Monday, December 31, 2007

Year end review

It's the last post of the year. So it is traditional to wrap up with a brief summary of what has been accomplished this year, and what I look forward to next year. And I clearly like tradition.

This was not the year that I started writing blogs, I've had a web presence for a long time, but this is the year that I started reading them. And it is the year in which I finally started a regular routine - once a day every day.

But that is only one of the rules. And even though I noted with irony that the rules only developed to match what I was actually producing, they exist to make life easiest for you the consumer, not for me the producer.

But blogs are rated by all sorts of metrics, and my rules don't count. There is no official guide to the blogosphere. This year I tried to write one objectively. Next year it's personal.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Free Willy

On reflection, I think the zoo arguments more or less balance out. The Pi view that animals are safe and protected versus the alternative view that zoos are inherently bad. So spacious well-managed zoos might be ok in principle, but they will still be stressful for the inmates due to the unvalidated visitors - they cause the taunting, provocation and general pushing at territorial boundaries that disrupt any peaceful existence.

But even for the best zoos I'd still draw the line before whales and other sentient beings. They should be free and exempt from zoological restriction.

Yet we still encourage the confinement of apes in small enclosures, taunt them, provoke them, laugh at them, deprive them of normal social contacts, restrict their exercise, give them artificial diets and generally create the complete antithesis of the natural environment in which they are evolved to thrive.

Of course I refer to The Human Zoo. Thank you Desmond Morris.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Splitting Heirs

When a single powerful family decides to take absolute power, appropriate much of the nation's wealth and create a feudal system to support its cronies and control the populace, then it is typical to use the language of religion to control the masses and legitimise any brutality.

For example, the king of Nepal has long been considered by some to be an incarnation of the Lord Vishnu, and hence exempt from normal human laws. The Pharaohs of ancient Egypt used similar myths to ensure subservience. Obviously no-one in the western world today would accept a line that a particular family was chosen by God to control huge swathes of land forever, that would surely be ridiculous.

Some actions of Nepal's royal family have been quite strange. For example only a few years ago the crown prince gunned down his father, so he was technically the divine ruler, until he shot himself too. But the people have finally opened their eyes. Today I learned that parliament has voted by a majority of 270 to 3 to abolish the monarchy. The current king will not be tortured and executed, he will just have to pay his taxes like everyone else.

Meanwhile in the UK we still encourage the caste system. Madness.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Life of Pi

Yesterday's senseless killing has been overtaken by a far more significant one.

Many years ago I read a prizewinning novel, and amongst the opening rambles before the story really got going was a general discussion about the ethics of keeping large animals in zoos. As the child of a zookeeper the narrator was obviously on the positive side, and the main point of that little justification is worth trying to remember...

If the gates of an enclosure are left open, the animal may go for a quick wander outside, but will invariably wander back. Why? Because the enclosure is its territory. It has well defended boundaries, plentiful food, shelter and protection. Unless searching for a mate, most animals could not ask for more.

Those are my recollections, but that was recalling a work of fiction that I last looked at many years ago. The narrator Pi might have been deluded anyway, he claimed to have been stuck on a small boat with a fully grown tiger. Was there any evidence for his story? And if there is none, what can we learn from his delusion? Could a delusion justify the killing?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fierce Creatures

As I write this, the police are still investigating the incident at San Francisco zoo where a Siberian tiger called Tatiana killed one man and severely injured two others.

The article suggests that she may have been "provoked". Obvious enough, though I'd go so far as to say that for any stranger to violate the animal's "territory" in any way is natural and understandable provocation. In a zoo that territory is very clearly defined.

No suggestion of common motive, but a completely different story springs to mind from last year. A man jumped into a lion's enclosure at Kiev zoo apparently shouting out "God will save me, if He exists". You can guess what happened next.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The war on x

mas. On behalf of every true conservative in this land.

We have had enough of these foreigners. We have had a tradition in this country for hundreds, no thousands, of years.

But recently a bunch of immigrants have come in and hijacked those glorious ancient traditions. Bloody aliens, bringing their weird eastern practices. They have no real relevance to this island. They don't belong here.

I wouldn't mind if they were doing their own thing, keeping their own rituals and not interfering with our great traditions. But they won't rest with that. They want to hijack our ancient festival and gloss over the real meaning of it.

