Monday, January 07, 2008

Blogging Theory 201: Size Does Matter

I'm always getting criticized for writing long blogs. "Way too verbose! Couldn't he have said all that in two paragraphs?" Not everyone feels that way, of course; lots of people tell me to keep doing what I'm doing. But cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 size critics are doggedly persistent. And I don't think it's just people who are slow readers. Even friends of mine will sometimes advise me to trim my entries down, which is a surprise, since I thought most of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m would have picked up on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cause and effect relationship between blog length and popularity. Evidently not!

So, like, let's get this out in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 open: I'm doing it on purpose. Yes, sure, I could do with an editor (cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 people kind), but only if said editor were on board with long blogs, because that's cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 kind I want to write.

In short, I think long blogs have better survival characteristics: greater reach and greater impact. And I've decided to celebrate cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 august occasion of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 1000th kneebiter publicly maligning my style by explaining why I do it. And yes, it'll be long. Set aside at least 20 minutes to read this thing. You've been warned!

The Expectations Problem

Let's start with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 obvious. People expect blogs to be short – at least, shorter than mine. They expect that because it's pretty much how everyone does it. Short entries, and frequent. Here's my cat today. Doesn't he look sooo different from yesterday? No wonder so many people hate bloggers.

When I write my long blogs, I'm bucking established social convention, so it's natural that some people will whine that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y're too long.

Well, how far off cultural expectations am I? Doing a quick print preview in my browser shows that my last entry, formatted at about 14 words per line (typical for a printed book) weighs in at about ten pages. So it's roughly essay-sized. I'm not talking about those toy five-paragraph essays cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y made you write in high school. I'm talking about real-life essays by real-life essayists. Real essays can range from three pages to 30 or more, but ten pages is not an unusual length.

If I were attempting to publish cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se entries as books, publishers would laugh at me. They're way too short to be books. Sure, I could bundle cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m, but that's beside cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 point. The fact is, two different real-world audiences have entirely incompatible views on what cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 proper length for my writing should be.

Trying for Essays

I like to shift between writing articles and essays. The two overlap to some extent, in that an "opinion article" can be essay-like. But an essay attempts to be richer and deeper than an article. Essays can take all sorts of forms – prose, poems, stage plays, screenplays, short stories, even songs. And yes, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y can take cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 form of blog entries.

Essays have different goals: some introduce new ideas, some aim to change minds that have been made up, some try to rally people to a cause, some just poke fun. Regardless of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 goal, I think what unites cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m as essays is that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y strive to imprint cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 reader with an idea, some hopefully unforgettable perspective, even if cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 reader doesn't necessarily agree with it.

Essays might use humor to endear you, or satire to shock you, or storytelling to entertain and lull you, or logic to convince you, or rhetoric to persuade you, but in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 end cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y're trying all trying to imprint you with a little piece of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 essayist's personal perspective on life.

So we've established that my longer entries are for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 most part essays in blog form, with nary a cat picture to be found. I think cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 appearance of my entries in feed-readers alongside cat pictures and ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r non-essays is a big contributor to why so many people feel cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y're too long. If I instead herded cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m off into a page titled "Essays", as essayist Paul Graham does, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n my guests might arrive with more appropriate expectations.

But let's face it – that's more work. Blogs are cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 closest thing we've got today to a ready-made, turn-key, high-availability essay publishing system, one that permits comments, subscriptions, biographical links and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r trappings you'd expect. It's not ideal – I even talked about this in my first-ever Blogger entry, but none of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 issues I raised cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n have been resolved, doubtless because most people don't write essays, so cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re isn't a pressing need.

Blogging's cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 best medium I've got today, so that's where I publish my essays.

Amusing true side-story: I met Paul Graham at Foo Camp last summer. After his crowd of admirers had dispersed on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 first day (he's pretty famous), I came up and introduced myself. He was very nice and polite, and he was even kind enough to venture: "I've read some of your ...essays." He said cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 word essays with this funny pained look on his face, as if he'd just swallowed a gob of wasabi and was trying to play it off like nothing was wrong. I think he meant well, but that expression was just priceless.

I already knew my work wasn't for everyone. :)

Anyway, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re's more to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 long-blog problem than mere expectations. You can still make a valid argument that my entries are too long even for essays, or at any rate for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 material I'm covering or cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 points I'm making. And I'll still disagree with you. Let's see why.

