First of all, many thanks to Alice for the free press. Her recent entry is the first (and possibly last) demonstration of the relevance of what I'm working on to someone who is neither me nor has been dead for more than two centuries. Generally speaking I prefer a late audience, as I, like so many others, am in the habit of taking by one's silence that he or she agrees; but, as the living go, she is absolutely aces.

Secondly, why have I titled this entry after an Australian rock band that will this very summer be celebrating its twentieth anniversary? For a number of reasons:
  1. I am following Alice's use of the word "excess" in her title
  2. The band has shown durability beyond both my hopes and expectations and done so in the cyclical fashion enjoyed by many the canonical text
  3. The name of said band gets at one of my hobbyhorses--it eliminates "excess" information: that is, a space between words, two "e's", a "c", and an "s".
  4. I am hopelessly ridiculous.
In reading Alice's post and learning of Gordon Bell's digitally archiving what anyone but the most dedicated voyeur, narcissist, or future anthropologist would likely discard as the excruciating minutiae of a life that had better turn out to be remarkable for more than having digitally archived what anyone but the most dedicated voyeur, narcissist, or future anthropologist...

I'll start again.

It's interesting that Bell is recording everything in a digital archive, as digital technology is precisely that upon which all the archivists whose works I've read suggest an archivist should not rely. It is not, to deploy what I have recently discovered is not "my" buzzword, durable. If you want a durable medium, you're still far better off with analogs--stone, metal, quality paper, etc. If you have anything that's important to you on a 5 1/4 floppy, you know what I'm talking about. I haven't read the Bell (and I don't mean to disparage his character at all; I agree with Alice that he's up to something terribly interesting), so I'm sure he's aware of this.

It does bring up an interesting part of the technology tradeoff, which until I'm better educated I'm going to think about in spatial and temporal terms. Scanning, photodocumenting, etc. -- anything that eliminates the middlemen of analog conservation processes -- enables closer-to-comprehensive documentation by saving both time and space. Space is the easy part. The problem with analog storage is of course that it takes up so much damn real estate. Bell can only do what he's doing because he doesn't have to buy a small moon on which to keep everything he wishes to preserve. As Gabriel Naudé lamented in the seventeenth century, comprehensive knowledge is impossible with respect to space because comprehensive data storage and therefore retrieval are impossible. Or, as comedian Steven Wright put it, "you can't have everything. Where would you put it?" The selection process of survival and canonicity, a librarian will tell you, or might have formerly told you, is driven as much by space as anything else. One wonders to what extent matters of taste came to prominence precisely because proliferation put space at a premium and demanded more stringent and nigh-on metaphysical standards of valuation. "What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed" is nothing if not quantity reduced to quality. The best expression can stand in for (take the space of) the countless iterations of something clogging up everyone's brains and bookshelves. (The entry on "memory," included in the treatise on metaphysics in the first edition Encyclopedia Britannica (1768-1771) and culled -- in another space-saving gesture -- from John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding uses spatial metaphors such as "storehouse" and "repository" to describe the memory. We're hardly out of the habit.) Now, of course, all we have to do is define "best." Plenty of people around willing to do that.

So, the gizmodification of the world buys us space. The library without walls envisioned by frustrated Enlightenment types can finally exist; total storage and total retrieval are theoretically possible; we can put everything everywhere (of course, this doesn't mean that we can just get rid of the analog "originals." Book historians now weep over the countless manuscripts cast aside when their contents were brought out in print, and as this article suggests, space remains a huge problem. Also interesting and having to do with space, storage, and digital technology is this article).

Tech also buys you time, but the relationship of proliferation to time is a bit more complicated. The proliferation of print is indeed all about time--as Polydore Vergil wrote in 1499 (and as Thomas Langley translated half a century or so later): "one man may print more in one day, than many men in many years could write." You're going to run out of space one way or another, but with high rates of production and increased distribution you're going to run out of more space faster. So in that respect time is the primary concern, but the advantage of speed was one of the most highly praised with respect to the printing press. I'm guessing that it's similarly the temporal advantage of technology even more than the storage concern that makes Bell's project feasible. You certainly can't write to the moment, as Tristram Shandy laments (Fielding's take on this in Shamela is, by the way, one of my favorite things in literature), but with the right gadgets you could perhaps nearly digitize to the moment -- one man may scan more in a day, etc. This I think is the point of Twitter. Limiting the time it takes to make a record (twitter restricts you to 140 characters per message) makes it possible to make more records. As one friend tells me, you send these little missives "all day long." Assuming you can find the right medium between doing things and recording things done, you've got a much more detailed picture of a life to be viewed by you and your posterity at some point down the line.

