Intelligent Life-Forms in the Blogosphere – Again!

This post might baffle readers that come here for: science / physics / book reviews / corporate world dark satire / search term poetry / navel-gazing / self-destruction … (and the other genres I have forgotten).

However, I’d argue that this post covers all of those – in a subtle way.

My blog has a long tradition of dealing with blogging award nominations in a very very weird way. Still exhausted from our mad hatter’s tea party of a nomination (I also call it award crowd-sourcing) I had decided to found an award myself. Rules related to it should be bullet-proof, unassailable for logicians and corporate policy nitpickers. Above all, they should prevent exponential inflation.

Now is the time to bestow it upon a fellow blogger victim again!

I herewith nominate for the ILFB award – Intelligent Life-Forms in the Blogosphere:

Judy blogging at Raising the Curtain.

This is the description and the rules. Standards aficionados MAY recognize the format and SHOULD smile now.

The ILFB Award (Intelligent Life-Forms in the Blogosphere) rewards bloggers who are able to cover diverse subjects in a thoughtful and entertaining way. There are no other constraints such as a maximum number of followers.

  1. You are bestowed upon this award no matter what you do. You MAY deny passing on the award, the award will die out – as many life-forms did. You SHOULD nominate at least one blogger, you MAY nominate two bloggers. There is no deadline – you MAY wait for years if you pass on the award, but you MUST NOT nominate somebody if you haven’t been nominated. The founder of the award is exempt from the latter.
  2. You MAY nominate the blogger who has nominated you – the award MAY bounce back and forth between two bloggers forever. However, you MUST change the reason for the nomination every time.
  3. You MUST explain in more than one full sentence why you have nominated the nominee. You SHOULD reward bloggers who are able to write about at least two seemingly diverse subjects.
  4. You SHOULD reblog or pingback one of the nominee’s posts that has been published within the past year. The linked post SHOULD reflect key characteristics of the nominated blog.
  5. You MUST display the award’s logo, and you MAY change the title of the award as well as the logo. They would mutate anyway.
  6. If you find any inconsistency or loophole you SHOULD amend these rules to fix them.
  7. If the award title results in copyright infringements or any violation of any rights you MAY modify it. You MUST NOT hold the award’s founder liable.
  8. You MAY modify and amend rules 1.-7. to your liking as long as the changes
    – reflect your being an intelligent life-form in the blogosphere
    – are in line with the Prime Directive of this award – item no.0.
  9. Include this set of rules 0.-9. in your nomination speech post.

Compliance with the three MUST conditions as stated in 1., 2., and 5. will be checked by the founder of this award using his/her infamous googling skills at random. Any violation will be prosecuted and punished by a making the guilty party subject to a satirical blog post. Any blogger who had once been bestowed the award and who has proved to be compliant with the rules is entitled and encouraged to do the same (Google for non-compliant nominees and ridicule them)

This is the logo.

ILFB-Award-Intelligent-Life-Forms-in-the Blogosphere

As an homage to both Douglas Adams and Douglas Coupland I describe it as: Intelligent Life-Forms in the Blogosphere. The intelligent black life-form in his/her black ship is exploring a new blue world while the innocuous, white blogosphere is rising in the background. Nominees MAY omit that description but SHOULD add an interpretation of their own. (Image credit: The spaceship is from a black-and-white Microsoft Office Clipart – I hope this does not put anybody off. I added the blogosphere and the colors)

I think it is more than obvious why Judy is an intelligent life-form in the blogosphere. But in order to comply with my own rules I herewith state:

Judy writes about Life, the Universe and Everything so it is very easy to find posts on diverse subjects. She mulls about existential deep questions of life – see here Existential Guide to What I Am Doing Here – as wells as tracks down the illogicity of corporate animals’ behaviours – see her analysis of e-mail politics: Stop Using The “CC” As A Weapon.

Her writing shows a qualities that I admire most, especially when combined with sharp analysis – self-irony and humor.

But of course I have decided on that nomination intuitively. Off-the-records I tell you:

Judy has been the first person who has ever dared to comment on my blog. That point of time was several months after the blog went public, so commenting must have felt like entering an eerie ghost ship.