Enough is enough.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Festive Break

It's the season of goodwill and being nice, so I'll save the usual common sense until tomorrow.

For today, as Noddy Holder put it so succintly, Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 24, 2007

I do it for you

A prominent archaeologist has criticised this blog, or more particularly he criticised one of the posts in this blog, for being too short, and also for having too many links. His points were accurate so the criticism was accurate.

But am I sorry? Not completely.

For anyone with multiple thoughts swimming around their brains, it is surely much easier to write long and variable rather than short and consistent. It's actually difficult to keep to my self-imposed limits. It's difficult to make every word matter. But I do it for you. So that you could completely read each new post in thirty seconds.

But I hope you spend a lot longer than that on each one. Not because I have advertisers to feed, but because there is (I think) always a lot more depth than may first appear. You will only get the nuance of a highlighted word or phrase by following through the link, unless you can visualise the entirety of this site. If you can visualise the entirety of this site, then there is no need to.

Basically, each one is independent, yet intrinsically and multiply linked to every other one. The posts are like the resource footprints of our lives. I did say this blog was holistic :)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Another Knight's Tale

A couple of days ago I mentioned a splendid film. Apart from the great soundtrack, there was something else that ties that movie to this blog...

Totally unjustified in real history but somehow perfectly fit within that fictional story was the character of Geoffrey Chaucer. I had mentioned him before in my first note about language. And that was not even the first time that I mentioned A Knight's Tale...

Back one March many years ago, I went on a little day trip to Canterbury with a couple of friends from school days. At the time I was employed by a large management consultancy company, but I was contemplating an offer from a senior client to leave the corporation and do some independent consulting work.

A few days later I handed in my resignation letter to the company. This was the letter.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

This Blog is Not Yet Rated

Superb, my name was quoted in one of the official ScienceBlogs ... while flicking through Living the Scientific Life I was given the idea to evaluate this one.

Although it could be argued that there are some serious themes, I hope the tone here is fairly light and playful. More than that, I try to never use any vulgar language. Not because it offends me, but because I don't want to get blacklisted by anyone who is trying to prevent corruption of sensitive minds.

So why on earth does this site get a rating of NC-17? I'm not living in America, but I'm fairly sure that rating implies a level of depravity and lewdness that is even unsuitable for most high school students? The rating site gave this explanation:

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:
  • death (13x)
  • dangerous (9x)
  • sex (6x)
  • hell (5x)
  • crap (4x)
  • dead (3x)
  • murder (2x)
  • bitch (1x)

What! So kids shouldn't learn about death? Aren't loose roof tiles dangerous? Could web site design vary by sex? Could killing a whale possibly be like murder? Is satire dead?

Americans should be very worried if their actual movie ratings are so senseless.

Finally, irony. Only the last word, used just once, could really be considered rude. And remarkably it is the very last word of my very first post. And why did I quote it. Not to shock, but merely to publicise my friend's site ... thanks a lot Deirdré :/

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Knight's Tale

I watched a film today. A film that got terrible reviews, a cheesy anachronistic corny Brit-flick. But I absolutely loved it.

Now I don't usually just post reviews here. But I think the amateur psycho-analysts of this world (including me) may wonder why this sort of film appeals to me.

Because I don't really like fantasies, other world stuff. Lord of the Rings was execrable. Even Star Wars was good but not great. And I don't really like real history stuff - educational but tedious. But when I recall my all-time favourites in fiction, they seem to involve the fantastical distortion of real history.

In film - Highlander. In television - Edmund Blackadder. In books - Dirk Gently.

On reflection, each features someone who is basically an alien, but in time not in space. On more reflection, that's surely just coincidence...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wasted Talents

When comparing the composition of blog sites to basic chemistry, I suggested that the ideal would be something like DNA - a limited number of threads, perhaps just two, but intrinsically linked together and able to produce the most complex developments from the most basic patterns.

One example of this was the wholy book. It has sold thousands of copies, it should have sold billions.

But I have just been reminded of a second example. One that, like this blog, only a handful of people will have read. I refer to the epic that was Wasted. A terse detective story in the style of Philip Marlowe, and yet also somehow a dense historical allusion in the style of Christopher Marlowe. Hidden crossword clues and cipher codes. Online components tied in with real books and papers. Virtual worlds and real treasures. A work of genius.

