Friday, December 22, 2006


With my plane departure quite a bit delayed after all—the refueling truck had to have a path dug to our plane, and then the tires were stuck, and then we had to wait for another aircraft, then we had to deice…

Ahem. With my plane departure delayed, I’ve already finished the book that I brought to last me through both flights. (It was The Best Software Writing, collected by Joel Spolsky, and it was excellent and insightful. I recommend it.) A lot of the topics that the authors chose to write about were related to social software—blogs, newsgroups, Facebook, and the like—and how to engineer and manage them. This got me thinking of those little internet surveys that get passed around on blogs and chain letters. You know, the “when did you first kiss a girl, what’s your favorite drink, what’s your favorite TV show” kind of junk. I hate those things. I’ve seen the term “meme” used for these things, as well as any old internet fad; both seem like curious though semiunderstandable terms, since “même” is the French word for “same.”

I hate those things because (1) they create a sense of obligation to reply in kind, and (2) usually they’re things that tell you very little about a person, because it’s a template. As far as #1 goes, well, I’m already quite adept at ignoring irritating things that I get from people—seriously; after 9/11, I never want to see another flag animated GIF in an email ever again. (Actually, before 9/11 I still never wanted to see another one again.) And, wouldn’t it be better just for a person to tell you random things about themselves that they chose? Even if the answers were boring, the topics that the author chose tell you something about them.

So, I’ll do just that. But, I’m going to do it in a separate post, because most everyone has probably already stopped reading this by now. You know, because of the rambling wall of text.