I also have a strong gut feeling that her professional self MAY appreciate the legal lingo of the rules. (On proof-reading I misread now: lethal lingo)

This post is also a subversive attempt of mine to deal with her – still ‘open’ – nomination of myself. So, thanks again, Judy!

And finally: Judy is from Australia, that means she is my blogging antipode, we are separated by 12 time zones and our countries are linguistically entangled by the Austrian-Australian confusion.

We should try to make an earth sandwich! (I did not check co-ordinates – hopefully I will be forced to travel to the Canary Islands.)

The BLAHS #4–Geek of the Year

Earthlings, bow to me. I am famous. The Elkement has been bestowed upon the most prestigious blog award in the universe – non-propagate-able, handed out exclusively by the founder: The BLAHS – BLog Awards Handed out by Sackler. Yes, this is THE Mark Sackler – serial innovator in Search Term Haiku Art and discerning commenter on The Ridiculous and The Sublime. EDIT: Remove [s] from [https] in the links to Mark’s blog to get rid of the false security warnings. See my comment on this alleged bug below.

The Millennium Conjectures™

“Beware of geeks bearing formulas.”–Warren Buffett

I know what you’re thinking.   Why don’t I give the Geek of the Year BLAHS to myself?   Short answer:  I almost won an award like that in my youth, but lost out to the guy in the picture above.   It was no fair really;  I look far cooler in a leopard skin toga than he does.  Anyway, I am only half geek.  In my ancient past I was both a sportscaster and a classical music radio announcer.  How is that for a cognitive dissonance?

Jokes aside, let’s get down to the serious satire.  It’s time to give out another BLAHS (BLog Awards Handed out by Sackler).   A quick review of the rules is in order:

  1. Unlike the various chain-letters going around that masquerade as awards, this one is given out only one at a time–by me.
  2. The only thing the winner has to…

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Kicking off the ILFB Award: Intelligent Life-Forms in the Blogosphere

As announced in one of my recent off-the-wall posts I have been pondering about founding an award of my own. I am on a mission this week – now I need to get it done!

My goals are as follows:

  • Create rules that are self-consistent, loophole-free, but nonetheless rather simple to describe and to follow.
  • Don’t try to control something that will get out of hand anyway, such as the mutation of blog award logos. Since I am not exactly a graphic designer or other visual arts genius I would be more than happy if the logo I have created would evolve into something better.
  • Don’t put unnecessary pressure on the nominees to come up with thousand facts about themselves and nominate hundreds of other blogs. This just decreases the quality of the replies and the nominations. Exponential inflation of nominations should be avoided.
  • We don’t want to end up with questions like “What is favorite color?” and facts about me such as “I like posting cute cat videos on #caturday”, don’t we?
  • We do not want thoughtful, serious bloggers to deny awards because these are silly chain letters and/or a waste of time

These is the award description and the rules. SHOULD, MAY and MUST are written in capital letters – this is not shouting, this is following conventions used with internet standards.

Actually, I wanted to call it the Unaward (as an allusion to Lewis Carroll’s celebration of the unbirthday), but you already find related awards on the net. Any allusion to 42 and the like has already been seized (or invalidated) by a blogger who called himself an ‘award grinch’ in the comments on my most recent blog nomination party.

——- [description start] ——-

This award is called

ILFB Award: Intelligent Life-Forms in the Blogosphere.

0. It rewards bloggers who are able to cover diverse subjects in a thoughtful and entertaining way. There are no other constraints such as a maximum number of followers.

Rules:

  1. You are bestowed upon this award no matter what you do. You MAY deny passing on the award, the award will die out – as many life-forms did. You SHOULD nominate at least one blogger, you MAY nominate two bloggers. There is no deadline – you MAY wait for years if you pass on the award, but you MUST NOT nominate somebody if you haven’t been nominated. The founder of the award is exempt from the latter.
  2. You MAY nominate the blogger who has nominated you – the award MAY bounce back and forth between two bloggers forever. However, you MUST change the reason for the nomination every time.
  3. You MUST explain in more than one full sentence why you have nominated the nominee. You SHOULD reward bloggers who are able to write about at least two seemingly diverse subjects.
  4. You SHOULD reblog or pingback one of the nominee’s posts that has been published within the past year. The linked post SHOULD reflect key characteristics of the nominated blog.
  5. You MUST display the award’s logo, and you MAY change the title of the award as well as the logo. They would mutate anyway.
  6. If you find any inconsistency or loophole you SHOULD amend these rules to fix them.
  7. If the award title results in copyright infringements or any violation of any rights you MAY modify it. You MUST NOT hold the award’s founder liable.
  8. You MAY modify and amend rules 1.-7. to your liking as long as the changes
    – reflect your being an intelligent life-form in the blogosphere
    – are in line with the Prime Directive of this award – item no.0.
  9. Include this set of rules 0.-9. in your nomination speech post.

