Bill Paley (mycroftca) wrote,
Bill Paley

Archaeology class from Coursera, week one assignment.

Artifacts: 1. Pen: plastic, colored red white and black, with advertising for the drug Vytorin on the barrel (Context: sitting in front of monitor on the computer desk). Inorganic.

2. thumb drive: black plastic and metal, emblazoned with "Microsoft" (Context: sitting in front of monitor on the computer desk, approximately 7cm to the right of the pen above) Inorganic.

3. postage stamp, USA, 22cents, with Uncle Sam on it (Context: partially covered by thumb drive) Organic.

4. deck of standard playing cards, marked on the back with the Magic: The Gathering logo, still in plastic wrap (Context: on shelf above the monitor) Organic

5. metal can of gas, marked "Dynex Compressed Gas Duster" (Context: 4cm to right of playing cards on same shelf) Inorganic

Features: 1.Pair of filing cabinets filled with ancient papers from at least 16 years ago, heavily filled with dust (I couldn't lift them as is. Maybe when I was younger...)

2. Bookshelf, filled with books and a number of other artifacts. Pretty heavy; two of us could probably lift this, but I couldn't alone.

After some thought, though, I choose to return to this portion of the question. Two features of the room come to mind, the first being the window shades, wooden slats stained dark brown, attached to the wall around the window, and therefore immobile; the second shelving in the closet: not particularly heavy, but immobile.

Association: Within 6cm lies an external hard drive, a bag of Moong Dal, opened and partially eaten, and a stack of papers topped by a Nook in a black leather protective cover. These seem to be randomly tossed together, however all three are within easy reach of the computer desk chair. Not too far away are also a plastic bottle of water, partially drunk, a Zip drive, not presently connected to the computer, and a stack of Zip discs. Under the pile of papers is a scanner.

Stratification: On the upper shelf, there are stacks of computer program packages, some still plastic-wrapped. They are irregularly stacked, not straightened. There are also in other places in easy reach several stacks of papers and folders, some spilling off to the side. The programs are in order of age of purchase, not necessarily age of production. On the very top of one of the stacks is a pile of about a dozen pieces of colored paper. The contents of these papers are not visible from this position, and their contents are long forgotten by me.

The most valuable artifact in sight of my seat is probably the Nook. The most meaningful artifact in sight is an aloha shirt hanging from the back of the door, handmade by my wife. They are not one and the same. Although I use the Nook constantly, and have it loaded with hundreds of files, the emotional value of the shirt is vastly higher.

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