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Time way in: 100,000 views!

“I sincerely believe blogging can save America.”– John Jay Hooker

Uh, I don’t think so.  Not only is blogging not saving America, but social media might actually be destroying it.   And promoting my blog on social media?  We won’t even discuss that.  But what I will discuss–and pound my chest about–is that just a few weeks after Millennium Conjecture’s 4th anniversary, it has passed the 100,000 hit mark.  Wow.  I know you didn’t see that coming, and I sure as hell didn’t.  And I’m willing to bet that not more than 97,000 of those views have come from immediate family and close friends.  After all, how many close friends and family do you think I could have?

In honor of this hallowed event,  here a is blast from the past.  It was by far my most viewed post.  Thanks to being “Freshly Pressed” by WordPress,  this post brought in over 1700 views and garnered 230 blogger “likes” on September 23, 2012–exactly four months to the day after my inaugural post.    And yes, it has been all downhill since then.

Anyway, thanks for all the views and likes–and if you are really a masochist, check out my new blog on futurist topics, Seeking Delphi™

 

Equations of Everyday Life #2: Inane Celebrity Memes

“You’re not famous until my mother has heard of you”–Jay Leno 

(Jay Leno graduated from Emerson College the same year I did.  Aren’t you unimpressed?)

Lindsay Lohan…Paris Hilton…Charlie Sheen…you just gotta follow these people to be “with it” in this day and age.  What I can’t figure out is exactly what “it” is. The nonsense involving these silly (do I dare say ridiculous?) excuses for humanity, and the speed with which their inane meme virality propagates throughout the internet and general mediasphere is stultifying.

 How do we quantify this vacuous tripe?  Quite obviously with:

The Index of Inane Celebrity Meme Virality

Get out your calculators folks, though the math on this one may require something more like a Cray supercomputer.   This process requires not one step, but three.

  1. Rate the inanity
  2. Compute the Virality Index
  3. Classify the virality using the Virality Classification Scale

Rating Inanity

This part is for those of you who—like many politicians—prefer fuzzy math.  In order to compute the virality of an inane celebrity meme, you first need to give it an inanity rating.  This, however, does not compute.  You need to estimate it by a process that could be seen as similar to the way we old folks were taught to compute square roots in days before electronic calculators.  You sort of have to zero in on it—surround it, using  a combination of whatever logic or intuition works for you.

Using a scale of 0 to 1.0, we rate the inanity based on how unusual, how cable newsworthy and, of course, how inane it appears to be.  Using the Lindsay Lohan example, let’s rate some real and imagined events.

Lindsay Lohan gets up in the morning and brushes her teeth (or not).  Probable rating=0  (probable rating because, again, there is some subjectivity here).

Lindsay Lohan gets busted for another probation violation.  Approximate rating=0.5 (This is fairly commonplace but due to media culpability still maintains some newsworthiness.  Also, the specific story behind the arrest may result in some adjustment up or down; the next item demonstrates this.)

Charlie Sheen stubs his toe on the curb of 34th Street in NYC, stumbles into oncoming traffic causing Lindsay Lohan to swerve her speeding Porsche through a display window at Macy’s, decapitating several mannequins, skidding across the retail floor and then crashing through a sidewall into a back room where she runs over Paris Hilton who was in the act of giving her boyfriend a you-know-what.  Absolute rating of 1.0.  This theory does not permit a rating higher than 1.0, but we’ll give this one a 1.0 with a star, meaning it also generates spontaneous orgasms in Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and every Fox News and CNN anchor past, present and future.  (Note that while coverage on Comedy Central will actually lampoon the coverage by the other networks, this will add even greater fuel to the viral fire than serious reporting).

Computing the Virality Index

Here comes the fun.

ξ = Φ(F+T)(µ-110)

Symbol key

ξ =Virality Index I chose that squiggly symbol because I think it looks like Kate Middleton mooning the paparazzi.

Φ =Inanity rating Aren’t those Greek thingies cool? This one is iota, as in “I don’t give one iota of a hoot about these nitwits”.

F= number of “friends” or “likes” on celebrity’s Facebook page

T= number of Twitter followers of the celebrity There is a reason they call it TWITter.

µ =the median IQ of the set whose members are F+T. For the uninitiated µ is the scientific symbol for micro.  How appropriate. (Can’t you just imagine those two sentences being uttered by Dr. Sheldon Cooper?)

To sum it up:

The virality index is the inanity rating multiplied by the combined number of Twitter and Facebook followers multiplied by what I call the vacuity index (median IQ of all followers minus 110).

Classify the Virality

For any chance at virality, the final Index number MUST be negative.  This works perfectly fine for most of the personalities discussed above.  If we are talking about Stephen Hawking, however, there is a better chance of finding virality in the singularity at the center of a black hole.

The classifications of virality are as follows

If ξ ≤  -100,000  minimally contagious

If ξ ≤  -500,000  highly contagious

If ξ ≤  -1 million  immutably viral

If ξ ≤  -10 million globally pandemic

If ξ ≤  -100 million worthy of hours of uninterrupted coverage on CNN and FOX News.

Still to be determined is the threshold at which Geraldo Rivera coverage kicks in.