Compliance with the three MUST conditions as stated in 1., 2., and 5. will be checked by the founder of this award using his/her infamous googling skills at random. Any violation will be prosecuted and punished by a making the guilty party subject to a satirical blog post. Any blogger who had once been bestowed the award and who has proved to be compliant with the rules is entitled and encouraged to do the same (Google for non-compliant nominees and ridicule them)

——- [description end] ——-

Now I am nominating the first blog ever. Listen, life-forms in the blogosphere:

  1. The initial ILFB Award – Intelligent Life-Forms in the Blogosphere goes to Pairodox Farm. I swear that I did not cross-check / cross-google this award’s acronym before I made this decision. This blog award is not in any way related to or affiliated with the Illinois Farm Bureau – ILFB.org.
  2. Not relevant yet.
  3. Dave from Pairodox Farm is capable of combining the following in his posts:
    a) Artistic photography, and his photos are always linked to stories. Very often these stories are not what you would expect from looking at the photos.
    b) Interesting details on agriculture in general, rural living – sheep breeding and antique farming equipment in particular.
    c) Interdisciplinary posts on the intersection of various sciences – such as mathematics and biology.
    d) So in summary, this blog manages to be entertaining, visually appealing, interesting and geeky at the same time. In particular, it combines the sublime and intellectual with the hands-on and down-to-earth.
  4. My previous post was a reblog of a Pairodox post that showed off 3.a)-d) – especially 3.c) and 3.d)
  5. Here is is. Yes, I am not a designer, I warned you. The icon is from Microsoft Office 2010 cliparts, you I guess we won’t be sued unless you create a business from the award (maybe).

    ILFB-Award-Intelligent-Life-Forms-in-the Blogosphere

    This is the official logo for the ILFB award: Intelligent Life-Forms in the Blogosphere. The intelligent black life-form in his/her black ship is exploring a new blue world while the innocent, white blogosphere is rising in the background.

  6. Not relevant yet
  7. Not relevant yet / I didn’t care.
  8. Not relevant yet / I am not creating a multiverse yet to change my rules in the other instance of the universe.
  9. See above.

Now I would kindly ask for feedback from all those logicians, corporate policy enforcers, internet protocol geeks, chain-letter-award skeptics, and other allegedly intelligent life-forms out there. Is there any loophole left?

Missing Policies for the Mad Tea Party and What to Learn from The Jabberwocky

I am trying to re-gain control over the blog award nomination process, or I pretend to do so. postmoderndonkey had called it a Mad Tea Party of a nomination process – and right he was.

You may accuse me of making this blog the strange attractor of a self-referential loop of weird referrals to itself and to blogs of like-minded subversive elements – and right you are as well.

Sydney Aquarium Mad Hatters Tea Party (7238145586)

Mad Hatters Tea Party as they celebrate it in Sydney today or probably all over the world (Wikimedia). Pardon my ignorance, but I had always figured the Tea Party being related to US politics?

For the first time on this blog, or the first ever, The Subversive El(k)ment has played by the rules when accepting an award. But I am not a role model, obviously, as the report of the Global Blog Award Acceptance Policies Enforcement Task Force Initiative proves in the most shocking way.

  • There are philosophers and writers nominating each other back and forth, breaking the non-tag-back-rule and putting the causal structure spacetime at risk.
  • Some nominees start out promising, applying a paragraph numbering scheme that Wittgenstein might have loved, but they stop at item x with [x < (Items demanded as per award rules)]
  • Others simply say they will ‘add more items later’ – as if this were an option!
  • Or they post their – not even fully compliant – reply to the comments’ section of your well-craft nomination post.
  • And on an on.
  • Until some postmodern writer decides to nominate the whole galaxy and to declare the ellipsis a trophy.
    (I knew what Ellipsis is without googling!)
  • The most subversive blogger was compliant with the rules, but found a loophole in the non-tag-back directive which made this response probably the most subversive.