It was an example of an armchair treasure hunt organised annually by employees of a large IT service provider. In their spare time. If only they made systems that good.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dragons Disgrace

I might be considered slightly entrepreneurial in two possible areas: I have original ideas that might be worth something, and I run my own marketing consultancy business. However those two areas are not well integrated.

Related to that subject is one reality show that I confess to watching. The BBC's Dragons' Den sees budding entrepreneurs pitch their ideas in front of five millionaires. What should happen is that either the idea is laughed out of court or the "dragons" compete for a stake in the promising business.

Sometimes we get a decent match, the inventor with the good idea gets the assistance and buy-in of a successful businessman who has the contacts, incentive and cash injection to grow the startup company. But what we see more often is that the dragons are looking for free money - they will only commit if the startup already has the patents, the contracts, the business plan that will guarantee a return. Of course that's what any investor would choose, but to me that is not the spirit of the programme.

However the very best ideas do not see just one or two dragons interested, all five of them can see obvious loot and an obvious victim in front of them. So instead of competing for investment, they collude. They abuse their monopoly position and come to an agreement that gives all of them the maximum (equal) stake - which is obviously the one that leaves the victim with the minimum stake. You could argue that the victim has some choice, he could walk away with no deal at all, but the reason he is in there is because he is to some extent desperate for cash, and the whole environment is stacked with five against one.

Like buyers in the open market, the dragons should be competing against each other for the best deal. We did see this in some of the earlier programmes. But like all bastard cartels, they have learned that it is better to collude than to compete.

I don't blame the dragons in the sense that is normal profit-maximising behaviour. But ethically it is disgraceful. That is why we have anti-monopoly laws in the world outside the den, and the BBC producers need to change the rules (for example to allow a maximum of two investors per product) to bash the bullies and stop the sleaze.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Roger Ramjet's proton pills and other dodgy potions

The last post was a simple demonstration of how great the English language sounds when spoken in iambic heptameter. Strange that it was football that tied it all together.

But sport is not the only medicine. Remember a recent post where apart from a laugh at homeopathy, I specifically linked to the wonderdrug called Paracetamoxyfrusebendroneomycin

Bringing in a totally different subject, the final conclusion of a recent scientific study about the effectiveness of face creams was that pricey skin creams don't do much more than cheaper drug store brands. They moisturize. ... If you're happy to smear lard on your face, that would work just as well.

In other words:
cheap old lard is just as good as pricey skincare lotions

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Super Sundays Are Holistic ...

According to Sky Sports, today was "Grand Slam Super Sunday" as all four top teams played each other. There was a big game in Scotland too - the mighty Glasgow Celtic Football Club were humbled 3-2 by little Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

A few years ago, a similar result spurred the classic headline:

Super Caley go ballistic, Celtic are atrocious

Today my local Premiership club is West Ham United. I remember that at the time of the Scottish headline the Hammers had a couple of talented young midfield players who seemed to be destined for glory. They haven't quite lived up to their promise, but tying it all back to the start of this post, today these two guys play for the big four. Back then I was just waiting for one of them to get three goals, the headline was waiting in my head:

Super Carrick scores a hat-trick Cole is so precocious.

I could have used an easier variant any time, methinks still better than most tabloid headlines...

Super Cole he is fantastic Carrick is precocious.

Unfortunately some kids never quite live up to that early potential...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Like Pinocchio

When departing from the serious topics of work and science, I hope this blog tries to cover both high and low culture. From fairly deep books about existential philosophy and classic middle English literature through football and cricket and rock music and beyond. But today I will plumb the deepest darkest depths.

I do not watch X Factor. Honestly. I don't even read the publications that are constantly promoting it. But while I sit reading other stuff or tapping away at this computer, my wife watches it. So I heard today's final result.

So I knew that in the three-way final was a stereotypical young pop singer, a cheesy brother-sister duo and a ballsy Welsh balladeeer who was generally acknowledged to be the one with the biggest future. The winner is contractually obliged to take up the "million dollar contract". His career is going to be micro-managed, every step requiring the prior approval of Simon Cowell. I thought that the young Scottish singer and the cheesy pop duo needed that win.

