In an attempt to help understand why there is so much absolute dreck on the web, I suggest that we establish SITI — the Search for Intelligence on Teh Internet, roughly based on the model of SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence).
This is a project that is long overdue, and with any luck, we will have more luck finding intelligence than SETI.
The SETI movement was energized in the 1960s by Dr. Frank Drake, when he came up with an equation to estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in our galaxy. Now, I’d like to (modestly) propose we use his equation to estimate the number of intelligent website we may be able to find on the net.
The Drake “equation” states that:
n= the total number of intelligent sites out there
R* is the rate of website formation on the Internet
fp is the fraction of those websites that have weblogs
ne is average number of weblogs which can potentially support coherent thought
fl is the fraction of the above which actually go on to demonstrate coherent thought
fi is the fraction of the above which actually go on to show a sense of humor as well
fc is the fraction of the above which are willing and able to communicate
L is the expected lifetime of such an intelligent website.
Yes, some may argue that looking for coherent thought on a weblog is misguided, but I believe it’s our best shot.
Prove me wrong.
No doubt some boffins will now take this flash of brilliance, and give us a script to help us figure it out in real time. However, let me give you my best guess:
6 million new websites each year
X .5 (% with weblogs)
X .5 (% capable of supporting coherent thought)
X .001 (% demonstrating coherent thought)
X .001 (% showing a sense of humor)
X .6 (willing and able to communicate)
X 3 (lifetime of website, in months)
Hmm. Well, if I assume The Skwib is one of the 2.7, then who are the other 1.7? My guess is that they’ll be found on humor-blogs.com or perhaps alltop. Hey, you can’t argue with this, this is science!