I do not disclose the identities of the subversive bloggers for confidentiality reasons. I am just adding some random collection of links. Google shuns spammy pages containing too many links, so chances are this post of mine will not be indexed by search engines and your online reputation is not damaged (even more).

Geeky philosopherphilosophical spam poetpoetic broom closetclose to madness or whateverwhatever postmodern meansmeaningful points of view

(If this link does not point to a specific post it might be due to a non-existent acceptance post as the reply has been posted to the nominator’s comments section.)

But all this is not your fault.

It is the lack of policies and processes as we use to say in The Corporate World. The originators of blog awards obviously have no training in quality management and writing Those Important Guidelines. You should have hired overpriced management consultants who would have written five volumes of seemingly great formal content on behalf of you, even if they just cut&pasted half of it from Wikipedia. I am speaking from experience here, but I cannot give you the details, otherwise  I would be Liable and Doomed According to This Agreement On Confidentiality.

What I would expect from a well-written Blog Award Process Specification Protocol:

  1. Define terminology: If you are nominated by somebody nominated by somebody else you have just nominated – is this tag-backing? Or should we call it tag-tag-backing? Tag-backing to the power of two? Or does the strength of the tag-back decay exponentially with the distance from the tagging person (distance as to be defined as the metric in the blogosphere hyper-dimensional vector space).
  2. Define overall goals: There will be inconsistencies in the rules created by inexperienced Junior Consultants. Stipulate that Alignment with the Prime Directive or whatever you call these goals will help to sort these out
  3. Define deadlines: There is no ‘adding items later’! You need to be assigned a task in The Corporate Resource Management Tool, report on your non-progress daily by checking red / amber / green of an iconized traffic light. The status as such does not result in any consequences, but not reporting on it does.
  4. Define responsibilities unambiguously: Even if this (1) counts a tag-backing – are you as the nominee accountable for tracing the chain of nominations back? Back over how many hops? How are you going to document this for future reference (Documentation = proof of this being Someone Else’s Fault).
  5. Define your org chart: Committees, working groups, regular meetings. You need controls! It must not happen that the award logo start mutating – as any change (“change” as to be defined in the Change Management Guidelines) needs to be approved by The Blog Award Corporate Identity Group.

You get the idea! Also the Internet would not work without proper definitions of protocols! These are protocols for machines mainly, but don’t we act like Turing machines on social networks anyway? Do you know if I am human really? (I digress.)

Internet standards are defined in the so-called Request for Comments (RFC), a set of publicly available documents compiled by The Internet Community (This is a technical term!). The RFC 2026 on the standardization process (very meta!) states:

   This memo documents the process used by the Internet community for
   the standardization of protocols and procedures.  It defines the
   stages in the standardization process, the requirements for moving a
   document between stages and the types of documents used during this
   process.  It also addresses the intellectual property rights and
   copyright issues associated with the standards process.

The blogosphere should take a closer look at these noble internet standards, designed for simplicity, clarity, but yet utmost precision and stability in communications. The overall Prime Directive had once been put forward by Jon Postel and it is called the Robustness Principle:

Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send.

The standardisation process does not need to be as tedious as it sounds. In contrast to management consultants, internet engineers are subversive. If any management consultant has ever followed this blog, he/she might unfollow now – but as a disclaimer I’d like to add: My job description was once close to ‘management consulting’, so I speak – as usual! – from experience.

And they managed to create what I call the spam poetry equivalent of standards such as the 

Hyper Text Coffee Pot Control Protocol (HTCPCP/1.0) defined in RFC 2324:

...
   There is coffee all over the world. Increasingly, in a world in which
   computing is ubiquitous, the computists want to make coffee. Coffee
   brewing is an art, but the distributed intelligence of the web-
   connected world transcends art.  Thus, there is a strong, dark, rich
   requirement for a protocol designed espressoly for the brewing of
   coffee. 
...
   The web is world-wide.  HTCPCP is based on HTTP.
   This is because HTTP is everywhere. It could not be so pervasive
   without being good. Therefore, HTTP is good. If you want good coffee,
   HTCPCP needs to be good. To make HTCPCP good, it is good to base
   HTCPCP on HTTP.

