If the world is lousier than ever, why are so many things so much better?
The evil late
The evil nice
Don Knotts -- Genius
Why are you here?
I don't know about you, but I mostly live in a fog. Facts, faces, whole vistas sometimes appear suddenly out of the mist, leaving me amazed at what I can see, but also confounded because I usually haven't the foggiest notion what they signify. Even when visibility is good, my mind can hardly integrate more than a slice of what I look at. I am attuned to an internal frame of reference, and what I see beyond is exactly that - beyond me.
The fog is probably good. Those vistas it obscures would quickly overwhelm and immobilize if they became perfectly, permanently visible. It would be the opposite of Narcissus -- staring forever outward -- but no less fatal.
Because the fog constrains my field of vision to that which is immediately before me, there is a reasonable chance that what I see will have some direct relation to my internal frame of reference and thus mean something. So I proceed, interacting with what is right in front of my nose, occasionally stumbling over what materializes out of the mist -- usually cursing at the distraction, sometimes ecstatic over the epiphany.
Where you are now is the Web, of course, but as in life, Web users tend to be very focused on some internal purpose. They are buying a car and want to look up specifications and prices, or they are looking to download an MP3, or to read headlines, or to order a book. The things necessary to do their tasks they see clearly.
But as with life, the Web ends up surrounding its users with links and lists and pictures that amount to so much fog. Despite the best efforts of Web designers, everything but their original goal usually remains ill-defined and inconsequential. Usability research suggests that they are likely to succeed or fail in their original task, but not to do something else just because a Web page suggests it. The other stuff simply remains invisible. (For my Internet serendipity I rely exclusively on the mysterious party who originates those emails that direct me to the wacky cat clips, the bizarre David Hasselhoff video, the embarrassing George Bush pictures or, to go way back, the Rock Hudson jokes.)
In short, I'm guessing you don't have the foggiest notion why you're here. If you actually came here and found exactly what you were looking for - amazing! Otherwise, seize serendipity for yourself. Check out the more or less random aggregation of content linked here and prepare for a miraculous epiphany to appear suddenly from out of the fog.
The Gyros Project
The Lakefront Anonymous Art Gallery
The Western Avenue and Vicinity Art Gallery
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