First Entry

A friend asked why I didn’t have a weblog to which I replied the following,

… a few thoughts:

o In general, weblogs annoy me because folks haven’t spent the time to actually construct a coherent thought. They’re rambling… and rambling is good, but it’s generally an activity which occurs inside ones head. Rambling to OTHER people is generally received as "Uh, what are you talking about?"

o IT IS VERY LIKELY because of my predisposition towards weblogs that I am unfairly biased. Meaning, there are probably many worth weblogs out there, but since I found the first, say, 10 annoying, trite, and/or dull, I stopped listening.

o I LOVE TO WRITE. REALLY I DO. IF YOU DON’T WRITE IT DOWN IT NEVER HAPPENED.

And then I asked her some questions. And then I said,

“WITH ALL THAT SAID, I’ll start a weblog tonight. CALL IT A SOCIAL EXPERIMENT

The primary reason this is an experiment is because I’m using the JERKCITY brand as part of this weblog. This means folks are expecting me to go HGUAHGUAHGUBLBHAUGHUAH which I’m not currently planning to do.

My gut feeling is that a weblog is a CRY FOR ATTENTION and I get plenty of attention. People are walking into my office on a minutely basis asking, "Rands, solve hard problem X". And I do. I get to solve hard problems. My brain is engaged so there isn’t much excess energy to devote to a weblog, but YET HERE WE ARE.

Perhaps there is another reason for weblog. Perhaps a reasonably well thought out weblog will PREVENT aforementioned folks from ENTERING your office in the first place because you’ve already thrown the answer (whatever that answer might be) out into the world via the Internet.

This thought is a really restating point #3 above – "IF YOU DON’T WRITE IT DOWN, IT NEVER HAPPENED."

I buy that. I like that. Here’s another reason why writing it down will make you appear smarter than you actually are…

Rands explains how to solve hard problems

Hard problems are best solved by:

1) Thinking about the problem 2) Talking about the problem with others. This is the process I will call "cross pollination" or "hallway conversations". The goal of this phase to first acknowledge that you aren’t the smartest person on the planet and that others might be able to add value to your analysis of the problem. 3) Forget about the problem. You’re not actually NOT forgetting about it because your brain doesn’t let go of hard problems until some type of solution/resolution is reached, so we’ll call this "background processing". Sleep is a good way to do this and has the added benefit of decreasing emotional involvement with the problem.
4) Arriving at a solution. The beloved A-HA! moment. Pure synthesis. It rocks. 5) Writing the solution down. Writing it down is essential because, until this point, it’s very likely all you’ve done is think and talk about the problem. Writing it down forces you to arrange the solution (and possibly the problem) into linear steps. This act may reveal interesting aspects to the information that you couldn’t grasp when you were running around the building yelling at people about the problem. It also creates a document of your solution which means if you’re hit by a bus after you’ve come upon a cure for cancer that someone else can claim your work as their own and receive the Nobel Prize.
6) Repeat steps 1 thru 4 replacing PROBLEM with SOLUTION. This is error correction. Did you capture all the various intricacies of your solution when you wrote it down? How about that off-the-cuff conversation you had with SOandSO over a donut? Better make sure.
7) Executing the solution. Translation: FAME/GLORY/SATISFACTION/DINERO. It’s important to note that it’s difficult to execute this step if your solution blows. Alas, this is why this section is called HOW TO SOLVE HARD PROBLEMS and not HOW TO SOLVE HARD PROBLEMS WELL.

In any event, DO THIS FOR ME. When you have a hard problem, please bring me in at STEP #2. Thank you.

Hey, this weblog gig RULES.

Rands explains the deal with ALL CAPS

Because of Jerkcity’s NET_FAME, I’m granted a special dispensation when wandering around the IRC (NOTE TO FANS: #jerkcity is on #EFNET – IF YOU SEND ME MAIL WHAT #EFNET IS, I WILL IGNORE YOU – PROMISE). Translation: When I show up and starting RAMBLING IN ALL CAPS, most folks don’t immediately BOOT’n’BAN because they realize it’s MY JOB… usually.

Usually when I arrive in a channel and starting BLATHERING IN ALL CAPS, someone invariably asks, "What’s with the ALL CAPS"

ALL CAPS is generally viewed as yelling. Has been for as long as I’ve used a computer. (HINT: BBSes) What you should see when RANDS when shows up in his IRC guise and is speaking in ALL CAPS is that he is not really shouting… he’s using all caps to indicate sarcasm… stupidity… ignorance. These are tones which we easily discern when we’re 1:1, but we’re not right now, are we? I’m sitting here at my desk drinking SportTEA and YOU’RE SITTING HERE WONDERING HOW A GOOGLE SEARCH FOR ADMIRAL KRAG PORN ENDED UP WITH YOU READING JERKCITY.

The point is, yelling is reasonably easy to indicate with a keyboard. There’s a even a key for it — it’s called an exclamation point.

"You suck dick!"

What typographic means do we have to indicate sarcasm? A smiley? That’s way gay. I claim that caps is the solution. It’s elegant and you don’t have to remember WHICH PARENTHESIS TO USE.

MARISA TOMEI SUCKS DICK.

Now, Marisa doesn’t really suck dick or maybe she does… that’s not the point… the point is, compare the ALL CAPS version to the HONEST AND TRUTHFUL version.

Marisa Tomei sucks dick.

HOLY SHIT? SHE DOES? LORD GOD HEADING TO HOLLYWOOD/THE OSCARS FOR STARSTUDDED BLOWJOBS.