Spaghetti banjo

Sometimes you just want to introduce a single link with something clever.

Sometimes it gets terribly out of hand.

* * *

In the intracranial void, two voices echo.

The first: “So. Any ideas for a blog post?”

The second: “No.”

1: “Hey, what if I waxed eloquent and impassionate —”

2: “You mean got all polysyllabic and huffy?”

1: “Yup. Namely about the fact that some people call blog posts ‘blogs’ — like, ‘I don’t know if this blog makes any sense’, or ‘I wrote this blog in a great hurry’. That’s maddening. Imprecise. Unaesthetic.”

2: “Hah.”

1: “I mean, a blog is a collection of (blog) posts. To call a blog a collection of blogs just invites confusions and paradoxes of set-theoretical magnitude!”

2: “Well, you certainly have the steam for it.”

1: “Not to mention the whole blogging terminology… ‘blog’ still sounds like a cat yurking something liquid onto the carpet. Or the sound effect of plucking a banjo whose strings are made of spaghetti!”

2: “The sound effect of what now?”

1: “Sounds effects are a complicated thing, you know. They go a lot beyond the ‘POW’ and ‘KABONG’ of Batman serials. You know that Rumiko Takahashi invented a sound effect for a public bath — a sound effect that means, ‘this is a public bathhouse, a sento‘?”

2: “No?”

1: “It’s ka-ponnn.”

2: “Sure?”

(Half an hour passes with increasingly despondent clicking, and increasingly loud snickering.)

1: “Used to be sure; now I’m not sure I’m sure. Damn the internet. And there’s a sound effect for silence.”

2: “What?”

1: “Sure. It’s shii—n.”

2: “That makes no sense at all.”

1: “But on blogging terminology: I blog; that is, write blog posts on my blog, which is a part of the blogosphere —”

2: “Or the Blogohedron.”

1: “Yes. And occasionally I observe cases where someone has turned on the Large Blogohedron Collider. Like PZ Myers and his ilk versus the Cretinists and their stooges.”

2: “I believe you meant to say ‘the Creationists’.”

1: “You are wrong. Now, if you think ‘blogosphere’ is analogous to ‘biosphere’ —”

2: “Or a successor. The blogosphere is a proto-noosphere.”

1: “What now?”

2: “Geosphere, biosphere, noosphere. Spheres of inanimate, animate and thinking things.”

1: “Wait a minute… you’re just reading that off Wikipedia! You don’t know squat about this here noothingie, you’re just using the word because you think it sounds cute!”

2: “Uh, yeah. You got a problem with cute?”

1: “Now listen. Our biosphere has its extremophiles — those volcanic vent bacteria, cacti and Swedes —”

2: “Wait, what? How come Swedes are extremophiles?”

1: “Gotta be an extreme environment, having so many Swedes around. I could never survive there.”

2: “Is this the festering xenophobia thingy or the playful neighbory ribbing thingy?”

1: “You decide. Anyway, what are the extremophiles of the blogosphere?”

2: “You’re trying to make me think of some Rule 34 stuff, aren’t you? Well, you’re not going to — oh god.”

1: “Ha ha.”

2: “I did not want to think of this again! Take it away!”

1: “I love flashbacks. Just Photoshop, a picture of Mother Teresa, and a sudden pop-up, and thanks to the funny ways of human recall, you’ll have randomly occurring fun for weeks.”

2: “Why can’t I forget?”

1: “Not quite as fun as the idea of taking some 3D shooter game and modding it to include the likenesses of every American Congressperson as enemies. Or would that cross the line from whimsy to Top News Daily Controversy Cancer of Society It’s the Kids Stupid… or would you need a level modelled after the Capitol for that? I’ve never understood why Tom Clancy writing the decapitation of the whole American government is okay fiction, but doing a game of the same might be controversial. Would it be the real people thing? They’re public people, and you’re harming just pixels. Pixels ain’t got no humanity. And there’s dislike but hardly intimations of murder in burning an effigy of someone. And it would be so satisfying after hearing some of these people talk, though I’m not a violent man.”

2: “Gaah no. You dastardly villain. What sick, depraved, ill-considered, unholy things have you been blabbing about while your better half was indisposed, thinking of… of…”

1: “And there he goes again.”

2: “Noooo! The wrinkles! The wrinkles!”

1: “As I was saying: like the whole Harris levels legend thing — I wouldn’t care even if it was true. As if the people who take their frustrations out on a punching bag aren’t thinking of anything. The important thing is you get rid of your aggressions without brooding on them, and without resorting to real violence.”

2: “Eyogh. You’re channeling Gilmore of Satan again, aren’t you? And resuming my words, extremophiles aren’t defined by the extremity of their content, but rather by the harshness of their environment. Are there harsh internet environs?”

1: “Iran? And anyway harsh to whom? Twitter and Flickr are pretty harshly limiting environs: 140 characters only, or pictures only. Blog hosts limit the ‘attachments’ you can include; other hosts limit the traffic you can receive. And the rampaging beast of Pharyngulation or BoingBoinging (farking, slashdotting, and so on) crashes a server now and then. Situations with only sporadic net access make for entirely different adaptations from those that twitter their every bowel movement. Controversial subjects make anonymity and comment moderation good adaptations for survival, though not necessarily popularity. Institutional homepages have content-limiting pressures that usually disallow Time Cube analogues — as a boundary point, witness the Behe disclaimer. Copyright concerns and legislative hysteria can differentiate parts of the Net by nationality; the more lax parts are freer, free to the point of indifference (good) and actual fostering of criminal greed (bad); witness the Russian parts’ sometime reputation as a thief’s paradise of piracy for fun and profit — and elsewhere the bastard pinhead autocrats like those in China, Iran and Australia that can turn their slices of heaven into a wet dream of false safety over real freedom. (Though I feel bad for all the illegitimate children and non-cephalic persons of the world, comparing them to the idiot tyrant builders of the Great Firewalls and similar affronts to human dignity.) And —”

2: “Now stop before you start calling specific conservative politicians hateful slobbering baboon populist troglodytes, or something similarly redundant and hurtful in its bald accuracy. Also stop before your rant goes on for so long that I start to talk like you. Look, you just wanted a subject for a post, and now you’re pontificating about the similarities of evolutionary biology and internet sociology, both subjects you know diddly-squat about. Just link at something, erm, ‘lulzy’, and be done with it.”

1: “Huh? You can’t blog just by putting in a link to FMyLife and saying that’s a post, can you?”

2: “So you’d rather have a thousand words of idiotic self-indulgent shallow metadialogue crap of your good-free and bad-asshat halves talking, and then link to FMyLife? What kind of a moron trainwreck of a weasel travesty would that be?”

1: “Depends on whether I’d get to be the bad half.”

2: “Agh, I’m the bad half. You’re the worse one. And now a collapse into a self-referential singularity of Hofstadterian dimensions, presto!

Also: a link to FMyLife. Go and amuse yourself; I’ve already amused myself more than enough.

One Response to “Spaghetti banjo”

  1. Bob O'H Says:

    One example of blogospheric extremophiles are the people who continue to comment in favour of evolution at Uncommon Descent.

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