May 15th, 2008

chibi zen blessings (pic by Ironychan)

Another step forward

California high court stands up for marriage rights for all. Congratulations to my many in-state gay and lesbian friends*! Time to start the 30-day countdown for your marriage certificates ...

February 16, 2004
This is one that hits close to home for me, too, because it was gay marriage that led to my (heterosexual) marriage with kadyg. No, seriously: Our first date was passing out candy and flowers to the wedding parties in San Francisco as same-sex couples lined up for marriage licenses on Valentine's Day weekend, 2004. Turned out to be a pretty good omen, although it took us a year and a half to realize it and give in.

Next up will be the fight against the state constitutional amendment. It'll be a bumpy ride. Its predecessor Proposition 22** captured 61 percent of the vote in 2000, and as far as I can tell, the amendment only needs a 50 percent majority despite its more dramatic effects.

Here's to hoping eight years -- and the complete disintegration of the national GOP -- makes an 11-point difference. As I've observed, gay marriage has the weight of history behind it, but in the short term it remains to be seen how much the American public can be persuaded to value compassion over tradition.

* And coworkers. And boss. :)
** Or the "Knight Initiative," named after its primary sponsor, Sen. Pete Knight -- who disowned his son over the issue. And then died. It's uncertain whether they ever reconciled.
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emcee in the catbird seat


What happens when you stir lots of sugar into hot water, add a string, and let the mixture sit? Rock candy.

What happens when you stir lots of fans into the Internet, add a wiki, and let the mixture sit? This.

As any chemist can tell you, crystallization takes place when you have a supersaturated solution and a nucleus on which to build. This works for dissolved solids. It also works for knowledge.

Wikipedia dismissively calls these sorts of articles fancruft, building from the geek slang term "cruft": accumulated unpleasant detritus. Of course, Wikipedia's not out to haphazardly catalog knowledge, they're out to build a respectable reference. Collecting trivia is the Internet's job.

The Internet shines at it. And, frankly, this is a good thing.

These sorts of compilations are never going to be in fashion. There are a million lists out there of every Pokémon ever named*, and most will end up being both useless and boring to the vast majority of humanity. (Boring being the cardinal sin. Don't tell me web surfers have ever cared about utility.)

But sometimes -- like with the complete list of ACME products in classic Warner Bros. cartoons -- you just have to sit back and marvel: Here is a pristine, flawless piece of crystallized Internet.

Enjoy the taste.

* I use this example purely for its value as a stereotype. If the particular example is distracting you, just substitute your own; one geek's passion is another geek's snarkbait.