Friday, January 22, 2010

MMBF: 2-day results

In almost exactly 48 hours, the Babysitting Fund has collected the astoundingly auspicious sum of $2048 - or, to be more exact, $2047.75. (Of course, this is after PayPal's brutal 5% vig.)

While this will not found the Froude Institute, it will purchase quite a few Sibyl-hours. Or a new MacBook, or something like that. I am, of course, flattered and overjoyed, and will be thanking all contributors individually. (Since - ha ha - I have your email addresses.)

But I'd like to express a little collective appreciation as well. One of the nice things about starting a pseudonymous blog, without identity or affiliation - and with no actual affiliation behind the nym, either - is that it creates a very different user experience than can be produced by, say, Professor X at R1 University Y.

When you read the blog of Professor X - and since he's had the training, whether he announces himself or not you'll know he is what he is - you are offered a safe intellectual experience. Professor X, right or wrong, is scrutinized, filtered and delivered to your door by the Computer. The Computer is your friend, and you trust Professor X.

In a phrase, you're playing intellectual touch football. Whereas since UR is what it is, you cannot avoid a game of tackle. You are thrown back on the resources of your own judgment. You must exercise that judgment - and may find it aches a little for the next day or two.

For me, of course, writing this blog has been an appalling journey into the unknown. But this journey would have been scarcely worthwhile were it not for an audience, to whom I have tried to convey some of the drama of this jungle expedition in the past and present unknown. And who have shared, in just the time it takes to read this stuff, the reality of the trackless swamp.

But when you send actual money out into that unknown, what a confidence you express! Real bills, bearing real presidents, vanish from your wallet. Clipped by Paypal they arrive in mine, and I do God knows what with them. And you do this - why? Because (if you followed the instructions) you learned something. Or think you did, anyway. Lord, I only hope it's true.

If you still think it's true, and you haven't yet given, our drive has five more days:

Otherwise, you may go about your business. :-)