Thursday, December 15, 2005

Your daily dose of the fact of the day -- or, "Sorry, Isaac"

You gotta love the "featured article" of the day on Wikipedia's intro page. It sits there like bait, wooing you off topic before you even get on-topic in the first place.

Plus, in case the day's feature isn't distracting enough, Wikipedia also lists a few earlier ones. So even if your wayward brain can resist the allure of, say, shoe polish (Dec. 13's feature), you'll almost certainly find something else to muscle work-related thoughts off to the sidelines for a while.

Today's list of previous features -- "KayDee Strickland, Isaac Newton, Yuan" -- typifies the whole postmodern kitchen-sink thing. There's a theory (I can't remember the author) that technology makes postmodernism permanent. We tend to assume that aesthetic trends last for a little while, then give way to others -- like modernism giving way to postmodernism, say. But now that our lives are characterized by a constant flood of randomly organized information, we can't help but make connections between disparate facts.

Unfortunately, this means that KayDee Strickland, whoever the hell she is, can be juxtaposed with Isaac Newton.

Do you ever get the urge to apologize to a historical figure?

As the person who schedules these articles, your comments made me chuckle.

Thanks Raul!
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