And so finally and automagically, we are back to the Mad Tea Party and Lewis Carroll’s creatures:

The ARPAWocky was featured in RFC 527:

                    Twas brillig, and the Protocols
                         Did USER-SERVER in the wabe.
                    All mimsey was the FTP,
                         And the RJE outgrabe,
...

Reviewing the history of the original Jabberwocky poem in Wikipedia again I believe Lewis Carroll would have been a subversive spam poet today:
According to Chesterton and Green and others, the original purpose of “Jabberwocky” was to satirize both pretentious verse and ignorant literary critics. It was designed as verse showing how not to write verse, but eventually became the subject of pedestrian translation or explanation and incorporated into classroom learning.

TheJabberwocky

There is no conclusion! Feel free to start reading at the top again – the structure of this post is an isomorphism to the endless tag-backing loops closing on itself.

But I think it is obvious that I am pondering about founding a new blog award myself, isn’t it?

Liebster Blog Award Nomination for Everyone!

postmoderndonkey has now nominated you all – he nominates all blogs everywhere regardless of orientation, quality or intent for the Liebster award. Spacetime is going to collapse! (I know I am over-using this metaphor.)

postmoderndonkey

Image 

Many thanks to the Elkement blog for nominating Postmoderndonkey into a potentially ubiquitous spam nomination process chasing the illusive Liebster blog award presumably never to be awarded as the nomination acceptance process expands by a factor of eight with each completed acceptance straining the limits of the infinitude of the world wide web. Cutting through the virtual red tape as it were, I hereby nominate all blogs everywhere regardless of orientation, quality or intent for the Liebster award. I have spontaneously created and awarded the Liebster Continuation Trophy [here it is, look carefully-( …)] to Elkement who may choose to award the trophy forward or shelve it to sell as an artifact of her career years from now. For further information on this mad tea party of a nomination process and to accept my nomination of your blog please go to:

https://elkement.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/liebster-blog-award-this-time-i-try-to-respond-in-a-more-normal-way/

Elkement is a chaos/process oriented blogger with brilliant insights into reconciling…

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Liebster Blog Award: This Time I Try to Respond in a More Normal Way

It happened again – I have been bestowed a blog award despite the way I handled my last nomination.

This time I will respond in a different way. I – the Subversive El(k)ement – will adhere to the rules!

Geeks, please bear with me though! I will still cling to my pet theory on blog awards just being a means to the end of starting ridiculous chain letter Ponzi schemes. But I found a loophole in my own theory I am going to exploit.

I am using the standard template although I abhor templates in general (in particular faulty, nearly corrupt MS Winword templates migrated from platform to platform since MS Office 2.0. But I digress <– remember this hook line. You will see it again).

Information to my nominees: The template text is formatted as bold.

What is it?
The Liebster Award is designed to bring recognition to smaller blogs–that is, blogs with 200 or fewer followers.

And this is related to the attack vector as we hackers say, or the loophole: I have discovered many blogs, followed them enthusiastically, and lost them again. Not because I did not follow them any more (I am an ingenious web 2.0 multi-tasker), but because they ran dry and faded away. People simply stop blogging. We need more new blogs with few followers to compensate for that.

Thus the rough estimate on exponential growth, done by myself and by Search Term Haiku Zen Master Mark Sackler (his relevant post is linked in my older article, but I don’t pingpack that for the 100oth time now in fear of suspension of my WP account for pingback Denial-of-Service. I digress.) …

… the estimate on exponential growth incomplete it was. <– This is Yoda speak, I am trying to geek-up this post, compensating for following the rules so strictly.

The reason: We did not factor in a medium blog-die-out rate. We would need to run a numerical computer model to simulate the behavior of the blogosphere in order to analyze how many blogs to nominate for an aware in order to compensate for the self-inflicted termination of others. Ignorance is bliss – therefore I simply nominate as many as required by the rules!

.

