27 October 2012

100 years of fuckityo.com

Quiz
  1. What is the longest post in the history of the blog?
  2. How many posts are tied for shortest? How many words do they contain?
  3. What have been all the names of the blog?
  4. Average posts per month? Average posts per month. (Extra credit: average words per post.)
  5. Deleted posts, do they exist?
  6. Which day is the sole day where there has been a post every year?
ANSWERS AND A LOT OF OTHER WORDS AFTER THE BREAK! THAT MEANS CLICK ON THE 'READ MORE' LINK. SERIOUSLY.

1
Pokemon Simulation and Me (and You) Pt. 5 weighs in at a healthy 2648 words, easily beating the only other 2000+ word post. What is that other post? A critique of statistics in televised baseball.

This really surprised me when I ran the numbers. Critique was utter torture to write. I picked it up and put it down multiple times and by the end writing it felt like a job. I'm also not sure I've ever thoroughly re-read it since, and I have to admit, I do re-read a lot of my old work.

I don't think it's a bad post, but I never really got the tone and style I was looking for. Really the whole purpose of it is to say that advanced statistics will never get traction from a wide audience because they're too far removed from the atomic events of the game. Instead, the focus should be on removing the deceptive statistics presented in televised baseball to more unprocessed ones. Maybe I should have just written that and quit.

But this section isn't about critique, it's about Pokemon Simulation which was a fucking joy to write. The Pokemon Simulation sequence is the 6000 word spike on the number of words line. It's the product of easily the blog's more prodigious period (more than double the initial spike in the first month) and I was writing it while I was amidst a really grueling period of grad school work. Writing about openpkmn became a real addiction that totally had a negative impact on my research throughput. And it's more than just a lot of words; I find myself re-reading it all the time.

I think I really enjoy the scope of it. It contrasts the general state of the online Pokemon community with a project that has been one of the defining characteristics of my adolescence and early adulthood. Then at the end it takes this deeply introspective tone. It's something that I'm really glad exists, because I'll always be able to look back at it and remember where my teenage years went. On the other hand, I look back at my pre-teen years and genuinely wonder where all the time went. It's like I've totally forgotten everything about the person I was then.

At the end of the day neither of them have mass appeal. But one I consider among my finest work and the other one is just some boring shit about baseball stats.

2
There are two posts with zero words: Baseball season is almost here! Captioned images of baseball players are already here! and Songs in which the singers have opposite problems. One is an image, the other is two YouTube videos. Not particularly exciting stuff.

Of posts that actually have words, Hmmm has four and I can remember them verbatim. "I wonder if nevermind" has five but it shows up as four on my fucking list because I used god damn StringTokenizer to count words thanks for nothing Java. This is the worst post in the entire blog.

Hmmm is a representative of vacuous December, 2011. This is a period where there were 6 posts, but only 632 words. One post comprised over half of those words.

Generally this was a month where I was turmoiled and indecisive. Turmoiled and indecisive Matt makes for a shitty writer, because I tend not to avoid the revelation of deeply personal stuff or excessive whining in the blog. That's just major league impolite (because it's typically interpersonal) and kind of hackneyed. At the same time it saps my energy for writing about the random things that cross my mind. But I'm all emotional I feel the need to post something and thus come the oblique one-sentence posts.

That being said, I enjoy Roadrunner twice.

3
  • The Laquidara Power Hour
  • LaqPow!
  • The Laquidara Power Hour
  • Matt Laquidara's Fun Blog for Children
  • Sarge you just ran over some poor feller's blog
  • Movin und Groovin
  • Когда я ем, я глух и нем
  • Chat with Matt
I think the idea behind The Laquidara Power Hour name was to mock radio show names. The switch to LaqPow was while I was looking for jobs and didn't the blog easily identified. That desire for anonymity didn't last very long.

I've been fairly transparent about connecting my blog with my name (and I mean Matt Laquidara's Fun Blog for Children is just so straightforwardly bizarre it makes me look like a weirdo or worse). I feel like the content, while invariably filthy-mouthed doesn't paint a horrible picture of me and, in any event, I should be able to reserve the right to have separation between a professional and personal life.