Or do you? Do 100 140-character notes add up to one 1400-word document? If we don't know what you thought of that bottle of Romanee Conti the label of which you've scanned, or that you barely had space enough to tell us you drank, we might think the more important part of your history has been left out. How do we define ephemera? Dictionaries define it as referring to written or printed documents intended to have a brief lifetime (remarkable how long the concept of "life" has been wrapped up in that of writing. Writing doesn't just exist, or remain--it lives). Ephemera is something you read, and immediately discard. So are my friends' 140-character messages ephemera? What happens to them if I keep them, collect them, string them together, reconstitute them as some sort of narrative? Are they still ephemera? In choosing to record a life 140 characters at a time rather than burden yourself or your friends with "long" entries, could you end up producing an ephemeral 140,000 word document?

What's happened here is an important switch in perspective. So far I've been mostly writing about production. The other side of that coin is of course consumption, and it's on this side that the temporal and spatial advantages of technology meet the limitations of being human. Technology may have allowed you to record twenty years of minutiae and given you a convenient way of carrying it about, but it hasn't given me twenty extra years in which to review it. And if Monsieur Naudé had managed to secure, oh, let's say the entire Left Bank for his Master Library I'm not entirely sure how much time he'd have left to poke about in it. I've written about this problem before -- you can't read everything, and depending on why you're reading, it's possible that you oughtn't to read too much in the first place. Technology doesn't buy the consumer more time; rather, in the context of an increasing and increasingly available body of knowledge contained in print, it makes the same amount of time "worth" less. It's all perfectly well and good if a couple of friends want to send me or make otherwise available ten, twenty, thirty messages a day. I'll be very up-to-date. But if five friends do the same, one wonders if it will start being more trouble than it's worth. And if ten friends do the same, that gives me up to 300 X 140 characters, or 42,000 characters, to read per day. That's just under 30 double-spaced pages of notes. Thank God I'm antisocial. Even so, I can imagine that with much material, I would find myself making decisions about my friends that I would otherwise not have made. "Terribly sorry, old man, but I simply haven't time for any more friends than I can read on the subway. I'm afraid you shall either have to start doing more interesting things with your life, edit yourself down to a reasonable amount, or shove off."

I'm fairly certain that these were roughly the same options readers and/or booksellers gave authors in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Welcome my friends to the show that never ends.

So--on the production side, tech buys time and space. On the consumption side, it makes the process of selection ever more narrowing, and time matters more when space matters less. The only way to combat the time problem caused by proliferation in the absence of spacial inhibitors is a new line in research--a method of knowledge production that reduces time spent in consuming. Though this of course presumes that you're interesting in knowing everything. Or aspiring to knowing everything. Or deluding yourself into thinking you can aspire to know everything. But then, that's what Enlightenment is all about -- with one important distinction. Enlightenment was always about the future. All the mysteries would not be solved in a single lifetime. It would take an untold number to map the mind of the God through the close examination of his works. That meant handing things down, passing them along, securing some sort of continuity that would enable posterity to both understand and carry on the work.

This is why the encyclopedists -- Chambers, at least -- imagined the Cyclopaedia as that work with which humanity could start over if all other works were destroyed. Not start over in a complete sense, of course, but start over from where it left off: in the midst of Enlightenment. So, if you had to save one thing from a world on fire...

Hm. Speaking of proliferation and reduction, this entry has had too much of the former and not enough of the latter. Anything to avoid real work.


Damnatio Memoriae

Something has to stand in for the other side of immortality, and not surprisingly, the Romans had both a name and a plan for it. Obviously, eradicating every image on a coin, in a painting, or on a statue, and every name scratched onto papyrus or into stone requires some serious overtime and a fairly good idea of where you've left everything you want destroyed. We know (and when I say we I suppose I mean modernity) that when ordered it didn't quite have the desired effect. I imagine a certain degree of notoriety -- or prestige, depending on which side you're on -- must attach itself to being enough of a nuisance to warrant an emperor or senate trying to erase you from history. We certainly seem to remember the few who earned the distinction. I suspect the ordering authorities would lack the sense of humor required to appreciate the irony.

