Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Old dog...new tricks....(Originally posted on MySpace on Tuesday, April 18, 2006)

So I've been wasting a lot of time sufing the wikipedia. For those of you kids not "In the Know" The wikipedia is an online repository of knowledge. The coolest thing is that it is contributed to and updated by thousands of people "just like you and me" who read the thing on the internet. The upshot of this is that each entry is written about from the perspective of someone who is deeply interested in the subject matter and whom has unique perspectives on it. I have spent hours pouring over everything from the origins of LA street gangs to HP Lovecraft's effects on modern Sci-Fi / Horror authors to detailed description of a tummy tuck (which turned me green). The other addicting aspect is that each article is cross referenced with other articles so that within a given aritcle there will be several hyper links to other wikipedia articles with pertinant side information. It can take me a whole afternoon to get through one article becuase of the nuanced side streets that each hyper link leads you down. I'd wager there is a six-degrees of speration on the wikipedia in which you could hyperlink yourself back to the article on Integrated Circuits within ten clicks of the article on Bettie Page and the early "Photo Clubs".

One of the things I've been using it for is to finally look up words I use a lot but am not sure of their exact meaning...like existentialism or surrealism. One such word I looked up yesterday was esoteric. Esoteric basically means "inner knowldge" or "secret knowledge". The reason I looked it up is becuase I was reading an article that described the shriners as an esoteric society. Which means it is a society with a culture built around the cultivation of a group of people who posses a secret or inner knowldge known only to the members of the group. Modern usage has evolved so that esoteric is typically used as meaning "sophisticated knowlege" or knowlege where a certain group simply wouldn't understand...like two physcists talking about quantum theory. The knowledge in that sense is esoteric due to the fact that I simply can't understand it...not becasue they are trying to activly hide it from me.

A good example of something I was musing on that is esoteric is the comparison between two industrial club staples. Namely: Nitzer Ebb vs. Skinny Puppy. This is an arguement that to most people would be esoteric due to the fact that they don't know and don't care...but to the right group of poeple there is a heated debate waiting to be ignited by a simple "Honestly guys...I'm so sick of skinny puppy...they're just so played out." That is the side I fall on. I am tired of skinny puppy...If I never heard a skinny puppy song at a club again I'd be fine with that...but say that to the wrong person and you're liable to get a size 9 doc martin where it can do ya some good.

What am I rambling about...honestly, I don't know.

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