Yesterday was kind of a significant day for E2, because we got 42 new writeups. It might not sound significant, there was a time when we would get 42 writeups just in the opening few minutes after the vote reset, but 42 is more than we have been getting. It is more in the realm of the 2004 numbers, still a far cry from the 300-400 surviving writeups per day from 2001, but it does mean that people are noding just a little more.

I have always thought that there was space on E2 for writeups of all sizes. The first person to fill in a node might only give us a paragraph on the subject. The second person might give us several paragraphs, while the third person might write us a novel. All are appropriate. In fact one thing I have found is that nothing draws writeups to a node like writeups already being there. Quite often I will come across a nodeshell (often highly softlinked) to a very obvious topic, like a popular performer, famous novel, or world city, and I will neglect to put a writeup there because I think it will take too long, and might not be good enough. For so long what I wasn't really realizing was that even a basic single or double paragraph node is vastly better than an empty nodeshell. Someday a better node might come along, and mine may be removed (or perhaps kept as a lede), but until that day comes my short node is going to be the best writeup in that node.

Many people are here play the merit game. They seek a sense of accomplishment and notoriety on the website by trying to achieve the absolutely highest merit possible. In that sense they only post long writeups, designed to garner as many upvotes as possible, and have anything that doesn't do well removed. In many ways playing the merit game is counter-productive to what the noder might really want to accomplish. Now this is not meant as an insult to any of the wonderful low-level/high merit noders here (most of which are far better writers than I ever will be), but there are several hundred of you guys and girls out there with high merits and 10-40 writeups to your name. If you want to stand out from the pack then having a short stack of nodes and a 30 merit isn't going to do it. Some people just naturally end up that way, but a lot more of you are actively working at it. A noder with 25 (or 50) brilliant nodes, and 300 (or 1000) average to below average nodes will actually get their brilliant nodes read and voted on more often than the user who just has the 25 brilliant ones. If you don't believe me then pick a random high level user (9th-11th level), sort them by highest rep, and pick the 50th one down the list, vote on it, and see what the reputation is. It will probably be a number between 50 and 100, depends on who you pick, I tried myself, Jet-poop, Tem42 and TheDeadGuy.

People get to know other noders by encountering their names and their nodes a lot. But I have rambled on about that subject for too long, and now I will go onto the second reason why the merit gain is often counterproductive to what the user wants to achieve. That is the fact that it is unsustainable. If every noder was doing that then there would hardly be a person here over 3rd level and no one would have enough votes to vote on your wonderful nodes, much less any of those wonderful C! things to give you.

In closing, I would like to encourage all of you to write a node today. Content (of all lengths and types) is what drives this website, and we need more of it. This place needs some actual content, let's begin.

Hold your breath, it's

The Everything2 Podcast, Season 2 Episode 2


Available as usual via itunes and via direct download at

Have fun,


The more I learn about my newest coworkers, the more disturbed I am.

Two guys have been hired here since January and both belong to Christian religions. That in and of itself is fine. But both, one more than the other, are very hard core. The first one of the two that was hired, Pete, is very, very fire-and-brimstone, Wanna hear my testimony? Christian. And as you might expect very right-wing politically. Last week I rode with him a few times in his car. When he began talking about some of his beliefs I was stunned; I had never had a conversation with somebody this devout. He is a Creationist, first of all (yes he believes the Earth is less than 10,000 years old). It always amazes me how people can believe that. Maybe it shouldn't but it does. Also he talked about how this guy he knew came out of the closet and he was despondent that now he knew the guy was going to Hell. Oh geez. "Did he have to go there?" I thought. All the arguments against homosexuality being immoral came rushing to the front of my brain in a fury but I held them at bay. I knew that it would be pointless with Pete. All I did was half-heartedly mention that Jesus saved everybody from their sins, not just straight people. That's probably the best approach with somebody so devoutly Christian. He just kinda went "Welllll, yeeaaahhhh...."

What amazed me the most, though, is when he began talking about how weird it was that you can see certain elements of the Bible represented in modern day society (probably his point is how often the Bible is proved to be true). He actually said, get this, that the after-effects of Eve tricking Adam into eating the apple can be seen, for example, in his wife, and how he catches her often trying to manipulate him. "Oh he didn't just say that did he?!" I thought. This floored me. I did not realize that even the most devout still believed this archaic sexist garbage. His wife does seem to treat him like a child (she is much older). All I responded with was that men can be manipulative, too, something he couldn't disagree with.

This guy is young, one of the youngest here now, and has a lot of life yet to live. Maybe while he ages and picks up wisdom he will see how offensive these views are. Maybe.

