Friday, 25 March 2011

I will take my chances TO THE MOON!

Honestly, I don't know what this title has to do with this blog post, it's just a thing I said on the Playground on a random impulse (I mean, there was context, but still a random impulse). Which, actually, I guess sort of is a link, because this blog post is going to be fairly random. In the past couple of days, I've thought of a few different things I could potentially write blog posts about, and then I haven't written any of them and the inclination is fading a bit. But I feel I should write something, so I'm going to do this blog post basically just about whatever comes to mind, which may include some of the things I was considering doing posts on, but in less detail than if they had posts to themselves.

OK, so I've been watching through more vlogbrothers videos. In fact, our internet is back up to acceptable speed (It's been having some difficulties of late), so I can actually watch them as they load, rather than clicking on one, pausing it, and coming back a while later when it's loaded. I'm fast approaching the present day, and have passed VidCon. In which was announced Dan 3.0. This struck me as a very interesting idea, particularly for a reason which turned out also to be one of Dan Brown's reasons (That's not Dan Brown the author, it's Dan Brown the video blogger, who is considerably more awesome).
I'll explain the idea. In Dan 3.0, Dan Brown is literally putting his life in the hands of the community of people who watch his videos. For one year, which started shortly after VidCon, that community is voting on suggestions of what he should do, on day-to-day, week-to-week and month-to-month bases.
Now on the one hand, this is a bit of a crazy stunt sort of thing. But on the other hand, it's also a serious demonstration/experiment on the kind of things that can be achieved by a truly global community, united by the internet - which is a very interesting subject. And on the other other hand (Yes, three hands at least), Dan Brown, like a considerable number of young people which definitely includes me, doesn't really know what to do with his life, so allowing that to be determined by people on the internet isn't such a big deal. And that's the part which resonated with me.
I'm pretty sure I've mentioned on here before that I don't know what to do with my life. This can sometimes lead to me not doing that much. Whereas, if some set of people on the internet decided things I should do instead, that would probably lead to me doing more things, getting a wider range of experiences, and increasing the likelihood that something would just grab me enough for me to pursue it further. Of course, I can't realistically do a Dan 3.0 thing, partly because my name isn't Dan, but more importantly because I don't have a large internet community following my blog. All the same, it serves as something of a reminder to myself, that I should do more things.
Actually I guess that could kind of link up with the title (Yay serendipity) - while I'm not literally going to take my chances, or anything else, to the moon; I should nonetheless remember my general axiom that if I really want to do something, I should just go for it, and I'll figure out a way to make it work.

And then another thing, in a later video, was spelling and grammar. Now Buttercupliffy did a post on that subject a while back which we were kind of slightly discussing yesterday, so the thoughts were fresh in my mind from that as well. On the subject of that post, incidentally, it is rather odd that it wasn't me who said the thing about teh communicating not being worth it if I didn't do it properly, because more than it just sounding like something I would say, I have a fairly distinct recollection of having said such a thing to someone over MSN. Though I suppose it's possible this is the result of a faulty flashbulb memory (Another thing I learned about today from the Vlogbrothers, but an explanation of it would take too long).
Anyway, it occurred to me that with maybe a few exceptions, like not splitting infitives or ending sentences with prepositions, the accuracy of my grammar is just an automatic thing on my part. It's like how Buttercupliffy said that she plays the flute because she was able to get a note out of it naturally on her first attempt, so while she can do it, there's no way she could teach anyone else. It's the same for me and grammar other than those odd points. I assume I must've been taught these things in school at some point, but I don't have a set of grammatical rules in my head - they've just turned into an inherent feel for the euphony of it. I don't mentally check my sentences to see if they're grammatically correct - I mentally check them to see if they sound nice. It just so happens that the Venn diagram of what I think sounds nice and what is grammatically correct is pretty much a circle.

Aaand... I just got a skype account, which is a thing I'd been kind of meaning to do for a while. It was a whole thing, I was intending to try and be more sociable and stuff with my friends, make more connections. Starting this blog was also partly supposed to be part of that process, because it's allowing people to take a look into the inner workings of my mind. Sort of. Why do I never seem to manage to get things like that done all in one go? I mean, I pruned my facebook friends and started a blog, but then it took me over a month to get to the 'get skype' stage of the plan, and I still haven't  reached the 'maybe add more MSN contacts?' bit I was thinking about. And I started thinking about this around new year.
I'm undisciplined. It's a problem. Also, while I do feel to a certain extent that I should just do things if I want to, the reason I have to keep reminding myself of that as a principle is because my natural inclination is more towards the "Think extensively about things for ages and ages" approach to activity.
I spend altogether too much time in the contemplative phase. I think too much and act too little. Sometimes I need to just take my chances to the moon.


  1. In a post which lauds your natural ability to write grammatically correct sentences that are always spelled properly, you have made the following errors, Raplh (errors capitalised for readers' ease):

    "For one year, which started shortly after VidCon, that community is voting on suggestions of what he should do, on day-to-day, week-to-week and month-to-month BASES."

    " is rather odd that it wasn't me who said the thing about TEH communicating not being worth it if I didn't do it properly..."

  2. Au contraire, I direct you to:
    The plural of basis is bases.

    And actually I didn't make any comment about my natural ability to spell correctly, though I do have some such ability. In any case, it certainly doesn't make me immune to typos, especially since I type my blog posts rather quickly.
    Also, you invoked Muphry's Law and had a typo of your own: "RAPLH"
    You also failed to notice that I split an infinitive in my final sentence.

  3. Skype has a capital S.

    - Anonymous II

  4. I've actually thought about the Dan 3.0 idea for a while. It's something that I'd love to do, but there'd need to be some form of quality control.

    As for the grammar thing, I've actually felt the same way. I think it has something to do with being exposed to a very high quality of formal English as a child (in the form of religious texts, but the eloquence still rubbed off). I'm pretty certain that I heard more religious writings (which in my experience tend to be quite well written, despite being potentially problematic in other areas)read aloud to me than children's books when I was young, so that's had a huge influence on the standard to which I hold language.

  5. Skype is almost certainly in the transition stage from being capitalised almost all of the time to almost none of the time (the process 'internet' is getting to the useful end of). And while 'teh' may not yet be an alternative to 'the' recognised by dictionaries, it is very commonly used within internet communities and I believe would be understood by the average person reading this blog (your average friend, H? :P) so may or may not have been a typo.

    Interestingly the only real judgement of grammaticality within a language (in fact what is meant by 'grammaticality judgement') is whether a sentence/phrase etc. 'sounds right' to native speakers. It's how dialectal differences grammar are researched, among other things. Rules do exist, but they are only there to describe what is already present in a language through speakers' intuition. It's why things like not ending sentences with prepositions are nonsense really, because they aren't based on any inclination of native speakers, just a guy with a book to fill hundreds of years ago. It's all fascinating though, because sometimes artificially created rules get so embedded into public consciousness that they do affect grammaticality judgements. Or, it seems logical that they might. I must admit, I've never read anything on the subject...