Sunday, April 10, 2011



I want to talk for a moment about baseboard. After all, it is late, — almost midnight — I promised myself I'd make a blog entry, and it's the first thing that came to mind that I found acceptable for a short analysis.

The baseboard I have in mind, without looking the word up in the dictionary or in an encyclopedia, is the board at the base of the wall on the interior of a house. For instance, in this room I'm in there is a baseboard. It is at the intersection of the finished sheetrock and the floor, in this case a carpeted one. The baseboard in here is an inch-and-a-half to two-inches in height and perhaps a little more than a half-inch wide at its widest. It is painted the same color as the wall is. It is grooved, I suppose to make it more appealing to the eye. It is not only grooved, but it his also notched, I assume to further please the eye and overall to cover the more unpleasant transition at the bottom of the sheetrock when it meets the floor. I've seen much more simple and considerably more complex and intricate baseboards. The one in this room is pretty standard for the construction at the time the house was built.

I doubt that baseboard, like the one in this room, or even generally, adds anything to the structural integrity of the wall or house. I don't think it makes anything particularly stronger or more functional in a strictly practical sense. If it did, it would be so minute as to additional function that the additional cost would not justify having it. No, the baseboard is aesthetic. It is to make things look better. To cover up what would be considered ugly. Less artful, less pleasing to the eye.

More generally, what issues in life, if any, are important to structure and integrity over against mere aesthetics. Is an analysis of that issue important to me? What do I think about it?

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