Blogs and logs

Posted by jerry on November 21st, 2003 — Posted in Journal, Writing

It seems to me that blogs are a bit like digital soundings charting one’s course through an ocean of thought. How appropriate then, that the idea of keeping log books derives from a navigational technique that relied on nodal soundings to record one’s speed through the ocean. In a type of navigation called ‘dead reckoning’ the technique relied on one throwing a log, or wooden board overboard from the stern (or back) of the vessel, the board being attached to a rope. The rope had series of knots tied at 7 fathom (6 feet to a fathom = 42foot/12.5metre) intervals. Each knot, paid out from the reel over a period of 30 seconds (as measured by a sand glass) represented a speed of one nautical mile per hour. Observations were made whenever the wind changed in velocity or direction, and recorded in a book – called – you guessed it – the log book! (neat eh?) The distance (calculated by speed over time) and direction were plotted onto a chart, and thus one could navigate without recourse to the stars or a visible land mass.

The knots represent digital nodes, the wind changes: the threads of discussion or thought; the chart, the great canvas of ideas – So perhaps blogs are a kind of chart of ideas!


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