Going down?

Like many people, I find myself, at times, thinking about things. Also stuff.  Surprising I know.

One of the things I have recently spent precious energy on neuralising (converting my body’s stored chemical potential energy into heat, thus increasing the amount of entropy in the universe and hastening our march towards eventual cosmic heat-death in accordance with the laws of thermodynamics) was elevators.

I did the bulk of this thinking whilst standing in the harsh fluroescent non-bience (I invented that word just now) that exists outside my apartment door, that mysterious land of dropped cigarette butts and hushed midnight conversations (with bonus giggling and/or crying),  watching the numbers tick closer and closer to the target floor (mine) and then right past. And then sitting on G for a while. And then going up again. And then rapidly vacillating between the 15th and 16th floor for no apparent reason. This is what the elevators in my building do.

Anyway this got me to thinking that somebody somewhere must be in the business of designing the algorithms that govern elevator movement; when to send a car up, when to send one down, when to introduce that phantom 9 year old kid that pushes all the buttons and then mysteriously disappears just before you get in (leaving only a faintly unpleasant sulphurous odour).

It just so happened that my elevator car’s brownian motion brought it to my floor before I could crack the mystery of elevator behavioural science (eventual conclusion: whoever designed the control software for my building is either incredibly incompetent, or a sadist) but, in one of those funny little coincidences that people like to attribute to various imaginary friends, I happend to stumble upon this article not long after:

Up and Then Down – The lives of elevators.

Which, if you managed to parse those ridiculously convulted sentences and realise that I was talking about elevators, and you happened to be a person who found such things interesting, is a good read.

About elevators.

7 days of this kind of rambling. How exciting for you.

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  1. #1 • leon said on May 21 2009:

    i once waited two hours in an elevetor suspended between floors because my brother wanted to see if he could open it whilst it ‘ran’…it didn’t, it stopped, for two hours my sister cried, my brother yelled at her…’luckily’, we were visiting my father in the hospital, we got off half way between the mental ward and the cafeteria…i went one one way, my brother should not have followed me.