Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Where is the Metablog?

Neil Linderman emails me to ask whether I am a misogynist, whether I like Lou Reed's music and if I hate people only using the final bracket in lists. I answered, roughly, no, yes and I suppose so. Neil seems to have been so startled by the fact that I replied at all that he wrote a longish entry in his blog about it - here - what struck me about this was, first, that he was so surprised and, secondly, that this blog business is becoming very self-referential. We are all talking in this new code in public. Somewhere,as in Borges' Library of Babel, there must be the metablog, the blog that decodes all others. Where is it? Or are bloggers, like the inhabitants of the library, destined to wander forever in a futile search?

7 comments:

  1. Nice to be referenced, although that guy has a horrible design on his blog - white text on black background is too tiring on the eyes in my opinion.

    I wonder why he thought you were a misogynist? Maybe you should ask if he is a misandrist.

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  2. I've been wondering that myself, Darren. His evidence was that there were no women on my links page. There was, in fact one, Lesley Chamberlain. But I don't think I betray this failing elsewhere. Far from it....

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  3. Its a wonder that New Labour haven't yet imposed sex quotas on links in blogs...

    I do recall, however, an article you wrote a year or two ago in which (I think) you compiled a list of geniuses which all happened to be male. I would agree on that though: statistically speaking those who are driven to push boundaries of thought and creativity are more often than not male. We need a new word for a person who recognises this, while also loving women.

    Incidentally, wouldn't Google be the metablog?

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  4. I had thought of that Google metablog thing and you have a point. Also Technorati might qualify, though there are many imperfections in that site. But that may just be a way of saying the net is the metablog. In fact, that could be the answer. The metablog is everywhere and nowhere. I have a feeling a man called Harvey Mansfield at Harvard is good on the sex differences you mention. Wrote a good essay on manliness some year back and there is now a book.

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  5. If and when a truly artificially intelligent entity emerges, it could very well be Google. An intelligence with vast resovoirs of information, both historical (with the project to scan in as many paper books as possible) and up-to-the-minute (the indexing of websites and blogs). Eventually it may also have 'senses' as millions of video cameras and other sensing equipment are connected to the web.

    I think Mansfield's book is published here in the UK in the next week or two, so I look forward to that. Satoshi Kanazawa at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, studied the biographies of 280 scientists and plotted their intellectual achievements against their ages. He discovered something extremely revealing: the curves of age-achievement in scientists was not only repeated in jazz musicians, painters and authors, but mirrored the curves of age-criminal activity in criminals. Furthermore, both criminal activity and intellectual achievement seemed to drop off when the scientist or criminal got married and started a family.

    Criminal and high-level intellectual activity have the same underlying motor according to Kanazawa: testosterone.

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