avoid sometimes.
Quote:

Now that e-readers and digital music libraries exist, the lack of clutter has taken on a different meaning: The polished wood and nigh-empty walls seem more mental easel than void.
You can also put up artwork on the walls...

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Or else my childish assumption was utterly wrong, and the people with homes uncluttered by books, sheet music and recordings were not necessarily shallow at all. Perhaps to assume so is to confuse a particular kind of materialism for intellectual depth, which means, ironically enough, that the person who makes the assumption is being shallow.
Everyone has some shallow parts. Most people also have some deeper parts. But they aren't always in the same part of the pool.

When I was in grad school, I had an (older) roommate who, for bizarre psychological reasons connected, I think, with feelings of intellectual insecurity, fanatically collected books. He did not read them. He rarely read anything; so much so that he had difficulty passing his classes. But he had something like 3000 hardbound books in his room, mostly dealing with philosophy. Not only were all four walls lined, floor to ceiling, with homemade bookshelves, but he also had back-to-back floor-to-ceiling shelves bisecting the room, with an entryway so you could get to the other part of the room. It was maze-like, but it gave you the impression that he was a genuine intellectual because there were *so many* books, mostly on obscure philosophical topics that I certainly didn't understand. (Nor did he, since he hadn't read them).

According to him, women were very impressed by the books because they thought he was rich.

So there are all kinds of shallowness.

Last edited by Andrew H.; 09-09-2012 at 01:06 PM.
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