CIA Factbook and clocke envy - An Easter Odyssey
This Easter, the neurochemical network in my head that might pass in other brains for a “soul” is grotesquely contorted with envy for Rage Boy, Chris Locke, clocke. It’s the least I could do, considering the holiday and all.
Somehow, it seems that clocke has managed to make a cogent disgust and common sense rage with Things As They Are into a sustainable business model. Or at least it looks that way from an envious outsider’s perspective. Somehow, it appears that he’s managed to stay consistently connected to human beings in control of Budget, which make life much easier to navigate. Somehow, clocke seems able to take a bold Fuck The World (FTW) stance, and yet still make a living off of that very same fucked world. Hence: clocke envy.
One very common human expression of envy is criticism. So I hereby declare it a mere matter of dispassionate scientific reason that I must today procede with nitpicking clocke’s latest blog comments. Nothing personal, Chris, it’s just that I really admire your work, you’re reputation is stellar, your blog gets billions of hits, and I’m a snivelling little troll seeking attention for my pathetic and scattered little web site; so, it only stands to reason that I’ll need to find some way to dismantle this respect which I apparently hold for someone I’ve only read, and never met. You see, I must hate your station in the world because I love your work.
To procede in any other manner might force me to acknowledge some other source of human worth outside of my own reclusive, self-absorbed little world. It’s kind of like my little brother who tried to rip me off for $50,000.00 in a joint business venture because our Dad left the pack after raising me but before raising him, you know? Geeziz, what would YOU do if you created a fucking litter of NINE while in an extended drunken stupor and then suddenly Woke Up? Besides, it wasn’t my fault that he was born 12 years after me and that Dad didn’t beat the shit out of him the way I got it, thereby denying Little Brother of all that loving attention. But that didn’t matter, I became the target of admiration, envy, and scorn. So you see, Chris, you’re the target of this particular post because of the Envy Principle, just like I was the target. It’s nothing personal, it’s like gravity, only spiteful.
So, in order to launch my delusional emotionally-scientific nuclear attack, I first went to the CIA world factbook site referenced in the Enviable Mr. RB’s 4/11 post. Clicked on Download and grabbed not only a copy of the 2006 World Factbook, but also the “Factbook ON Intelligence,” whatever the hell that is. I’ll thumb through it later, but for now, I feel better than clocke because I downloaded something that he didn’t. But clocke’s beef was not with downloading, it was with the commerce side of the site, so I went there and tried the “cia factbook” but-without-quotes search for myself. Sure enough, just as clocke had reported. Bastard.
But where R2B2 (my affectionately envious and disdainful nick for clocke; RantyRageyBitchyBoy) merely ranted, “And why is the next most relevant volume after 2006 (you’d think) – World Factbook, 2005 – ranked at #12?” I, in all my moral and intellectual superiority, clicked on the link to Search Tips and then Results List to Find The Answer and got this:<blockquote> HTTP Status 404 - /support/sample.jsp type Status report message /support/sample.jsp description The requested resource (/support/sample.jsp) is not available. Apache Tomcat/5.0.28</blockquote>You see, my dear R2B2, in your blind rage, you missed out on this useful information which I, in my patient and enlightened state, was able to retrieve. So how about them apples? If that 404 message is not a sure sign of centrally Intelligent Design at the CIA or the GPO, I don’t know what is. Yet, not satisfied with this helpful information, I continued my quest into the deep, dark realm of Advanced Search. And THIS is where I made the intellectually superior observation that would lead to the breakthrough discovery. At the very bottom of the page, below all the footer text menus was this: <blockquote>/advsearch.jsp</blockquote>And I first thought, “no way! i’m not going to find exposed JSP code on a government site!? woohoo!” Alas, no such luck trying the file name, putting in /advsearch.jsp takes one to the Simple Search box. After all, where else should a file called advsearch go but to simpsearch?
Similarly, putting in /search.jsp takes you to an empty “Search Results for:” page. Again, consistent, central Intelligent Design. Obviously, any page with the Title “Results” should always be named search.foo, right? Titles and Page Names should be kept as inconsistent as possible; it’s a matter of National Security, you tax paying constituent morons.
Alas, instead of uncovering a kindergarten level way to find out what is going on behind the search functions on this site (actually, I was hoping to find a bit of code that might somehow link all this stupidity to GOOG, the newest Evil Empire spouting “we’re not evil” slogans), I instead found that each of the pages on the site print a relative path to the current page, down at the bottom, just above the Last Updated entry. This is a throwback site management technique to the days when there were no web content management systems capable of keeping track of all the pages on a large, complex site. Another sure sign of central Intelligent Design at the GPO.
But, now for The Breakthrough. Just for the hell of it, I clicked on Help down at the bottom of the page, just above the file path/name that had led to a dead end. I found myself at a page that said “askGPO.” On that page, below a couple of search boxes, the second link was titled, “General Searching Instructions.” Click. In the subsequent menu block I find “Relevance Ranking and Document Score.” Click. I have found The Answer. I don’t have to be legend in my own mind, just better than R2B2 in my own mind, right now. The page at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/help/searching.html#relevance explains how relevance is determined on the GPO site. Date of publication isn’t even in the filter. So finally, we know things are working just as designed, which should be a real comfort to R2B2 as it adds to the mounting empirical evidence for central Intelligent Design at the GPO/CIA. After all, any average idiot should have KNOWN to click on Help at the bottom of the page instead of Help & Contact just above that, or at the top of the page, right?
Obviously, the expectation that this information would be found at http://bookstore.gpo.gov/help/searching.html#relevance instead of http://www.gpoaccess.gov/help/searching.html#relevance is an unenlightened one, at best. Therefore, R2B2 is stupid and I am great, and this, ladies and gentlemen, is the blogosphuckingsphere at it’s best. Pointless, innane, immature, all blather, all the time. But just for good measure, a couple of Tablet PC snipped exhibits:
So now that Intelligent Design has been proven to exist within The Goverment, and everyone knows that The Government is the expression of God in our lives on earth, please feel free to send your 10% tithes via paypal – because we’re a Church On The Move, baby. Happy Easter.
P.S. If I failed in communicating the sincerely sardonic tone intended, please note that the jibes at clocke are just that, pitiful attempts from an allegedly grown man for attention from an admired big brother figure. We are the world, we are the children, after all. Love, mv.