Ming the Mechanic:
The Oldest Weblog

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 The Oldest Weblog2004-01-28 19:22
8 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

Fluid Flow, via McGee's Musings:
"A standard definition of a weblog is a series of posts in "reverse chronologic order". I can't give you a reference here because the standard online reference sites don't have a definition for "weblog"

But, as a geologist, I understand "reverse chronologic order". Reverse chronologic order is youngest on top and older as you go down. This is a stratigraphic order. Younger deposits bury older deposits, so you get progressively older as you dig down. So weblogs view the world in a stratigraphic order.

It would be nice if the weblog folks acknowledge those who have gone before them. The Earth has been recording events in reverse chronologic order for over 3.8 billion years. The oldest weblog is the Earth."
Sometimes I try to convince my wife that the mess on my desk is a deliberate attempt of organizing things like nature does it. Old lifeforms and cultures live their lives and leave their remains around, and new things are simply built on top, on the shoulders of the old. And a complete archaeological and geological record is left behind. You can in a logical manner dig down to various layers and find out what life was like last week or a hundred years ago. And you don't want any amateurs to come along and mess up history by disturbing the authentic arrangement. She usually doesn't buy it.


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8 comments

28 Jan 2004 @ 20:04 by judith @24.229.149.251 : archaeology...
when i was just 13 i went on my first 'dig' and i was hooked... did about 8 full summer digs after that and built one of the first automated 'pottery shard' matching systems at university... loved it... love this post flemming...  


28 Jan 2004 @ 20:21 by martha : "She usually doesn't buy it"
smart woman...I doubt if there is much you can rationalize away with her after all your years married...hahahaha...tis the price of intimacy.  


1 Mar 2004 @ 04:40 by Gregory Wright @66.81.194.205 : Stratigraphic Sedimentation
Flemming's desk sounds exactly like mine (one third of an Earth away)!: a sedimentary (the word I've been using for stratigraphic) layering of mostly newer stuff atop mostly older stuff. To find something, I visualize how long ago I was working on that paper/project/idea -- and, if I'm lucky, I reach the appropriate layer and item without too much hassle or confusion.
Sedimentary Stratigraphy can be an ordering principle for education:
'The Stairwell Project' was started by a nurse-researcher, one Nicole Kerr, at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta -- an experiment to see if the placement of art in highrise stairwells would encourage more officeworkers to occasionally exercise their bodies, instead of the elevators, in moving up and down their office building. A statistical increase in stairwork was recorded. I came along and added the idea of designing and publishing large-format material specifically for vertical presentation, a different chapter or aspect on each of a number of large wallgraphics on a succession of stairway landings: the ten decades of the 20th century or the ten centuries of the second millennium (history); the geologic ages of the earth (geology); the periodic table of elements, electron level by level (physics); the main orders and phyla of botanical and zoological taxonomy (biology); and so on: edutainment meets exercise! (Unfortunately, researcher Kerr retired from the CDC, changed her name to Angelique or something like that, moved to the Sandwich Islands and abandoned her brilliant project just as yours-truly was starting to bring some real conceptual added value to it.)  



1 Mar 2004 @ 08:10 by ming : Stratigraphic Sedimentation
I'm glad there's a name for what is going on on top of my desk.

Good points about the stairway strategies. I'd bet most people have a bit of a compulsion to follow through on a sequence. So, if you see step one of what's obviously a ten step sequence, you have a much greater urge to go to the other ones than if they were just fairly random pictures. Just like many of us have a bit of a compulsion to "collect the whole set", whatever the set might be.  



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