December 4, 2006

Something Lighter

Posted in Academia at 6:43 pm by ndsmith

Sometimes blogging feels like putting on a warm pair of slippers.

I recently came across a meme, through two sources, that quite simple warmed my heart. Scott McLemee and Adam Rosi-Kessel seemed to have independently discovered this vaguely “scientific” experiment on the speed of meme dispersion through the internet. Apparently, the results will be shared at the MLA–if that’s considered a suitably scientific organization. The researcher wants to quantify the rate and means of distribution of “memes” on the internet. He is tracking links to his blog entry via Technorati. The hypothesis is driven by the suggestion that widespread content on the internet is often generated in low traffic blogs, but then gets picked up by some higher traffic blogs before spreading across the internet and winding up at many different low-traffic blogs. Since I am sure that I am late to pick up on this and that I am a very low-traffic blog, I probably support his hypothesis.

In the meantime, I discovered a wonderful little story that reflects the experience of writing a dissertation (what I am supposed to be doing right now) better than I could have ever expressed it. The bit is called “Disadventure” and is written in the style of one of those old computer adventure games. What I love is the disembodied feature of the experience: user writes command “work on dissertation” over and over again, while computer responds with a variety of procrastination techniques. Nothing expresses the complete loss of willpower associated with the dissertation-writing task like this futile exercise.



  1. lilypagnol said,

    “Sometimes blogging feels like putting on a warm pair of slippers.”

    Although my new blog–the one I’ve got going on this site–doesn’t have much slipper-worthy writing posted as yet, I know *exactly* what you mean. One of the better metaphors I’ve read as yet. And I’m not sure about the meme hypothesis, although it does make a kind of intuitive sense.

    Great blog. Good luck with the dissertation (I’ve still got some coursework to finish, but the process is actually underway already.)

  2. lilypagnol said,

    Silly me. Using “as yet” twice, one sentence after the other. Apologies.

  3. sandrar said,

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  4. megan fox said,

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