Re: Re: Small Monumental Buildings . . .

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I just wish to add a little twist into this discussion here,…. just a query if you will. I am wondering, to what extent does the phenomena described in the following piece,… apply to the Bolton Street DIT smoking shed?

In 1958, the social scientist Thomas C. Schelling ran an experiment with a group of law students from New Haven, Conneticut. He asked the students to imagine this scenario: You have to meet someone in New York City. You don’t know where you’re supposed to meet, and there’s no way to talk to the other person ahead of time. Where would you go?

This seems like an impossible question to answer well. New York is a very big city, with lots of places to meet. And yet a majority of the students chose the very same meeting place: the information booth at Grand Central Station. Then Schelling complicated the problem a bit. You know the date you’re supposed to meet the other person, he said. But you don’t know what time you’re supposed to meet. When will you show up at the information booth? Here the results were even more striking. Just about all the students said they would show up at the stroke of noon. In other words, if you dropped two law students at either end of the biggest city in the world and told them to find each other, there was a very good chance that they’d end up having lunch together.

It has occured to me, from reading frequent fliers, and college newspapers around Trinity College,… there is this expression that keeps on cropping up,…

“The word on the ramp is,… “

I can only assume, that is the ramp, outside the Arts Block? Anyhow, this expression, has become synonimous with other familiar expressions, like ‘the word of the grapevine is’,… ‘the word on the block is’,… or ‘the word on the street is’… That is, I assume to be ‘in the know’ of what’s happening in Trinity, you need to visit the ‘Ramp’ periodically. Even though, Trinity is now probably one of the most dispersed, dislocated campuses around… it still sort of ties itself together ‘socially’ with that one simple expression, ‘the word on the ramp is’.

It is a little intriguing, that the ‘Ramp’ in Trinity college also functions in an equivalent fashion to the smoking shed and surrounding area in Bolton Street. I remember in the old days at DIT Bolton Street, the patio area between the fire escape and the new studios, used to function as the gossip corner, for the Architectural Department. It was very amusing sometimes to observe the clashes of authority between the students wanting to use the roof top to smoke and talk etc, while the staff would try to discourage it.

I don’t know if there is an equivalent in UCD or other campuses around the country. Any thoughts anyone?

Brian O’ Hanlon.

P.S. The above quote is from James Surowiecki’s book – The Wisdom of Crowds.

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