Blowing cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Cache

So, I have this pet cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory I'm going to foist on you. It's probably total hokum, and someday I may be proven as wrong as Lamarck, but for now it's a hypocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365sis that fits cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 data pretty well.

First, let me tell you what cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pet cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory is about. I talked about it a little in an essay I wrote in 2004, You Should Write Blogs. In cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 essay I outlined some unexpected behavior of an essay my friend had written and circulated at Amazon: nobody read cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 thing, but somehow a year later everyone knew about it, and its core message had been imprinted on everyone in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 company, up to and including cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 executive staff.

In cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 intervening three years since I wrote that essay, my own blog has taken off to level that can only be described as absurd. I've been lampooned in web comics, discussed endlessly on Reddit, Slashdotted, invited to Foo Camp and various big conferences, approached about writing books, recruited constantly, and heckled mercilessly by my coworkers, all of whom are smarter than I am, both technically and also in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 sense that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y don't make public asses of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365mselves once a month.

It's undeniable that I'm doing something right, at least in terms of reach. My blogs may or may not be any good, but cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y're widely read. So are cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y really too long?

Well, people always tell me: "Steve, you'd be doing yourself – and us – a huge favor if you just made your entries shorter." So I try it now and again, and I've observed a correlation between blog size and splash size. It's as if you're all in a pond, and I'm throwing a rock into it. Bigger rock, bigger splash.

I think you can actually stretch that metaphor one more level. I think if I throw in a sufficiently large rock, it'll crush you, which for most of you is an undesirable outcome. The rock needs to be big enough to splash you and get you all wet, but it shouldn't kill you.

To translate that bizarre thought into non-metaphorical terms, a blog that's too big will cause "too many" readers to drop off, for some value of "too many". A longer entry means that fewer people will read it immediately, although I'd argue based on experience that longer entries that are worth reading will ultimately achieve a wider audience. It just takes longer for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m to make cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 rounds - sometimes months or years. But cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re's a tradeoff cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re. It can be useful to make a big splash all at once, in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 style of Gladwell's Tipping Point.

So we've got a tricky number to solve for. Very short entries get ignored; I've tried that. Longer entries can make a splash but may not have broad long-term staying power. Very long entries tire people out, so cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y can take years to make cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 rounds. What's cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 right length for making a big splash cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 day it's published?

That's where my pet cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory comes in. Oh, you may laugh! Ha, ha, you might say! But I, who know absolutely nothing whatsoever about Cognitive Science, have a pop cog-sci cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 right length for an essay.

The right length for an essay, I believe, is exactly "one sitting": no more, no less. You should be able to read and absorb it fully in one go, with no breaks. Moreover, after you finish, you should be at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 point where you need to take a break. You should want to stand up, stretch your legs, grab a coffee, play some foosball, get your mind off everything for a while. If you don't need a break after cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 essay, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n it wasn't long enough.

I suspect cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 maximum length for a "sitting" is 50 minutes, given various government studies I learned about while I was in Navy Nuclear Power School. They determined that people absorb information best (and concentrate best) in school in 50-minute intervals with 10-minute breaks. They'd figured out all sorts of ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r stuff too: use outline form, make cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 students copy cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 outline into a notebook, repeat everything exactly 3 times, and so on, all ways cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y'd found that lead to better retention of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 material. But cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 50-minute thing seemed intuitively reasonable. Those ten-minute breaks were indispensable.

I actually think 50 minutes is cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 absolute upper bound for a sitting; cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 optimal duration is probably lower. But cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 takeaway here is that one consequence of my pet cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory, which we'll get to shortly, is that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ideal length for a blog is measured as a duration, not a word count.

Of course, that presents a problem, because duration is a function of word count and reading speed. I need to account for different personal speeds, and some folks like to read slowly. Heck, some don't even read at all. It's one of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 amazing miracles of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 internet: write-only people. They can't read but cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y somehow find a way to write. You see cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m commenting all cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 time in my blogs: "I didn't actually read your entry, but allow me to comment on it all cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 same..." Lovely.

So I need to aim for something lower than 50 minutes, to make it possible for average readers, and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n hope that for fast readers I'll still have blown cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir entire page cache. Being a fast reader is actually a disadvantage here.

Figured my pet cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory out yet? I'll bet some of you have!