But for anyone with talent and confidence and ambition, the best thing is to get to the final but not win. You get all the exposure but none of the strings.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Swings and Systems

It is not easy to find a stable solution. In the efforts to get things right, many processes swing too far one way then the other. In the theoretical world of control theory from college days, there are mathematical equations for this, and consequently the optimal solutions can be calculated. In the real world, we tend to swing well past the ideal point before we realise that we have passed it.

When choosing the England football manager after the honest long-ball bluntness of Graham Taylor, we got the urbane christmas trees of Terry Venables. After the enthusing Kevin Keegan, we got the suave Sven Goran Ericsson. After the smooth Swede, back to anyone English, even if under-qualified. Then back to experienced foreigner.

It is the same when developing any major new projects. Wherever you start, you will not spiral in towards perfection, instead you will oscillate. If you start with an outdated homegrown development that is becoming too complex, you will buy in a simple standard product. When that product becomes too inflexible for business requirements, then you will go back to big global development. When the global solution becomes too remote for individual market needs, then you will develop something local. When you have too many locally developed solutions, then you will go back to a central universal product.

Those principles apply everywhere. Not because any of the global corporations where I have worked have taken fundamentally wrong decisions, but because there is an inevitable evolution of business requirement and technological capability.

Wait long enough, your best decision will look odd enough.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Spin

Not tabloid lies, a different type of spin.

The Sri Lankan offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan just claimed the world record number of test wickets from the legendary Shane Warne.

Unfortunately, there have been some in the media, including some well-known ex-cricketers, who have sounded less than gracious. There is continual insinuation about his action, that he should be banned for throwing rather than bowling. I accept that he is a freak of nature, but a rubber-wristed double-jointed glorious freak whose action has been certified by the ICC and who lights up the ground.

However, unless we are talking about English wicketkeepers, there is always a catch. The number of test wickets is not a measure that is proportional to greatness. Unlike the number of runs scored, taking wickets is a zero-sum game. If you take more wickets, then your bowling colleagues have probably taken less.

Most of you are paid to work in corporations not in sporting teams. But I suggest you support a team that is stronger in batting than in bowling.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Shakespeare Consultantspeak

This blog evaluates the fundamental interconnectness of everything. I search for links. Between statistics and psychology. Between evolution and economics. Between modern management consultancy and classic English literature.

A recent scientific article pointed out William Shakespeare's habit of using nouns to perform other functions and examined the listener responses to these phrases.

Put academically: While the Shakespearian functional shift was semantically integrated with ease, it triggered a syntactic re-evaluation process likely to raise attention and give more weight to the sentence as a whole.

Put simply: the academics showed that using nouns in this unusual way actually helped with recognition and understanding.

And then I thought - that is exactly what management consultants are always criticised for doing. By the likes of John Humphrys. By those who moan to the BBC about how the word "impact" should forever be a thing not an action.

So while I agree that grammar sets rules, I may decline to follow them.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Prayer for the Living

Nothing original today. It seems that my thoughts have already been divinely revealed to the meme machine:

Let us take responsibility for our own actions, inactions, strengths and frailties and not project them onto ghosts, spirits, stars, portents and gods unseen.

Let us have the courage to accept that one person's faith is another person's bloody-minded pig-headed refusal to accept the obvious.

Let us have the courage to accept that the person at the front of all crowds, including this one, doesn't know all the answers.

Let us have the wisdom to accept that if our ancestors had fared differently in wars our communities would be holding different absurdities up as sacred truths, and the willingness to accept those absurdities would be seen as the badge of social trustworthiness or even the right to be allowed to draw breath.

Let us accept that the difference between a prophet and a madman is not what they say but whether the crowd accepts the story and tells their children to believe it.

Let us have the courage to accept that wanting to believe in something with every fibre of our being does not and cannot make it true.

Truth needs no help, no believers, no bowed heads and no amens.

But it does need thanks to Martin Willett.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Retain or conquer

If we keep a record of the person who makes a sale, then as a retailer it should not be very difficult to determine a "conquest" rate. Now of course all wise marketers must know exactly how this is calculated, that is how they can confidently make blanket statements such as "Acquiring a customer costs 5 to 10 times more than retaining one".

Obviously client confidentiality rules so I will never publish any practically used rules here, let alone any actual results. However, there are general issues that are known to everybody in the marketing world. So let us assume that we are selling sofas from manufacturer X.

We could define a sofa conquest as a sale to someone who has never bought one from X before. But what if they have earlier bought armchairs from X. Footstools? Table lamps? OK, so we could record as conquest anyone with any relationship with X.

