When I search for books in my college library computer system, sometimes the search engine simply says “Catastrophic failure.”  Which is not extremely helpful, but is amusing.  And I wonder what makes this failure catastrophic.  In my view, a catastrophic failure would involve my computer exploding, or the library collapsing in upon me, or all of the books being raptured toward heaven while I was left behind with the naked library stacks.  In this case, however, the books remain, the library still stands, and my computer continues to work.  And, moreover, I am still mostly sourceless, scraping onto the second of nearly ten pages, and wasting time writing other things.

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