Thursday, July 21, 2005

Constant Reader

or, "Why I Use Xanga"

"... and the reader must always be your main concern. Without Constant Reader, your are just a voice quacking in the void."
- Stephen King, On Writing
Blogger is technologically superior, financially prudent, and flexibly customizable when compared to xanga. Despite this, I remain on xanga. At some point, perhaps even before I joined xanga, it had become the de facto standard. Enough of my friends used it such that it was, without question, my first choice. I like to imagine my friends chuckling at the daily "Your Xanga Subscription Digest" email or clucking their tongues when reading their subscriptions page.

It is similar to any number of marketing case studies. Consider the Betamax. Betamax had a better picture and fast-forwarding system than VHS. Yet, for various reasons, VHS gained enough popular momentum to overwhelm the market.

Then there is the gap between reality and idealism. Blogger offers so much customization, but I do not use it. My blog wears a standard template. I have yet to use the trackback system I set up. I prefer to spend my time on writing, rather than designing- form should follow function- and in that, xanga does not hinder.

[crossposted to xanga]

Friday, June 24, 2005

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Friday, June 17, 2005

the six month rule

One contributing factor of the Pareto Principle Dilemma is novelty. A new person garners extra attention. She is new. She is different. She is exotic.

At one church, they have an unwritten six month rule: no dating new people in the first six months. It gives new people a safer atmosphere to acclimate to the local culture and people. It also tempers the spouse hunters by focusing their sights on seeking God first and spouses second.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Luther on Writing on Marriage

It is rather strange that I, who so often write about matrimony and get mixed up with women, have not yet turned into a woman, to say nothing of not having married one.
- Martin Luther.
Luther’s Works, American Edition, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan and Helmut T. Lehmann, 55 vols. (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1955-1973), 48:104-105. [ via an excerpt from Sex and the Supremacy of Christ].

Monday, June 06, 2005

Pareto's Principle in Attraction

Sometime around the 1940s, Dr. Joseph Juran proposed that 20 percent of a distribution could be responsible for 80 percent of the results. He named this the Pareto Principle after the Vilfredo Pareto. Pareto had developed a mathematical formula in 1906 to describe the unequal distribution of wealth in Italy, stating that 20 percent of the people owned 80 percent of the wealth. (It is a coincidence that 80 and 20 add up to 100, because the principle would be just as valid as a 80-10: 10 percent of people owning 80 percent of the wealth.)

Two (of many) complaints women at church direct against men are:
  1. Men are too passive. They are immature; they are not embracing their God-ordained initiative for marriage.
  2. Men are too aggressive. They come on too strong; they cannot read subtle hints; they do not leave women alone.
While such complaints seem initially contradictory, they are resolved through Pareto's principle: twenty percent of the single women receive eighty percent of the attention. The selection of the few is an indictment against men, as they favor the outgoing and physically beautiful. A woman also receives bonus points for being new. Thus, attractive female visitors often can be found surrounded by a pack of feral bachelors. This phenomenon is easily observed at social gatherings.

In response, women overvalue their outward appearance. They listen to media propaganda, and they see what snares men. Basic grooming is not a problem. But in an age of tanning beds and hair highlights and eyebrow waxing, one wonders whether their priorities are misguided.

Then there remains the undervalued majority: those not beholden to mirror the larger society, those walking with quiet confidence, those finding their true worth in an almighty God. It is these hidden jewels that we ought to search for, for they are the pearls of great worth.


Tuesday, March 29, 2005


So I'm starting yet another blog. It's not as if I've run out of space on xanga, but Blogger's association marketing forces me to create an account in order to comment on others' blogs. I like the lack of ads and the customizable interface, but I'm currently locked into xanga because of friends' accounts.