Nevertheless changing the title clearly indicates anonymity something I grapple with. I've definitely wanted to make posts that I've shied away from due to the connection with my name. I've even thought about an anonymous second blog, but it's never materialized (or has it???????).

Friend, frequent commenter, and chief Pokemon rival Ilya never liked the Matt Laquidara's Fun _____ for Children setup (especially when I changed openpkmn to Matt Laquidara's Fun Battling Monster Game for Children) so all the subsequent titles have been for his benefit. Who's to say I've never done anything nice for anyone?

4
Average posts per month is 2.53. Answers within 10% get full credit. Remember that your final score dictates your social standing in the Matt Laquidara fan club (top 5% enjoys unlimited Corolla use (weekdays only, reservations required and not guaranteed), drunk dial protection, shit-list and backhand immunity; join today!).

Posts per month is really weighed down by the summer 2010 hiatus of 2010 (actual name). I went three staight months--June, July, and August--without a single post. Interestingly this was a very boring summer. I was in grad school, by roommate had left for his hometown, many of the people in my lab were at summer internships, people I knew from undergrad had scattered. I was mostly alone and didn't take to it well.

Rather than taking advantage of the lack of course load to go exploring, I took up hermitage, going into the lab during the day and watching baseball and working on openpkmn at night. Then, one day, I was watching some TV after a baseball game had ended and saw this documentary about Apple computer. Then, a quote hit me like a load of bricks. It really resonated with how I was spending the summer.

"Engineers are retarded. They have some kind of brain damage that allows them to not have social skills so that they could concentrate long enough to write code. But it's a disease. That's why I had to quit. I mean, I'm like an engineer in recovery. I don't want to write code anymore. It just makes you retarded. I mean, get a girlfriend, get a life."--Jim Reekes

I spent all that summer trying to write about my feeling on that quote, how they connected to a feeling that I didn't want to be identified as a nerd anymore, and a sense that I was living my life entirely wrong. This lead to some pretty crazy introspection about the (im)mutability of personalities, addictive personalities, and other fun and exciting thoughts are generally unproductive to think about. In the end, I'm not really sure if I came out of the whole experience sufficiently changed or not, nor should I have.

There's still a draft post with some scattered thoughts related to this quote lying around. I don't think I'll ever finish it.

But that's why there were no posts that summer.

Extra credit: 367 (point value: sixty-twelve).

5
There have been several deleted posts in the history of the fuckityo.com computer website. Most of them aren't really special and have been deleted for a variety of reasons. One of them is the best post I've ever written.

I tend not to avoid mentioning people by name in my blog. I generally have no idea of if people want me mentioning things about themselves to the entire internet, so I'm not going to do it by default. There are several people who I name by name, and my criteria generally is that I have to know them very well and they have to have commented or otherwise given me an indication that they know about the blog so that there's a fair chance they'll read about themselves and let me know if I've gone too far before someone else reads about them.

My other exception is if I feel there's no chance anyone will find my writing, typically because they have not been in contact with me for a very long time.

I had a post about some people from my elementary school. A couple of weeks later I realized one of them had sent me a message request on facebook that pre-dated the blog entry. Really weird huge coincidence. I hadn't heard from this person at all since probably 5th grade. I quickly deleted the post because I felt like it could really dredge up some pretty horrible experiences for this person and no one should have to deal with that being public.

Internet's a funny thing.

6
The only day that's had a post every year is Valentine's day. This is to some extent by design.

In 2010 I just had a great idea for a Valentine's day post. For the most part, I really like this post. It's a good weird elementary school story I really like old weird stories. The setup of the epilogue really sucks though. It makes the post fairly inaccessible and I've always to make the blog something that doesn't require insider information. As you can imagine this generally conflicts with the guideline against deeply personal things. But still, it's a post that I like.

The next year for some reason I felt compelled to continue the tradition of a Valentine's day post and that's really hard. Forcing myself to come up with an idea to write about rarely ends well (A critique of statistics in televised baseball, One last walk through UMass). I generally need to have the post partially formed in my mind before I consider writing. That year it was a pretty uninspired effort.

But then the third year I similarly felt compelled and I wrote something I like even more than my first effort, so now I guess I have to keep going.

Next year: probably some horseshit.

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