The Rules
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog

Thanks a lot Kristen for the nomination – I am really enjoying this! To my readers: Please go visit her blog 🙂 If my authoritative endorsement (remember, I reviewed the world’s first spam poetry book) does not convince you, this is how Kristen describes her blog in her acceptance speech:

“… often I feel my blog is sometimes a teenage-esque angsty diatribe bordering on diary that is only looked at by myself and other angsty people (statistics show that I’m on the first page of google results when you search ‘letter to an ex-boyfriend’) and people from all over the world who google search ’cool photoshopped pictures.’ That one’s fun because I’m apparently linked on some Russian Website for my edited picture of ‘Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima.’ Go figure.”

So Im honored that the author of these sentences picked my blog. And of course I quoted them because I hope for terrific Search Term Poetry.

.

2. Post 11 facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions asked of you, and create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate.

I add both my responses as well as the new questions for my nominees below, after the section 5.

.

3. Nominate 11 blogs you think deserve to be noticed, and leave comments for them letting them know they’ve been chosen.

I have picked 11 blogs that I have followed for a while and that have less than 200 followers (as this blog. More precisely, you had less than 200 when I started compiling the list a few days ago. If your number of followers has inflated since then I expect you to repent in public and return the award).

These are my nominees, in no particular order. Blogs marked with (*) had already been featured on my recent Bloggiversary. Just in case I ran out of original comments and superlatives – check out the previous laudations.

postmoderndonkey – The carnival of instability in language, thought and audience. (*)
Poetry, stories, and other postmodern stuff entangled with a down-to-earth Zenvironmental journey.

From the Broom Closet – Broom closet: a narrow space to store lengthy items. I’ll try and keep my posts to a reasonable size though.
The broom closed is stuffed to the ceiling with sophisticated philosophy and honest, opinionated posts.

Duck? Starfish? but…23 – one rock at a time (*)
The authoritative blog on distant learning before MOOCs have become a hype – and the most beautiful images of Newfoundland.

nebusresearch – Joseph Nebus’s work in progress.
Fine mathematics and history of science. Checkout out Joseph’s Humor blog, too.

carnotcycle – the classical blog on thermodynamics (*)
Original historical papers on thermodynamics expounded in a comprehensible and entertaining way.

I really Just Pretend to Know Stuff – I digress
As weird as it sounds. I am considering to write a Weird Manifesto on Why the World Should Worship Wonderfully Weird Writing – this is my showcase!

Play – Stories and Photos from the Southern Saskachewan Prairie (*)
and basically: The Life, the Universe and Everything, analyzed from 1000 angles: Geeky, literary, philosophical.

weeklybraindump – A quasi-weekly braindump with no particular thematic unity
Education, philosophy, ethics, and again Life, the Universe and Everything. And another denier of chain-letter style blog award propagation 🙂

Many Worlds Theory  – In one universe, this blog is about quantum mechanics. In another universe, it is not. (*)
In the universe the wave function is collapsing onto right now this is a first-class blog on physics. And Matt Damon. Sometimes.
(I plagiarized myself here, sorry.)

The Unemployed Philosopher’s Blog – Just because you’re unemployed, it doesn’t mean that you’re out of work (*)
The geekiest blog on philosophy. Both very entertaining and useful for graduates in the humanities.
(Is this tag-backing? Dan has once nominated me for the Reader Appreciation Award. Is is tagging others bloggers “back in the award chain that bind these bloggers to your blog”?)

Science Mentor – Step-by-step Guide to “Self-Mentoring” for the Science Professional
I wish a blog like this would have been available when I graduated. You should follow her on Twitter as well!

.

4. Display the Liebster Award logo.

OK – here you go! I am linking to Kristen’s image in order to avoid mutation. It looks a bit washed out already, doesn’t it?

An image search for Liebster Award brings up a lot of images that do not really resemble this one.

Liebster Award

The linguistically inclined among you might be interested in the fact that liebster in German means dearest. Or was this the whole point of the name and you all knew this, and I am looking like a fool now? Googling for “liebster dearest award” seems to corroborate that hypothesis. Did it spread from Germany to the whole world?

Or was Ms. Liebster a Victorian poet perhaps and the award started out by circulating steampunk-style silver-and-brass-plates?

5. No tag-backs.

Looking even more like a fool –  I was not able to find out exactly what tag-backs are. No, really!!

