What’s your tolerance?

Museum of Tolerance protest

These signs have started cropping up around my neighborhood in LA, close to the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance. I laughed out loud the first time I saw one, followed closely by one of those moments of epistemological dissonance in which “tolerance” suddenly lost all meaning. The basic story is that the Museum of Tolerance is expanding to Jerusalem, in a Frank Gehry designed fruitbowl, built on top of a muslim cemetary. Haven’t these people seen Poltergeist? In their defense, the graves were apparently moved, but you know how it is.

I wish I had something interesting to say about this, but given Nadia Abu El-Haj’s experience speaking about Israel-Palestine, I think I’ll just say nothing.


Christopher M. Kelty is a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has a joint appointment in the Institute for Society and Genetics, the department of Information Studies and the Department of Anthropology. His research focuses on the cultural significance of information technology, especially in science and engineering. He is the author most recently of Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software (Duke University Press, 2008), as well as numerous articles on open source and free software, including its impact on education, nanotechnology, the life sciences, and issues of peer review and research process in the sciences and in the humanities.

5 thoughts on “What’s your tolerance?

  1. Not sure how moving a muslim graveyard to build a museum of tolerance constitutes a defence. But I guess we could say these signs are intolerant to the intolerant tolerant.

    ps. spot the rougue neighbour…unmowed lawn, peeling paint, archaic fence… how long before the ‘burb beauty committee’s tolerance runs out?

  2. The neighbor is going for that new look that’s sweeping the nation: foreclosure chic. Unfortunately the back to nature movement isn’t employing so many landscape architects or gardeners.

  3. Cute neighborhood. But I think you and your neighbors should form a committee and begin working to get your overhead utilities undergrounded.

Comments are closed.