Identification and context

I just had an amusing incident. I was on BART on my way to work, and was lounging in a seat reading my Economist with my music playing. Somebody taps my leg as they’re walking by. I look up, see a guy smiling at me, and I know I recognize him, but I have no idea from where. I’m thinking, not a coworker, not frisbee, not MIT… He saw the confusion in my face, took mercy on me, and said “Micah, from the chorus”. And I was “Oh, hi!” I felt stupid, because I should have recognized him – after all, he was part of this memorable story from the chorus. But seeing him outside of the chorus context threw my brain for a loop. I’ve mentioned this phenomenon before, where our ability to identify people is tied to certain contexts, and I don’t think I have too much more to add, except to wonder briefly how it ties into identity as context, and all of the Latour-ian madness. There’s probably a connection there someplace, but I should be working, so I won’t explore it right now. Kick me in a few days if I haven’t gotten back to it.

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