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Journal of nicholas (3034)

Tuesday August 15, 2006
04:22 PM

bikesheds are part of being human

[ #30642 ]

I was having a conversation with a friend, mentioned bikesheds and she described a story referred to as "the chair incident":

There was a meeting at her church, and a big item on the agenda was the plan to spend $big_money on building work. This was approved without much debate. Then the meeting moved onto the subject of chairs*. Specifically the chairs in the hall were rather old, and maybe they should be replaced. To which it was suggested that with everyone in it, the hall can feel rather full, so maybe they should get smaller chairs. Except then perhaps they'd need bigger chairs at the back. The debate raged for half an hour, and it wasn't even clear from this recounting whether a consensus was even reached. Certainly, everyone and their bottom has an opinion on chairs, and the occasion appears now to be referred to in hushed tones as "don't mention the chair incident". Clearly chairs and bikesheds are just polymorphic forms of the same artefacts.

* In fact, it's not clear whether chairs were ever on the original agenda, but were only brought up as a topic because the building plans had gone through in less time than had been expected.

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