Thursday, July 12, 2007

Randomness and the Social Web

I've heard kids around here use the word "random" to mean, roughly, what we used to mean back in the 80s, when we said "weird" and meant "weird in a cool way".

That's the kind of randomness I mean, as in, "Dude, this is so random!"

Since I've been blogging again, I decided to see if SharedYes had any links to it, so I searched for "sharedyes". Google wanted to know if I meant "shared yes", so I played along, and put it in quotes.

Up came an XML feed from another Blogger, in a post from 2005, musing about the concept of a "shared yes". Looked up his email address, and it turns out that his Blogger blog (several of them, actually) is fairly compatible with SharedYes in terms of sustainability, environmental awareness, etc. So, for your edification, I now present you with the profile (and many blogs) of one cool Canuck, Todd Lucier.

The conceptual universe is unimaginably vast, and yet a two-word phrase can link people with similar interests in virtual space -- a space we are referring to as the "social web" now, but which will, in a few years, just be called "the web". Everything will work this way because it's the way our minds work, the way the Web works, and the way human connections work: relationally.



At 7/12/2007 7:48 PM, Blogger Algernon said...

FYI, Tess, I'll have you know that my cadre/posse/social web, back in the 80s, was using the word "random" in just the way described ("weird in a cool way"). Don't you remember that? Random was the order of the day during our high school years. Everything was random or totally random; but then, you went to a different school....
My theory is that words cycle through phases of popularity. Random has simply come back around on the Wheel of Lingua Franca.

At 7/16/2007 11:04 PM, Blogger tess said...

No way! Actually, I think at my high school the analogous expression was "bizarre". As in, "that's totally bizarre". I don't remember hearing anyone say "that's so random" until here and now. Funny!

At 7/18/2007 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll vouch for Algy!

I don't think it was our whole school though, more a subset of a subset of brainy kids who'd had a bit of math and were also in drama class.

This was the beginning of the home computer age and I think some of us who were beginning to play with things like random number generators when we made simple computer games were amused by the odd things that resulted. "Random" came to mean "odd and surprising in a delightful way."

Years later my sister and her then husband named their cat Random -- I think inspired by the earlier useage of our group.


PS Blogger not recognizing my password today - very odd.

At 7/23/2007 3:24 AM, Blogger tess said...

Re: blogger not recognizing your password, E, I had that happen too, because it wanted to shoehorn my Google id and my Blogger id into the same universe. Some fancy footwork was required to get myself back in order, and I can't remember what, but it was pretty self-explanatory. They apparently decided that they didn't want anyone to delay switching to their Google login any longer, so they just did it for us.


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