Stevey's Brain-Cache Theory of Essays

My pet cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory is predicated on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hopefully obvious axiom that our brain is a computer. As a computer, even though it's structually different from a von Neumann machine, it's still constrained by cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 same laws of physics. Hence, it probably has a multi-level cache.

I have some even more farfetched pet cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ories about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 architecture of this cache, but whatever cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 architecture, caches all share cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 property of being limited short-term storage.

I really want to talk more about how I think this cache works, and I keep deleting paragraphs about it. I'm in a bind: if I talk more about it, my pond-boulder will get too big and crush people. But if I don't, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n I'll be accused of grossly oversimplifying.

So it goes. Let's oversimplify.

Your brain clearly has at least two obvious caches: your short-term memory and your long-term memory. Your long-term memory is more complex than a cache, but behaves like a cache in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 way it forgets things that aren't refreshed periodically.

The Wikipedia entry on short-term memory, linked above, says short-term memory lasts about 20 seconds. And long-term memory, of course, is persistent and can last up to a lifetime.

My pet cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory posits cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 existence of at least one second-level cache in your brain that holds data for a while before deciding whecá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r to commit it to long-term memory. That "while" varies but is at least 10 to 15 minutes.

Of course, writing cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory down like this makes all cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 holes in it pretty obvious, and I'm way too lazy to try to patch cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m all up here. Following cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 best academic tradition, I leave cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hole-patching as an exercise for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 reader.

In my pet cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 brain, such as it is, your second-level cache keeps track of all your sensory input for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 past few minutes. It also serves as a scratchpad area for doing computation: if you're trying to follow a complex argument, you need to construct a graph: idea A leads to B and C, C implies D, etc. Even following a scene in a story requires a graph and some computation: think of a bank robbery movie scene with five people involved. Following its progress requires a little short-term memorization and some deduction, and your mind does this for you automatically for situations up to a certain low level of complexity.

What about bigger arguments and more complex scenarios? Well, if cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 graph is too big to fit in your second-level cache, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n your brain needs to swap some ideas to "disk" (your long-term memory). This is also known as "learning stuff." Painful, I know. I've been cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re.

So my pet cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory is that if you want to make a lasting impression, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n you need to fill up cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 reader's second-level cache and start blowing pages (cache elements) out into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir long-term memory. If you want to imprint cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m with something memorable, you've gotta flush it to disk. To fill cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cache you have to create a story big enough to fill cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir short- and medium-term memory and start spilling over into long-term memory, at which point you're guaranteed that some of it will stick. It won't be just anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r funny blurb that your reader sees, laughs at, and immediately forgets.

This obviously entails some effort on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 part of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 reader, even if cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y're having fun. You watch a 2-hour movie and you'll be exhausted (or at least ready for a break) because your brain is busy swapping stuff out. It uses more energy because of those pesky laws of physics that led to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cache structure in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 first place.

I think this whole idea scales up to N-level caching; if you write a whole book about something, and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 reader manages to get through it all, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n you've probably left cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m with a lot more long-term memories and patterns.

But a good essay is usually just trying to get one idea across. One idea, one big rock in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pond: one sitting, one story. That's my cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory. And it's cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365sis of this essay, with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 conclusion being that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 relationship between blog length and popularity is actually causative.

"There's one thing in particular that struck me..."

In cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 spirit of filling your second-level cache, I'd like to offer you just one detail of my pet architecture: I think our caches are only partly LRU; I think cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re's some randomness involved in which pages your short-term memory chooses to discard when you're interrupted with new data. In fact, if anything, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y may be MRU (Most Recently Used), given that when you're having a conversation with your friend and you both get interrupted, you often can't remember cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 thing you were just now talking about, but you can both remember things you talked about a few minutes before.

If that's true, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 stuff that gets swapped to disk is probably different for every reader, and may be somewhat random. In ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r words, everyone comes away with some different memory of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 essay. It's likely also in no small part a function of how well any given turn of phrase is a match for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 reader's experience. So a good essay needs to try to say cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 same thing in a bunch of different ways, hoping that whenever cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 reader's brain decides to latch onto something that "strikes" cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m more or less permanently, it's hopefully related to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 core message of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 essay.

So everyone gets something different. But I think that's a good thing. If cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 readers come away thinking about it at all, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 essay has succeeded.

