Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The Meteorological School of Thought

A way of thinking about the Halfbakery
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An extension of some tangential musing in the "Mirror-Mist" annotations... My apologies to those of you who saw it there already. Simply a new metaphor for the HB.

Every new HB idea and its set of annotations is like an evolving weather system:

-following some basic rules and patterns but with the potential for wildness, unpredictability, even chaos

-composed of interacting cold fronts and low fronts; what I'm getting at here is that when a poster is in one mood or mode and an annotating baker is in a distinctly different mood or mode, the result is typically a "weather event"

-varying pressure

-activity on multiple levels (I mean discursive levels, as in the pedantsphere, the jokesphere, the trollsphere, etc.)

-certain combinations of circumstances and entities can produce a "perfect storm" (flamewar - examples anyone?)

-instead of geographical areas with distinct weather patterns (e.g. "Tornado Alley" in the US), we have topical areas with distinct violent weather, such as illegal drugs, fascism, etc.

-weather is a sub-unit of climate; "weather" exists here on the level of individual ideas, and "climate" corresponds to HB culture in general

-is the HB experiencing climate change? I haven't been here long enough to answer that question, but I've read annotations to that effect from veteran 'bakers

Some weather analogies are easy to apply in this context: drought, lightning bolts, etc. Others are trickier.

earl, Jul 08 2002


       Man, you should have been here during the Ice Age...
DrCurry, Jul 08 2002

       I think you could apply this to all facets of life, with this halfbakery playing only an infinitismally small part. Yes, a small part.   

       All of life is patterns, and all of patterns are life... There are ups and downs, as individual factors (bakers, ecosystems, weather fronts, etc.) influence each other, and draw each other into climactic swirls. And then, sometimes a troll/tornado whirls through and kicks up the dust.   

       And what about global warming?
polartomato, Jul 08 2002

       [polar]: I agree with you that the metaphor isn't necessarily *more* suitable to the HB than to any other complex system, community, or communication forum. I did, however, come by it naturally and spontaneously, which makes me believe there's some small amount of insight there. The first time went something like this: "Wow, I didn't think the weather in here would be like /this/." Then I overheard myself using that language and wondered what it meant and how it could be extrapolated.
earl, Jul 08 2002

       Well, a meteorological analysis of the Mood Weather Windows shows that the gang is singing in the rain...
polartomato, Jul 08 2002

       Problem is, the HB weather report (just extending the metaphor a bit) would be so dull as to extinguish any hope of driving up the excitement level of a population. It's been my observation (from way before aptitude tests screwed me over in my thinking -- most folks said I should be a meterologist) that the population generally loves all things weather and craves the information underlying weather reports. We don't want to hear it CNN style, repeated select locations every 15 minutes, any more than we want endless droning about simple local weather conditions such as "Joe Stink of Rt 5 Cucamonga said today he thought the area could use a bit more rain to boost his radish yields."   

       One could, nonetheless, draw inferences from the HB that could be phrased in meterological terms. One could likely do this to extreme; furthermore, as participation in HB by initiates grows the theme you've suggested might even become pervasive.   

       I'm standing by skeptically because I don't see it like you do now, I guess. For me to feel comfortable with a report on this channel, I'd have to know that if I didn't like the weather I can just wait a minute.   

       Hang me out to dry.
reensure, Jul 08 2002

       Any complex system can probably be used as an analogy for any other. I don’t know if it’s quite the same in other countries, but in the UK the language is replete with analogies to the weather.

My own take on the ‘bakery (inspired by your idea) is that it is more akin to Ancient China – a basically civilised place kept functioning by an efficient bureaucracy. Occasional influxes of barbarians are either repelled at the wall by the footsoldiers or slip quietly across the border without fuss and settle down to become model citizens or run riot for a few days before fading into the mists of time.
DrBob, Jul 09 2002

       The problem with weather is that, in its most local of forms, it is essentially chaotic. In HB terms, this means that you can never predict how an idea is going to be received because it depends entirely on how UnaBubba has punctuated his latest song, or not...
PeterSilly, Jul 09 2002

       "It's .....It's full of stars"
postseti, Jul 09 2002

       (Licks thumb, holds in breeze...) I predict a croissant!
Mr Burns, Jul 12 2002

       I like your Chinese take, DrBob.
Since there are so many postings and annotations now, we almost need a weekly or daily weather report to summarize the high and low pressure fronts, the hurricanes and droughts, etc.
FarmerJohn, Jul 12 2002

       It's a *beeyootiful* day over in Yoda Poetry county. The temperature right now at Yoda Poetry airport is a balmy 28 degrees Celsius.
earl, Jul 12 2002

       Oh-Oh, storm's a-comin ....
8th of 7, Jul 12 2002

       UB: Nothing personal. Simply that a chaotic system may have many (unknown) influences. The punctuation you use may be one of them. Then again, it may not.
PeterSilly, Jul 12 2002

       Try Mr Miller and his band.   

       Always happy to enlighten. Sorry that first attempts sometimes are not enlightening enough.
PeterSilly, Jul 12 2002

       'The Joker' - Steve Miller Band
angel, Jul 15 2002

       // Any complex system can probably be used as an analogy for any other. //   

       Precisely, good doctor. In this case, meteorology could successfully be replaced with any number of concepts, from forms of government, Beatles albums, kitchen utensils, rodentia...
waugsqueke, Jul 15 2002


       The fact remains, as stated, that the analogy might hold, but if practicality, not poetry, is in mind, do you have any suggestions re: how to predict, not describe, the weather-patterns of thought/interaction?
Sp@rkp|ug, Feb 19 2005


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