Entropy Gradient
This email was sent to EGR subscribers on February 6 1999. Then Weinberger wrote it up at:
...so hey, are we pushing the hypertext recursion envelope yet or what?

Dr. Weinberger Meets The Runaway Bunny

    EGR is graciously underwritten by Entropy Web Consulting
   "Industry Heavies Saying Nice Things About Us, For Money."

Valued Readers:

We like David Weinberger. We even envy him sometimes. Saying
exactly why is hard; we just do. Maybe it's because, in a little
meditation on Linux, he's capable of writing things like: "Oooh,
dust me with powder, I'm feeling all sugary!"

His latest email send says the current issue of JOHO -- which,
for those new to EGR, stands for "Journal of the Hypocritical
Organization" -- is at:


However, we know from experience that the content of that address
will change when the new issue comes out, so we went In Search Of
a more persistent URL. For an insight into how David's mind
works, try going to:

...where you will find this FTP-style listing:

    Parent Directory       06-Feb-99 15:55      -  
    curren-bakt.html       07-Nov-98 23:33    69k  
    current-old.html       31-Oct-98 16:59    21k  
    current-regular.html   25-Nov-98 20:05    64k  
    current.html           06-Feb-99 16:28    75k  
    currentbakbak.html     08-Dec-98 21:17    15k  
    currentold.html        05-Jan-99 20:38    76k  
    joho-jan23-99-special..23-Jan-99 22:20    10k  

While the list as a whole speaks volumes, we were especially
enchanted by currentbakbak.html. David, this is why webmasters
regularly hide directory listings -- so people can't laugh at
them quite as easily.

Anyway, it turns out that the Actual Real Bona Fide Current Issue
is archived for posterity at:


...and it begins by touting a review of JOHO that recently
appeared in KMWorld Magazine -- where you need to know that KM
stands for Knowledge Management:

RageBoy ironically intrudes his ugly and unwanted presence even

   We wish there were less attention paid to RageBoy, but we
   can't help but enjoy "the Web's most esoteric 'zine-based
   water balloon fight."

"Scourge of JOHO" indeed, as is our official title there:

David clearly ignored the good advice from KMWorld, because RB is
mentioned no less than three times in this particular issue.

Meanwhile, since EGR came into the KM write-up, we wondered if
we'd been reviewed there as well. So, from the bottom of the JOHO
review, we followed a link saying "click HERE to find other
reviewed sites" and landed on a page offering two twisty paths:
browse by category or search by rating (1 being BAD and 5 being
GOOD). Not wishing to tempt Fate (again this week), we opted for
the categorical. Here we discovered that our choices were:

   Consulting Partners
   Financial Specialists
   Fun Sites
   Healthcare Specialists
   Manufacturing Specialists
   Resource Sites
   Service Providers
   Solution Providers
   Transportation/Utilities Specialists
The only category we could even remotely relate to was "Fun
Sites" -- stop laughing, *we* think EGR is fun -- but choosing
that option yielded only:

   click HERE to search again... 
In other words, there *are* no Fun Sites listed. Is this meta-
snarkiness on the part of KMWorld? They'd get points from us if
it were, but we strongly suspect it reflects simple incompetence
to structure and present information at even the most pedestrian
level. So much for "knowledge management" then, eh guys? No
wonder they wish RB would just go away.

Of course, if we find that there's actually an EGR review under,
oh say, Solution Providers, then won't *our* face be red! But
we're not losing any sleep over the possibility.

   ***** EDITOR'S NOTE Feb 22/99: EGR has since received a 5-star
   review on KMWorld, which if nothing else, demonstrates the
   power of bitching! See:

Next up in the JOHO front matter is an advertisement of sorts for
Weinberger's ongoing punditry as delivered via National Public
Radio. We made up the titles of these two:

   Hell's Recycling System

   Get Me RageBoy!
Better than the AI slant of the latter -- we'll all be talking to
our machines Real Soon Now -- is David's take on stories as the
driving force behind business. The reason being that business is
part of social life, and stories are central to the whole of
that. Not so by-the-way, we greatly appreciated the plug in that
segment for our other involvement, the one that pays the bills:
Entropy Web Consulting.

However, he then immediately ruined this grand endorsement by
ending his list of "...some ways of keeping a healthy level of
insanity on the Web..." with this item:

   Give yourself the nickname "RageBoy" and then claim you're a
   marketing consultant: http://www.rageboy.com/ewc/index.html

Oh yeah, Mr. Smarty Pants? Well here's a little story for ya...
It was maybe 1987 and Ted Levitt was in Pittsburgh giving a talk
about high-tech marketing. Who's he, you ask? Try this:

   The Marketing Imagination 
   by Theodore Levitt

The Amazon review calls him "renowned as the Harvard Business
School's 'guru of marketing'" -- though fails to mention that he
was also Editor-in-Chief of Harvard Business Review at that time.

So we went up to him after the talk and gave him an article we'd
just written called "Corporate Communications: Telling Stories
That Transmit Vision." Imagine your most embarrassing groupie
scenario and you'll know how we felt -- at the least, that we'd
never hear from this guy again.

Imagine our surprise on receiving a letter only three days later
saying, basically, I read your piece on the plane back to Boston
and -- with certain modifications -- would like to publish it in

Wow! We were beside ourselves with excitement. And the changes
were pretty simple... which is possibly why we never bothered
making them, thereby letting this Golden Opportunity slip into
the Dustbin of History(tm). Poe calls it The Imp of the Perverse.

