Tuesday, November 22, 2005

True Names

You don't mess with the Muses. Diss them, and they hold your head under the waters of Parnassus until you see the error of your ways. The contretemps over Open Source Media nee' Pajamas Media (and now Pajamas Media again, hurray!) illustrates that nicely. It is a painful truth, but when you are dealing with something truly new you can't trust the Old Established Suits to give you good advice. In the same way OSHA never inspected the research labs I worked at -- if it is cutting edge research, how the hell would they know what was safe? They'd have to ask US! (The equipment we knew about, but the coffee needed a warning label and a release form. Even the mold left it alone, which should have been a clue.)

You make the name have the meaning you want it to have. Here's another story. Way back in the mists of time, there was a company that made rubber tubing and other accoutrement for the enterprising chemist. The Chemical Rubber Company, always trying to be of service, would include a handy sheet of data on the rubber tubing et cetera they shipped with things like melting point, specific gravity, and anything else they thought interesting and of use to the customer. The years pass. More types of rubber, tubing, and other stuff. The little sheet grows to several sheets, and then in 1913 they brought forth the first edition of the Holy Tome: The CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. Every scientist I know has a copy of this thing, some have three. Mine is the 84th edition and can be used as an emergency source of gravity. The funny thing is many people don't even know what "CRC" stands for, or why it is there. CRC doesn't make rubber tubing any more. It does have an extensive publishing business that is considered the gold standard for scientific work. If it is accurate, esoteric, and mind-numbing in detail, they probably have a volume on it. A very partial list ...
  • "Fingerprints and Other Ridge Skin Impressions"
  • "Handbook of Human Factors and Ergonomics Methods"
  • "Postharvest Physiology and Pathology of Vegetables" (second edition!)
  • "Coding Theory and Cryptography" (it has penguins on the cover, it must be good)

All this started from a simple little fact sheet on rubber tubing. I wouldn't worry about a trivial thing like the name "Pajamas Media". Really.

4 Comments:

Blogger John of Argghhh! said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Snarkatron!

8:19 AM, November 24, 2005  
Anonymous klkk said...

Damn, John is everywhere...

Happy Thanksgiving, BCR...

9:15 AM, November 24, 2005  
Blogger John of Argghhh! said...

Snerk! That's what blogrolls are for!

12:08 PM, November 26, 2005  
Blogger Justthisguy said...

I love my Rubber Bible. It has conversion factors for weird Russian units like versts and arshins.

9:26 PM, January 17, 2006  

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