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.


  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 –
  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. Below is the logo. 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).
  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.

And here is the logo:

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.

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?

37 Comments Add yours

  1. bert0001 says:

    Why don’t you start an award under the rules of GPL3 – the rules are there – the freedom is global.

    1. elkement says:

      Good idea, Bert! This would even more professional and subversive at the same time :-) I should check if can retro-fit a GPL license to already existing content that has been shared under a questionable license ;-) But I put all my hopes in the nominee life-forms who might attach a better legal framework to the award.

      1. bert0001 says:

        subversive? :-)

      2. bert0001 says:

        yes … now I remember: subversion – a programming environment keeping everyone up to date …. in GPL2
        and then there is bazaar in gpl3
        but most choose eclipse – which is not gpl at all :-)

        1. elkement says:

          Ha ha, yes, I remember what Subversion is :-) I have never used it myself but of course the name was always appealing to me.

  2. I would unfollow the rules just to get a satirical post about my blog ;)

    1. elkement says:

      Be careful what you wish for ;-)

  3. staceybroom says:

    Love this! Your award seems much more sensible than others, like the Liebster. And your logo is fantastic!

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks, Stacey – I am honored to get such as compliment from the illustrator who created the wizard recently :-)

  4. I will repeat what I wrote the other day and say that I take special pride in being counted among those I respect and admire. The ILFB is an honor which I accept with pride. My concern is that I will be ridiculed for noncompliance and mocked by an unending series of satirical posts as a result of some oversight in my execution of 1-9. I will do my best to uphold your established standard. I hope you are prepared for me to exercise my right to take full advantage of Rule #2. I want to thank you for your kind characterization expressed in 3d … although I am not sure what my motivation for blogging has been … if 3d describes what I have achieved … then I am pleased indeed. I will close by saying that I pleased that this Pairodox blog is so highly thought of by someone such as yourself. You’ve made my day. D

  5. marksackler says:

    There are intelligent life-forms in the blogosphere!!?? Discovering that is a more impressive accomplishment than any award. ;)

    1. elkement says:

      Yes, It took me months of top secret clandestine research to find that out. But you are right: Probably the nominator should be given a badge reading: “I discovered intelligent life in the blogosphere!”. BTW this award has been inspired by Dilbert Desktop Games – there was one game (can’t remember any details, probably a screensaver) that allowed for searching for “intelligent life in the office”.

      1. marksackler says:

        Intelligent life in the office–that is either an oxymoron or science fiction or maybe both.

        1. elkement says:

          This aphorism has 91 chars – for heaven’s sake tweet it!!

  6. As to: 3) You SHOULD reward bloggers who are able to write about at least two seemingly diverse subjects. Except a blogger who writes the same sentence over and again (and even this would suffer erosion), no communication can possibly be “about” anything but diverse subjects due to the continuous instability of intent, message, vehicle of messaging, audience focus, audience interpretation and ongoing impact upon audience psyche. Take, for example, a young girl posting “Today we learned about whole numbers in school.” How many diverse subjects are inherent in her sentence? There are her intent (we can not know), her messaging (we can not know), and her vehicle [easily at least 5, as in “Today” and the subject of temporality, “We” and all that entails for a youngster in school versus an older person’s memory of school and then by extension all the plural activities this denotes to the reader, “learned” addressing knowledge acquisition as seen from writer and reader(s) perspectives, “numbers” and the abstract universe they conjure, “Whole” as an adjective itself containing diversity from specific volume to subjective philosophy, and “school” which is as diverse a subject as, say, humanity. Even the connective tissue of her sentence, the preps “about” and “in” destabilize subject as much as they focus it. Consider “We learned about numbers” versus “We learned numbers” and you glimpse the complexity.] The following post for our young writer may be simply “Today we learned about sheep in school,” yet, the altering of a single word does not imply that that is all that has changed. The young writer has changed, a day older and now (according to her previous post which influences our view of her and her message) somewhat knowledgeable of whole numbers (and having acquired another day’s worth of experience). The reading blogosphere has changed for much the same reasons as well as various nano influences such as personal mood or mind-altering substances. In short, after the in long, diversity within writing/communication is a given so, respectfully, none should be excluded for the lack of it.

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks, postmoderndonkey – much appreciated! I knew I have way too intelligent life-forms among my readers who would dissect and scrutinize these policies :-)
      So – unless the award does not die out – probably nominations for that award will soon collapse again onto the proposal you have designed recently, that is: to nominate the whole universe. This comment of yours did help me a lot in valuing your visionary approach to blog awards.
      I put my hope into the cascade of intelligent life-forms who are going to fix that loophole as per rule 6.
      As a semi-serious aside: Yes, creating rules on content and quality is really the most challenging point. Probably the award will retro-evolve (I have just made to up) into an award for cute-pet-picture-posters.

      1. You have created a wide-ranging and admirable award by its title alone. This openness is then cultivated by your rules quite nicely. #3 is in fact the most rewarding in my view wherein we get to see how audience values a blog and explains that valuation. I tried only to propose deleting a limiting aspect of that rule which would contradict my interpretation of your title as being purposefully inclusive. Even the dreaded “cute kitten” nomination would be of interest and perhaps rewarding in the nominator’s explanation of the blog’s valuation. Perhaps I am saying that perceived value is fascinating in itself. The immortality of the award process is guaranteed by its embedding in the web and therefore its potential to be read and revived throughout the millennia of the web’s existence. An effort at perpetual commendation for mankind is most worthy and I promise to comment on it no further so that I do not corrupt intent or implementation.

