Critical Section

Archive: February 16, 2003

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Weighting Links

Sunday,  02/16/03  09:21 AM



Now that you’ve bought Pyra, you’re in a perfect position to make a slight but powerful enhancement to the HTML spec.  You should support <A HREF= WEIGHT=>.  The [optional] weight= attribute of links is ignored by browsers, but is used by search engine spiders like yours to determine the relevance of a link.  Positive weights from 1-9 mean “This content is related to this link”, with the value connoting the degree of relevance (1 means “this content is very slightly related to this link”, 9 means “this content is completely related to this link”).  Zero values mean “This link doesn’t have anything to do with this content”.  A value of -1 means “This content relates to the opposite of this link”.  The default would be +5.


Check out <A HREF=>Google</A>, a great search engine.  (Default=+5)
I just read that <A HREF= WEIGHT=9>Google</A> bought Pyra.
The word <A HREF= WEIGHT=2>Google</A> means a really big number.
Turns out <A HREF= WEIGHT=0>Google</A> is not a pipe.
Remember that <A HREF= WEIGHT=0>Critical Section</A> is not Google.
I think <A HREF= WEIGHT=-1>Google</A> isn’t a dictionary.

This idea can be extended to images not in a link (images in a link use the weight of the link).  Examples:

A great search engine: <IMG SRC=>  (Default=+5)
The Google logo is: <IMG SRC= WEIGHT=9>
This logo changes on holidays: <IMG SRC= WEIGHT=2>
This is not a pipe: <IMG SRC= WEIGHT=0>
Not the Google logo: <IMG SRC= WEIGHT=0>
This logo is not gaudy: <IMG SRC= WEIGHT=0>

You could support this unilaterally, and with your support the meme takes off.  Pyra could make it available in their ‘blogging tools, reinforcing the meme. 

Perhaps other blogosphere leaders like Userland would pick this up, too.  What do you think?


Ole Eichhorn
CTO, Aperio Technologies -
(650) 814-9620 cell



In the Elevator

Sunday,  02/16/03  02:14 PM

[The elevator door opens.  I get in.  Standing next to me is a well-dressed woman of fifty, whom I recognize to be Ms. X, well-known publisher at X books.]

O: "Hello!  You're Ms. X, aren't you?"
X: "Yes, yes I am."

[I gulp.  This is my chance.  I must tell Ms. X about my book...]

O: "You know, I'm writing a book."
X: "Really?" (Feigns interest but barely suppresses a yawn.)
O: "It's about how the human race is getting less intelligent."
X: "No kidding?  Well, I certainly meet examples every day."  (Thinking I'm one myself.)

[I glance at the elevator's indicator.  We're halfway to the ground floor.  Yikes.]

O: "I'm calling it Unnatural Selection.  The idea is that once upon a time the fittest, smartest people were the ones having kids.  So their kids were fit and smart, and each generation was smarter than the last.  But that stopped happening a long time ago, and these days, less fit, less intelligent people are the ones having kids.  So their kids are not as fit and not as smart, and each generation is less and less intelligent.
X: "Is this a work of fiction?"  (She's starting to show interest!)
O: "I wish!  Unfortunately it is all too true.  I think it's the most important problem facing the world, that's why I'm writing...  The book shows that this really is happening, talks about why it isn't obvious even though it should be, and discusses the reasons why it is happening.  Then it presents some ideas to reverse the trend."

[Only two floors left.  My heart is racing.]

X: "This sounds - controversial."  (She smiles.  Hey, maybe I've got her?)  "Is this science or philosophy, or politics?"
O: "All three.  It's science to show that people really are getting less intelligent.  It's philosophy to talk about why it is happening.  It's politics to present ideas to reverse the trend."

[The elevator door opens.  We've arrived.  I hold my breath expectantly.  Will she walk away?  Will she stop and ask me more questions?  Did I hook her?  You tell me - did I make my case?]

[Later - please see Baby Steps if you have no idea what's going on here...]

© 2003-2020 Ole Eichhorn


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Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
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Moving Mount Fuji
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IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
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In the Wet
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visiting Titan
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second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
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how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
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your cat for my car
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world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
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where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
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