This is the opening paragraph which gets you very interested in the topic.

This is the part where I make you want to do something to find out more, or to help with the disaster. And, just as you really really want to click on something (the obvious next thing to do on the internet) this is the part where I say:


The previous post was an experiment. Click above to see what it is all about.

Seriously. This is important. Just go click there. Thanks.

Oh, and take this post and/or the one you click through to and tweet it and post it on your facebook page and so on and so forth. This is an experiment in how to save the world, so you gotta do it.


  1. #1 Mary H
    April 28, 2010

    woof! *wags pavlovian tail*

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    April 28, 2010

    Mary: This was just a test. This was only a test of the Emerency Blogging System.

    Had this not been a test you would have been asked to drool as well.

  3. #3 daedalus2u
    April 28, 2010

    Greg, I think your test was compromised by you trying to not disclose what the test was about, to make it “single blind” so to speak. I didn’t click on the link because I thought it might be malware.

    Informing people what the “test” is about before you expect them to participate in it is the essence of informed consent.

    This particular test had no need for blinding and I think would have given better results (i.e. closer to what would happen in a real emergency) if the details were disclosed before the link was expected to be clicked on.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    April 28, 2010

    daedalus2u: This test was not blinded. That was just me being vague, unclear, and linky, which is what one might expect under NOP.

    Informed consent isn’t even close to a factor here. At best this is a meme. But I’m sure, somehow, some way, people will find a way to fight about it and blame each other for ruining it. The informed consent angle COULD work for that….

  5. #5 daedalus2u
    April 28, 2010

    Yes Greg, inserting other messages and being unclear is a sure way to add noise and increase the noise-to-signal ratio. Your habit of doing that when you want to go all meta is fine when going meta is appropriate, i.e. when you don’t know what answer you are trying to get because the question isn’t clear either.

    Adding noise via stochastic resonance can help get a better answer in some circumstances, but this was not one of them (in my opinion).

    I am not trying to fight about this, I am simply making and expressing my observations on what effective communication would be like in the circumstances that PalMD outlined.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    April 28, 2010

    I didn’t think YOU were fighting. I just assume that somebody with too much time on their hands will.

    But yes, there are different ways to produce the message.