"Damnatio Memoriae" is therefore largely a symbolic gesture of a mangitude that has all but gone out of the universe. This is not to suggest that I would want to inhabit one wherein governmental bodies could still get away with ordering that sort of thing. It's terrifying fascist, calling to mind the Nazis with their book-burning and Orwell's vaporization of unpersons in 1984. Nevertheless, the Roman incarnation has an epic feel to it that for some odd reason appeals to me.

At any rate, my recent encounters with matters of posterity, durable storage media, and the digitization of the archive as a repetition of the manuscript-to-print transition that took place in Europe after Gutenberg got me thinking about what I'd call the pocket-veto version of Damnatio Memoriae. Choosing not to transfer, transmit, or maintain some part of the past is a passive act of damnation. I shy away from introducing the personal to this forum, but my recent photography recovery initiatives and a week's worth of spring cleaning and clutter consolidation have forced me to think fifty years down the line. I have chucked out a few bits and pieces this time around that I had held onto for years with the express intent of periodically revisiting. In discarding the odd keepsake I was very much aware of Damnatio Memoriae. Understanding that I could not rely on my memory to remember what I was throwing away, I began to wonder about what I had already forgotten. What of my own past did I banish from future recollection? Was there anything at all? To what extent is my memory really attached to material cues? To what extent will it be as I get older and there's more to remember (and/or forget)?

From the early years of print and on into the eighteenth century, philosophers, scholars, and other like curmudgeons fretted what they perceived as the deleterious effects of books on memory. Because I have been ruined by popular culture, I turn to movies for an example. From Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:

Henry Jones: I found the clues that will safely take us through, in the Chronicles of St. Anselm.
Indiana Jones: What are they?
Henry Jones: (silence)
Indiana Jones: Can't you remember?
Henry Jones: I wrote them down in my diary so I wouldn't have to remember.

Which line rather says it all. I am no cognitive scientist, so I don't know what effects writing and the print revolution really had on human memory capacities or operations. But it does seem to me that by not writing something down I am ultimately condemning it to oblivion. I am compulsive hoarder of correspondence, but no diarist, which will at some point in the future give me a very odd sense of a life defined by other people's sentiments. Already I have had noticed that by reading old letters my life seems longer, a phenomenon I hope will offer some comfort when little of it remains. It's all written down; I'll remember it later. One can see why "writing to the moment" perhaps meant something quite different for Sterne than it did for Richardson; the latter was providing "complete" documentary evidence; the former was trying to stall death.

Every time you throw out a postcard, a birthday missive, etc., you are effectively committing an act of Damnatio Memoriae, but rather than just obliterating someone else from the record you are also destroying a part of yourself in the eyes of the version of you yet to come. People burn photographs, throw away correspondence, return gifts at the end of relationships. In reordering my bookshelves I came across some junior-high era yearbooks, and flipping through them I found several photos of people along with their names marked over with black magic marker. Clearly, some of the old ceremoniousness has come down to us from antiquity. And it completely worked; I couldn't make out who they were, nor why I blacked them out. Though nearly twenty years on, I rather wish I could remember what had obviously been big enough a part of my life to warrant the treatment.

Each of us is to some extent our own posterity; we leave things behind at every age for rediscovery. Should you edit as you write, or not?


There's what we know, there's what we don't know...

~or, Sometimes you write your dissertation with the body of knowledge you have, not the body of knowledge you want.

I have started the real research phase of the dissertation, and I don't know about you but for me that means picking a secondary source almost at random and hoping it points me in the right direction. There are a series of questions I'd like answered, and at this point it's as though I'm just issuing subpoenas to everyone in the field of English literature in order to define the scope of the inquiry. I'm not entirely certain what's out there. So far, I've seen my buzzwords in quite a few places, but they're being deployed without, I think, careful attention, and no one I've yet read (SO early to say this with confidence) has yet referred to "durability" in quite the way I think they need to. This gives me hope.