Some buyers collect sofas then sell them on, so at any time they have a few extra in the warehouse, how would we treat them differently to people who always dispose of a sofa before picking up the new one?

Equally, there are people who regularly buy from X, but who also buy from Y and Z, maybe more often. However they are still loyal to X aren't they?

And it gets more interesting if, whenever we record a sofa sale, we keep a separate record of the person choosing the sofa, the name on the credit card, the person who will be signing for delivery … so which of these people do we include when determining conquest rates? Do we have separate rates for all of the different permutations?

Perhaps it would help if the government kept a record of everybody buying a sofa. Then all we would need to do is to get hold of the government data and match up our purchase records with government records. So surely ID cards will solve everything…

Sunday, December 09, 2007

666 is a good score

Some numerology. According to the legendary QI, Revelation 13:18 may refer to a slightly different number.

Various estimates quoted ranged from 216 to 616 to 665, the neighbour of the beast.

Having won the 20-20 World Cup, in which Yuvraj Singh scored 6 6's in an over, India are currently playing a test series against Pakistan. They are playing splendidly. Just look at the first innings scores. In the first test match, which they won comfortably, the score was 276. That looks a bit like 216. In the next , they scored 616. And today they scored 626.

Going up at 10 per match, by the time of the deciding match against Australia, I predict a first innings score of 666. That'll show 'em.

Although what's more likely is that, like England, we'll get soundly thrashed there.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


For reasons that I explained earlier, primarily simplicity and speed, there are very few pictures on this site. In particular, there is no picture of me.

One day, more than twenty years ago, my school organised a trek to Jumnotiri. At an altitude of perhaps 3000m we passed through a small village. Using that word is being generous, it was a couple of houses and a chai shop. But the place had a basic little signpost, and I had a basic little camera …

Compared to London or New York or Delhi or Grantham or Cheam or virtually anywhere you have heard of, Rana is very small and insignificant. Few people know that Rana exists, even fewer know where to find it. Only a few people ever visit. Rana is fairly clean and unpolluted. Rana is close to the source of famous Hindu springs. Some consider the area to have a deep spiritual aura. Some consider it to be dangerous.

In summary, Rana is not well known, there is not much there, but the views from there can be amazing :)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Does a bee care?

As I briefly mentioned the United States yesterday, another quick word about US politics before the moralising gets too demoralising. Most of it is sickening. But one statement was almost funny. "It's scientifically impossible for the bumblebee to fly ... But the bumblebee, being unaware of these scientific facts, flies anyway."

Obviously it is not scientifically impossible, but equally obviously, nobody ever claimed that it was.

It would be easy to dismiss this proposition as a harmless urban myth, except that such statements are deliberately used by those who delight in defeatism, those who want to retreat from evidence-based development into a mythical fairytale bronze age theocracy.

Oh well. According to another idiot, Freedom Requires Religion, so I'd better convert to Islam, that's a religion, so that will increase my freedom.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Lethal Weapons

Another gunman has gone on the rampage in the US. Another renewed call from some quarters to tighten gun laws.

I don't write here to expound my general political leanings. I do sometimes write here to make rarely heard (but obvious) political points.

So I suggest that these mass shootings do not really encourage more gun control. In fact I have some sympathy with the right wing NRA view that having "everybody" armed might have restricted the number killed yesterday from eight to perhaps four.

But it is madness to relax gun control. Not because of these isolated major news stories, but because of the intrinsic variability of human behaviour. There are always people who react badly to little incidents. From cutting them up in traffic, to looking at their girlfriends, to just not showing enough "respect", some lunatics react unpredictably and violently. Imagine if more of them were allowed to have guns.

So the thing that warrants even tougher control is that slow drip of unnecessary murders in areas where everybody has a gun, not these rare major incidents.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Hannibal Lecture

I maintain that this blog is holistic - however, all roads lead to roam. So prompted by a recent comment about animal rights, this note is going to return to the theme started in the horrific accident.

Obviously I am not a cannibal. In fact, I share with the rest of humanity an instinctive, almost inexplicable, disgust at the very idea.

