The Batman paradigm 
I am teaching my Scientific Revolutions course this term, and so I've been rereading Kuhn. I also happened to be reading Roy Cook's recent article on canon in serial fiction.

Cook is especially interested in what he calls MSCFs: massive, serialized, collaborative fictions. Examples include long-running franchise worlds like those in comics (e.g., the DC comics multiverse) and film (e.g., Star Wars).

It occurred to me that the world of Batman, for example, is a paradigm in precisely Kuhn's sense. It begins with specific stories which are taken as canon. The stories are open-ended, in that they leave space for more stories to be told. Yet they also provide a promise of further adventure and a largely implicit constraint on what those further stores can be like.

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Happy eighth blogiversary! 
Today marks the end of this blog's year eight.

Last year, I forgot to mark the blog-year until late November. This year, I wrote the blogiversary post ahead of time in June and dated it to appear today.

I did remember it in time, however, and so updated the post to say that the blog stands at 319 entries and 143,210 words just before this entry.

46 of those entries and 16,448 of those words were from the eighth year, which is quite an increase over the previous year. Many of the recent entries have been about the length of my papers and the size of the blog, and I refuse to guess what percentage of the words are on the topic word counts.

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More about brevity, this time with pictures 
Because the last entry wasn't trivial enough, I've rendered the data as a chart.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is the worth of a picture where the y-axis is thousands of words?

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Brevity update 
My inclination, I like to think, is to write shorter papers rather than longer ones. Several times in the past, reflecting on this has led me to tabulate my papers by length.

It has become a biennial tradition; cf. 2007, 2009, and 2011. So it is about time for an update.

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The accumulation of blog bits 
Statistics indicate that, before I wrote this, all the blog entries I had written tallied up to 881,485 bytes of data.

Some contemporary file systems wouldn't even allow a file to be that small. The campus network drive seems to be structured so that the minimum file size is 1 megabyte.

However, these blog entries would nearly fill four double-sided Apple ][ floppy disks.

They would fill three-and-a-half boxes of punch cards; cf. Munroe 2013.

By the standards of a bygone age, my output is prolific.

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