Zen and the diffusion of links

Yesterday I had a moment I can only classify as Zen. Amidst the flurry of hundreds of RSS chunks, emails and IMs spreading between thousands of people, some signal seemed to appear out of the noise. Unfortunately, I am not omnicient, and cannot put the puzzle together completely. Perhaps someone can enlighten me.

1. Sometime in the AM, I follow a link from Nelson’s Linkblog to a story on a blog called Collision Detection about the limitations of multitasking. I find it interesting, so I post it to del.icio.us.

2. I follow a link from Jason to a nerd comic about sandwiches. I laugh, and this makes me a nerd. I do not want people to know this, so I refrain from posting to del.icio.us.

3. Kathryn sends me back to Collision Detection, this time for a story about Matmos sampling an Enigma machine for an upcoming song. This is too much of a coincidence, two links to Collision Detection in one day, so I do some research. Of course it turns out that this is the weblog of Clive Thompson, author for Wired, New York Times Magazine, et al. I add him to my RSS reader, of course.

4. Later in the evening, Clive posts about a funny t-shirt produced by Randall Monroe, the author of the aformentioned nerd comic. Ok, something is definitely amiss here.

Nelson → Clive, Kottke → Randall, Katheryn → Clive, Clive → Randall. This is too much for coincidence. Will someone please tell me what is going on?

7 thoughts on “Zen and the diffusion of links

  1. I’m not sure I agree. Every once in a while I feel like something else is going on behind the scenes. I assume that you and Clive both stumbled upon the Randall Monroe work yesterday and Kathryn upon Clive.

    For me it’s one of the rare chances for me to imagine that someone is manipulating my experience.

  2. If you read 1000 blogs authored by people who were not part of the same clique, then perhaps there would be something odd afoot. However, to me your situation sounds more like say, if Anil Dash referred to something Meg Hourihan said, while Meg refers to something Evan Williams said while in the company of Jason Kottke, who also happens to be in a picture posted that day on Matt Haughey’s blog. Something underlies that coincidence.

    Just my 2cents. and the sandwich comic was pretty funny.

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