Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Info Hunter, and the Info Forager

These days, the term infovore is being commonly used around on the internet, mostly by RSS feed junkies and the people who purport to study them. I'll admit it; I am an infovore (as are we all), and a very ravenous one at that. I hoard links to interesting online articles. Friends who I have conversations with can attest to my frequent use of the phrase, "That reminds me of something I saw/read/heard on..."

Infovore is a provocative term, incorporating a metaphor that compares blog-reading with eating, thus elevating a seemingly leisurely activity into one that is central to survival. Not only that, the person who proclaims he is an infovore is, in a way, announcing his power. Our society fetishizes information ("Just give me the facts") and being in-the-know means that you have accumulated something of value. People have even argued that the need for information is so strong that it drove the evolution of human intelligence in our species' early days. As the argument goes, being able to learn new things, like how to make a better spear, gave an individual a better chance of survival. If being intelligent, curious and in-the-know makes for a more evolutionarily fit human, then these individuals pass on their genes to the next generation and the rest is Darwin.

We can now start to explain a bunch of human behaviors from an evolutionary perspective.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

If the World Stopped Spinning


What a nice sentiment (courtesy of xkcd). But what if her plan succeeds too well, and the world grinds to a halt?


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Here it is!

Starting a blog is something I've thought about for several months now, but I was always waiting for some exciting idea to come and drag me along through the whole process. Why blog? I needed a convincing answer. So, I thought about how I could blog about my hobbies--playing classical piano, reading philosophy, dancing--and I did a little research on various blogging platforms, and most of all, I fretted over what the title of my blog should be.

Here was the thought process behind that:

"Title? Anything I come up with will sound cheesy and presumptious. I'll just use my name to title the blog. Simple, unassuming, and it doesn't limit what I can write about."

"Or I'll juxtapose two words that don't seem to go together. Maybe combine my science side with my artistic side. Rigor and flourish. No... rigor and flair..."

"Physics has a bunch of cool-sounding jargon that I can appropriate."

So I came up with "Perfect Resonance," and something about it just sounded right. Then I realized that the title described itself perfectly, that I had hit upon the right combination of words to incite an incurable perfectionist to finally begin writing the blog.