~Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers
Post by Maximilian Lemos:
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Answer by Maximilian Lemos:
Like most 12 year old hooligans it was a special passion of mine to torment my older brother. Most of the time my debauchery consisted of nagging and general acts of mischievousness, but one particular day I had a malevolent stroke of genius.
It was a Sunday morning after a delicious family meal. Consisting of thick cut bacon, scrambled eggs, homemade wheat toast, and fresh squeezed orange juice. It was yet another brilliant collaboration between my mother and father.
After collective sighs of satisfaction, I was a little perturbed when I was elected by my parents to do the dishes.
That meal in retrospect was well worth the effort needed to clean the dishes, however, if for a moment you can remember your 12 year old self.
No request is quite as earth shattering.
Still flush from, what seemed in my mind, a brilliant exposition as to why my older brother deserved the kitchen duty, I set upon my initial inspection of the used kitchen.
The wreckage was normal, but of course in my inflated sense of self-pity, I schemed at how I might inflict a bit of discomfort on my brother.
The act of cooking bacon is pure beauty, a symphony of sizzling meat candy. However, the cleanup is far from elegant. When a sufficient amount of bacon is cooked on a frying pan and left to cool, the fat congeals into a viscous white layer with bits of burned meat fragments strewn throughout.
With a gleeful hand I selected one of my mother’s largest soup spoons. I guided the tool of my brothers downfall, avoiding any solid bits of protein, collecting the pristine white fat onto the spoon.
When I had collected an obscene amount of bacon grease, I looked at my prize with great satisfaction.
I rushed downstairs to my brother’s room, all too gleefully. Without an invitation I entered my brother’s room and in a reserved tone I offered him my present saying:
“Mom made some frosting for the cake she’s baking, wanna try it?”
My poor brother accepted with trusting eyes, cramming the large spoon of bacon grease without apprehension into his mouth at a force one might consume fresh cake frosting.
With a rush of satisfaction and brush of the primal flight impulse, I savored that moment.
His eyes grew wide and his skin faded a shade closer to pig grease. Reaching at me to inflict pain while also figuring out what to do with a mouth full of bacon fat, I ran with great haste to the safety of my parents room.
He wanted blood.
My mother was folding clothing on her bed as I rushed in, closely followed by my brother howling and making fists in my direction.
What he had done with the grease, I don’t know, but with a freshly lubricated mouth and nearly tear filled eyes he explained what happened to my mother.
It still surprises me to this day and makes the story personally so much more satisfying.
She simply laughed and continued folding her laundry.
This may be like asking if the neural pathways of the human brain have ever been mapped. But wouldn’t it be cool to see a map of Wikipedia in graphical (and ultimately interactive) form. In my mind I picture something like this:However, it would obviously have to be much larger and dramatically more complicated.
But in many ways it would give us a top down view of how information and concepts are connected and shared.
This idea could obviously be taken in many different directions. One could map any number of relational points between topics, but if you’ve ever played a “wikipedia scavenger hunt” you’d know that you can almost always get between two completely unrelated topics in very few internal click-throughs.
In my mind this would be an indication of how unfeasible a request to map Wikipedia would be. But maybe it’s not. I’d love to think it’s possible.
Feedback, insights, extrapolations, and your general grunts of approval are highly welcomed and encouraged. Who knows maybe Jimmy Wales might even pop in for a bit. ;)