Tuesday February 7, 2006

...And Why Wouldn't You Be?

It's navel-gazing time.  On two separate occasions, I've opened posts with:

If you're like me (and why wouldn't you be?)...

When I realized I'd accidentally come up with the same (briliant!) line twice, I began to wonder if someone else had ever used it.  Fortunately, we live in the Age of Google, so I didn't have to wonder for long.

Searching for web pages produces about 24 hits.  About half of these are duplicates of a single tongue-in-cheek review of David Hasselhoff's dubiously titled album Very Best Of (import only!).  All but two of the rest were duplicates of my posts—I guess that's Web 2.0 in action.  The remaining two ghits, both for pages that no longer exist, were, respectively, a post about Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed Al-Sahhf (cached link) and a blog comment about commenting on blogs (cached link).

Only a few hits on the 'net, then.  Searching Usenet produced exactly one thread, which is about a Washington Post article describing new spam countermeasures.  This is where it gets a little scary.  One of my two posts starting with "if you're like me (and why wouldn't you be?)" is also about spam countermeasures.  There's more.  The term spam was originally a refernence to a famous Monty Python sketch about Vikings, and of the two non-Tensor, non-Hasselhoff ghits I found, one was on a web site titled "The Dead Parrot Society", another Monty Python reference.

Spooky!  I wonder if, given a little bit more research, I might stumble across a Grand Unifying Principle that somehow also accounts for comment-about-commenting and the Hasselhoff review, although I suspect accounting for the latter might be a little more difficult than formulating quantum gravity.  What's more, I've read enough Lovecraft to know that some knowledge so horrifying it can't be learned without risk to one's sanity.  Best not to delve into matters better left undelved-into, I think, so I leave you with this apposite HPL quote from "The Call of Cthulhu":

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.  We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.  The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

[Now playing: "Seen and Not Seen" by Talking Heads]

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
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Posted by: Marian at Feb 27, 2006 12:34:50 PM