2.a 11 Things About Me

1. I don’t know what tag-backs are.

2. Nevertheless, I pretend to be geeky.

3. I have an old-school BlackBerry-style (even worse: Windows Mobile BlackBerry style smartphone) as I don’t like touch screens.

4. Still I pretend to be geeky. (I said that already, right? Is this cheating? So I better add:) I like to make and bend the rules as a go – whatever rules are concerned.

5. I am probably applying or using tag-backs without being aware of it.

6. I don’t kill or repel rodents (on purpose). This was my utmost trauma.

7. So I plugged off the microwave for some days after that has happened. After several days I did not care any more about rodents.

8. I am not mowing the lawn. I am scything it. And it is not a lawn.

9. I have written a single serious poem in my life. In German. It is published on one of my weird websites. I don’t add a link – my attempts to bait followers should not be that obvious.

10. Thinking once more, I’d like to state: I have published a single so-called serious poem to one of my German websites, but it might actually just be one of my geeky self-ironic attempts to imitate so-called poetry.

11.When asked to provide some facts about myself I do this in a very special way.

2.b My responses to Kristen’s Questions for the Nominees:

1. Why did you start blogging?
In order to answer question 2.b.1.

2. What’s something you could write about, in your opinion, better than many other people?
Spam Poetry and Search Term Poetry of course. Being a poet and a historian / philosopher of SaST poetry I need to bow to my masters in both disciplines – the Search Term Zen Master quoted above and Monty Python of Spam Poetry. I better write *about* SaST poetry. (SAST is South African Standand Time – a nice coincidence.)

3. What’s been your hardest challenge thus far?
Reducing my consumption in coffee. Now it’s my turn to repent as I announced it publicly. But I need to write a master thesis and I have to blog a lot. Simply not possible without psychotropic drugs.

4. What is your dream job?
Scientific consultant for Hollywood science fiction movies. But I learned from Sean Carroll’s book The Particle at the End of the Universe that he did exactly that – so I am most likely not qualified.

5. What was a big decision you had to make, and would you choose something else knowing what you know now?
Succumbing to the dark side of the force. No, I would not change a thing – the dark force rules!

6. Who is your greatest inspiration?
Douglas Adams. Seriously – I mean it.

7. Who is your favorite writer or artist?
Douglas Adams. Seriously – I mean it.

8. What is your favorite song (or favorite song lyrics)?
It’s Slinky, It’s Slinky! For fun it’s the best of the toys

9. If you could intern anywhere or with anyone in the world, who would it be with?
The NSA.

10. What’s one of your favorite memories?
It’s in the – very near – future (Time travel is OK, isn’t it?): Tomorrow, Labour Day, 08:00 AM when I will be waked up by the local brass music band.

11. If there was one thing about politics you wish everyone would agree upon, what would it be and why?
Don’t panic.” Applies in particular to financial crises, bank runs – and the like. Issues that would not happen if nobody panicked.

2.c My Questions to the My Nominees:

Please correct my typos and other grammars without making me aware of them. If possible, hack my WP blog and correct them here as well.

1. (How) would you try to circumvent the rules set forth by the unknown founder of a blog award with an awkward pseudo-German name?

2. If you could re-design the rules for this award, what would you do?

3. What were the criteria for your choice of your WordPress blogging theme?

4. What is your favorite quote about science? (You can interpret science in a broad sense.)

5. If you need to compile lists of funny questions and answers, and you run out of quirky ideas – what would you do?

6. What is your favorite movie or story on time-travelling?

7. Have you ever been called a nerd or geek or have you called others nerds or geeks? Do you believe ‘nerd’ or ‘geek’ is a compliment or rather the opposite?

8. Have you ever written a book or do you plan to write one? If yes, what would it be about? In case, this is too personal: What would your book NOT be about?

9. Do you know what a tag-back is (without asking anybody and without using that advanced type of googling Elkement incapable of).

10. Did you really read this post word by word down to this line? (You may lie.)

11. A very personal question you do not need to answer: How much coffee / tea do you drink per day and does blogging or other writing has any impact on it?