First things first: if you're in this field, you should read David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery's The Book History Reader. The 2nd edition is available new in paperback for under $50. It's simply no longer reasonable to participate in literary studies without at least a smattering of book history. As always, I'm coming a bit late to the game, and while I've read a number of the works excerpted in the reader, I have also encountered a number of perspectives hitherto unfamiliar to me. As an eighteenth-century person, I've also gotten into the bad habit of undervaluing periods not my own, which has left me a bit ignorant regarding manuscript production and oral culture. This in turn has left me unable to appreciate fully the impact of print, which has in turn left me a blithering idiot. Thus do I blither on, but to a lesser extent for the survey this book provides.

I was struck today by what I'm calling the Myth of Knowledge until someone tells me what proper scholars call it. The shorthand for it is my frustration at not being able to know everything, and the suspicion that short of my possessing total knowledge, I'm really just making things up. In reading Elizabeth Eisenstein's important The Printing Press as an Agent of Change, I was uncomfortable with what I perceived as a number of abstractions and assessments supported by individual examples. I don't accuse her of shoddy scholarship--leagues and leagues from that; honestly, it's quite the book. But I began to wonder at what point it is -- how much knowledge we have to possess -- in order to draw a conclusion.

For example: say I'm writing about the usage of a particular term in a given period. The word "widget" is used in this context, in these genres, to mean this, applied to that, etc. In how many texts does it have to occur before I can fairly assess what was at work? If I find it in 1000 texts, and there are 10,0000 to look through, is that enough? What if there are 100,000 texts to search? As if I could ever look through that many? If I don't discover the term and what I think is a telling usage in 51% of extant works from the period, am I not fooling myself? And what happens when I discover the single example of a text in which the term is used in a way that does not come into general use for another century? Just because one guy thought about the same thing a bit differently than everyone else, to what extent is my argument unraveled? What is the value of the individual counterexample?

And here's another question, which stems from D. F. McKenzie's reading of the punctuation in the epigraph opening Congreve's authorized version of "The Way of the World" (1710). He compares it to a slight misquotation of the epigraph by Wimsatt and Beardsley in "The Intentional Fallacy." A comma here, a comma there, and you get a whole different interpretation. I'm reminded here of an episode of The West Wing, in which Toby discovers a potential typo in the U.S. Constitution. Could be a comma, could be a smudge; if a comma, a substantive difference results. If a smudge, a smudge. Now then. To understand Congreve, I have to understand his times, what it meant to write, what it meant to write as a dramatist, what it meant to bring out a version of your play in print or manuscript, and therefore what the differences between print and manuscript were, how those differences affected his position as author and playwright, and so on and so forth. One must historicize. What did it mean to "toil" in 1710? What connotations did the word "wrought" carry? And once I know that, can I even be certain that punctuation worked the same way in the early 18th century? McKenzie suggests that the commas isolate and emphasize a particular phrase. I think he's probably correct, and I don't mean to challenge him on this particular point. Rather, I'm using it as an example to demonstrate the impossible depth and breadth of knowledge required to understand what we might think of as the simplest thing about a text. Commas probably did serve the same function as they do now, though based on some of my students' writing, there's no reason to think that the use of the comma and other syntactical devices hasn't changed dramatically over the years. (Some of my students seem to just write a paper and then sprinkle punctuation marks over it like glitter. But that's for a different day.)

Texts, like people, emerge out of ridiculously complex systems that are scarcely understood in their own times much less hundreds or thousands of years later. If I don't fully comprehend everything that went in to the creation of a text, how can I make an argument about it that isn't some discrediting percentage of rubbish? I'm trying to recreate dinosaurs and I have to use frog DNA to fill in the gaps. We all know what happens when you do that. Raptors try to eat you.

Which brings me to yet another problem I've had with some of the criticism I've been reading. These very clever fellows go back and do the research and present pictures of the past that are utterly contradictory. That's fine, you say; that's the nature of the beast. Some people are going to claim that the printing press was better than scribal culture because it cut down on errors and texts didn't have to get more and more out of whack with every generation. Others are going to remind you that a shoddy printer who was in it for the money would have made things worse precisely because he could work faster without carefully checking his work. That's how you get your "Wicked Bible" of 1631. Sheesh, says the poor printer, you leave one "not" out of the seventh commandment, and everyone goes nuts. (The following lovely moment occurs in Walter Ong's contribution to the Book History Reader: a paragraph ends with, "The printing press simply represented a handy means of multiplying indispensable texts even more rapidly and accurately than was possible under the pecia system." Three sentences later, we get: "more than 2,000 copies of Aristotle's works have come down to us from the and 14th centuries" (151). Accuracy, ha!) But fair enough; different research turns out different results, that's no problem. What we're going to discover is that everything was far more complicated, that everything was going on at once, and that unless you do read everything you can you're going to leave out some nuance, some exception, some thing or other that would have given you "truth" at the expense of clarity.