However, back to other animals, I said before that we should be perfectly happy to eat animal protein if it were harvested and eaten safely. This could basically be like farming animal cells instead of farming plant cells. But if we were growing cells that were unconnected to any nervous system, let alone to any seat of consciousness, then would there be any moral issue if the DNA in those cells had been derived from humans instead of from sheep?

I think that only religious fundamentalists and those who want a regression to a hunter-gatherer society should answer yes to that.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Common Sense Rules

In complete disregard to rule number 6, time for a current benchmark score. The links are often to the "exceptions that prove the rules".

1. Frequency. 9/10. Well actually it's 146 out of 159, but marks out of ten.

2. Topicality. 6/10. I still think the majority of posts start from new events, but only just. This is relatively a weak area.

3. Length. 8/10. Including labels and titles, so far we have 29168 words in 146 posts, average less than 200 words per day. As even the shortest post is about 80 words, that's pretty consistent.

4. Usability. 9/10. I think this fails where you a forced to follow a link to get the main point of the note. But that has only happened a couple of times.

5. Multimedia. 9/10. I've resisted. If you want music and video, then watch MTV.

6. Common Theme. 8/10. Well a few personal diversions, but generally I think it's been consistent and holistic.

7. Cohesiveness. 8/10. Actually, I've probably gone too far with the internal links. It's become a web not a path.

8. No Advertising. 9/10. I lost a mark for the intrinsic self-promotion. But no other compromises.

9. No Pictures. 8/10. Perhaps this rule should be broken more often. I'm pleased with those that have been inserted, they were small and monochrome, but original drawings take a lot of time.

10. Title. 7/10. We need more silly puns. But I guess that most people don't get them anyway.

That's 81%. I'd love to know if there is any blog anywhere on the planet that would score higher. But then again, I did make up the rules :)

Monday, December 03, 2007


No surprise, the teacher apologised. She did a number two. Fair enough. I'd be scared of causing offence too - if I lived in a place with lunatic nutters who think that their own religion is so pathetic that it can't take any criticism or mockery. Oh hell, I do live somewhere like that.

Because I am not so offended by the fundamentalist madmen who are orchestrating demonstrations in poverty-stricken Sudan, I'd expect nothing less of them. I am more offended by those in the west who say that the reason that she should be pardoned is because it was the children who named the bear, not her. Implication - it would be ok to imprison/lash/execute her if it had been her own decision.

At least we don't have blasphemy laws in the UK, we can mock bronze age superstitions without fear of reprisal here? Or maybe not.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A spire

Yesterday we saw a summary of the blogosphere. Today, the top ten ways that we try to fit within it.

1. Frequency. One post per day, no more, no less.
2. Topicality. The stimulus should have happened within the last 24 hours.
3. Length. About 100-200 words. That's only 3-4 paragraphs of 3-4 lines each.
4. Usability. The whole thing should be able to be skimmed through in a few seconds or analysed carefully for subtexts. Every link should be optional, not an integral part of the post.
5. Multimedia. Those files are big and slow to load. Worse, it tends to run at its own speed, it is harder to skim through or linger over.
6. Subject. There should be a developing theme, not just a random personal opinion.
7. Cohesiveness. Although independent in itself, each post should connect with others in the blog.
8. Advertising. No.
9. Pictures. As with words, should be original, and the minimum needed to get the point across. A small monochrome bitmap will often perform better than a large cluttered one.
10. Title. Include a stupid unnecessary pun.

OK, number 10 was a joke. And of course these are common sense rules, not yours.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Simple Chemistry for blogs

There hasn't been a picture for a while. What there has been is an attempted return to the guiding principles developed at the dawn of blogtime - simplicity, speed, conciseness. But I said recently that I delight in diversity...

... although I just drew this picture, everyone should remember these images from basic school science classes. So let us visualise each blog post as an atom.

A is for Air. These are the random blogs that I may like to read but only if I like the blogger. There are all sorts of subjects mixed together, almost nothing connecting them.

B is for Boron (or any other metal, but that one seems appropriate). This would be a very structured homologous blog. All posts basically cover the same subject area.

C is for Common Sense. Actually it is for any blog like this with lots of very long threads, all twisting and merging and diverging. Those that have more internal cross-links tend to have greater structural strength. This one is definitely less like Polythene and more like Nylon.

D is for DNA. The ideal. Only a couple of threads, but they match together almost perfectly. And the replicating pattern seems to take on a life of its own. See, I told you this blog was holistic :)