Chinese Wall

This was The Great Wall of Text, wasn’t it? (Chinese Wall, Wikimedia)

How to Avoid Exponential Inflation or How to Respond Appropriately to an Award Nomination

I have been nominated for an award by a true philosopher despite the cartoon I have posted recently. More precisely, I have been nominated for the Reader Appreciation Award by Daniel who runs The Unemployed Philosopher’s Blog!

The award comes with some really tough conditions, I try to rise to the challenge:

(Italics: Questions designed by the unknown originator)

1) Thank the blogger who nominated you and share a link to that blog.

That’s easy. Thanks Daniel – I feel flattered to be nominated by someone who is a professional in deep thinking and whose blog is really highly recommended reading. Dan manages to link philosophy – a so-called ancient academic discipline – to the workplace and basically to real life, the universe and everything in an entertaining and informative way.

2) Attach the award icon to your site.

That’s more difficult but feasible. I am re-using the image link on Daniel’s blog, but it hurts the perfectionist in me. I am not sure if this is the original or if the image has probably undergone some mutations already when being forwarded from blogger to blogger, such as resizing or screenshotting (screenshooting?). Searching for images  seems to confirm the mutation theory. Also the questions in section 3) are subject to mutations actually. So for now I do not need to respond to: Have you ever Googled yourself and been shocked at what you found?

3) Answer some specific questions. Unlike many awards which just ask for some random things about you, this asks specific questions as follows:

  • Your favorite color?
    Light with a wavelength of 555nm – glaring green. This is a) an appealing number b) the wavelength the human eye is most sensitive to, and c) very near the wavelength of the Argon Ion Laser (520nm). These geeky Star-Trek-/Star-Wars-like beams had once triggered my decision for specializing in laser physics.
Lab mouse mg 3263

This is not my mouse but believe me mine looks the same

  • Your favorite animal?
    The particular cute little mouse I currently share a house with. It’s too quick and too shy for a photo, unfortunately – so I need to add a generic Wikimedia mouse image. The mouse is clever and perseverant, and it has managed to invade the house again after having been cast out once (gently). I learned from Wikipedia that mice are active in the day only when they feel really save. Since I hear it during the day I take this as a compliment. Affection is mutual.
  • Your favorite non-alcoholic drink?
    I am a self-proclaimed nerd and geek. The answer should be self-explanatory.
  • Facebook or Twitter?
    “None of the above” though I have a placeholder twitter profile in order to reserve the nickname nobody wants to use anyway (Just google for “elkement” and you know why – “Did you probably mean element“?)
  • Your favorite pattern?
    Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities at the interface between liquids. I guess patterns in my favorite drink are also of this kind.
  • Do  you prefer getting or giving presents?
    “None of the above” – I can’t deny it: I am an Christmas / presents / consumerism denier.
  • Your favorite number?
    84. I have just generated it using this random number generator in order to avoid any resemblance with sensitive data such as passwords.
  • Your favorite day of the week?
    Wednesday – in the middle of the week – because I am fond of symmetry (which contradicts the statement on irregular instabilities as my favorite pattern. Probably I am not that honest here.)
  • Your favorite flower?
    Flowers which do not require any service, such as Hen and Chicks.
  • What is your passion?
    Trying to find out how stuff really works, trying to understand all kinds of fundamental physics from original works and text books, and trying not to be overwhelmed by the futility of these efforts. In addition: Playing with my ancient non-blog websites – editing text files directly is my true calling.

4) And finally, offer “pay it forward” nominations, advising those bloggers that they have been nominated and how to accept. I’ve listed my nominees for the award below. This is the best reason to accept blogging awards — to spread the word about other blogs we enjoy!

This is the biggest challenge.  As I said in my first response on the About page: If every blogger nominates 5 other blogs and the delay time is about a week, then in about 15 weeks everybody on this planet will have been nominated. I owe to milleniumconjectures.com for pointing out that you always have a choice.

But I think I found the loophole to beat the system of exponential growth. The conditions as forwarded through maybe thousands of blogs do not state that there is a minimum number of blogs you need to recommend. Probably this is due to an unfortunate mutation of the nomination text, but I will use it to my advantage. I will stop inflation here and turn the ever increasing number of bifurcations into a single, 1-dimensional world line:

Since I have been nominated by a philosopher I do nominate a single blog written by another pensive blogger:

The nomination goes to:

Who Is Bert