Wrap-Up

There's more I could say about my style. Expectations and page-caching cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ories aside, I think cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re's entertainment value in a good story-essay; you can't really weave in good jokes without some supplemental material, for instance. And I like to tackle inherently complex topics because cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y're more interesting, so it's never as easy as summarizing with something as pithy as "Java sucks". It's not that simple, no matter how people want it to be so.

So yes, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re's more I could say, but my gut tells me I've reached cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 one-sitting limit. So I'll wrap up here.

I know I've oversimplified. I know I have no business talking about cog sci when I've never even read a book on it, unless you count Gödel, Escher, Bach. And I know that even if I'm right, I may still sometimes overshoot cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ideal length significantly.

But I'm convinced, and I hope you are now as well, that my blog entries are successful because of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir length, and not in spite of it. It's OK if you don't agree with my pet cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory as to why cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 longer ones are more successful; I've certainly got nothing but intuition backing me up here. But by getting you to disagree with it, I've left my mark. At least you'll remember cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 idea now. Consider yourself imprinted. This one's on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 house!

At this point I recommend stretching your legs. Take a walk, get some fresh air, let those disk drives cool down. You can ponder this stuff later. It'll still be cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re in your brain, like it or not. I guarantee it.

46 Comments:

Blogger Robert Standefer said...

tl;dr

6:48 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Gavin said...

Perhaps cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 same effect could be achieved by 50 minutes worth of idea repetition over cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 course of 10 days. I'll come back tomorrow and post that concept again with different wording.

7:03 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Eduardo Habkost said...

Don't listen to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m. Blogs are tools to publish stuff. You choose in what form you will publish stuff (cute pictures, one sentence, one paragraph, or long essays).

As an example, I would be glad if Paul Graham used "standard" blogging tools to publish his essays. At least we would have an reliable RSS feed (as opposed to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 manually-maintained RSS feeds that are available for his essays).

7:11 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Bill Mill said...

I talked in a blog entry a few days ago about Poe's cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory that a short story should be readable in one sitting, and actually referenced your Java article. Poe says:

>If any literary work is too long to be read at one sitting, we must be content to dispense with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 immensely important effect derivable from unity of impression- for, if two sittings be required, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 affairs of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 world interfere, and everything like totality is at once destroyed.

7:29 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Steve Cooper said...

This probably explains why, ten seconds after reading boing-boing, I can't remember anything, but am left with a general sense that copyright is bad, somehow...

I think cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 complexity of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 subject, plus cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ability to illustrate with examples, also mean that longer pieces last. It's a formula that worked for Joel, until he started posting travel and wallpapering tips, racá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r than considered pieces on software development.

Lastly, you inspired me to go try ruby after your recent code-size post. And now it's burying itself in my brain.

yegge.send { |me| me.thanks }

7:32 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Harold Combs said...

You're blogging for a purpose--to improve "scholarship" (or what passes for it) about our world. To that end, make your posts as long as you'd like.

7:52 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Stuart Hacking said...

I came across your blog a few months back (in fact it may have been an ancestor to this blog...) when I was looking for some joyful emacs hacks.

The length is acceptable. Long enough to read while waiting for a script to run across a few dozen computer for example, but short enough that you didn't feel you just stole time from work. (and of course since I used python and emacs in work I was at least gaining some applicable knowledge from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 articles[?] I read :-) )

8:14 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Dossy Shiobara said...

TL;DR.

"I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead."

8:15 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Groby said...

I'd posit a different cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory - when you've got interesting things to say, people don't mind length. You usually do - yeah, yeah, everybody else at your workplace is smarter, sure - and that's when it sticks.

Since "interesting" is different for different people, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re'll always be somebody who doesn't like it. But since you only write once a month, and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 essay usually is meaningful, we all come back for anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r helping.

(This month, I'm in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 complainer fraction - but I'll still be back. I'd ask you to write about different things, but I'd suspect it's completely useless ;)

8:28 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger dot said...

I like your blog entries. They are lengthy, interesting, and thought provoking. It conveys a personal feel. In fact, I feel like I am listening to a conversation (with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 entries and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 comments). It feels humane.
I am however, guilty of not reading every word of it. I do eyeball scans to pick up keywords that interest me, and your entry has a lot of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m.
After reading your current entry, I realized that of all cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 feeds I am subscribed to, I pay more attention to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 articles and essay-styled entries blog than those short technical snipplets or stuff on 'my cat is cute!'.
If I want those stuff, I would be on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir twitter feed.
I am trying to move my style towards essay and articles now on my own blog, and removing short entries to create a greater depth to my blog.
Hang in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re, and keep cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 entries long. :)

8:44 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Tyler Stalder said...

