Friday, January 16, 2009


I really like Wikipedia but there's no doubt it's not the same as a regular encyclopedia (at least those I grew up on).

One measurement - On November 2002 I posted this entry for "Leprechaun"

"Leprechaun: leprechauns are the oldest species of Celtic elf inhabiting the island of Ireland. Solitary by nature, they live in remote places and make shoes and brogues. Their name literally means “one shoe maker” and they are sometimes detected by the rhythmic tapping of their cobbler’s hammer as they go about their work.

In appearance a leprechauns takes the form of a diminutive old man, usually no larger than three feet tall, wearing a cocked hat, leather (work) apron, woolen vest, knee breeches, long stockings and silver-buckled brogues. They are always bearded and are usually pipe smokers. In modern times leprechauns are often depicted wearing emerald green frock coats as part of brightly colored ensemble but this has more to do with the popular cereal Lucky Charms than established tradition.

Leprechauns are widely believed to know the location of buried treasure, often a crock of gold. They will reveal the location of this treasure if caught but will not give it up easily, hence the saying that a leprechaun’s treasure is at the “end of the rainbow” (i.e. unobtainable).

By nature leprechauns are mischievous with a great fondness for Celtic music and sports. They like nothing better than a well-crafted, ironic practical joke and Irish folklore is replete with examples. (A farmer captures a leprechaun and forces him to reveal the location of buried treasure. The leprechaun assures him that the treasure is buried in an open field beneath a particular ragwort plant. The farmer ties a red bandanna to the plant, releases the leprechaun, and leaves to get a shovel. Upon his return he finds that every weed in the field has been tied with identical red bandannas).

Leprechaun sightings occur most frequently in the vicinity of faerie forts (drumlins) and they seem to serve as defenders of the faerie community i.e. a type of palace guard to the faerie queen.

Although absolute numbers are hard to come by, and their breeding habits in the wild are not well known, they are believed to be in decline and are usually considered endangered."

The present entry, after migrations, modifications, corrections, and images & links, can be found here

Many of the first edits were blasting attempts to deny the existence of leprechauns in reality; exclusively treat them as mythology. It is really nice to see that the weight of contributions basically now permits several viewpoints (where pure science has not published a hard fact several different opinions are permitted to exist).

Even though a proposed solution may seem statistically unlikely to succeed let's not slam the door on all non-standard view points.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The State of Global Social Networking

Oracle very generously sends me a copy of their magazine "Profit"; the following was on one of the opening pages.

To make a short story even shorter - worldwide "58% of folks don't know what social networking is" For sure this refers to online systems. Almost everyone know that being socially polite with that good looking group of workers two floors above is at least a potentially sweet move. Right?

The overall interest in online social networks is fading fast for about one third of users. Actually not too great a surprise when you think about it particularly where the current master sources (referred to) are Facebook and MySpace. As humans a lot of us ultimately seem to be looking for face-to-face memories that include smells, tastes, physical surprises. It's OK to use something like Facebook to start a relationship with that great group two floors above but really, one day, we want to sit near the campfire on the beach together and talk about everything.

As part of history i.e. this sounds true, people originally didn't quite know what to do with telephones. Certainly stock trading and medical emergency were easy to accept. But if I haven't been writing to that dumb relative why in heck will I begin speaking to him through this thin copper wire!? Now it's hard to imagine a day without a cell phone!

Similarly we are on the brink of some truly wonderful SNA changes. And it's going to be great ...