Entropy Gradient Reversals

Awop-bop-a-loo-mop alop-bam-boom!
Little Richard

The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations
Copyright © 1993 Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
(white people -- ya gotta love em!)

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Bopp til You Drop

Hale-Bopp, that pre-millennial smudge on the early evening sky, has precipitated no lack of credulous rumor mongering amongst our increasingly hysteria-prone populace. And we scoff at the so-called Dark Ages! Has anyone put two and two together and come up with the inevitability of these sorts of phenomena when people are trained to react to advertising like Pavlov's salivating pooches? Blue Light Special on Salvation in Aisle Four! And next thing you know you're looking down at your dead ass on the floor -- hey, my Nikes! -- and your Subtle Body is doing the Apocalypse Calypso off to another planet. Or... something.

Apropos the Already Realized, if you check out the Urantia Book page, especially its

Slide Show on Revelation
you will learn there that the Planetary Prince's Staff (and we'll wager you didn't even know He had one) consists of Ang, Bon, Dan, Fad, Nod, Hap, Lut, Mek, Tut and Van. As predicted in Hallucinations 12:34, this nomenclature uncannily echoes the logins of EGR's own staff -- Angst, Bong, Dank, Fart, Noodles, Hopalong, Lunchmeat, Mentalcase, Tutu and Vac.

Before you get too excited though, and despite the title, this isn't going to be yet another rehashing of the now nauseatingly familiar God-as-UFO-Internet-suicide theme. How many of these have you read in the past week? Just as TV had its OJ orgy, webheads will have their 39 Demented Demiurges to talk about until the cosmic cows come home. But not us. Nope. However, we would like to suggest a similar manner of departure for a couple companies who've been waving their banners on the web of late. RageBoy® is in the back room mixing up a killer batch of seconal-vodka spritzers even as we write this.

Absolut Downer #1

Bad Drugs or Brain Damage?

You probably need to reload to see this ad banner do its little Burma Shave impression. For those of our Valued Subscribers too damn lazy to fire up their browsers, it says in turn:

  1. Novell = Network
  2. Internet = Network
  3. Novell = Internet
  4. Is it starting to make sense?
Well... not quite. In fact, the question this raises for us is: HAVE YOU TAKEN LEAVE OF YOUR FUCKING SENSES? (Of course, Utah could do that to anybody.) Weren't you the clueless holdouts who ignored the net until it was too late and now your collective ass is sliding down that slippery slope to the corporate boneyard? So what's all this "Rock the Net" shit, fellas? And who's the flaming asshole in the pic below? We have to wonder whether there actually are unfortunates whose dementia has progessed so far that they would literally take a flying leap over something as prosaic as Novell Netware. What would you do if you saw this sort of lunatic display in the hall outside your office? Would you strangle the deviant bastard on the spot, or simply mark it up to Hale-Bopp's Evil Influenza?

Jumping Jack Flack

Once again, for the browser impaired, the gif says "The Net's been rocking your world. It's time to rock back. Want to see how?"

Not really. But what do you suppose they mean by "rock back"? If you click on this bit of graphical flatulence, you'll encounter these memorable words: "The net's just a network. A big, juicy network." It seems there's no small amount of projection and wish-fulfillment fantasy reflected in this curiously self-revealing Novell ad. So, no, we watched the movie and we can't take any more, guys -- but come on down and get your phenobarb coolers. You earned em!

Absolut Downer #2

Turning now to that other paragon of Netly-ness, Lotus Development, we bring you the following slice of muddled mindshare. We first encountered a print version of this Lotus Domino advertisement in The Wall Street Journal. Why don't we just quote a little of it:

that people are nosy
and the thing
they want to see the most
is probably the thing
you least want them to see.
This explains why the Web
is chock-full of stuff
that is so unimportant,
it doesn't matter
if everybody can see it.
Stuff like UFO chat lines,
recipes for zucchini bread
and short stories that nobody
would publish on real paper.

Another Brick
in the Wall

Pink Floyd

Aside from the belligerent tone of the whole thing (after all, only small minds resort to nastiness), that last bit about "real paper" reflects the ventriloquist Weltanschauung of the Consummate Moron. "Quick! Somebody tell me what to think!" If it's published on paper -- like say, a Lotus User Manual -- then presumably you're safe. Curiously, there's also a non-paper version of this ad in the form of an animated web banner. (...what the hell? What happened to that gif we just downloaded? ...oh, christ, RageBoy's chewing on it! You paste that in there right now, RB, or there will be Serious Consequences!)

fear, uncertainty and doubt

The choices here are offered in Simpleminded Binary. In the Yes category there's a pie chart, a nark, and what looks to be, inexplicably, a manhole cover. In the No category we see a guy with a beard, a flying saucer and an arial photo of some really nifty crop circles. Under the Wok the Webpicture of the dorky looking, V-sign-flashing hippy fool, the copy reads, "NO: Lotus Domino is not for those who think the Internet should be totally uncontrolled. You're running a business, not a wine and cheese party."

Ah, the old wine and cheese party gambit. Imagine for a moment the type of fascist bonehead this is meant to appeal to. "Damn straight, those commie hacker perverts with their infected shareware and slacker attitudes!" Maybe you work for someone who holds such views. Perhaps he's even asked you where "the really good stuff" is. To snuggle a little deeper into this guy's jockey shorts -- and you know we're talking guys here, right? -- Lotus offers a bookend image of cleancut FBI agent Joe Friday from the old Dragnet show (so we're talking really old guys too). And that caption says: "YES. Lotus Domino is for security on the Web. Who gets the facts. Who gets the cold shoulder. And who has the authority to make changes to what."

...uh, Lotus? RageBoy would like a word with you...


What smarmy pathetic losers. Ah fuck it; words fail us. Come get your Martian Martinis! Time to pass beyond that Final Firewall. Drink up!

We Could Go On...

But why? You already see this sort of thing every day: companies patting themselves on the back for taming the digital wilderness, shooting the heathen Indians and replacing the unruly chaos of the Internet with the same lobotomized whitebread mindset that gave us strip-malled suburbs, high-tech sweatshops and mass illiteracy. We should be grateful we're in such good hands.

So to wrap this up, let's recap what we know about religious cults. Basically, they entail people killing themselves to comply with a supreme authority, which in return for unconditional surrender and unquestioning subservience, promises a stratospheric rise to unimagined power and participation in ill-defined mysteries that defy all logic. What we can't figure out is why Fortune 1000 cultists thought the Heaven's Gate crowd was so weird.

The Web's about Business, not Browsing.

Zukes Zukes Zukes

zucchini unperturbed by the software industry

Entropy Gradient Reversals
All Noise - All the Time


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                                     Entropy Gradient Reversals
                                     CopyLeft Christopher Locke


"reality leaves a lot to the imagination..." John Lennon

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