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Bus Story: Signs of Life

June 16, 2011

I often wonder about people. (“No kidding, Sherman, tell us something we don’t know.” I hear you cry.) I mean I wonder in the sense of really marveling that we manage as a species to function together. I guess, in many ways, we don’t; but in some really major ways, we exist together and, when it matters, we usually watch out and care for one another. So when I saw a tee shirt on a fellow rider, I had to smile and it got me thinking. The shirt said “Surly”. Black shirt, white letters. I thought it might be interesting if we had a readable sign on us that always noted our emotional state. I’ve read in Robert Jordan’s fantasy books about a cloth that changes color and opacity based on emotions. But a simple sign is kinda interesting to contemplate. It might even be a little like the old bio-feedback technique; faced with your own emotional state in plain letters, can you breathe and think your way into a calmer, more positive feeling? It would take some of the guesswork out of some interactions. But, ultimately, that interplay between people is what makes humans both tricky and intriguing. I wonder what my sign might read right now? Curious, I suppose. Or maybe just goofy.

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