Confidential to someone with duct tape over his mouth

While each one will indeed either transfer 1/m or 1/(m-n), m is not fixed: it is affected by both psychological and sociological factors. If you believe you are transferring 1/(m-n), you may not take the same steps to constrain m that you will if you know you are transferring 1/m.

Also, it can be hard to tell assumed ironic self-importance from genuine inflated self-importance. The assumed sort is quite common among people who really enjoy trivial but fun things: try hanging out with a bunch of grown men launching styrofoam gliders off the top of a cliff, discussing aerodynamics when really it’s just a kick in the pants to throw big paper airplanes. You’re less likely to be ordered to clean the garage instead if you make it sound like a serious hobby.


Comment by Stuart Langridge #
2005-02-20 00:18:17

Yo, Phil, you can’t be smoking that stuff while you’re posting.

WTF is all that bit about 1/(m-n)? Am I too dim to understand how this relates to anything?

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2005-02-20 20:36:01

Oops, just realized that the title might not translate well across the ocean (or, quite possibly, to people born in the last twenty years). One of the two most famous agony aunts in the US, Ann Landers or Dear Abby (I never kept them straight, and since they were identical twins it hardly seems to matter) would include cryptic answers without the question, along the lines of ”Confidential to Sore In Tampa: Don’t let him do that; it could injure you or cause a disease.” in her column. You didn’t know what the question was (if there even was a real question), but it was sometimes fun to guess.

In this case, it’s a genuine response to a post that is currently returning 403 Forbidden, while I assume the post author is being stuffed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds by his employer.

Comment by jacob #
2005-02-21 15:59:27

Ha, for me, reading this immediately brought the Weekly World News to mind rather than Ann Landers or Dear Abby. And I somehow find it comforting, finding public weblog entries that are too cryptic to apprehend… almost as if it affirms some otherwise maladaptive aspect of my worldview.

Comment by Jim Kloss #
2005-02-20 09:05:17

Odd, I spent several minutes pondering this entry and thinking about how it applies to my life. The less I know, the more time I spend pondering what’s between the cracks. Works for me on this early Sunday morn as coffee heats on the woodstove…

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2009-06-15 21:23:01

And for the absolutely nobody who was still wondering, the answer is it was 1/(m-n) but now is 1/m.

Comment by Aristotle Pagaltzis #
2009-06-16 00:23:17

And from this nearly nobody who still cares, I still miss your weblog. Even on the Mozilla IRC QuoteDB your presence has faded.

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