The Universe of Discourse
Sat, 14 Feb 2009

The junk heap of (blog) history
A couple of years ago, I said:

I have an idea that I might inaugurate a new section of the blog, called "junkheap", where unfinished articles would appear after aging in the cellar for three years, regardless what sort of crappy condition they are in.
Some of the stuff in the cellar is in pretty good shape. Some is really trash. I don't want to publish any of it on the main blog, for various reasons; if I did, I would have already. But some of it might have some interest for someone, or I wouldn't be revisiting it at all.

Here's a summary of the cellared items from February-April 2006, with the reasons why each was abandoned:

  1. Two different ways to find a number n so that if you remove the final digit of n and append it to the front, the resulting numeral represents 2n. (Nothing wrong with this one; I just don't care for it for some reason.)

  2. The first part in a series on Perl's little-used features: single-argument bless (Introduction too long, I couldn't figure out what my point was, I never finished writing the article, and the problems with single-argument bless are well-publicized anyway.)

  3. A version of my article about Baroque writing style, but with all the s's replaced by ſ's. (Do I need to explain?)

  4. Frequently-asked questions about my blog. (Too self-indulgent.)

  5. The use of mercury in acoustic-delay computer memories of the 1950's. (Interesting, but needs more research. I pulled a lot of details out of my butt, intending to follow them up later. But didn't.)

  6. Thoughts on the purpose and motivation for the set of real numbers. Putatively article #2 in a series explaining topology. (Unfinished; I just couldn't quite get it together, although I tried repeatedly.)

I would say that the aggregate value of these six articles is around 2.5 articles-worth. In all, there are 23 items on the junkheap of calendar year 2006.

I invite your suggestions for what to do with this stuff. Mailing list? Post brief descriptions in the blog and let people request them by mail? Post them on a wiki and let people hack on them? Stop pretending that my every passing thought is so fascinating that even my failures are worth reading?

The last one is the default, and I apologize for taking up your valuable time with this nonsense.

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