        1. elkement says:

          :-) You should do consulting on blog award nomination strategies :-)
          You are right – I should not comment on cute cat postings disrespectfully – as a disclaimer I should have added I am guilty of having posted cat videos on Google Plus #Caturday as well (Of course I believe my pet-related postings have been subversive in a subtle sense).
          As for the immortality: I imagine a dystopic future … the world being inhabited by machines, as in Terminator. The internet does still exist and now robots are given blog awards to each other. I am sure that it is this award that will survive.
          Thanks a lot for your comments!!

        2. M. Hatzel says:

          And… is this literary deconstruction Jedi-style?

          1. Now you truly have entered the tower of Babel. Define the term, please.

            1. M. Hatzel says:

              And the columns of text become increasingly narrow, an unlikely foundation. I concede collapse. To silence, I return.

            2. elkement says:

              Truly enigmatic, this is.

            3. M. Hatzel says:

              quoted from Barthes:
              Imagine someone (a kind of Monsieur Teste in reverse) who abolishes within himself all barriers, all classes, all exclusions, not by syncretism but by simple discard of that old specter: logical contradiction; who mixes every language, even those said to be incompatible; who silently accepts every charge of illogicality, of incongruity; who remains passive in the face of Socratic irony (leading the interlocutor to the supreme disgrace: self-contradiction) and legal terrorism (how much penal evidence is based on a psychology of consistency!). Such a man would be the mockery of our society: court, school, asylum, polite conversation would cast him out: who endures contradiction without shame? Now this anti-hero exists: he is the reader of the text at the moment he takes his pleasure. Thus the Biblical myth is reversed, the confusion of tongues is no longer a punishment, the subject gains access to bliss by the cohabitation of languages working side by side: the text of pleasure is a sanctioned Babel.
              Roland Barthes, “Babel” from The Pleasure of the Text. Trans. Richard Miller

            4. elkement says:

              Michelle, due to the large of number of nested levels of comments I have allowed for the most recent one has been squeezed into a narrow “column”. Looks like a poem now :-)

            5. M. Hatzel says:

              Fitting. Barthes reads like a poet.

    2. M. Hatzel says:

      So… is that what literary deconstruction looks like on the dark side?

      1. elkement says:

        I would still attribute it to the light side – it is “mostly harmless” ((C) Douglas Adams) compared to the multi-verse paradox the honored intelligent life-form Dave has created in passing now via his acceptance speech and amendment of the rules :-)

        1. M. Hatzel says:

          (My reply erased again… am I the only one who can’t work WP replies?) It’s been a while since I’ve heard literary deconstructionists converse… I need to translate via my Encyclopedia of Literary Terms. The second comment is certainly a Jedi Knight show of force; quite mystical. I can’t talk like this anymore, too long without practice; I miss sounding smart.

          1. elkement says:

            I did not delete anything :-)
            “I miss sounding smart.” – this is a great quote, as if taken right out of a spam poem!!

            1. M. Hatzel says:

              I’m spamming myself… no, I keep losing my reply to comments as I click the ‘reply’ button. I don’t know what I’m doing. It happens regularly, on everyone’s comments. Just wondering how to fix this.

      2. If by dark you mean wordy, then, yes. Attention to detail and implication is wordy as when geeks froth over some new code behind an app or an accountant worries the text of a new tax law. When we open our minds to rumination, it is a slow process of digestion of potentially complex material. Is not life and especially the human complex to abstraction?

        1. M. Hatzel says:

          I feel so stupid, in a humbling and delighted way. The comment was meant to be playful, certainly thinking of the very small number of people in Star Wars with the capacity to wield the powers of the Dark Side… but also to set it along the next stream of comments, to show the way complexity is invoked here with the movement among thoughts. I distilled it into a simple opposition, as a child does, to learn the nuance and complexity. Your writing is a challenge for me, and I can’t keep myself from maintaining silence… I risk exposing my ignorance for the hope of finding a deeper connection

          1. Ignorance is the proverbial bliss of not asking or caring. You are not even close to that. And I am not worthy of making a person feel exposed. Just as the God of the Western bible’s only self-definition is “I am that I am,” you be you. Peace and thanks.

            1. M. Hatzel says:

              I’m having an unexpected emotional reaction to the comment stream on your blog. I don’t feel exposed. This is more like a discovery of something… like being deeply moved by a poet’s words, but this experience is now being negotiated in conversation with the poet himself. What I feel is the plunging newness of something unexpected, a falling down from the tower of Babel, perhaps? ;) I’m an adventurous risk-taker, so please don’t think this unnerves me as it may sound. This feeling always precedes worthy experiences… perhaps I’ve been opened to a meaningful experience waiting for me this afternoon. Maybe I will discover the profound insights of my newly-turned-teenager daughter today simply because I was listening differently.

      3. If by dark you mean wordy, then, yes, just as a geek froths over the code behind some new app or an accountant worries the text of a new tax law. When we open our minds to rumination it represents a slow process of digestion of material potentially as complex as human life itself. You certainly have challenging insights. Thanks.

        1. elkement says:

          postmoderndonkey and Michelle – reading your dialogue is a pleasure :-) Both of your monologues – that is, blog posts – are great, but if you combine your forces ;-) we can see something new emerging. “Emerging phenomena in complex system” –> I leave that to Pairodox Dave.

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