Rather a lot of stuff has piled up here over the years: the current page count, if you figure each and every WordPress post as exactly one page per post, is now well over twenty thousand, and it goes up nearly two thousand every year. I doubt seriously anyone has ever read all of it, myself included. Certainly it's not being read at a single sitting, unless someone's come up with a way to sit for unimaginably long periods of time without actually being dead: the word count is somewhere around five million, which is twice Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu and Fallout: Equestia by Kkat combined. I have a friend who is actually reading the Proust, though she has to get up once in a while and deal with Other Matters.

Actually, I'm pretty sure I have read all this stuff, if only to see where I made some blatant error on a page, usually right after it's been sent up to the Web. This comes in handy once in a while, since I am overly fond of quoting the last thing I said on a subject in the process of saying something new, or at least different, about that subject. (And I have slightly better than average search tools at my disposal.) The question then becomes "Why would I ever want to read it again?"

The answer to that, I've already disclosed, in Vent #801:

More often than not, I've hit the Publish button and then almost immediately wondered what sort of unspeakably godawful codswallop I'd inflicted on the rest of the world. But later, if I happen to go back to that particular item for some reason, I'll page through a section of the archives, and I'll think, "You know, that wasn't half bad. How come I don't write that well now?"

And the answer to that, I am starting to believe, is that my conviction that I'm not getting any better at this outweighs any evidence to the contrary, assuming there is any evidence to the contrary, which is a great deal to assume. It should be noted, though, that if I have some reason to go back to something in the archives, there's a reasonably good chance that I'll page through the next fifty or sixty items as well, not so much for context as for the assurance that I'd gotten some response and, to a lesser extent, to make sure those old items still work.

Following up a search-engine query yesterday I do that now and then, what with the Monday list of strange queries on my plate I wound up back in the December '07 stuff, where I found a lot of ice-storm coverage, and an excuse to mock Mike Huckabee, who was campaigning, albeit unknowingly, in favor of violating the laws of thermodynamics. This was dumb on Huck's part, but it was one of my finer moments:

Beat that, you quivering lumps of Kyotoplasm. "Free of energy consumption." Zero. I defy anyone to come up with a bolder plan than this.

I didn't exactly expect to see "Kyotoplasm" catch on as a neologism Google, even today, insists that what I really want is "cytoplasm" but I'm still rather unduly proud of the term, especially given the time I spent conjuring it up, which was barely a second or two. Sometimes I might even be good at this sort of thing, or maybe, well, not half-bad.

The Vent

  19 August 2013

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