Tuesday, March 3, 2009

25 Random things... Oh for heaven's sake.


I suppose one of my favorite ways of categorizing people is by using a clear, unambiguous binary system of taxonomy. Which is, I suppose yet again, just a pretentious way of saying that I’m a fan of using the old saw: =“There are two kinds of people in the world…”

In this case, I was just thinking about the fact that I’m more of a scrutinizer than an enjoy-er… =if you will. = I always seem, for instance, to be more interested in what’s going on behind the scenes and how things work than in actually paying attention to whatever it is that I’m supposed to be enjoying. Sort of like a magic show I remember seeing when I was 8 or 9. It was just an affable guy in a cheap suit who was pretty good at sleight of hand tricks;= but I enjoyed the show in a very different way than the other kids around me because I was busy watching his every move and trying to figure out how he did the tricks.

Anyway, that’s all really just to say that my penchant for deconstruction also applies to this ‘25-Random-Things’ meme that’s been chugging along for the last month or two. It’s been sort of interesting to watch, but not because I really have much interest in the banal drivel that people are busy revealing about themselves. =(Not like the stuff you and I write, of course; we’re fascinating) =No, it’s the science behind the lifecycle of the 25-Things meme itself that’s actually kind of cool.

As Chris Wilson points out in Slate there’s a really interesting correlation between the seemingly inexplicable growth of the 25 meme and the way biological pathogens spread themselves. What’s more, just the fact that the meme evolved organically through several stages from one perfect square (16 Things) until it finally settled on another (25), suggests that it’s also yet another natural phenomenon that can be described using the mathematics of fractal geometry. How cool is that?

So anyway, yes it’s already occurred to me that the irony here is I’ve inadvertently just told you one or two things about myself that you didn’t know… = but hey, at least I didn’t number them. ‘Cause jeez, don’t even get me started about the internet blight of listing everything. =Bah. =Have a nice day.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...
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emma said...

I agree that the list format is very overused on blogs, but I also feel that it is that way beacuse it is popular. I think readers like to have things all wrapped up in neat packages, with bullet points for easier reading.
I think it's more of a drag for the writer than the reader.
That said, I agree about tending to put people into binary taxonomy (There are two kinds of people, those who jump of the deep end and those who creep into the pool inch by inch).
:)

evan said...

@emma
My fave though: There are two kinds of people in the world, those that generalize, and those that don't.

-evan