For me an important metric for post length is interruptibility. I was interrupted twice while reading your post. If a essay is mildly interesting and I get pulled away onto something else this usually means cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 article gets axed.

With your post cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 headings gave me logical pause points and made it easy to jump back in. When I read long posts cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 formatting only second to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 content with overall length coming in third

9:00 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Alexandre said...

Why should you care what impolite and lazy people think? It is your blog, write about what you like, and have some fun while doing it. Sure, your audience is larger than most bloggers, but that doesn't mean you should become a public pawn.

I would love to be able to write lengthy posts, just like you. In fact, I am jealous of writers, like you, who can dump cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir mind on paper with your ease.

Heck, if cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 only common critic, you get, is that your writings are long. You're doing hell of a good job.

9:00 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Srdjan said...

Not to jump on "Good job, Steve, keep it up" bandwagon, but I don't mind cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 length of your blog posts. Hell, I went through your Amazon collection of blogs in a week. Read pretty much all of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m, and more importantly every word of each post. It was inspiring and humbling at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 same time.

To spend 20-50 minutes once a month reading a post that will make a difference in how I view software development in general is actually a good investment of my time, not bad (See how I wove cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 idea of this "essay" in?)

That's enough worship at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 altar of Steve Yegge for now. Keep it up.

9:23 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Daniel said...

Funny, I don't have small blogs on my feeds. Or, racá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y don't get read. It just feels to me that if something doesn't take a few minutes to read, it isn't worth reading it.

Unless, of course, it's news. So I subscribe to slashdot rss, and I do scan it now and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n. But you, Paul, Joel, Cringely and ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365rs, you people I read start to finish, 100% of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 time, even if I find cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 eventual post tedious.

9:38 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

Commenter "groby" was right: people tolerate article length because you're interesting. And possibly controversial, or any number of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 attributes that create interest. But your cache-busting cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory seems like a rationalization to justify how much of my brain you feel you should occupy.

A related link-
http://www.edge.org/q2008/q08_5.html#brooks

I read this one in 2 minutes but somehow it still remains in my head. Possibly because my memory manager is quite capable of handling its own swapping? ;)

9:46 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Paul said...

Steve, your cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory is amusing and it seems consistent with my personal experience (of reading your posts). I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago and found it to be excellent - I'm probably about half way through its entirety.

I've read "you should blog" posts by several people with opinions I respect, but yours was cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 one that actually pushed me into doing it. None of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365rs had cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 significant impact on me that You Should Write Blogs did and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 length of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 essay shares much of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 blame I believe - you simply made more of an argument

9:54 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

I don't think your memory cache analogy can be taken as far as you've taken it. Repetition seems to be cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 main decider of what gets dumped to long-term memory, not lack of short-term space.

Though I am also not cog scientist, I have heard from reliable sources that long-term memory is more like hardware and short-term memory is more like software. That is, with long-term memory, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re are physical neural connections in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 brain that preserve that memory, which is why cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y last so long. Short-term memory, on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r hand, are electrical impulses that are being maintained in a non-persistent manner.

To transition from short-term to long-term, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 brain notices which "thoughts" are being accessed frequently and starts to grow cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 neurons necessary to preserve cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m. Likewise, long-term memory can suffer from neural rot and fade away if not accessed for a long time.

9:57 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger FV said...

It's very strange that nobody so far mentioned bathroom breaks as a measure for essay length. Yours fit perfectly!

10:00 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Brock said...

ooo.... meta...

10:18 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger ormiret said...

I think that pet cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory is a load of rubbish. Mostly since it disagrees with my own: things get retained in memory based on some measure of significance. Repetition seems to be one way of hitting critical significance, repeating in a different way increases cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 chances of getting cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re via ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r routes (linking into previous memories, liking cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 particular phrasing, hitting enough emotional buttons, etc.) I think cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 replacement policy is more along cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 lines of throw away cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 least significant stuff.

My cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory still gives value to longer posts though :)

10:20 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger David Friedland said...

