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Andrei in the office


Andrei's Universe

One man's journey from infinity to nothingness

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Andrei in the office

Metapost: You have been warned...

I have been posting a bit more recently. However, I tend to view much of what I've been posting in my journal as 'fluff'

On occasions I have the urge to pull out the soapbox for a while and rant about things that annoy or frustrate me in the world.

I've been working on one such post since about 7:30 am this morning. (I stopped temporarily to make sure I wasn't going to be more than 1 hour late. Since, then I've had meetings.)

Currently I am up to over 1700 words. Which makes it one of my longer ones.

Making these posts is never really easy for me. (Making these posts are never easy? Making a post like this is .... see number 1 below)

First, I realize that my written communication skills are weak. My education focused on oration. Making it sound right. I am pleased that as long as I speak my mind, the only thing (I believe) that my love takes offense at is the fact that it's written badly. Which leads to...

Second, it has taken me many years to come to a point to be able to express something without worrying what other people will think.

Third, and most humourous, is how readers respond. When I say something of length and value I typically get a few comments based on an example of sardonic humour near the end of my post. On the other hand... when I post about the merits of condiments on luncheon meats... I think we're up to 36 comments.

In the mean time it's now 3 pm and I've written nothing new on the long post since 8:45. This is primarily because I've been embroiled in the debate that has prompted the rant that is forthcoming.

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I'm on the edge of my seat. This had better be good.

The whole deal regarding folks responding to fluff instead of real content is just the nature of the beast. I know, personally, I read and get a LOT out of people's more thought-provoking, deep, probing posts, yet I often say nothing. Mostly because to process along or in response is extremely time consuming. I imagine people do the same with me. So I factor that in when looking at the resulting comments. I imagine people have read what I have to say, process it and learn what they will (whether that learning be about me or about themselves or about life or about naval lint is irrelevant).

So there's my two cents. :-)

- donna

what rant?

Figured I'd jump the gun so I have a clear head when you start.

I often find that I am much more lucid in speach than in text. In another example of syncronicity I have been working on a long winded rant myself, sure to set the world on its ear (or at least annoy my friends). I await your rant with bated breath.

A mailing list I'm on experiences this very effect routinely; we call it "the black hole of quality". If someone says something incomplete, or poorly thought out, or offensive, there will be a dogpile of repsonses to complete, rethink, or rebuke it. If someone posts something which is beautiful, complete unto itself, and irrefutable, there's just not much to say about it. People (rightly) feel silly just posting "Yeah!", after all.

It's hard to come up with an approperate reply for something that is deep and throught provoking. Also, when one agrees with something they rarely feel the need to comment, but when there's disagreement, you want your side represented.

Making these posts *is*. The verb is goes with "making" and not "these posts." If it were These posts ___ making x, then it'd be "are."


Look forward to your rant, I have the same issue. I also notice people like to post to emo stuff and say "hang in there," but when you post something amazingly wonderful you get nothing.

I see the same effect (thoughtful versus fluff posts) a lot. I'm often guilty of not replying, and I think it's due to the nature of the medium. First, a thought-provoking post is, well, thought-provoking -- and that doesn't produce immediate results. So a day or a week later a cogent reply might begin to form, but by then the post has scrolled off the ol' friends list, so you have to take stronger action to follow up. Second, I often find myself reluctant to just post "good post" or the like; I want to respond with at least some of the care that went into the original post, but I might not have time. I should try to at least post the acks more often, though.

Here's a technique for solving (some) grammatical dilemmas like the one you described: strip out all the unnecessary stuff and look at what's left in isolation. Prepositional phrases can be particularly distracting -- if you've got something like "a meeting of the delegates from blah blah blah... is? are? being held" -- the core is "a meeting ___ being held", and that makes it obvious. This also helps when dealing with conjunctions -- if you don't know whether to write "Bob and me" or "Bob and I", drop Bob out of the equation and see what makes sense.

Some people take a rules-based approach to grammar; others take an intuition-based one. I think many people have natural tendences for one over the other, and if you're trying to learn the "wrong" one, it'll drive you batty.

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