You can Node for Numbers, or you can Node for the Ages.

If you node for numbers, you can appear on the list of Everything's Best Users, but your more mediocre nodes may eventually be voted down or killed by The Administration. At the end of time, when the roll is called up yonder, you may be remembered as a noder who cared only for your own glory and not for the enlightenment of others.

However, if you Node for the Ages, you have a better chance of getting Cool Nodes, and your reputation as an Everything Demigod will grow. Someday, future generations will look upon your nodes with wonder, marveling at your wisdom and praising your name to the highest heavens.

Where I work we are told constantly: "Be sure to take notes on what you do, as you might have to do it again." As a result, every time we learn something interesting or something arcane, we document it. We jot it down, add keywords, clean it up, share it and make it available for our use in the future. Opinions get added to previous notes. Things that are no longer correct get corrected. The result is that we have a group memory that has the potential to transcend our individual careers.

Now expand on that idea. Imagine if the entire human race were to start taking excellent notes on everything around them. Imagine if all those notes were collected and shared for everyone's use. That is what Everything represents: The World's Largest Knowledge Base.

Tidbits of data and experiences can be shared for everyone so that what we know can be made available for everyone to build upon.

Oh, and it doesn't hurt to find something without having to kill yourself searching.

I admit that I'm a bit intimidated by adding a writeup regarding E2 itself, but this is Something Important.

Something that we're advised we should do. Node for posterity. Node so that when someone reads this stuff in 50 years time, they'll be interested.

Now, in theory, this means we should be noding fact, noding informed opinion, even the daylogs probably count as a best guess at what'll still be of interest that far into the future.

This leaves a lot of other stuff. Like the uninformed opinion nodes. The getting to know you nodes. The endless feminism, racism, gun control, politically correct populist nodes, political nodes. These make up a great amount of the new writeups that fill the board every time we refresh a browser.

A couple of things to consider.

With any luck, all these things will be so hopelessly out of date by then that the puerile wrangling that goes on will seem like the lost transcripts of a bunch of kids arguing about whether abolishing slavery is a good thing or not, and about as interesting as reading the list of who begat who, who was begotten by someone else in the Old Testament of the Bible, i.e., not at all.

Look at the evolution of the internet over the last ten years. Progress has been rapid, and more importantly, it's been exponential. No-one reads old threads on BBSs anymore because they're not exciting enough for us.

Even USENET news is being dropped by many ISPs as no longer capable of holding the public interest. Do we honestly think that writeups on Everything2 will not go the same way? Do we really think that in 50 years anyone will give a damn about what we write?

I approve of noding for posterity. I think it's of benefit to the signal to noise ratio, but let's be honest with ourselves, okay? The only people who are remotely interested in what we write are us.

Roninspoon: Fair enough, but we're not actually writing for anthropologists, are we? I thought we were writing as if E2 would even still exist that far ahead - which personally, i don't believe for a second - and therefore for people like us.

As a budding Anthropology and Archeaology student (sixth year junior) I can assure you that ANY information about the past is useful and helpful when investigating cultural phenomena and verifying historical records. If E2 survives the next 50 years in any readable form, it will be a benefit for someone. Some of our most important historical documents from the last two to four centuries are daily diaries and the written speculations of common men.

Having said that, it's important that what is contained here is as organized and accessible as possible. Gibberish is not information and will be of little help to anyone, present or future.

Excavation Status Report
Site: Earth
GTL 76834|467

To Arkon Tervish III

As you know, we've been on this planet for much too long- since GTL 76833|452. Our mission was to find out as much about our ancestors as possible. Ever since it was discovered that our race originated from this tiny planet, The Populace has been curious about its origins. I'm proud to report that we won't have to wonder much longer.

The discovery took place several nights ago in a cave near our home base. Up until this point we'd had minimal success- all of the documents that Earth had were stored, according to what we now know, on a medium that degrades with time. As you can imagine, this made it hard to find out anything.

Until we stumbled into a cave and found a round metal box about 6 inches high and 6 inches in diameter. Upon opening it, we discovered a large number of flat disks made from a polymer derived from decayed organic matter. Upon closer inspection we found one side had been encoded with binary data.

The technical specifications are attached, I'll spare you from reading them twice. (They're really very boring) Basically, the first disk told us, in very plain terms, that the rest of the disks contained everything. It went on to explain how to decode everything and how to use it.

Needless to say, we set to work.

After a bit of work, we turned it on and found that the description was correct, in more ways than one. Amongst the disks, we found descriptions of everything. The technology of the era, the news, politics, culture, subculture, science, literature, people, places, things, and ideas. In depth descriptions of daily life and the way things were, in plain terms from plain people. Everything2, and the people who made it, and added to it; will live forever.

Hey, it could happen.

I believe I've always tried to node for the ages. I may not be a Content Editor (although I dearly hope to be one day), or on EBU, I'd just like to say what E2 means to me, Joe Average Noder.

Date: 2022.

Scene: My son sits with his digital wallet on his lap, tapping away, surfing the Internet. He beckons to me.

"Look at this, dad," he says, "It's Everything5, it's a bit like in that book The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I'm looking up linked lists for my programming class."

"I know, son. I wrote that article 21 years ago."

It could happen. Man has always strived to achieve immortality - it drives him to procreate, it drives him to write and preserve his ideas for eternity. You can achieve this through Everything2.

You can write about the world, the things that affect and influence your life. You can write daylogs, documenting the minutiae of your existence. In 50 years, people are going to be interested in what the life of someone was like back on the 00's. You can write dream logs - and whoever said these just had to be about the dreams you had while sleeping - why not record your aspirations and hopes?

When your children look back here, they will see who you truely were - what it was truely like to be alive in this time. I think someone said this in a node elsewhere, and I'll say it again - I will not be ashamed of anything I have done here. Perhaps my children will shake their heads at my geekiness, or not appreciate my attempts at humour. But they'll admire me for not been afraid to write it all down, on display to the world.

You could write GTKYN. You could spend your time writing about E2 memes. Maybe, in 50 years, people will be interested in what cyberculture was like back in the year 2001 - after all, it evolves so fast. But if you really want to give more to the database than you take out, then you should strive to document the world around you. It's your world.

Preserve it.

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