People who are too lazy to read your long blog posts don't deserve cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 wisdom you're trying to impart.

11:22 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Guillaume Theoret said...

I think cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 reason people complain about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 length is because cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y're a bit like me. I generally have my rss reader on during cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 day and periodically check to see if cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re's anything new.

If cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re's a new stevey rant though my whole day's blog reading is occupied. I'm too busy to just sit around and do nothing for half an hour so instead I read things in small increments when I'm waiting on something. When cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re's a new stevey rant it takes me pretty much cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 whole day to get through it so everything else got pushed back.

Still, please don't change anything. There's a reason why everything gets pushed back when you post something new!

11:24 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger wustudybreak said...

only interesting blogs dares to be long...................

11:37 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger David Avraamides said...

Heck, some don't even read at all. It's one of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 amazing miracles of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 internet: write-only people. They can't read but cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y somehow find a way to write. You see cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m commenting all cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 time in my blogs: "I didn't actually read your entry, but allow me to comment on it all cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 same..." Lovely.

And cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y have a name: slashdotters

11:39 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger jps said...

You've hit cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 nail on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 head as to why your blog is unique, I think. I heard of someone condensing your posts somewhere, for quick reading by cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Digg crowd, and thought: oh, for heaven's sake. Like what cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 world needs is cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Fox News version of Stevey's Blog Rants.

I would say, though, that your goal (of drawing people into much longer posts than expectations would allow) does influence your style. Your opening paragraphs are sometimes a bit glib and exclaimed. But that's just you gradually leading people along cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 path between cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 medium as cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y expect it and your content as you want cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m to be receive it. You need to ease cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 passage a bit or every bugger will turn off.

I wouldn't want every blog I read to be as verbal as yours. But if I look back at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 books that have affected me cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 most, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ones that still stand out are those where, like you say, reading was punctuated by going for a wander every twenty or thirty minutes to frown at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 kettle or watch a cheeky blackbird turn over moss in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 garden. Consuming those books, I felt like I was digesting what I was ingesting, as opposed to letting it all pass through me like literary Olestra.

12:29 PM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger David Guy said...

I just want to know if your cat is cute.

12:39 PM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Kirubakaran A said...

Stevey, I am just glad that you will continue to post big.

I don't know why cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se loud moucá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365d whiners complain all cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 time. It is not like cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y are *forced* to read or anything. Even if you switch to Twitter, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se cry babies will complain about something else. [Ooh you type "I have" instead of "I've" or something...]

I love your posts, just cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 way cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y are.

Thanks!

12:59 PM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Larry Clapp said...

~tl;r

I would like to mention: longness may be necessary for popularity, but it is not sufficient.

2:13 PM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger toast said...

My only problem with your long-ass essays is that I don't know how much longer cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y have to go - because of all cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 comments at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bottom of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 page I can't use cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 thumb of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 scroll bar as an indicator.

It's a bit like sitting through cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pain of a powerpoint presentation that doesn't indicate what page your on, and of how many.

So when I get about 2/3rds of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 way through an article I'm thinking 'oh god, please end soon, I have to eat.' This is kind of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 effect you are after, but maybe people might not give up if you numbered your headings in descending order, or something?

3:29 PM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Eric Kemp-Benedict said...

I'm no cog scientist, but I think cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re are some cog sci ideas related to your pet cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory. First, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 "medium-term memory":
http://www.agiri.org/wiki/index.php?title=Medium_Term_Memory

Second, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 notion of a "triune brain". The idea (IIRC) is that short intense bursts of data tend to stimulate cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 reflexive (and unreflective) "reptilian" part, while cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 neocortex responds to more extended stimuli. The reptilian part needs constant stimulation (MTV, anyone?) while cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 neocortex does not. For long term happiness, go neocortex!
http://www.psycheducation.org/emotion/triune%20brain.htm

(But I could have this totally wrong -- take a look at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 links.)

In any case, I like your posts because cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y're both long and interesting. You've gotten me to look into Haskell, but not (yet) to take anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r trip through JavaScript.

5:03 PM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger mattflo said...

