display | more...

To Shape Teh Future! Vive la revolution!

To Shape Teh Future, or TSTF for short, is the latest nonsensical meme to spread the Internet, in much the same way as All Your Base before it. After a posting here on E2, TSTF was adopted by the catbox at large. The word on the grapevine that is the Interweb was that TSTF was the greeting of choice amongst IRC patrons and script kiddies everywhere. It looked as though To Shape Teh Future would become next big catchphrase amongst people of a geeky persuasion.

<Tmaq> To shape *which* future?
<TanisNikana> TEH future! TEH future is the only future!
- from ascorbic's Chatterbox Archive, April 2, 2004.

But would To Shape Teh Future live up to it's own hype? Clearly, an almost scientific test was needed to chart the meteoric rise of this, the next Internet meme. It was spiregrain who came up with the original idea to use the number of Google search results to chart the growth of the meme, and once I had started to gather results, avalyn decided to help in the effort.

  • <spiregrain> someone should google for it every day, and plot a graph
  • avalyn says To help out with your googling project, I added a keywords metatag to my site's front page, which seems to attract only search spiders. The keywords I included are "to shape teh future". Vive la revolution!

And so, starting from March 25, 2004, every day so often I performed a Google search for "To Shape Teh Future" and recorded the total number of results. After a month of shaping teh future, the results, as you will see below, were less than startling.

Those Results In Full

Date                         Search results
March 25, 2004 . . . . . . . 15
March 26, 2004 . . . . . . . 15
March 27, 2004 . . . . . . . 16
March 28, 2004 . . . . . . . 17
March 29, 2004 . . . . . . . 17
April 08, 2004 . . . . . . . 18
April 12, 2004 . . . . . . . 18
April 15, 2004 . . . . . . . 15
April 19, 2004 . . . . . . . 08
April 20, 2004 . . . . . . . 16
April 22, 2004 . . . . . . . 15
April 23, 2004 . . . . . . . 15
April 24, 2004 . . . . . . . 17
April 25, 2004 . . . . . . . 17

The Rise and Wobble of an Internet Meme

 GOOGLE
  RESULTS
     |           '           '           '           '           '           '           '           '
   20|           '           '           '           '           '           '           '           '
     |           '           '           '      ···········      '           '           '           '
   18|           '           '  ···············*     '     *     '           '           '           '
     |      ··*··*··············         '           '      ···· '           '           '           '
   16|     *     '           '           '           '          ····         '     *··   '  *·*··*   '
     *  *··      '           '           '           '           '  *··     '     ·   ···*··         '
   14|··         '           '           '           '           '     ··    '    ·      '           '
     |           '           '           '           '           '       ··  '    ·      '           '
   12|           '           '           '           '           '         ··'   ·       '           '
     |           '           '           '           '           '           ·   ·       '           '
   10|           '           '           '           '           '           '·  ·       '           '
     |           '           '           '           '           '           ' · ·       '           '
   08|           '           '           '           '           '           '  *        '           '
     |           '           '           '           '           '           '           '           '
   06|           '           '           '           '           '           '           '           '
     |           '           '           '           '           '           '           '           '
   04|           '           '           '           '           '           '           '           '
     |           '           '           '           '           '           '           '           '
   02|           '           '           '           '           '           '           '           '
     |           '           '           '           '           '           '           '           '
   00|           '           '           '           '           '           '           '           '
     |           '           '           '           '           '           '           '           '
     '--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'--'
     25 26 27 28 29 30 31 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

         MARCH 2004                                       APRIL 2004

Teh Future Is Grim

According to Google at least, teh future is grim. After a month, there are suprisingly few websites referencing TSTF, and without the support of any of the mainstream website outlets, or the blogging community, surely the TSTF meme will die a slow death. Searching newsgroups and IRC channel logs show similarly low levels of future-shaping activity. At the height of it's glory, TSTF managed a mere 18 search results; by way of comparison, All Your Base Are Belong To Us currently returns a whopping 72,600.

Other E2-led memes

While TSTF fares poorly in comparison to All Your Base, how well would it stand up to other E2 based memes? I performed a quick Google search for the following:

Giant Squid Party . . . . . . . . . . . 008
In the grim future of Hello Kitty . . . 100
Monkey! Bat! Robot Hat! . . . . . . . . 005
SOY! SOY! SOY! Soy makes you strong!. . 017
Not only does TSTF fare poorly within the wider world of Google, but simian robot headwear also fares badly, and I think we can safely say that our beloved GIANT SQUID isn't going to get elected any time soon.

And so it would appear that either the future remains shapeless, or the shaping community is doing it's vital work under cover of darkness, away from the prying eyes of the Internet's most popular search engine. I'll leave you now with some choice quotes from our own beloved chatterbox. To Shape Teh Future, comrades!

Chatterbox Quips and Quotes

  • <RalphyK> to shape teh future, dudes!
  • <IWhoSawTheFace> JET POOP IS OUR OFFICIAL SHAPE TEH FUTURE CANDIDATE
  • <spiregrain> all our meta-goals are... TO SHAPE TEH FUTURE!
  • <haze> Everyday we spend shaping teh future we grow weaker.
  • <allseeingeye> To STOP teh Future!

To Shape Teh Future Interweb Craziness

  • TSTF Gallery
    Main picture gallery of various images with To Shape Teh Future photoshopped into them. This site is the only website I could find dedicated to TSTF.
    http://xover.mud.at/~nostromo/tstf_index.cgi
     
  • Alfie's Blog
    Alfie's just a normal kind of geek who mentioned To Shape Teh Future a couple of times in his blog, yet his blog's pages make up the majority of the Google results.
    http://alfie.ist.org/blog/
     
  • Google Search for "To Shape Teh Future"
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=%22To+Shape+Teh+Future%22
     
  • ascorbic's catbox achive search for "To Shape Teh Future"
    http://ascorbic.net/catbox/search.php?txt=To%2BShape%2BTeh%2BFuture&user=&room=all&fulltext=1
     

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.