Anyway, it was all about the primacy of stories and what they
mean to the World of Business -- and how much fun it is to be a
PR Puke if you actually know this little secret. We've been
looking for this piece in order to subject you to its classy
insights. But we suspect it's on that old laptop -- the one with
the brain-dead BIOS -- so you're safe for the time being.

   [We do have a paper copy around here somewhere. If anyone out
   there in ReaderLand wants to earn undying fame in the Annals
   of EGR and is nuts enough to be willing to re-key it, we'll
   fax you a copy. Personally, we're way too lazy.]

Anyway, see? We have been perceived as worthy even by one so
elevated as Dr. Levitt, who, it can be safely presumed, never
even *heard* of Dr. Weinberger. So there! Of course, all we have
to show for the encounter is this lousy story of Fame That Might
Have Been.


Speaking of audio on the web, Audible.com has some interesting
things afoot. Brian Fielding, Director of Somethingorother over
there, called us recently to say there are now all of a dozen or
so subscribers to EGR-on-Audible. See:


Therefore, he continued, would we please get our ass in gear and
record some more issues. The problem, we explained, was that
we've been doing far more of these off-the-cuff sends, which are
chockablock with URLs and those don't make for a great listening
experience. "Just go to double-ewe-double-ewe-double-ewe dot
ratsass dot com..." 

However, they're now getting into MP3 in a big way, and Brian
tells us there's even a free RageBoy MP3 download somewhere on or


Oh cool! We managed to download it just now and -- apart from the
fact that it's a two-and-a-half meg file, and our shitty reading
style -- the MP3 format sounds great. The issue is:

   EGR Release 0.05 - Omar Reads the Net

To grab it, you have to sign up (simple really) and then you get
a page of offerings, among them Stephen King, Dave Barry, Ian
Fleming, Mitch Ratcliffe, The Wall Street Journal, Stanford
University and... RageBoy. Here's what the blurb says about us:

   From the twisted mind that created EGR comes the authoritative
   voice of Christopher Locke, a.k.a. RageBoy, the ex-MCI, ex-IBM
   Internet industry exec who went over the edge one day after
   one too many memos, meetings, and other cruel and unusual
   forms of corporate terrorism. RageBoy's rants have been
   branded as everything from comedic genius to utter stupidity,
   and many of his 2000 current subscribers [it's old data, OK?]
   claim they couldn't live without the 'zine. Others say they'd
   get along quite well. You'll have to decide for yourself, but
   one thing is certain: you've never heard anything quite like
   this. Each month, RageBoy reads EGR articles exclusively for

The problem is that we haven't been doing any such thing, so some
poor sods who signed up for this subscription are getting
shorted. However, we proposed that Audible send us a riffy new
DAT player and a decent microphone so that -- instead of writing
the sort of crafted, thoughtful prose we're so rightly famed for
-- we could just free-associate into the equipment once a week.
We think this would beat having to go into an expensive studio to
record old EGRs. That was a lot of fun for a while, but the time
constraints were killing us. Getting a DAT player from Audible
seems like a great idea -- like having a solipsistic talk show in
the privacy of our own World Headquarters. Or something. More to
be revealed. We know you can't wait.


As this has turned into a regular random coredump, we thought we
might as well tell you about the latest results accruing from EGR
being an Official Amazon Associate. Here's a brief report on what
we sold for them and what we made by doing so:

   Total shipped to customer last quarter: $1966.99
   Referral fee last quarter:                127.01
A nice dinner perhaps, but hardly the Get-Rich-Quick scheme we'd
hoped for. Oh well. Notice, though, that -- except for occasional
paragraphs like this -- EGR does practically no promotion of our
bookstores at:

   http://www.rageboy.com/amazon-books.html and 
...yet we still rack up almost two grand in quarterly sales. Now
think about the fact that Amazon has something like 150,000 other
sites in its Affiliates program and you don't have to wonder so
hard why their stock is performing like a rocket to Uranus!

What's interesting to us about this is that people don't just buy
the books we suggest. They tend to go through our links, then buy
other stuff instead. Still, we get reports -- and credit -- for
these Alternate Selections. In the past three months, purchases
have ranged from the inevitably nerdly:

   Software Architecture in Practice 

...to the not-so-inevitably practical:

   The Clock Repairer's Handbook 

   (did the buyer think it was about "Clocke" repair, perhaps?)

...to one of our own perennial favorites:

   The Runaway Bunny

You think we're kidding, but we've read that last one hundreds of
times, never failing to get something new out of it. In large
measure, RB (notice anything here?) was the inspiration for EGR.

We're thinking of collecting all these into a single file and
sending them on to you. Wouldn't *that* be exciting?! Also
planned: a monster email detailing all the sites that have been
added to our growing LinkBank directory at:

Check it out. And do keep those weirdball link suggestions

Finally, for your delectation, here's a little web reference that
just now arrived from one of our many Astute Readers:

   I would NEVER believe such a product existed had I not seen
   this with my own eyes!

   Uncle Booger's Bumper Dumper(tm)

For those too lazy to hit the links, it's a clever crapper you
can attach to the back of your big ass motor-camper or SUV. We
plan to get one for use in crowded mall parking lots and --
especially attractive to our mind -- in the loading zones in
front of well-attended can't-miss Computer Industry Conferences.
Can a photoessay be far behind?


The Management

to subscribe or UNSUBSCRIBE -- c'mon Bunky, you can figure it out if
you try real hard -- go to http://www.rageboy.com/sub-up.html and
*read the freaking directions there* -- sheesh what a buncha morons!

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