Thursday, 28 May 2009

Refertence Analysis

Wolfram|Alpha is quite the talk of the (digital) town at the moment, yes. Everyone (who matters) has tried to play around with it one way or another. Still, I'll tell you what: the most fun of all games you can play with it is to ask it a question which is also a reference. It's cool to see how each of these are answered by it.

For example, we all know that the answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42. Well, apparently, W|A knows this as well. And, when asked of the speed of an unladen swallow, it proceeds to ask, in its own way, if you mean an African or a European swallow. So, yes, it knows its basic references too.

My point, however, is to inquire if it's best for a reference to remain as such, despite the way in which the society around us moves and changes and evolves. And my answer tends towards 'oh yeah' in many cases.

You see, we recently mourned an ongoing reference to Indiana Jones IV being the movie that was in eternal theoretical production - my sources say, you see, that rumors of it were being heard since 1994. And then the movie actually came out, and despite the fact that I actually enjoyed watching it, as a tribute to my generation that grew up on Indy or whatnot, well, numerous people whined, and it was really far from what many expected.

Which is natural, if you think about it, since every single person for whom X means something, expects Y - with Y being something somehow related to X - to be a certain way, if there is no other way to examine Y, as is the case with theoretical creations. And, yes, when Y actually came out, it was definitely not, and most probably far from, what everyone who had expectations of it actually expected.

So, a way to deal with this, so as to avoid disappointment, is to simply experience Y with no expectations whatsoever, so as to be thankful for all one is given, since there is no source for disappointment. Another way is to whine about it beforehand, since it is for certain to be far from any expectations for the best that one may have.

The latter was a way for Yahtzee to go about Duke Nukem Forever - yes, gamers still have their eternal promised sequel, while moviegoers have to deal with their own disappointment with what they actually got, now that it's a reality and not simply theoretical, with the potential to be imagined any what way one may prefer.

So, well, my point is that I may be very pro-evolution, in most cases, since usually things evolve for the better, and if they don't there's always the option to backstep into what *used* to be right, but that doesn't seem to be the case where references are involved. You can't forget what has been experienced there, you can't unwrite what has been writ. Unless you get the right kind of blow to the head.

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