The newest guy here, Matt, we found out when he announced that on no uncertain terms would we be doing anything for his birthday, is Jehovah's Witness. I've always had quite a low opinion of the religion (who doesn't want to celebrate holidays for crying out loud?!) but I decided to do some reading up on it, thinking maybe it wasn't all bad. I'm sorry, this will be highly offensive to any Witnesses and I hope none are reading this (including Matt) but the more I read about it, the more retarded I realized this sect of Christianity is. Let me put it this way, if you knew a guy who lied all the time, made confident predictions about things that consistently were flat-out wrong, would you believe anything he says over time? Would you have any respect for him or faith in him? Many times in the history of this religion they predicted that Armageddon would happen in a specific year. When those years passed they chose new years. Finally in the mid-70's they gave up and said "Well, it's gonna happen SOMETIME in the near future." I don't care what else this religion is about, this alone should erode its overall credibility. Nobody should believe anything this religion says about anything. How can people who convert be so gullible? I'll give people like Matt a pass who have been forced to adhere to this religion all their lives by their parents and brainwashed into thinking it is awesome but anybody who converts in their adult life is... well let's just be polite and say "misguided."

But Matt doesn't try to preach and hasn't been caught saying asinine things, at least in front of me. What's most disturbing about him is that recently he told us that up until about fifty years ago his family killed any babies born with disabilities. WHAT??! Yeah, his grandfather helped kill his blind sister shortly after her birth. Well, his family did come from Germany, Nazi Germany at one point. So maybe it makes a certain amount of sense. But still, how incredbily crrepy.

I'm beginning to feel almost like an odd man out here. There's one guy here who is staunchly anti-religious and never fails to point out all the crappy things religion is responsible for throughout history. And there's an extremely left-leaning agnostic here. And the Japanese guy doesn't belong to any religion. But other than those three everybody here is in a religion and pretty devout. One guy is Catholic. There are two who I guess are Baptist (they can't drink). Another guy is Mormon. Oh and he's Jewish, too. And no, I have no idea. I think my boss is Catholic, too, but I'm not sure. He doesn't talk about religion much. But I am willing to bet that the majority of the guys here (and the one girl) would not want to hear my views on religion. I might want to try to keep my mouth shut.

I hope they never read this and figure out it is me. Maybe I should delete this later, or rewrite it into a completely different subject at some point.

Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka

Not much of a match, right? Bangladesh is twice as big and has seven times the population, but their team is young and (though full of beans) inexperienced, whereas Sri Lanka's has been around for decades and is actually quite good... I mean fuck they even have cheating spinners and shit.

We caught a taxi halfway across town tonight to watch the start of the match. I guess you get a bit starved of cricket up here in the northern suburbs... There were some bunglin' Bangla fans in the restaurant we ended up in, and some Americans who were asking lots of questions cause cricket looks a bit like baseball only way cooler. The build up to this game was quite intense, despite the disparity of team skill. Bangladesh bowled India out for less than 200 last week, and batted well enough to secure a narrow victory.

In something that cannot be described as a repeat of that performance, the highlight of the first 50 overs was probably the toss, whereupon Bangladesh elected to field (an odd choice, unless they just wanted to give their bowlers a bit more practice by ensuring they bowled a full 50 overs, which could actually be a beneficial tactic at this stage of the competition). The second highlight was when Jayawardene hurt his finger fending off a big bouncer, whereupon the Sri Lankan physio gave said finger a nice little massage and wrapped it in a crepe bandage. A few overs later, after some rain (the third highlight) he retired hurt (presumably due to the finger incident). The fourth highlight was when he returned towards the end of the innings and made a further 20 runs in very quick time.

Some of the bowling looked quite good from where we were sitting, but you can't argue with the scoreboard (318/4). My prediction for Bangladesh's innings... 187/10 off 46.5 overs. Jeesh! they're already 7/2... may have to revise.


Hmm, yep... 112/10 off 37. There are now 2 games left in group B - Bangladesh vs Bermuda (should be an easy win for Bangladesh), and Sri Lanka vs India. If Sri Lanka beat India, Bangladesh will go through to the super eights where they will play Australia, South Africa, England, Ireland, New Zealand and the West Indies.

Today I decided to just drive. Not "drive" as in a means to and end, but rather, as an end unto itself.

I saw an old woman walking down the road today, and everything that she was scared me. It's spring, today, and the world is green and bright and growing. She walked along, slowly, in frailty, and brought everything I'm trying to forget to the forefront of my mind.

I've been battling myself and my own fears lately. I don't want to think about death, I want to think about the vibrant life around me, and not the decay and entropy that we are all subject to. It's too beautiful out to be dying, I'd rather live.

I drove, somewhere. I don't know where, I think that was the idea. I just drove fast, got lost, and took pictures, and it felt right. I turned down a road I didn't know, and then followed it, and turned again, and again, until I had no idea which direction I was heading. I drove down that road for an hour, then turned again, and again. I could have kept going until the gas ran out, and then filled my tank until the money ran out, and then walked, until my legs gave out, and never seen familiar ground. Everything is so beautiful and vivid. I saw cherry blossoms and bees and the greenest grass I have ever seen. I felt a beautiful sense of freedom.

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