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Complaint

Apr. 6th, 2006 12:03 pm
poliphilo: (Default)
I've been on a drive to add more friends.

Here's a complaint: Too many American kiddies seem to think it's witty/ironic/Pythonesque to pretend they're blogging from some foreign country. I think, au contraire, that it's silly/disrespectful/patronising. And it makes a nonsense of LJ's grouping of bloggers by region. If I want to find a friend in Bangladesh I don't want to have to wade through half a dozen American high school teenies first. Listen up, guys- overseas isn't intrinsically funny and what you're doing is a dilute form of cultural imperialism.

Password

Dec. 21st, 2005 10:02 am
poliphilo: (Default)
I didn't like it when LJ told us to lose our old passwords and replace them with meaningless, unmemorable combinations of letters and numbers. I fixed on a formula (it has a key) and wrote it down and promptly lost the piece of paper. Oh, well, I thought, I'm permanently logged in so I'll never actually need the damn thing anyway. But- of course- the time came and with it the judgement and I was asked for my password and didn't know it, but- did I panic? No, I went and fetched the book that holds the key and retraced the steps by which I'd devised the password in the first place and- bingo- worked it out at the first attempt.

I'm so pleased with myself. Fetch me a crown of tinsel and holly. I am the Conquistador of cryptograms. The Caesar of seasonal smugness.

Plagiarism

Jun. 1st, 2005 10:09 am
poliphilo: (Default)
Someone just plagiarised a couple of sentences from my last post. They dressed 'em up a bit, but I know my own children.

It's a compliment, right?

I'm not cross (well, not very) and part of me is flattered. Since neither of us is making money out of this I don't regard it as any big deal. I just want the person that did it to know I know.

Dude, the convention is to put "borrowed" material in quotation marks and to give the original author credit.

Still, I'm easy. None of the stuff on this blog is copyrighted. And maybe (who knows?) there are other people out there taking credit for what I've done. I'm not a professional writer or photographer. My philosophy with this blog is that I'm putting messages in bottles and casting them out to sea. What happens next is up to wind and wave and ocean current.
poliphilo: (Default)

Happy birthday to me....

Well, not exactly to me, but to Poliphilo- who's been in existence now for a year.

When I started this LJ on the 7th of March, 2004 I didn't know quite what I wanted to do with it. At first I thought it would be fun to try out a range of different voices- a different voice for every post. No-one was reading me, so it hardly mattered.

Here as an anniversary treat (?) is a reprint of Poliphilo's very first post

IN THE ALPS

Today I wore white.

The professor collected me in his Daimler and we drove deep into the Bernese Oberland. It was a valley he knew. The long grass was full of little flowers, white and red and blue. The professor is very spry for his age. I tell him he looks like Teddy Roosevelt.

We met a girl who was driving cows down from the high pastures. She was a fine specimen of the race, with white hair in braids and bright blue eyes. "I would like to stretch her on the rack," said the professor, "and pull out all those perfect little teeth with pliers."

Something black flew down the length of the valley, very high up. I think it was a zeppelin. The professor lifted my hand and sniffed at my wrist. "You smell of rust," he said.

Yeah, well.....

But that sort of thing palled after a very short time. I began to see what a wonderful medium this is. How anything is possible. The blog is like no form ever invented before. It can be a diary, a column, a notice board, a one-person literary magazine, a one-person newspaper, a picture gallery, a practical joke. And, whatever it is, it has the potential to reach a large, international audience instantly.

Amazing!

And even more amazing- the audience talks back. It's an interactive medium. It creates communities.

Over at  [livejournal.com profile] jackiejj 's, [livejournal.com profile] naamaire speaks of what we bloggers are doing as "folk-art". I like that. But with the rider that this is folk art at the cutting edge. We are doing something that has never been done before. We are pioneers.

I began playfully. Now, a year down the line, writing this LJ is terribly important to me. 

Bloggo, ergo sum.

poliphilo: (Default)
I wonder what the average life span of an lj is. A few months I suspect. Many expire after a handfull of entries, some are never used at all. Already the lj universe is full of husks, space junk, ghost ships. To happen upon one is an eerie, Marie Celeste-type experience. Here's an info page, full of vim and pep and silly jokes and then you move to the journal proper and find that the last entry was written a year and a half ago.

The creak of the rigging, the cry of the gulls.

Sometimes the last entry contains a farewell, but that's rare, more often there's no hint of impending demise. The story just ends, the monologue cut off in mid flow.

Mostly one supposes, the writer just lost interest in their new toy, grew up, got a life, but on a simple law of averages some of these hulks must have been abandoned because disaster struck. So there's always the question, did something terrible happen here?

There are one or two ghost ships on my friends list. I should let them go, but superstition or sentiment prevents me. What if the owner returned to find herself friendless? How sad that would be.

There's going to come a time, I suppose, when the lj dead will outnumber the living. That'll be weird. An ocean full of drifting hulks and only here and there a ship under sail. At present lj is new enough for the dead to blend with the living- ignore the date in the header and you may not spot anything strange in the text- but give it a few more years and the ghost ships will be antiques, full of dated slang and gossip about forgotten celebs. Paris Hilton- who she? I find the future of lj- and indeed of the Net as a whole- almost impossible to imagine.

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