Thursday, November 17, 2005


The eternal sunshine of the spotless blogger

Moral Turpitude has apparently decided to stop blogging, but more than that, she seems to be expressing that choice in a kind of blogger performance art.

A few weeks ago, she posted what I referred to as a "blogger suicide note," a post entitled "Post-bloggerism" consisting of one line -- "maybe this guy has the right idea" -- and a link to a blog called Julienned Carrots which, as you can still see it today, consists entirely of the blog's title bar followed by a completely blank page.

Since that time, Moral Turpitude has been erasing posts from her blog, starting with the most recent, and working backwards. The post at the top of her blog is one dated October 9 and has this picture:

yellow teeth
Moral Turpitude self portrait, October 9, 2005. Keep this in your memory, because she will soon erase it from the blogosphere.
Soon, no doubt, this post will be gone. Reminiscent of the memory-erasing medical procedure in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Moral Turpitude is erasing our record of her delightful blog, little by little, until (I suppose) only her title bar remains.

I love the movie Eternal Sunshine, much of which takes the form of a dream sequence in which the protagonists unconscious decides he doesn't want his memory erased after all. As it happens, I dreamed last night that I was try to stop Moral Turpitude from erasing her blog.

I always enjoyed Moral Turpitude's frequent comments here on my blog. I wonder whether she can erase her entire blogospheric presence by deleting her comments on other people's blogs...

Oh, well. Go check out Moral Turpitude while it lasts.

Moral Turpitude thinks that she can erase her posts from the world wide web, but Google has already cached them (and pretty much everything else) for posterity. And those echoes won't go away.
For some reason the comment above jogs me to ask: does anybody know what happens to info in cyberspace when the magnetic field flip-flops, as it does now and then (and I don't mean I think it's going to happen tomorrow)?

an interested anon
the info isn't stored "in cyberspace" -- it's stored on a hard disk somewhere (and supposedly backed up onto something else on a regular basis). Since the earth's magnetic field doesn't affect the Internet now, or any other electromagnetic devices in a large way (like satellite TV, cell phones, and the GPS system) the flip-flop itself will probably not have too much effect on anything.

The problem arises if the magnetic poles move too far away from the physical poles, because solar wind material will reach close to the surface of the earth (if not the surface itself) at the magnetic poles (that's why you only see auroras at extreme latitudes). If the magnetic poles were to all of a sudden move to Milwakee, for example, I think the solar radiation would mess up some stuff.

And migratory animals will very likely get confused.

As far as I know, pole swapping happens like once every 100,000 years or so. I forget the frequency, but it's not "often" in terms of human existance.
This is one of the saddest things I've experienced on the web... She has always been my blogging inspiration. I miss her in real life too.
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