On the way to CMU today (I hesitate to call CMU work, because it's just as much play and town), I came across the most wonderful leaf, shed to the ground. It has a beautiful contrast of red and black (really just super-dark red), looking like a study in colour theory, or an organic yin-yang. I scooped it up, and it is now in my office - I often collect leaves when this time of the year comes, and each year I forget it and shedding season, it being my worthy seasonal surprise. Some parts of me offer criticism that I allow myself to be distracted by such things, and that they are taints of the bourgeois mentality that lead me from class struggle. Less orthodox argue back -- that I dream of a better, more human-than-before marxism, and that not every moment or thought need be spent in activism. There are other arguments from other parts of my brain, but by and large I am satisfied to silence everything but pleasure at the complexity of the leaf.
A few things I wonder about -- do most people do more reading of words (book or computer) than they do talking with other people (face-to-face)? Is there a lot of variance there? How does the amount people write by hand compare to the amount they type? How often do people still write paper letters to each other, and when they do, have letters become customary for a subset of what they were once used for?
I find it particularly interesting that in an age of near-universal literacy (in western countries), some of us have already moved on to the next media.