Intelligent Life-Forms in the Blogosphere – Again!

This post might baffle readers that come here for: science / physics / book reviews / corporate world dark satire / search term poetry / navel-gazing / self-destruction … and the other genres I have forgotten.

However, I’d argue that this post covers all of those – in a subtle way.

My blog has a long tradition of dealing with blogging award nominations in a very very weird way. Still exhausted from our mad hatter’s tea party of a nomination (I also call it award crowd-sourcing) I had decided to found an award myself. Rules related to it should be bullet-proof, unassailable for logicians and corporate policy nitpickers. Above all, they should prevent exponential inflation.

Now is the time to bestow it upon a fellow blogger victim again!

I herewith nominate for the ILFB award – Intelligent Life-Forms in the Blogosphere:

Judy blogging at Raising the Curtain.

This is the description and the rules. Standards aficionados MAY recognize the format and SHOULD smile now.

The ILFB Award (Intelligent Life-Forms in the Blogosphere) 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)

This is the logo.

ILFB-Award-Intelligent-Life-Forms-in-the Blogosphere

As an homage to both Douglas Adams and Douglas Coupland I describe it as: Intelligent Life-Forms in the Blogosphere. The intelligent black life-form in his/her black ship is exploring a new blue world while the innocuous, white blogosphere is rising in the background. Nominees MAY omit that description but SHOULD add an interpretation of their own. (Image credit: The spaceship is from a black-and-white Microsoft Office Clipart – I hope this does not put anybody off. I added the blogosphere and the colors)

I think it is more than obvious why Judy is an intelligent life-form in the blogosphere. But in order to comply with my own rules I herewith state:

Judy writes about Life, the Universe and Everything so it is very easy to find posts on diverse subjects. She mulls about existential deep questions of life – see here Existential Guide to What I Am Doing Here – as wells as tracks down the illogicity of corporate animals’ behaviours – see her analysis of e-mail politics: Stop Using The “CC” As A Weapon.

Her writing shows a qualities that I admire most, especially when combined with sharp analysis – self-irony and humor.

But of course I have decided on that nomination intuitively. Off-the-records I tell you:

Judy has been the first person who has ever dared to comment on my blog. That point of time was several months after the blog went public, so commenting must have felt like entering an eerie ghost ship.

I also have a strong gut feeling that her professional self MAY appreciate the legal lingo of the rules. (On proof-reading I misread now: lethal lingo)

This post is also a subversive attempt of mine to deal with her – still ‘open’ – nomination of myself. So, thanks again, Judy!

And finally: Judy is from Australia, that means she is my blogging antipode, we are separated by 12 time zones and our countries are linguistically entangled by the Austrian-Australian confusion.

We should try to make an earth sandwich! (I did not check co-ordinates – hopefully I will be forced to travel to the Canary Islands.)

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.

Rules:

  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 – ILFB.org.
  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. Here is is. 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).

    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.

  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.

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?

Missing Policies for the Mad Tea Party and What to Learn from The Jabberwocky

I am trying to re-gain control over the blog award nomination process, or I pretend to do so. postmoderndonkey had called it a Mad Tea Party of a nomination process – and right he was.

You may accuse me of making this blog the strange attractor of a self-referential loop of weird referrals to itself and to blogs of like-minded subversive elements – and right you are as well.

Sydney Aquarium Mad Hatters Tea Party (7238145586)

Mad Hatters Tea Party as they celebrate it in Sydney today or probably all over the world (Wikimedia). Pardon my ignorance, but I had always figured the Tea Party being related to US politics?

For the first time on this blog, or the first ever, The Subversive El(k)ment has played by the rules when accepting an award. But I am not a role model, obviously, as the report of the Global Blog Award Acceptance Policies Enforcement Task Force Initiative proves in the most shocking way.

  • There are philosophers and writers nominating each other back and forth, breaking the non-tag-back-rule and putting the causal structure of spacetime at risk.
  • Some nominees start out promising, applying a paragraph numbering scheme that Wittgenstein might have loved, but they stop at item x with [x < (Items demanded as per award rules)]
  • Others simply say they will ‘add more items later’ – as if this were an option!
  • Or they post their – not even fully compliant – reply to the comments’ section of your well-craft nomination post.
  • And on and on.
  • Until some postmodern writer decides to nominate the whole galaxy and to declare the ellipsis a trophy.
    (I knew what Ellipsis is without googling!)
  • The most subversive blogger was compliant with the rules, but found a loophole in the non-tag-back directive which made this response probably the most subversive.

I do not disclose the identities of the subversive bloggers for confidentiality reasons. I am just adding some random collection of links. Google shuns spammy pages containing too many links, so chances are this post of mine will not be indexed by search engines and your online reputation is not damaged (even more). And nearly half of them don’t work anymore ⛔, in 2019.

