You must be this tall to ride this ride

Proposal for Contract For New Website Owners, herein to be referred to as "You Must Be This Tall To Ride This Ride" or "Hey Idiot" for short.Whereas, the population of coder-type folk have noticed an alarming increase in personal websites, and

Whereas, given that the population of the planet is only allowed a fixed amount of intelligence spread across all personal websites and,

Whereas, the likelihood of security failures increase as the number of personal sites (running on scripts beyond their maintainers' technical expertise) grows, and

Whereas, the owner of was silly enough many months ago to post a tutorial that appears to have aided in convincing some new website owners to try out new code projects that they simply are not ready for, therefore driving up the possibility of security failures and random acts of idiocy, we propose the following two Amendments to the unwritten Rules governing the design, maintenance, and administration of personal websites.

  1. That one certain domesticat shall seek professional mental help before attempting to unleash more scripts upon the all-too-eager population and
  2. That all prospective website owners will be responsible for signing a copy of the following release form, triplicate copies of which shall be stored in conveniently inaccessible bomb shelters near you:

"Attention Website Owners!

As they say in the carnivals, You Must Be This Tall To Ride This Ride! In order to assure the safety and health of BOTH the site owners and readers, you must agree to abide under the following conditions.

You, the website owner (hereinafter referred to as 'You'), shall…

  1. agree to cease both the design and promotion of Your website if the Impartial Website Jury determines that a simple majority (i.e., 50.1%) of Your self-esteem is derived by the existence and/or popularity of Your site.
  2. agree to not install scripts that You do not understand, with the understanding that You are responsible for maintenance and repair if unforeseen problems occur.

    be liable for all sleep deprivation and parse errors incurred by Sysadmins while being forced to repair the damage Your actions described in 2) have caused.

    agree never to create an actual link to, on penalty of immediate evisceration

    shall only make pronouncements about the future of

    1. Open Source
    2. web design

    after agreeing to take permanent residence in the Lightly-Chlorinated Gene Pool.

    agree to feed and clothe a starving psychiatrist by providing him/her with the sole access to all entries regarding

    1. Your horrific childhood
    2. Your need for psychiatric (or psychotropic) medications
    3. intimate details of Your sex life
    4. Your loathing of any aspect of Your life, if entries are determined to be mostly free of capitalization and punctuation

* * * * *

I think that will do quite nicely, actually. Hopefully I haven't forgotten anything.


Actually, it's, and don't worry, there's no way you'll ever catch me linking to that site. Oh, and what about all of those people who have no design skills whatsoever and use things like lots of animated gifs and blinky things? Can we put a clause in there about them, too?

I disagree with point 2. (the finite amount of intelligence spread out over personal web sites.) Are you saying that you are never going to get smarter, ever again? I suppose it depends on whether or not you take "finite" to mean "fixed" -- even if you don't, you still have to prove that there is an upper, constant limit to the continuously growing intelligence factor. Now, perhaps you could argue that the number of personal web sites is growing faster than overall intelligence (I'd still doubt it), or that the *average* ratio of intelligence / number of web sites the person operates is going down (probably that's more defensable) but that's not the same has having a finite amount of intelligence spread over a (potentially much larger) number of web sites. Ugh. I can't believe I just wrote that. I think I woke up too soon and still need some sleep. My brain is still in "rabid CS major mode" from writing programs to automatically do my statistics homework for me last night. (That's allowed in my statistics class, near as I can tell.)

"Finite" merely means a measurable amount, as compared to "infinite" which is unmeasurable. I think it's perfectly acceptable to say that there is a finite amount of intelligence spread out among the internet. It might not be spread evenly. In fact, I think we could compare the internet to chunky peanut butter on a piece of bread. There are some areas that the peanut butter is spread thin, but there are also the areas where the peanut butter has a nice chunk and those are the chunks of intelligence in this vast internet source that we have. Oi vay! I think my brain's still leaking from my CS test I had last night.

Um, John? It's ok to read something for fun without feeling the need to mathematically analyze it to death. You'll live longer. Trust me on this. Perhaps what I should've said is that there is a fixed amount of intelligence spread out on the internet. In other words, for someone insightful to get a website, three k1ddi3z have to be slaughtered. Conversely, every time someone who has actually contributed intelligent and thoughtful material decides they want to leave the web, approximately four thousand k1ddi3z move in. Losing battle, it is.

Bah. This is the kind of discussion which is much more fun to have in real life than over the internet. Debugging people's arguments *is* fun, especially if it's something entirely frivolous. I think this joke captures what I mean (albeit in a slightly different sphere): A group of economists was sitting at a table in the faculty lounge. One of them gets up and says "I'm going to go get more coffee, does anyone need anything?" The other three economists look up in shock and exclaim with one voice: "NEED?!!?!?!!" I think I'm a bit backwards. Economics and CS are things I do for fun -- I take art seriously.

muhahhahahah Gee, Amy, you really do need to get away for the weekend. ' is starting to resemble IJSM in its more stressed moments [although I find your writing much funnier...]

I've been on the Internet since '95 (and on its various precursors since '89) - and there was just as much stupidity in the "early days" as now (and I should know, having propagated much of it) - it just didn't know how to dress itself up as nicely yet. =)

And that's the thing, really. They think you have to have a pretty site to have people look at it. Hell, I'm here to tell you that my ugly-as-hell site gets a lot of traffic! :)

Let's just can the legalities and beat the snot out of all stupid people. Please?

Ooooh! Ooooh! Sign me up! I want to help!

It'll only make you feel better and lower their stupidity. After all, they won't understand why they got the beating.

Well, we could make it into a lesson for them. "I'm hitting you this time because of bad use of blinking tags. *wham* Now, I'm going to hit you this time for..." That way they'd know why they got hit every time they did. Sounds good to me at least.

You'd hit them so many times that you'd cause brain damage and they'd forget. That's the problem.

Okay, that's a good point. But, then again, we don't have to hit them in the face. I mean, there's a whole body to use as a punching bag. Leave the head alone so that they still have a brain (what little they began with) and then just beat up the rest.

Maybe they will be dumbed enough that they won't even try anymore and thus won't continue to fail? I'm sorry, it seems all my hormones are converging at once

I just want to club whoever in the great Mozilla sect decided that they were going to leave the blink tag in. And whoever in IE decided to put the marquee tag in.