So if we compute the Charlie Sheen meme virality index for the automobile accident scenario hypothesized above,  we multiply the inanity index of 1 times the combined number of his Twitter and Facebook followers (roughly 10.5 million, don’t worry about being exact, this is fuzzy math) times the vacuity index. We will estimate the latter for Sheehan as (100-110)= -10.  This may be generous but 100, after all, is the definition of median IQ.  This yields a score of -105 million.  If you compute and add to this the scores for Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan who were also involved in the scuffle,  the Index plunges much lower.  The New York Post would be sure to issue a special edition.

This leaves one unanswered question, however.  We now know how to compute the manner in which these viral memes are turned on.  But what determines how they are turned off?  As you would expect, I have the answer which I call the medialogical constant.  I will discuss this in the next Equations of Everyday Life post, which may or may not be published within your lifetime.

Images credit: Meme Center   All text in this post ©2012 Mark Sackler

 

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Cosmic Quote(s) #48

“Each night when I go to bed, I die, and the next morning I am born again.”–Gandhi

“I intend to live forever, or die trying.”–Groucho Marx

Groucho--This face will live forever

Groucho–This face will live forever

It’s time for a rebirth.  As my day-to-day business winds down for the year, I have a little time for my funny business.  I aim to get this blog restarted–or die trying.  Or not.  Stay tuned.

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Cosmic Quote #23: Happy Birthday MC

“I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but I almost always wind up where I need to be.”-Douglas Adams

“There still is no cure for the common birthday.”–John Glenn

The Millennium Conjectures™ turns one today.  On May 23, 2012 my life was in turmoil.   My father had just passed away,  one of my best friends was in the process of being diagnosed with an incurable cancer and I was feeling more than a bit burned out.  Was this the cure?  Life still has its vicissitudes, but I am certainly doing a lot better than a year ago.   This blog has helped, and it has survived.   To paraphrase Douglas Adams, it hasn’t always gone where I thought it would go, but it has always gone where I needed it to be.  Amazingly,  I have amassed a decent sized audience and have received no death threats or arrest warrants.   And as there is no truism greater than the John Glenn quote above, I will relentlessly keep going where I need to be, as long as I am still breathing.   Below is the first post from one year ago today.  Where has it taken me?  Where has it taken you?

Signature        @MarkSackler

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May 23, 2012:  What is This?

These are my musings, both ridiculous and sublime.  I would have made “Ridiculous and Sublime” the primary title of this blog, but I am vain.  I want some semblance of uniqueness and there are many other bloggers using this theme.   But I will explain both title and subtitle before proceeding.

So what are Millennium Conjectures?  I’ll explain that in a bit as well.  But first, I present a word about the overall content and nature of my posts.  And why I, and my posts, are both ridiculous and sublime.

This is not a personal journal.  Who would be interested in reading my personal journal online?  I wouldn’t even be interested.  No, these are musings, observations and conjectures from a journalistic standpoint, a way of looking at things you might find interesting or funny.  You might also find some silly and trivial.  I do have some past background in both broadcast and print journalism, but that is not my professional livelihood these days; I do this for the satisfaction and outlet.

So—I’ll get back to the subtitle.

Let’s face it: I am both ridiculous and sublime.  To start with, the two most famous people whose birthday I share (October 2) are Mohandas Gandhi and Groucho Marx.

Gandhi

What could be more sublime and ridiculous than those two?  And to boot, the most famous thing, arguably, that happened on the very day of my birth (Oct 2, 1950), was the appearance of the very first syndicated Peanuts cartoon.  Good ‘ol Charlie Brown was born the same day as me.  He is most certainly a perfect blending of the two qualities we are talking about.  Wishy-washy? Maybe. But that is only because he is so torn by these conflicting aspects of the universe that surrounds him.  Yes, the silly and profound seem both to be bound into my DNA.

Content herein will then consist of both the trivial/silly (WheresGeorge.com, history of CT license plates, Pearls Before Swine) and the profound (Quantum Physics, Cosmology, Existentialism, Opera and the philosophy of science).  There will also be topics that engender a bit of both characteristics; baseball, for example, and especially baseball statistics.  Yes, Baseball is a game, but as George Will so astutely observed, “if baseball is just a game, then the Grand Canyon is just a hole in the ground.”   This will happen solely because my cluttered mind embraces all of these endeavors, and for some strange reason, I think that somewhere out there one or two people might be interested in my insights.

So, back to the Millenium Conjectures.  My posts will be marked as either Ridiculous or Sublime or Ridiculous AND Sublime.  The lion’s share of the Sublime category—indeed of all the content– will be a series I call The Millenium Conjectures.  These will deal with my views and speculations on the nature of reality, the universe and  scientific philosophy.  Everything else will be a time-out to blow off steam. But lest my head explode, let alone yours, this is enough for now.

Text in this post ©2012 Mark Sackler

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1001: A Blogging Odyssey

“Blogs are whatever we make them. Defining ‘blog’ is a fool’s errand.”–Michael Conniff

“Blogging is pure vanity.”–Unknown

1001 HITSLet’s not get all misty eyed here, but yesterday The Millennium Conjectures™ passed the 1,000 subscriber threshold.  This presents an opportunity to wax poetic on the nature of blogging itself.  Oh, wait, I forgot–you don’t care, and my poetry stinks.  I’ll spare you the agony;  if you are one of my followers it is probably because of the humor, satire or metaphysics.  Thanks for being here.  Thanks for liking my posts and commenting on them.   The onus is now on me to keep delivering–with a little help from my friends, of course. 😉

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