Unintended Consequences

I recently posted to my blog, and (in a blinding flash of intelligence) set the date so the post would appear sometime the next workday. The Law of Unintended Consequences of course kicked in, and several fun things proceeded to happen. First, the post utterly vanished into limbo. This in turn prevented me from seeing what it would have looked like had I managed to get the thing to appear online, which (evidently) can be different from what it looks like in preview mode. Then, as the server clock ticked past the date set in the blog posting, everything magically appeared to the world. I was by this time off on other adventures blissfully unaware of anything blog-related, and so naturally the system chose this occasion to chew the post up and spit it out as a bunch of unreadable textual fragments interspersed with unclosed HTML tags and about ten screens worth of horizontal scrolling. That morning as I sat down with a hot cup of coffee to read my email I noticed new comments on my blog and quickly became aware of the problem. I fixed the problems and proceeded to post this followup explaining what happened, and as I was submitting Firefox chose that time to crash. Fortunately I had (in another blinding flash of intelligence) done a COPY of the textual content of my post just as a safeguard. Unfortunately the crash wiped my COPY buffer, so this is the second time I have typed this (minus this bit of course). I also have had to tamper with the publish dates of these postings to get them to appear in the regular list of recent postings on Sun's blog homepage. During all this time my coffee released most of its heat into the air of my office, kicking the ambient temperature up a tenth of a degree and affecting thermal convection currents in the building. I have no doubt this chain of consequences will continue to proceed infinitely beyond my ability to perceive, drastically affecting hurricane patterns in southeast Asia and ultimately the course of world politics, but it's more or less out of my hands now.

Comments:

Thanks, I laughed out loud. "Unintended Consequences" reminds me of the Ray Bradbury short story "A Sound of Thunder".

Posted by Christine on August 06, 2004 at 07:46 AM MDT #

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About

My name is Greg Reimer and I'm a web technologist for the Sun.COM web design team.

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