25 Jan 2006

Blogospheric Observations

The best can be the enemy of the good. I’m sure that we all appreciate N.Z.’s contributions at the Truth Laid Bear, but efforts at making the system fiddle-proof, which began late last year have produced paralysis for about a month now. Most bloggers experienced dizzying evolutionary regresssion, followed by an inexplicable return to something which looked a like one’s old position in the Great Chain of Being, but the link count seems to have remained broken. My own precious small number of links from Glenn Reynolds and Power Line stayed missing, and what Technorati counts as around 200 comes out as 119.

N.Z. ought to figure that however you change the rules, you can never eliminate the game, as Larry the Liquidator (played by Danny DeVito) observed in the 1991 film Other People’s Money. There are a lot of bloggers out there, and whatever method of automated link measuring is used to keep score, some people will get obsessive about scoring, and someone’s ingenuity will find a way to game the system for extra links. C’est la guerre. Who cares? Most of us are content to inch our way up the ladder without unbecoming haste. On the whole, I bet most of us would be content to see TTLB operating normally. My advice is: just put it back the way it was.

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PJM may not yet have replaced the New York Times as the news source of record, but it’s time to get over the carping and hysteria. PJM is, at this, point, not bad. I read it. Over time it improves. Someday it may be hot stuff; and, who knows? maybe Frank J. will get his yacht in the end, but please let’s all the rest of us be good sports about the whole thing.

For God’s sake, kindly pull the plug on the pathetic PJM Death Pool, which is itself seriously moribund. Time to finish it off.

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Podcasting.

I understand the impulse. The thought of doing one myself, interviewing a celebrity, crossed my own vainglorious mind just the other day. But I concluded upon reflection that it’s a bad idea. There are some bloggers I like, Ann Althouse and Glenn Reynolds, for instance, who do podcasts. I’d love to hear what they have to say, but podcasts are just too slow, too time-consuming. Most of us read a lot faster than anyone can talk.

I wonder: Do you suppose it would be possible to use voice recognition software to capture and produce transcripts of podcasts by eminent blog personalities, which might then be posted as texts for the I’d-rather-be-reading crowd? A choice would be nice.

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