Tuesday, July 31, 2007

First post from Firefox

For the last couple of years I've been using Mozilla exclusively.

It's great, I love it.

However, it is starting to show it's age since there aren't any new versions for it. So after coming across one site too many that kept crashing the browser (funnily enough, whilst trying to sign up here, at blogger.com) I switched to the new, fancy Firefox.

Actually, I already had Firefox installed since I post stuff to the web. I have various browsers installed so that I can check for compatibility. I even have IE installed (yuck!). Actually, it'd be pretty hard to uninstall it since I run a windows box.

So here I am, on Firefox.


Well, while I'm here I may as well do something interesting. Check this out:

Weee, what a moustache!

That's me, a couple of years ago.

Blogs carved in stone

Blogs are popular. Shocking, I know, but there are actually people all over the world writing in blogs.

Some people write poetry, some write about how miserable their daily life is or even what they had for breakfast. Some are interesting; some are useless wastes of bandwidth. But all are made with the intention that someone would read it. Maybe so the reader would enjoy it, maybe just for the writer vent some anger or frustration. But for whatever reason it was written, the blogs become a type of written history for that person.

Which got me thinking. What if our ancestors had written all their details for us to read? If you happen to find a journal written by your great-grandfather, you find it interesting because it’s family and your curious about ‘how people lived back then’. Now what if you had the journals for all eight of your great-grandparents? Would they still be interesting? Or would they be more nick-knacks, gathering dust on the shelf?

Every so often a document comes along that generates interest. Be it an original notebook of a famous singer where they wrote their great songs, letters from a politician or a discourse from a well-known scientist. These glimpses into the past are interesting not so much for their intrinsic worth but because of their rarity.

Which is considered more valuable: the autograph of a famous person who dutifully signs every scrap of paper put in front of them or the person who only rarely signs anything? In most cases the harder it is to get, the more valuable it becomes. And the more likely to be forged, but ethics is a discussion for another day.

So which is more interesting: the personal thoughts of a famous celebrity or the personal thoughts of John Doe next door? One might argue that the celebrity is more interesting because you ‘know’ them better, but it can also be argued that the thoughts of John Doe would be more relevant. So everyone is writing these thoughts for everyone else to read. Obviously they are not the ‘deep, dark secret’ type of thoughts as they are intended to be read by strangers. But how valuable are they?

After reading for the umpteenth time about what someone had for breakfast it tends to lose it’s charm. Curiously, it’s not the value of what’s at stake that is important, but the quantity of times we read it. You see it during a war: one soldier dies, has their name and photo in the media and there is a huge outcry. The next week, fifty soldiers die and nobody cares. If a ship sank and we read a book by one of the survivors, it’s fascinating. What if we had a book from every person on that ship, even those that didn’t make it?

Now, what if every single person since the creation of the printing press had published notes on their life. Would we find these huge archives of daily life interesting or wastes of space? Maybe we could eliminate the bulk and leave the notes from people that are famous or people that are related to us. Except that everyone is related to everyone else. It doesn’t matter if you’re a creationist or evolutionist; we either came from the same couple or the same tribe of monkeys.

Which brings me to my final point. Are blogs worth the space they take up? The bad news is that the answer is both yes and no. Why? Because the phrase “are they worth it” is entirely subjective. For the person who is writing it, there is a purpose; otherwise they wouldn’t do it. For a person who is reading it, they may find it incredibly dull and boring. Or worse: rude and offensive.

But think about this: what if the early blogs for the President where available? By their nature they would have been available since the day they were written. What about a blog from Ja Rule? Or Gandhi's? The people who are going to be famous in ten years are probably writing blogs right now.

You never know how someone’s life will turn out, so don’t make fun of the blog by that guy with the bad poetry. He might be the next years rock star.

One small step for man ... one giant click for a new user.

Well, in order to make sure I sound as noobish as possible: hello world! This is my second post on this new-fangled "blog" stuff found on the inter-do-hickey. I must say, it's both fun and icky to know that complete strangers will be reading this... sort of like coming home and finding out an intruder came in but read all your books instead of stealing anything.

As you can tell, this isn't going to be a very eloquent or thought-provoking entry, but nonetheless, here's hoping that someone, somewhere will take a moment to read this and maybe it'll bring a smile to their face.

Perhaps some archaeologist will be digging through the archives in the future, will find this and think "what a dork!"

Maybe not.

New user: first post.

First time posting to this thingymajimmy.

Let's see how it goes...