Remember when Rudolph and Hermie wound up on the Island of Misfit Toys but still didn’t belong as they were not toys? And they summed it up as being misfits even amongst misfits? I have that feeling, as I suspect many do, which is what makes the scene so effective – (almost?) everyone can relate, at least in some way. Some years ago $HOUSEMATE and I attended ConVergence in the Twin Cities. They even called themselves the Misfits… and… the results merely convinced us that the key to having fun when living in Minnesota that one must make Step One be: Leave the state. Yeah, misfits even amongst the soi-disant “Misfits.”
Recently I’ve had (yet another) experience like that. I follow a few authors, er, writers. (Writers WRITE, so Authors must merely AUTH.. whatever that is) and they occasionally have promotions and giveaways that are not necessarily directly tied to their own works. Two came up recently, neither of any interest to me. Alright, that’s normal, really. It’s a big world and I am but one creature in it, and not everything is of interest to me. BUT.. these are or were BIG DEALS amongst many (most?) of the READERS of the world. One was a collection of J.R.R. Tolkien works. I do not know if it was “everything” (or everything not in a stodgy professional journal) or just a honking big chunk of his fiction work. I could hardly wait for the contest to end. Not as I had entered, but as it was wearying to get promotional email after promotional email about the darned thing. Whoever won it, I hope they enjoy it. But I knew it was not for me, so abstained. Likewise with Stephen King’s ‘Dark Tower’ stuff. Zero interest. I just want it over so it ceases taking up space in the Unread Messages section. Yeah, I could unsubscribe from various lists (and have, a few times) but there has been some stuff of interest.
The Artificial Intelligence revolution will be when individuals have their own AI agents that can properly sort what is spam, what is not spam but still of zero or less interest, what might be of interest, and “You need to see this now.” That day might be close, but it is not here yet. And I do mean personal. It will “live” on one’s own hardware, and Yahoo, or Google, or FaceBook, or the Great Green Arkleseizure doesn’t have a single damned thing to say about it, except perhaps that they just hate having their crap shot down all the time – and that complaint, ultimately, will be the very mark of success!