I read your essay/post. I did not read cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 comments so far. I just wanted to say cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 length of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 essay certainly helps one remember having read it because it requires a bigger investment on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 part of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 reader. However, I believe cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 value of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 content has more to do with whecá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r people commit cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ideas to persistent memory. I believe this is so, because if you didn't have any good ideas and your posts were just long... you guessed, I wouldn't read cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m. On cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r hand my mind often tosses around cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 content of good posts that were significantly shorter than yours. Jeff Atwood accomplishes this well. So, I would add that size does matter, but content still matters, and may matter more.

6:10 PM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

Certainly agree with you Stevey. Atleast one benefit is we get to remember or atleast recollect essays easily as cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y would have been written to address a specific topic. Case in point, your essay on bad resumes about 5/6 blogs back!

7:36 PM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

Just to add one data point here: I've seen this same thing at work in political blogging. In cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 year or two following 9/11, two of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 most influential political bloggers were also two of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 most verbose: Steven Den Beste and Bill Whittle. Everyone complained about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 length of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir posts (and in fact, one detractor started a recurring "shorter Steven Den Beste" feature, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 equivalent of a "Java sucks" summary). Yet cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 memes cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y promoted were everywhere in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 (political) blogosphere; even people who stridently disagreed with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m at least were familiar with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir arguments.

12:23 AM, January 08, 2008  
Blogger Astrobe said...

Please don't forget non-native speakers (readers?) in your best-blog-entry-length-estimation. Oh, and avoid familiar terms when you make important points.

But I think your cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory is not right, in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 sense that length is a side effect of what makes cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 true value of an essay: argumentation. If you simply state that our brains are like computers and have multiple levels of cache, most people will think you're just anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r lunatic. By taking cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 time to make an introduction, elaborate, and conclude as you do, people can understand your statement.
I don't know if it exists in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 US, but that's exactly what we are trained to do here in college. Students are asked to write a short essay, about 4-pages long, discussing a topic chosen by cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 teacher. But cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ideas you express in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se 4 pages do not really matter. What cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 teacher evaluates is cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 structure of your work, how well is built your cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365sis. I've written countless of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se 'dissertations' as homework or in 2-hours exams. And it has a significative impact on how I write my own pseudo-blog entries.

4:14 AM, January 08, 2008  
Blogger Phil Windley said...

Keep 'em long Steve and it's good to know you were at NNPS.

7:41 AM, January 08, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ironically, this was (or felt) shorter than your usual blog length :-)

This feels much like a Catch-22. I can't say that your blog entries are too long because I read cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m - cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365refore cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y are by definition not too long for me to read. I bet you hardly ever get people telling you "I don't read you blog because cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 entries are huge", but you mostly get people saying "I read your blog, but it's too long".

I'll skip commenting on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory, as my comments would only be based on instinct, as cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory itself is. I'd like to comment on why I think people complain about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 length. It's not because it's too long to read or absorb, or anything like that. It's because it's too long to fit into one's hectic, busy, time-poor day. I read two-paragraph blogs while waiting for my computer to finish something, or for a colleague to finish a phone-call. I can't do that with yours. I have to wait for that quiet day when I'm not too busy and I can spend an afternoon reading 4 of your blog entries from a few months ago. Or worse still, read on entry in multiple sitting because of interruptions.

But that's fine by you. You're happy for your essays to be read after months or years as long as you know cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y have an impact and reach a lot of people. So that's cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 right length for you. The length is merely a higher barrier to entry: if cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 entries were average in quality, people wouldn't bocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r reading cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m. Yours just happen to be quite good and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365refore get read *despite* being quite long, but end up having a bigger impact and reach and popularity *because* cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y're quite long.

9:01 AM, January 08, 2008  
Blogger Pramod said...

Great blog, Stevey. Keep writing and don't change cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 size (despite what follows :-).

I've found that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re are three kinds of blog entries of yours - type a : which I can't stop reading (good agile, bad agile, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 resume tips, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 code size thingy), type b: stuff that I can read, but I have to make myself read it. I keep telling myself - this guy usually has some interesting ideas, lets keep going (this entry for instance). And type c: stuff I just give up on (cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 vague story about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 indian couple somehow related to static typing).

And based on that I'm going to propose a simpler explanation. People read well written stuff that has interesting ideas. So cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 quality of a blog entry is roughly proportional to two things - how much insight cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 reader gains and secondly how well expressed cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ideas are. I postulate that your quality varies, sometimes brilliant and sometimes slightly below average. And cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 length of your entries is uniformly distributed across cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se varying levels of quality. So, when you write some thing boring after a few brilliant essays people wrongly attribute this to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 length.

