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November 17th, 2004 - The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal

November 17th, 2004

November 17th, 2004
09:05 am


What's All The Fuss About, Alfie?

Four random items, presented for your approval:

When a Led Zeppelin song comes on the radio, I will rarely turn it off. I'll hum along and be entertained, at which point the song will end and it will exit my consciousness cleanly, like a pleasant bullet passing through my skull without hitting any vital nerve clusters.

I've bought a couple of Zeppelin albums in my time, but they always seem to be pushed aside for other, better albums. When it comes time to boot up the ol' CD player, Zep never makes the cut.

Yet what I find puzzling is that every guitar player I know worships at the altar of Zep, and there are any number of crazed fans who will gleefully purchase Jimmy Page's Bathroom Noises, Part VII. It's not that I can't see an appeal to Zep, because they produce perfectly good music - it's that I can't see why you'd become obsessed with them. I like them, but would I love them? Hell no.

I feel much the same way about Pink Floyd. I loved The Wall. There are several cuts on other albums I enjoy. But I can't see what in God's name catapulted these folks to triple-platinum classic artist status.

Whose success do you find puzzling? Remember, you don't hate them; actually, you enjoyed their stuff. You just can't see why people are going batshit insane for them.

Speaking of music, I am never buying an album on iTunes again without listening to the tracks first. About three months ago, I went, "Ooo! Matthew Sweet!" and bought his latest album, only to discover that it was totally forgettable. Last week, I went, "Ooo! Freedy Johnston!" only to discover that his latest album sounds like two guys in a garage with a four-track and not many ideas.

I can sample. Nobody gets a free ticket any more. (On the other hand, the Garden State soundtrack, NOFX's Greatest Hits, and Wyclef for President are residing cheerfully on my hard drive.)

Still think blogging isn't the new media? Look at this fantastic investigative piece on spyware, tracking several infested programs back to their source. Amazing work.

In other fantastic LJ links, Ersatzinsomnia summarizes and reviews Cerebus. All three hundred issues of it. In excruciating detail, over the course of fifteen LJ-maxed entries, with a lot of good thoughts thrown in if I know him.

I haven't read it all yet, but man. I think this is the longest review I've ever seen.

(104 shouts of denial | Tell me I'm full of it)

11:46 am


The Editor's Lament
Some weeks, the articles just flow in; your Featured Writers all turn in things on time, solid submissions with excellent playtesting flow into your inbox, and breaking news arrives just in time to fuel excellent forum topics.

Other weeks, it seems like everyone's held a meeting and the Internet has decided that nobody's going to write a damned thing. You're left with people who submit articles about their U/B enchantment-based deck that destroys Affinity 85% of the time (going first, of course), they swear! In weeks like that, you have to cobble together what you can out of the articles you've received, beg a few old hands for submissions, and pray that something good enough comes in time that you can headline the next day. Having a mediocre-to-barely-passable article will get you pounded in the forums, of course, but it's better than having no strategy articles at all.

So guess what kind of week it is when Ted leaves for vacation? You got it.

(20 shouts of denial | Tell me I'm full of it)

11:56 am


Coining A Term Before Anyone Else Does
It's a webblam. Be sure to credit me.

Of course, let's all remember this site when the first hunter stumbles in front of the camera while searching for a deer and some unwashed idiot ten thousand miles away goes, "Hey, I wonder what happens if I shoot him?"

(53 shouts of denial | Tell me I'm full of it)

06:15 pm


Hey, Kids!

Let's play the new Internet debatin' game that's sweeping the nation!

It's called Show Me The Link!

The game is simple: First, start an argument in someone's journal by telling them that their initial idea is a lie. (For bonus points, imply snidely that it's a shame how this person has bought into the conspiracy and/or has not done their homework.)

The person will, inevitably, rebut, stating facts and figures taken from common wisdom. At which point, you start up the game by saying....

Show me the link!

Remember, no argument is complete without a link to support it. Even if it's something as obvious as "the sky is blue" or "the Civil War was largely based on slavery," the other player needs to provide at least three links before you will acknowledge it as as a possible fact.

If they do scour the net to find a site that explains that indeed, the sky is blue, your fun begins. Systematically begin to challenge their links one by one. Explain why their sources are terribly biased, and thus don't count... Or just use the ol' trick of "Here's another link that rebuts yours"! Remember, it doesn't matter if their link is from the New York Times and yours is from the Thoroughly Debunked Conspiracy Times Quarterly - the fact that it is a link that leads to actual words means that it must be true.

Meanwhile, forward your own agenda by saying, "Actually, the Civil War was based on a butter shortage." Provide no links for your crazy theory at all, but demand ten thousand links for commonly-accepted fact.

But most importantly, don't actually discuss their points at all. Unless what they say is embedded in the body of a link, it doesn't count. Oh, they may make common-sense assumptions that are entirely plausible... But that's not a link. Overall generalizations that are mostly true, like "Bush was ahead in the polls for most of the election?" Completely bullshit, unless they can provide a link. And should they punch a hole in your argument with logic by saying something like, "How could the Civil War be based on a butter shortage when you claim earlier in this thread that the South was choked with a surfeit of cows?" challenge them to provide URL backup for their logic!

Should they provide them? Well, go back to debunking. Remember the Linker's Rule - you can always find more links.

Eventually, the other person will get bored trying to outdo you in a Google war, and will go away... At which point you will have won yet again!

Remember, the Rule Of Internet Debate: The person with the most free time wins. And the cheapest but easiest victories come from demanding that your opponent footnote their every word, and then debating the footnotes. Conspiracy theorists and UFO nuts have used this technique for years to great effect - why can't you?

Start your version of "Show me the link" game today! (Not available in a home version.)

(74 shouts of denial | Tell me I'm full of it)

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