As I lay on the sofa today, I suddenly wondered what ever became of the blogging ecosystem? So I googled NZ Bear. About ten years ago, give or take, a blogger known as NZ Bear maintained a website which he called The Truth Laid Bear. It has since been discontinued so if you follow that link you won't find much. But back in the day The Truth Laid Bear was something of a scoreboard for bloggers with its "TTLB Blogosphere Ecosystem". NZ Bear had an entertaining scheme for ranking the blogs. His calculations were based on inbound and outbound links, and traffic. The more a site had, the higher its ranking in the ecosystem.
The Truth Laid Bear (commonly abbreviated TTLB) is a website maintained by the pseudonymous NZ Bear, which is well known for its TTLB Blogosphere Ecosystem. The TTLB Ecosystem is a means by which tens of thousands of weblogs are ranked algorithmically by popularity.
TTLB classifications of blogs, from most popular to least popular:
- Higher Beings
- Mortal Humans
- Playful Primates
- Large Mammals
- Marauding Marsupials
- Adorable Rodents
- Flappy Birds
- Slithering Reptiles
- Crawly Amphibians
- Flippery Fish
- Slimy Molluscs
- Lowly Insects
- Crunchy Crustaceans
- Wiggly Worms
- Multicellular Microorganisms
- Insignificant Microbes
In those days the big blogs like Instapundit, Daily Kos, and Michelle Malkin were Higher Beings. I was blogging quite regularly then, and Libertarian Leanings briefly made it as high in the food chain as Marauding Marsupial. I might have hit Large Mammal once or twice, but most of the time LL's popularity swung between Slithering Reptile and Flappy Bird. It was great fun.
I reminisced. My search brought me to another blog that went by name The Truth Laid Bear, this one by a blogger named Rob Neppell. I think Rob may have come along later than NZ Bear, though I can't say for sure. Rob's URL is http://beartruth.blogspot.com, implying that "truthlaidbear.blogspot" was already taken. No matter. The last post for Rob Neppell's Truth Laid Bear blog was June 30, 2002.
"Yeah, so what?" you say.
"Well," I say, "we're getting back to the beginning of time when blogs were created. It was something of a blogging big bang back around 2000 to 2002."
And what I found really interesting about this particular blog was in Rob's second to last post, June 28, 2002, in which Rob was carrying on about separation of church and state, quoting one blogger who agreed with him and another who didn't. Without meaning to resuscitate the church and state discussion, I have to say I was blown away by the argument that Rob said he didn't buy. Here's Rob quoting the other blogger's objection to the federal appeals court decision that said the Pledge of Allegiance violates the separation of church and state because of the phrase "one nation under God.''
Allen at Cockalorum, however, finds me damp, and my arguments unconvincing, writing:
You're all wet.
Tolerance is not helped when one person can exercise a veto over everyone else. The whole thing is based on the idea that the plaintiff's little girl is somehow harmed by hearing or saying "under God." This is an endless road to go down, trying to shield everybody from having their feelings hurt. A wise parent would tell her to get over it. There are lots of things in the world that I don't like, but I don't expect the court to change them for me. If we allow this, we turn our society into a bunch of little groups angry at each other, and claiming Constitutional protection for their own parochial view.
Trigger warnings, anyone? Isn't that exactly where we are today? Right where Allen said we would be? I would have to say, Allen writing at Cockalorum back in 2002, absolutely nailed it.