9:43 AM, January 08, 2008  
Blogger timseal said...

I had almost finished reading your essay, when I suddenly realised I was asleep.
(That was just cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 painkillers kicking in though.)

10:23 AM, January 08, 2008  
Blogger 1001 noisy cameras said...

I am glad I'm not cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 only one who writes long posts! (found this on reddit).

3:58 PM, January 08, 2008  
Blogger const said...

When I was visited general psychology lectures at Novosibirsk State University, I did hear about operative memory in humans. This was a kind of memory that keeps info about current activities. Longevity is about several weeks/months (after last refresh cycle).

There was also notion of "recent operative memory". The info in recent operative memory is under transition to operative memory. The duration of full transition is about 15 minutes (partial transitions are possible). Info in it gets forgotten if cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 person looses consciousness in a traumatic way (headstrike or sudden sleep). Loosing memory due to interruption possibly because of this one.

So split was:
1. Short memory (under minute). Similar to 1st level CPU cache
2. Recent operative memory (under half of hour). Similar to 2nd level cache.
2. Operative memory (under half of year). Similar to RAM.
3. Long term memory (almost unlimited but subject to wetware failures). Similar to HDD.

For example, operative memory keeps info that is almost hopelessly forgotten right after passing exams by students. It also keeps info about code that one is developing. So if you are looking at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 code and are trying to figure out what you wanted to write, it means that info has left operative memory hopefully into long term one.

However, we used some Russian textbooks on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 topic. So I'm not able to provide you with quotes.

2:13 AM, January 09, 2008  
Blogger Sriram P C said...

I was thinking that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 length of your posts were accidental - a side effect of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 way you compose cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 prose. I'll read it as long as its interesting.

Anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r point, which I think is important is that a blog is read on-screen. So, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 length should be short enough to be read on screen. I mean, I can not read a novel, however interesting, on screen.

3:21 AM, January 09, 2008  
Blogger Alex said...

I would say it's not about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 length. It's about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 quality. If you write a long post full of crap, unstructured and with no novel or interesting ideas people will stop reading. If you are a good writer you'll manage to get people to read you, even if you write smaller posts. What's true is that if you try to imprint an idea, you can't explain all cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 facts and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 mental process in just a few lines. That's why, imho, long posts by GOOD writers make a difference :)

Btw, great post! :)

4:55 AM, January 09, 2008  
Blogger Dave Sailer said...

The key is that you use semicolons. Lots of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m. Encountering cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m short circuits cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 reader's mind and makes it pliable, susceptible to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 entry of foreign ideas. These ideas cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n enter cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 physical brain itself and hide, lurking behind one or anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r of those soft warm and unsuspecting clumps of neurons that fill our normally quiet inner cavities. Then later, when it's time to molt, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y pop out unexpectedly and party like crazy, and no one knows where cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y got all cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 goofy thoughts. It's true! Your writing contains tiny viruses! (Or is it really viri? Who can say?) Heh. -- Dave

9:12 PM, January 10, 2008  
Blogger Will said...

"As a computer, even though it's structually different from a von Neumann machine, it's still constrained by cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 same laws of physics. Hence, it probably has a multi-level cache."

This doesn't follow. Please elaborate.

1:41 PM, January 12, 2008  
Blogger Matt said...

Let me suggest a cache replacement strategy: LRI, as in least-relevant information. LRI would explain cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 usual inability to remember cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 most recent part of a conversation (less context, and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365refore seemingly less relevant). It also would explain some of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 seeming randomness in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 things that people take away from a particular essay.

That would suggest that to ensure each reader has cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 same take-away, you have to build a context that will always make cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 intended take-away relevant, probably my completely replacing cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 initial cache contents. That's probably not possible, but it's interesting to think about what it would take.

(I also enjoy your lengthy posts, and appreciate your contribution to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 common body of knowledge.)

11:01 AM, January 13, 2008  
Blogger Steve Yegge said...

Turning off comments now that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 spammers have started rolling in. (Spam deleted.)

I suspect I'll probably be leaving comments on for each new entry for about 1-2 weeks after I write it, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n turning cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m off.

Thanks for all your support in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 comments! Very encouraging.

7:26 PM, January 14, 2008  

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