And this is not to mention the somewhat disturbing tendency a few of these scholars have to treat what they have found in history as though it were available to those alive at the time. Did Pope have the understanding of literacy rates and manuscript v. print production that we have now? I sincerely doubt it. In order to better understand the system of literature at any given period, I should think we'd have to synthesize what was with what was perceived. To which side of the equation you give more weight depends, I suppose, on the sort of work you're trying to write. I scarcely understand how one can write anything that doesn't need to wrangle with both, particularly in the eighteenth century, which I associate with almost staggering self-awareness. There is a system; there are agents within it that can, at best, merely think they know that system. Mmm, dense!

I imagine that those outside the humanities must look at these problems and wonder what on earth we imagine to be the point of these tomes we write -- these theories we offer that can never amount to much more than hopeful essays and well-intentioned approximations. If we're not going to get at the thing as it is, I wonder if we shouldn't construct from the pieces of history whatever we think is useful to us now and for the futures we wish to design. Or more properly, because we already do this by default, why we shouldn't do it without hiding behind the skirts of science. I suppose, though, that that way lies a kind of fascism.

Or Enlightenment.

In thinking more about this, as I will, I think a large part of the question is weighing the benefits of sampling against those of an actual census. We're fine with polling data, too, but I don't think anyone would want an election decided by it. If you want real credibility you have to count the votes. Most of them, anyway.


Conversion Factors

Originally uploaded by Scriblerus.
I recently asked a professor of mine if she or indeed anyone else knew roughly what percentage of texts existing in manuscript form were brought out in print when the technology became available, or fiscally reasonable to use. She said that she did not, and that if anyone did, she was unaware of it, and that it seemed unlikely to her as no one really knows for sure what is out there in manuscript anyway. I'm interested in this for reasons related to my dissertation, of course--it seems to me that print technology might have blown a large hole in the future of manuscript texts by semi-permanently consigning them to obsolescence. If it doesn't come out in print when print is the proliferating technology, it must have been deemed unprofitable or unimportant (to the extent that those are separate categories).

This scenario has plenty of modern corollaries. My father has the Beatles' Rubber Soul on vinyl, cassette, CD, and mp3. If the powers that be had at some point decided not to "convert" the old version to the new technology, would it simply have vanished? Or just held out until the last of the record players failed for want of a qualified technician?

The digitization of the archive is the current iteration of this problematic. What gets scanned in v. what does not, or, if we've decided that we're going to go all the way with it, we still have to deal with the order in which things get scanned. If it ain't online RIGHT NOW, it might as well not exist, right? I'm not going to go get it, wherever the hell it is, assuming that it's even out there to be had, which we might not know for certain anyway. So what's the Rubber Soul of the literary past? Who exactly is making the decisions about what's important enough to make available now, versus what will be made available in a year, or two, or whenever they get around to it? Talk about your temporal hierarchization (which phrase, if not yet copyrighted, consider copyrighted). This was the subject of an article in the New York Times on March 11: "History, Digitized (and Abridged)." According to the Library of Congress, the article says, "perhaps only 10 percent of the 132 million objects held will be digitized in the foreseeable future" (sec 3, pg 8).

My dissertation buzzword appears in this article: "'It takes a special skill to select standalone collections that have a durable appeal in the marketplace of scholars," says Donald J. Waters, program officer for scholarly communication at the Mellon Foundation (emphasis mine). Durability here is a quality assigned to the material itself more than to the marketplace audience, which I think is a terribly interesting construction. Indeed, it's the one I'm writing about in the eighteenth century. The material and marketplace, of course, affect and define each other. So how does one define the marketplace in order to render what does the defining durable?

