Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Message on sign:
February 2, 2011
Other signs on the Quad: none

Interesting reactions/discussions/events:

Most people disagreed with the sign. Many found it pessimistic or depressing. Some couldn't think of anything in their lives they wish were different. No one said there was anything in their lives that was exactly the way they didn't want it to be.

While I was talking with two guys, two girls came up and one of them handed me a piece of paper with the following text: "If you are wishing for something, therefore it is not the case; therefore 'everything is exactly the way you wish they [sic] weren't' is not logical" and then walked off quickly without giving us a chance to talk to her. One guy took a photo of the text and came back later with his analysis. His conclusion was that if one accepts the initial premise, i.e. If you are wishing for something, therefore it is not the case, then the argument makes sense. Otherwise it is logically fallacious.

One passerby congratulated me on getting my grammar right (i.e. " wish it weren't" vs " wish it wasn't")

I had discussions with two guys about what signs would be unacceptable to display. A Jewish guy said: "Jews burn in ovens" would be unacceptable. If I did stand with such a sign he said he wouldn't want me arrested and he wouldn't inform the administration I was there, but that if I was escorted off campus he would consider that the proper thing to do.

Earlier a girl had said she thought that signs that would be inappropriate would be personal attacks on someone or a sign with the message "UW SUCKS". When I asked why that might offend she said it was because people had already paid their tuition. I asked that, if it were true I could convince her she could get as good an education outside a university without paying tuition, would that be a good thing. She asked me if that was my job. I said it was not but repeated the question. She admitted it would be a good thing--if I could actually convince her.

For a complete transcript of discussions with people about this sign (or at least as complete as memory would allow), see here, February 2.

1 comment:

  1. I remember being in my very early 20's and congratulating myself that I had no regrets about anything. Then the rest of my life happened. Sometimes I miss that heady mix of optimism, hubris and ignorance.