The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 54.0°F | Thunderstorm Heavy Rain and Breezy

Transparent Horizons-- Scourge of the east


In faith, I do not love thee with thine eyes,

For they in thee a thousand errors note...


William Shakespeare->

The Berlin Wall. The Soviet Communist Party. The jail term of Nelson Mandela. The presidency of Paul Gray. Many great symbols of oppression are falling all around us. Yet the peoples of the world continue to clamor for change, which is why I write today. During my first semester I lived on the east side of campus. I recently moved to the Far West with the rest of the nomads, and yet in the back of my mind I know that I still have a debt to pay to my former home.

On our eastern side of campus there is a problem, a hideous beast which has plagued the area for years. Over there the natives desperately try to avoid it. They avert their eyes when passing and rarely speak of it. Perhaps west campus and ILG denizens pass it occasionally, on trips to the Coop or the Med Center. But to those who live east of the Dome, it is something they live with every day. It is "Transparent Horizons." Unfortunately, it is neither transparent nor on the horizon.

"Transparent Horizons," for the fortunate uninitiated, is the name of the big black thing at the north end of the parallel between the two sides of East Campus (if that means anything to you). It resembles a Rorschach test come to life and a Picasso lawn ornament rolled into one. It has redefined grotesque for generations of students, faculty, and staff. Ugly people the world over -- in hopes of improving their on-camera appearance -- make pilgrimages to MIT to have their photo taken next to it.

My quest, which I feel is a responsibility, is to relieve the landscape of "Transparent Horizons" permanently. I ask that the administration of the Institute take the necessary steps to eliminate this metal monstrosity. I don't care what you do with it. Crush it. Dismantle it. Nuke it. Ship it off campus if you have to. Just make sure you use Emery, UPS, or Purolator Courier (and pay the bill).

Now, I understand that it is foolish to ask for something in exchange for nothing, so I am willing to make a deal. Here are the terms:

The lucky administrator who claims responsibility for the dismantling of the alleged sculpture, subject to approval by The Tech's staff, will be named MIT administrator of the year by this columnist in an upcoming issue. In addition, the winner will be the subject of a full column in this space, the topic being how wonderful the winning administrator is.

It will include detailed reports on how admired he or she is by the students, faculty, and staff, and will be chock full of quotes, genuine, usable quotes, telling the world how effective and universally loved the winning administrator is. Think of how good this will look when you're next searching for that next job with a major research university. Imagine how this will sound on a resume when you're looking for that next post with a multi-million dollar weapons firm!

If another administrator displays significant but secondary responsibility for the downfall of the "Metal Monstrosity," he or she will "win" a free dinner for two at Networks.

This is an administration we can deal with. We just have to deal with them on the right level.

So come on, Big Brass. Don't let the person in the next office make this big career move before you do. If you have the power to set in motion the dismantling of TH, act now! It just might be the best career move you ever make.


Bill Jackson is a freshman and new columnist for The Tech who hates these little biographical blurbs just as much as you do.


Great symbols of oppression are falling all around us.

It is "Transparent Horizons." Unfortunately, it is neither transparent nor on the horizon.

It resembles a Rorschach test come to life and a Picasso lawn ornament rolled into one. It has redefined grotesque.