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culture&technology

Will the real one percent please stand up

Last Wednesday I was congratulating my friend Jim from The Independent on his fine column explaining how to determine whether or not it is appropriate to use either an air conditioner or a swamp cooler. He has neither. From past experience however, he determined that an air conditioner works most efficiently when humidity is over 60%, while a swamp cooler works best with humidity being below 40%. In the East Mountains, by the way, you may sometimes determine this by listening for the sounds of frogs which are present (or not) depending on weather conditions.

As mentioned, Jim had already given up on both air conditioners and swamp coolers, something he joked made him a "ten percenter." I immediately associated his joke with the "one percent" of society that live without rules. Outlaws. The "deviants." Turns out he was talking about the "one percent" that has all the money.

Funny how a descriptive cultural term can flip from one end of our social strata to the other and still hold the same meaning. Unless you're the Osmonds.

 
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