Posted Dec 14, 2007
So I'm back, then. Having not posted to h2g2 for about two years, for some reason I visited the site again a few days ago and remembered why I'd loved it so much in the first place, and frankly wondered why I'd gone away.
I guess the bells, whistles and gadgets of the likes of Myspace, Livejournal and other 'net addictions distracted me for a while. But there is no sense of reward or achivement in either of them, to be honest. You can write what you like and get a million hits on Myspace if you want, but it's not like the feeling of satisfaction you get from having an entry accepted into the guide.
And everyone is also, well, less dumb here, too. It's all text-based, so there are no bands pestering you to be their friend or suspiciously friendly unknown women wanting you to visit their websites. It's just people, and usually witty and well-informed people, bantering about things that are on their mind and writing things about stuff that interests them. And I like that. I don't always know what everyone's talking about and I still don't entirely know how the site works or where everything is, but it's good here. I enjoy sitting at my desk at work and perusing the place. It makes me happy.
One thing that has struck me since my belated return, though, is the enormous diversity of names that people choose for themselves here. On most social sites, your name is limited in length. That doesn't seem to be the case here, and people use the fact to the full. I looked at the list of 'who's about' just now and some of the names were four or five lines long. In one of his Culture novel, 'Look To Windward', Iain M. Banks suggests that in the Culture a person's full name is a type of address, whereas for a Chelgrian, (the other main race featured in the book,) it's a family history*. Here, a name seems to be a snapshot of whatever the person is thinking at that moment.
It's another thing I like.
* I think that's what it says. I don't have the book to hand at the moment, so it might be the other way round or different entirely.
Latest reply: Dec 14, 2007
Posted Jul 13, 2005
My boss is away at the moment, as he is recuperating after an operation*. This means I get to sit at his desk and pretend that I'm boss, though, which is what I'm doing at the moment. The only thing that upsets me about this experience is the model Vogon (as depicted in the film) that he has on his desk. It truly is a horribly ugly thing, but in a way that sort of draws you in. "Yuck," you think, "that's repulsive, I won't look at that any more!" But you find yourself gazing at it for ages.
Why the hell would anyone make something that is essentially an ornament that is so utterly unpleasant to look at?
Why would anyone buy it?
Why am I sitting here looking at it?
* He's alright, by the way, and will be fine and back at work soon.
Latest reply: Jul 13, 2005
Idea for an entry.
Posted Jul 6, 2005
I realised that I haven't written an entry for a while and was wondering what I could do one on. So far I have a 100% record on getting my entries into the relevent guide, (2 in the Edited and one in the Underguide,) which is nice. I'd like to keep that record up if possible, but it looks like my books won't be coming out of the garage anytime soon, so any plans I may have had about writing lengthy efforts on Iain M. Banks' culture novels may have to be put aside for a while.
Looking through the edited guide today, though, I noticed that there didn't seem to be an entry on the workings of the internal combustion engine. This is a serious omission, and one I like to think could do a good job of remedying. All I'd need to do is to gather all the different types of engine together, (four stroke/Otto cycle, four stroke/Diesel cycle, two stroke, Wankel rotary etc.) and describe them. I could possibly have a bit on different cylinder arrangements, forced induction techniques, (although there may be an entry on turbochargers already,) carb vs. fuel injection, (there's definitely an entry in fuel injection to link to,) cooling techniques and all manner of other details. Better than this, doing a techy entry would make me as happy as a pig in mud, and I know most of the technology already. The only thing that would be difficult would be getting the point across without using diagrams, but it should be doable.
So that's the next project sorted.
Latest reply: Jul 6, 2005
Hay fever - who thought of that?
Posted Jun 15, 2005
Who was it that came up with a reproduction system for plants that includes pretty flowers which brighten up our lives, providing food for multitudes of insects and thereby indirectly giving us honey, making for a pastime for many millions of people and generally making a very good job of sustaining the plant population in one of those delightfully intricate and bizarre ways that makes nature such a wonder for small children, and indeed, for us all?
And why did they make this system work in such a way that it makes my life a complete misery for a couple of months every year? How does that work?
Latest reply: Jun 15, 2005
Posted May 30, 2005
Good things that have happened this weekend:
1. My parents have gone away for the week, meaning me and the cat have the house to ourselves.
2. I had a fantastic day yesterday in which I went to a great party in the afternoon, then DJed at a gig, and then went to ANOTHER great party afterwards. I was absolutely battered by the end of it and have no idea how I got home safely, but I did, so that's alright.
3. West Ham United won the Coca-Cola Championship play-off final, meaning they have been promoted to the Premiership for next season.
4. The French voted 'Non' in their referendum over the EC constitution. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha etc.
It's been a good few days.
Latest reply: May 30, 2005