Sunday, October 21, 2007

Compose a first blog entry that is sure to impress.

Originally posted on my Yahoo 360 blog, Wednesday March 28, 2007 - 01:51am (CDT)

Gee, no pressure there, especially when you count the number of ways in which this software is s**king. I just tried to include an image with this post. The software would have forced me to place the image atop the text, allowing no indentation of the image into the text a la Blogger, and the results would have just looked shoddy. Attempts to write a table into the code for this post to do the indenting were neatly shut down by the editor, as well. It's as if somebody wants these blogs to look like garbage, and is fighting to have his way.

Not that Yahoo is unique in this regard. Consider Googlepages' insistence on forcing its users to make use of templates on its homepages; what IS the point of that? The point, of course, is that there is no point. It's a managerial powerplay, one leaving some of us very, very glad that we set up sites at Geocities instead, where one has far more creative control over the look and feel of one's site. Others have responded in a more distinctively 21st century kind of way; by defending their choice of provider with published workarounds that supposedly overcome the intentionally built-in deficiencies their provider willfully handicaps its users with, and by going hysterical when others dare to point out that the proposed workarounds don't actually work. Tsk. Don't people like that know that Postmodernism teaches us that we can just hallucinate a reality of our own choosing into being? Why must some be so uncooperative as to hallucinate the wrong one, when a few hits off of the community bong can make it right? Peace out. Word.


As I already have a blog, a good question to ask is why I have this one. The one I have over at Blogger works passably well, perhaps with diminished functionality courtesy of the last upgrade Google forced on its users, but still a dramatic improvement over what one can hope to see at some of Blogger's competitors, not that I'm naming any of them. Why here, then? Part of the reason is because until very, very recently I was posting to Yahoo! answers and I needed to get a Yahoo!360 membership to post an individualized photo for my Yahoo! Answers profile. I do so, see that a blog comes with the profile, and can't resist. We'll see in a while whether or not I'll regret the choice. In light of what happened over on Yahoo! Answers, I will make one decision about this very new and unformed secondary blog: You will absolutely never see Mathematics discussed on it. If you want to know why, I'll discuss the incident over on Blogger in a week or two, but suffice it to say that Yahoo on this occasion did not treat me right. For the most part I like these guys, and so for the most part I'm happy to do my part and make my small contribution to boosting their revenue stream, but this time they were far enough out of line that I have to hold a grudge about this. "Ask me for almost any other kind of content, boys, but don't ask me for this" is very mild retaliation for a total disrespecting.

Take a look at my answers, and you'll see that I put real time and effort into giving people the benefit of what I knew, and just how many grad school educated mathematicians does one see working the Math section over there? A few of those I wrote in to help were grateful, but most were not. For a while, a short while, I blamed myself, telling myself that I had been posting there too often and that was leaving people tired of seeing me. (I reached level three in a little over a month after I began). But that's ridiculous. They're tired of being helped? When I stay up late, going out of my way to help total strangers out of nothing more than a desire to be helpful, I might not expect people to fall down and kiss my feet, but I do expect a little appreciation.

When nobody has my back, appreciation is precisely what I'm not getting. What will this blog be about? It's not going to be about updates to my sites; that's what my homelist is for. Nor will it be about Chicago; my place at Blogger is for that. But I suppose that I could use a place where I talk about the strange people I've seen on the Internet, especially as I've promised the people on my homelist that I'll keep talk on that subject to a minimum there. It's not really going to completely be a gripe sheet, as all that I've done in most locations online has been to lurk during the last five years, and I don't picture that ever changing. This will be me looking in on the discussions that others are taking part in, and maybe sharing a few thoughts, all very theoretical in some cases.

Who knows? Maybe somebody will even read it.