Monday, 22 September 2008

Dumpster Driving

Over the past few days, I have been helping rearrange the offices on the fourth floor--the Penthouse. There was an embarrassment of musty, untouched papers to sort through, mostly long-retired records and false-starts at organization that were eventually folded. Quite a bit seemed to be folded projects, dox-matrix printer paper, bytes of data stored on 5 1/4" floppy disks that is irretrievable, and long-retired but sacrosanct archives. They say we are all immmortal, at least through our official signatures. It was interesting uncovering this palpimpsest, digging through archeologic tirades--that not much has changed in the interim. The lot of it, excepting the files I thought ought to be saved for the next junking expedition, was sorted and swept away. With this incidental garbage destined for the recycling bin, I wondered would future residents ever know that their busy work was nothing novel--that this or that scheme had been tried before, and it was just good job insurrance to forget. If everything in the government didn't change its name every few years, half the people in the government would not have anything to do. I tried to salvage a few choice information briefs that were eerie bits of presque vu. As I was toting the piles to their separate dumpsters, I remembered a rather depressing fact: the recycling process was much too materially intense to allow such mundane things as a plastic shopping bag be reborn as another shopping bag. Generally, plastic deterius was spun into fiber for cheap clothing and carpet, a steel chassis of an automobile paper-clips, and paper was pretty much only fit for mulching. Perhaps there was a security reason for these limitations of recycling. Office paper wasn't meant to be a slate for more of the same.