Geeky philosopher ⛔ – philosophical spam poet ⛔ – poetic broom closet ⛔ – close to madness or whateverwhatever postmodern meansmeaningful points of view

If this link does not point to a specific post it might be due to a non-existent acceptance post as the reply has been posted to the nominator’s comments section.

But all this is not your fault.

It is the lack of policies and processes as we use to say in The Corporate World. The originators of blog awards obviously don’t have any training in quality management and writing Those Important Guidelines. You should have hired overpriced management consultants instead. They would have written five volumes of seemingly great formal content on behalf of you, even if they just cut&pasted half of it from Wikipedia. I am speaking from experience here, but I cannot give you the details, otherwise  I would be Liable and Doomed According to This Agreement On Confidentiality.

What I would expect from a well-written Blog Award Process Specification Protocol:

  1. Define terminology: If you are nominated by somebody nominated by somebody else you have just nominated – is this tag-backing? Or should we call it tag-tag-backing? Tag-backing to the power of two? Or does the strength of the tag-back decay exponentially with the distance from the tagging person (distance as to be defined as the metric in the blogosphere hyper-dimensional vector space).
  2. Define overall goals: There will be inconsistencies in the rules created by inexperienced Junior Consultants. Stipulate that Alignment with the Prime Directive or whatever you call these goals will help to sort these out
  3. Define deadlines: There is no ‘adding items later’! You need to be assigned a task in The Corporate Resource Management Tool, report on your non-progress daily by checking red / amber / green of an iconized traffic light. The status as such does not result in any consequences, but not reporting on it does.
  4. Define responsibilities unambiguously: Even if this (1) counts a tag-backing – are you as the nominee accountable for tracing the chain of nominations back? Back over how many hops? How are you going to document this for future reference (Documentation = proof of this being Someone Else’s Fault).
  5. Define your org chart: Committees, working groups, regular meetings. You need controls! The award logo must not mutate – as any change (“change” as to be defined in the Change Management Guidelines) needs to be approved by The Blog Award Corporate Identity Group.

You get the idea! Also the Internet would not work without proper definitions of protocols! These are protocols for machines mainly, but don’t we act like Turing machines on social networks anyway? Do you know if I am human really? (I digress.)

Internet standards are defined in the so-called Request for Comments (RFC), a set of publicly available documents compiled by The Internet Community <– This is a technical term!). The RFC 2026 on the standardization process (very meta!) states:

   This memo documents the process used by the Internet community for
   the standardization of protocols and procedures.  It defines the
   stages in the standardization process, the requirements for moving a
   document between stages and the types of documents used during this
   process.  It also addresses the intellectual property rights and
   copyright issues associated with the standards process.

The blogosphere should take a closer look at these noble internet standards, designed for simplicity, clarity, but yet utmost precision and stability in communications. The overall Prime Directive had once been put forward by Jon Postel and it is called the Robustness Principle:

Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send.

The standardisation process does not need to be as tedious as it sounds. In contrast to management consultants, internet engineers are subversive. If any management consultant has ever followed this blog, he/she might unfollow now – but as a disclaimer I’d like to add: I have been a consultant, so I speak – as usual! – from experience.

The internet architects created the spam poetry equivalents of standards such as the

Hyper Text Coffee Pot Control Protocol (HTCPCP/1.0) defined in RFC 2324:

...
   There is coffee all over the world. Increasingly, in a world in which
   computing is ubiquitous, the computists want to make coffee. Coffee
   brewing is an art, but the distributed intelligence of the web-
   connected world transcends art.  Thus, there is a strong, dark, rich
   requirement for a protocol designed espressoly for the brewing of
   coffee. 
...
   The web is world-wide.  HTCPCP is based on HTTP.
   This is because HTTP is everywhere. It could not be so pervasive
   without being good. Therefore, HTTP is good. If you want good coffee,
   HTCPCP needs to be good. To make HTCPCP good, it is good to base
   HTCPCP on HTTP.

And so finally and automagically, we are back to the Mad Tea Party and Lewis Carroll’s creatures:

The ARPAWocky was featured in RFC 527:

                    Twas brillig, and the Protocols
                         Did USER-SERVER in the wabe.
                    All mimsey was the FTP,
                         And the RJE outgrabe,
...

Reviewing the history of the original Jabberwocky poem in Wikipedia again I believe Lewis Carroll would have been a subversive spam poet today:

According to Chesterton and Green and others, the original purpose of “Jabberwocky” was to satirize both pretentious verse and ignorant literary critics. It was designed as verse showing how not to write verse, but eventually became the subject of pedestrian translation or explanation and incorporated into classroom learning.

TheJabberwockyThere is no conclusion! Feel free to start reading at the top again – the structure of this post is an isomorphism to the endless tag-backing loops closing on itself.

But I think it is obvious that I am pondering about founding a new blog award myself, isn’t it?