Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)
Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.
This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.
Tuesday, February 25, 2003
As one of the most highly rated marsupial bloggers in the Metro Birmingham area, I am often called upon to answer questions both great and small. One intrepid reader happened upon Possumblog after asking that nice Jeeves fellow Describe what a blog is. Jeeves ever so politely sent our visitor to several sites, but obviously not finding an answer to his liking (even though Aussie Tim Cobber Mate was the first stop!), he came here.
Well, now, let me begin by saying that I am by no means an expert on computational engines and their various paraphernalia, but this subject should lend itself well to my poor skills.
First, the word "blog" itself is an abbreviated compound word, derived from the combination of "barouche," a four-wheeled cart with a folding top over the rear seat, "loach," a carplike freshwater fish, and "soubrette," a minor female part in a comedy, or any flirtatious girl in general. (Do note that they make "blob," not "blog." The "g" was inadvertently inverted by mistake, and was allowed to remain uncorrected.) These particular words were first sectioned then sewn together and used in 1965, as part of a top secret CIA experiment in distance viewing, wherein a team of 35 subjects were each locked into a room with a primitive keyboard device and urged to type recipes, random opinions of world affairs, movie reviews, humorous anecdotes, and pithy comments about the other test subjects. Over the course of many months, a pattern developed in which researchers noted that the three words never used by any of the test subjects were those above--barouch, loach, and soubrette--which analysts were able to conclude were coordinates of six different Russian missile sites along the Kamchatka Peninsula, as well as the possible plot of an Ingmar Bergman film.
Records indicate that the test subjects were allowed to continue their work, and after a period of approximately 14 months, they all went mad and were institutionalized. The project was intended to remain locked within the intelligence community, but with the development of ARPANET, it was clear that the information security was compromised, or more shockingly, that the original test subjects had found a way to continue their previous activities. The network was continually inundated with texts of various ribald jokes, ASCII pictures of cats, accounts of trips to Woolworth's for batteries, and comments about Raquel Welch's breasts.
Unable to control the seeping flood of inanity, various methods were attempted to keep the "blog" phenomenon from reaching the general population. Working node by node, agents were making progress with eliminating the more prolific practitioners of the science, but their efforts came to naught when in 1988, a then-senator from Tennesse named Albert Gore, Jr. began promoting the "Inter-Net" as a way of making an army of zombies.
Thus throwing open the technological door, legions of users began clogging the electronic arteries of the country with yet more "bloggage," until a critical number was reached in 1998, and somebody said there were large amounts of money to be earned from zombies. Huge piles of "Dot Com" money was lavished upon tiny companies, who used it to develop ever more efficient software and purchase Aeron chairs. The boom continued, with ever greater numbers of the population signing on to various services, until one day, someone figured out that zombies aren't the best credit risk.
All the companies went bankrupt, except those dealing in used office furniture, and one run by a young man named Ev, who managed to survive by gluing labels on shoe polish bottles. One day he was found on a curb by a kindly gentleman named Mr. Google, took him in and fed him, and saved him from a life on the streets.
And that's what a blog is.
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