Thursday, October 01, 2009

There is too much internet

Martpol points us to Wikipedia’s list of US official state crustaceans. Disgracefully, it seems that only two states have even bothered to nominate official crustacean representatives.

So while we applaud Louisiana and Maryland for adopting the crawfish and blue crab in 1983 and 1989 respectively, we have to wonder what the hell the other 48 states have been doing in the intervening decades. Pull your fingers out Oregon, Florida and Vermont, to name but three! There are 52,000 unclaimed species of crustacean out there, get recognising!

Insignia-happy Maryland is a shining example to the other states, also boasting an official state dinosaur (the Astrodon johnstoni), an official state dance (the square dance) and piously endorsing milk as its approved beverage. (Milk dominates the list of state tipples – well it would, wouldn’t it? – with only rascally old Alabama venturing into booze and Nebraska naffly naming Kool-Aid).

As an aside, I observe that we can retrospectively apply the Ethical System of Biological Taxonomy to prehistoric fauna. Good: triceratops, brontosaurus, iguanadon (thumbs up!) woolly mammoth, dodo, unicorn. Evil: T-Rex, velociraptor, pterodactyl, sabre-tooth tiger, giant octopus. Neutral: stegosaurus, trilobite.

But I digress from the point I was going to make, which is the following:

Could it be, I wonder, that the Wikipedia page of official US state crustaceans – which, despite there being a mere two relevant examples, nonetheless displays both in a table with illustrations and binomial nomenclature – could it be, perhaps, that the creation of this wiki page was the moment, the shark-jump if you like, the tipping point as it were, when it was finally the case that there is too much internet?

Or perhaps it was this blogpost?


malty said...

In the good old days when we were analogue and data was a Jamaican expression, the information (or info-matsy-own as the Krauts pronounce) revolution was a mere speck on the horizon, a figment of the imagination of dusty boffins in tweed jackets and OU hairdo's, signally thing's were delivered courtesy of valvish gubbins, or thermionic devices as the old Itie Macaroni would say. Then some clever git invented solid state, semi conductors (no, not bus conductors, silly), including field effect transwotsits and stuff, thats when it all started, the beginning of the end of the Bakelite tellingbone.
We suffer today from a surfeit of information, enough to make the brain hurt and the Internet is at the epicentre, along with Borders Books.
In an interesting discussion on radio four on Monday a news operative talked about when, in the days of film, the amount of footage was restricted to the limits imposed by cost. Today however because the information is stored digitally, there is no restriction, many news cameramen simply leave their cameras running, giving their editors major problems or in the case of twenty four hour news, just show the lot.
C'mon Brit, lets start the Luddite uprising now, mobs can break into the ISPs and wreck the servers, others can remove Google's gooleys, bring back Fleet St, unMurdoch Wapping, brothers, unite.

martpol said...

I note that the crustaceans page was created on 7 May 2007.

And yet this has been around since August 2004. And the 2,500 versions of this
this, while certainly ending up as a long and imporant list, go back to 2001 and must have taken a hilarious, surreal amount of time.

I could also note the sheer pointlessness of this, this and this, but it's all just scratching the surface.

Go here for more opportunities to waste your time.

Matt said...

When it comes to crawfish, no such thing as too much-- bite the tail, and, yes, suck the head.

On the other hand, I do sympathize with your point about Wikipedia.

Anonymous said...

Could it be, I wonder...that there is too much internet?

Indeed there is, and you are to be commended for trying to get that message out far and wide through the Internet. It recalls the old Harvard Lampoon parody of Time where a cover of scantily clad young beauties foretold the feature article: "Does Sex Sell Magazines?"

Anonymous said...

with only rascally old Alabama venturing into booze

God bless the South. That list of beverages is all you need to know about the triumph of wimpiness in the modern West. Milk? Tomato Juice? And for ultra-progressive, politically correct MA, cranberry juice? Is this what it now takes to keep free men and women strong?

In 2005, the tradionalists in New Hampshire just barely beat off an attempt to change the state motto from "Live Free or Die" to "New Hampshire--You're Going To Love It Here!"

worm said...

You've made me conjour up an image of the internet as Mr Creosote in The Meaning of Life, just as he's about to go supernova. Wonder what will happen after it goes pop.

David said...

How do they know that the list of fictional ducks is incomplete, and if they know, why don't they complete it? How will they know when it's complete?

Did someone give them the total number of fictional ducks in the world, and now they're out searching?

Matt said...


By inducktion, one assumes.

And, no, I do not apologize.

malty said...

The following quack is strange but true,
when we first moved into our present home we inherited Mallards, among various other feathered critters, One pair decided to nest in a border, right outside of the kitchen door. We, on the way out or way in frequently bumped into Mr or Mrs daffy, both of whom totally ignored us. This went on for three years, during the fourth year one of the dogs decided that he liked duck eggs, carried them one by one to a quiet corner and broke them open. The ducks had a quackey fit and moved house, back near the pond.
The moral of this story, when buying a puppy, always ask if it likes eggs.

Brit said...

And nor should you apologise, Matt, that was a quacker.

Powerful cautionary tale that, Malty, thanks.