Not even the most powerful organs of the press, including Time, Newsweek, and The New York Times, can discover a new artist or certify his work and make it stick... They can only bring you the scores.
Tom Wolfe

Like dreams, statistics are a form of wish fulfillment.
Jean Baudrillard

I get so tired listening to one million dollars here, one million dollars there. It's so petty.
Imelda Marcos

Entropy Gradient Reversals


Six Degrees Above Absolute Zero

Did the good old boys at DARPA have EGR in mind when they set out to create a computer network impervious to nuclear war? Of course not -- but they played right into my hands! Think about it.

Non-sequiturially, I'm in a tricky position these days, having decided to become a consultant. Most consultants are whores. You pay them for the satisfaction they provide: "No, a little lower... That's it, that's it, no, more right there! Ahhhh, oooooh, ohmygod! Yes, Yes!!!"

Granted, stroking a client's ego takes a lot of skill.

But you never really know where they're coming from, so to speak. The point is, you can't just analyze commercial web sites these days, you have to fuck with them. One site I've been fucking with a lot this past week is sixdegrees.

http://www.sixdegrees.com

Now the ethical conundrum. If that company were a client (they are not), would I publish the sort of things I'm about to say here? Perhaps not. I'd probably deliver the information discretely to the CEO. "Hey, pal, here's the doc you paid me to prepare on the sixteen reasons your site really bites..."

The marvelous paradox is that, when you charge people as much as I do to deliver the Bad News, they tend to listen. Whereas if you're working for a company directly and do the same thing, they automatically assume your criticism is evidence of a Bad Attitude and just fire your ass on the spot.

So, here's my rationalization -- and believe me, every consultant needs one to support the continued ability to look in the mirror. Because my paid behind-the-scenes counsel is harkened to and taken so seriously, I can reasonably assume it has done some good and served its purpose. It is therefore not necessary to publish