I bring this up today because I just spent a couple of hours sorting through old photos and selecting a few to digitize. In doing so, I think I experienced in miniature a taste of this process. I have a couple of thousand photos around here, culled down over the years from a few thousand more. They were good enough to keep; however, nowhere near that amount were worthy of conversion from analog to digital. A lot of factors went into the decision-making process. I was choosing largely for public access--to post them to flickr.com. Public consumption dictated a selection process based on however I arbitrarily defined "quality"--what would have a durable appeal to the marketplace. Then I had to consider how much memory space I have, how much time it would take, etc. I have done a photo-mining exercise before; several of the photos I scanned this time were set aside several times before. I'm not at all sure what determined why I ignored them before, or why I decided this time around that they were good enough to make the cut. Some were just awful: out of focus, bad composition, bad exposure. Other were quite good, but couldn't be posted for reasons of privacy; I don't like my face being splashed around cyberspace, and I presume several of my friends don't either. I have a few photos that I think are quite beautiful, taken in places and with people during events that profoundly affected my life; but they will not be digitized precisely because those moments are so utterly past as to be potentially problematic if allowed to resurface even before those who were principle participants. There is more than the mere record of my experiences to consider when choosing what parts of that record to present.

Obviously, this last section is personal, and not strictly like to that of the digitization of textual archives around the world. But, I am considering what would happen in the future, if nothing but the digital domain made it to posterity. As a scholar of a future age, I would assume that that which I have received in the most direct form was that which a prior age deemed most worth transmitting. Or, failing that assumption (which I imagine would make me a poor scholar), I would be frustrated by the knowledge that perhaps what was truly most important to the lives of those whom I am studying was specifically left out because it was most important.

Which brings me back to the archive, and the transfer of manuscript to print. And the transfer of manuscript and print to digital. And in fact, the transfer of orature to literature. In any case, all of this has been written about by much smarter people than me; I was simply struck today by my reliving a part of the experience with respect to my own little archive.


Scriblerus Detecting Agency

My dissertation, as I have now severally said, will explore the problematic of posterity in British Literature of the long eighteenth-century. While life-in-and-after-text has been the concern of authors for millenia, the futurity of writing changed under the pressure of print proliferation in this period. Print widens an author's reachable audience, allows mass production, etc. Do that for enough people and the promise of print is undercut by an unfortunate (from the perspective of the egomaniac) democratization. So how the hell do you manage to get to the top of the field? That's really the question I'm setting out to answer. I imagine you do a number of things. Trod on other authors. Offer more bang for the buck. Create hierarchies based on taste, or wealth, or morals. But you've heard all this before.

In my attempting to put forth an argument, I have apparently skewed too far towards the System. I have cowered behind emergences and mechanisms. Genres emerged to do this or that; some could or couldn't; some lasted or didn't. Where, a couple of my professors asked, is the human agency? You can't simply go around barking about how this or that occurred, because, as one rather poignantly put it, you end up with a dissertation written entirely in passive constructions. Everything is acted upon and nothing (or no one) acts. And this won't win you any friends at parties.

I never intended to leave out the human element. Despite the influence from certain quarters that would have had me taking the human out of the humanities, I never imagined ceding that ground. When we say human, of course, I think what we usually mean is "unpredictable." Samuel Johnson manages to get himself into a position to make pronouncements about the quality of literature. Who on earth could know what he would say? How does the system account for that? The Licensing Act drives Fielding from the stage, so he takes up novel writing. Who's to say he couldn't have gone to law school, like a normal person? If the human didn't matter, then you'd have to conclude that even without Fielding Tom Jones, or something very much like it, would have been written anyway, and done the same work. And to some extent, this is what Foucault has been said to have said. Though I think his position on the matter has been largely overstated.

So I have encountered skepticism in one person, bewilderment in another, and encouragement in the last. And here's me thinking about law school.

Genre is where agency meets system. It's the mediator between the forces at work and the worked upon; it is also what enables the worked upon to work upon the forces at work. The power flows both ways through the gate. This, as I understand it, is feedback. So what I want to do is figure out is the role of genre in organizing literature with respect to time. And when I say genre, I do it with the understanding that human agency is implicit. How do you tweak the genre you've chosen to position yourself at the top of the temporal hierarchy? Ensure you'll reach the future? And how do those genres become durable in themselves? Do genres become disciplines? I think they do. Maybe. Possibly. Who knows.

I have felt utterly stupid now for a year.