Monday, April 30, 2007

post 6: news you can use

What if U.S. News & World Report ranked religions in the same way that they rank colleges? Many of the categories, such as reputation, selectivity and even expense could remain the same, but a serious attempt at ranking religions would also have to weigh the probable accuracy of each faith's historical and metaphysical claims of fact. To be fair, Atheism and Agnosticism would also take their place in the rankings, and maybe a few quasi-religious ideologies such as Marxism and Libertarianism as well. Given the fact that religions also function as social and economic networks, U.S. News could evaluate the size and power of the global social network to which each religion offers access, and assess that religion's potential for growth.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

post 5: "we have something in common"

What if there were a guy who felt that the only way he could make conversation with anyone else was to point out something he had in common with that person, no matter how trivial or blindingly obvious? He'd say to someone standing next him at the bus stop, "Excuse me, I couldn't help but notice that you're wearing shoes. Look, me too. These things really protect your feet, don't they?"

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

post 4: "narrative is dead"

What if there were a guy who owned a DVD player but refused to let anyone in his family watch films on it unless the scenes were shuffled? What if whenever he caught his spouse or kids watching a film from beginning to end, he'd grab the remote, hit the "shuffle" function and declare "Narrative is dead!" What might be his motivations for doing this? Maybe he'd earned an advanced degree in comparative literature in the late 1980s, and thus thoroughly marinated his thinking in a post-structuralist suspicion of narrative? Maybe he shared Plato's objection to mimetic art in general (though why then would he own a TV?) or Augustine's objection to wasting one's sympathy on the plight of fictional characters in a world full of very real misery? Or maybe his wife and kids would be closest to the truth in their suspicion that his strict enforcement of the non-sequential viewing of films, however justified, was merely a manifestation of his desire to dominate others?

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

post 3: converstation starter

What if there were a guy who read every single bumper-sticker he saw as a sincere invitation to start a conversation? What if every time he saw a bumper-sticker on the Interstate, he would tailgate that vehicle to its next exit (thus avoiding the chance to be captivated by the sight of any other bumper-stickers), and then follow its driver until he could engage him or her in direct verbal conversation at a stoplight, parking lot, driveway, or wherever? What if he were motivated, not by anger or an insane desire to stalk strangers, but by a broad interest in current events and a wholly innocent desire to communicate with his fellow human beings?

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Page1 - Rough Draft:
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post 2: palimpsest

What if there were a program that allowed email recipients to read the earlier versions of every email sent to them? What if it functioned like the "undo" button in Word, thus allowing the reader to undo every revision that the author made before sending it, restoring every misspelling, obscenity, and unintentional disclosure to its original glory?

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post 1

What if there were a guy who could not stop thinking of "what if" ideas? What if every sentence he spoke began with "what if" even if he really meant it to be a mere "hello" or an urgent plea for help like: "What if someone pulled me from this burning car before it explodes?" What if some of his "what if" questions and scenarios were mildly amusing, deeply troubling, or surprisingly plausible? And what if he had a blog all his own, to share his ideas and to harness his compulsion to the infinite slack of the Internet in the hope that he might either a) cure himself of this compulsion or b) use up a good portion of that slack? What if this were that blog? What if, indeed.