Study: Moore's Law Does Not Apply To Clues

Fake News written by James Baughn on Friday, October 14, 2005

from the but-it-does-apply-to-patent-lawsuits dept.

In a dramatic new study to be published in next month's issue of the Journal of Anecdotal Evidence, researchers have concluded that the quantity of available clues is only growing at a slow, linear rate. While computing power might double every 18 months according to Moore's Law, the same growth rate does not apply to cluedom.

"You can beat people over the head with a cluestick all day long, but that doesn't change the fact that society is suffering from a serious clue shortage," said study author Dr. Sara E. Brum, Chairwoman of the Department of Vaguely Useful Research at West-Central Wyoming University. "Besides, such cluestick trauma can easily lead to serious brain injuries."

Another expert on the topic, Dr. Grant Reiter, said bluntly, "It's becoming harder and harder to go out and get a clue. The Earth's population continues to accelerate, but the growth rate of the clueosphere is simply not keeping pace. There's not enough clues to go around."

In an upcoming book, Dr. Reiter argues that civilization is caught in the grips of "Global Clueing" and that the production of clues has peaked, and might even be declining. "We've almost certainly reached the state of Peak Clue. Society can only go downhill from here," he predicted.

Not everyone is quite as pessimistic. "The problem isn't a lack of clues... it's a distribution problem," said Dr. Brum. For the last century, the United States has depended on public schools and universities to provide most of the clue distribution. However, very few new learning institutions have opened in the last two decades because of strenuous regulations... we simply don't have enough knowledge refineries."

Brum added, "Meanwhile, we're losing ground to television. TV actually produces 'negative clues'. People who suffer prolonged exposure to television actually lose clues they already acquired. If this trend is allowed to continue, the phrase 'couch potato' will take on a literal meaning."

Even the Linux community has been affected by the clue problem. Once a primary source of clue distribution, Usenet groups and mailing lists have become almost as unproductive as television.

"There was a time when you could post a question on Usenet and get an immediate answer that actually answered the question," said Abby Cintminded. Those days are over."

Take, for instance, a recent post on alt.gimp.the-paint-program-not-the-disability. A newbie made the mistake of politely asking, "Does anybody know if the GIMP supports CMYK editing? Thank you in advance for your help."

The resulting flamefest featured such a high level of pyrotechnics that the poor guy threw away his PC and immediately joined the ranks of Mac OS X and Photoshop users. What could have been an educational clue-imparting experience turned into another ugly clue-sucking nightmare.

"From what I've seen, the only way to obtain a clue from Usenet is to adopt a deragatory tone from the beginning. For instance, the poster should have said, 'I've heard that the GIMP is still stuck in the 1980's and doesn't support even rudimentary CMYK support. This would be like developing an operating system that doesn't support hard drives. What the hell are you people smoking?'"

"If you're lucky," Cintminder continued, "the Usenet Gods might look favorably upon you from their lofty perches and then provide a reasonable answer, such as mentioning that CMYK support is currently available from one of the convenient but undocumented right-click menus (such as Filters: Enhance: Color Quality: Publishing Tools: Gamut Support: Advanced Color Manipulation: Print Options: Alternate Color Schemes: Enable CMYK Support: Yes, I'm Sure I Want CMYK: I Know It Probably Violates Several Patents: Gimme The Damn CMYK Support Now)."

"Nevertheless, the amount of effort required to obtain a clue from Usenet is not worth the cost or the abuse."

Experts have also bemoaned the lack of clues possessed by certain low-budget humor websites. "These sites don't make any sense," said a random industry observer. "I mean, they constantly insert meaningless quotes from random industry observers that don't advance the story. Talk about clueless!"

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