Thanksgiving Day, Pardons, and Turkeys
Apple and Cider are the names of the two turkeys pardoned this year by president Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House. This continues a tradition started years ago. After this, they will go to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens to live out their lives.
Thus Apple and Cider will avoid an even older tradition in America—serving turkey as dinner on tomorrow’s Thanksgiving holiday. The tradition is said to come from observances and feasts thrown by Pilgrim settlers in Massachusetts in 1621, but it may go back even further in Canada, which celebrates its Thanksgiving in October. Yet Americans have an ambivalent attitude toward “turkey”, because the word also means a failure or a flop. Or even worse.
Today I want to talk about possible worst posts I have made in the last two years, ones whose ideas may be “turkeys”.
In the spirit of holiday fun, I thought I would nominate three of them myself. You are welcome to add your own nominations, well I hope you do not have too many others. But we will see.
Do understand, I believe that it is important to try out and discuss ideas, and the fact that some become turkeys is a necessary price for a greater good. But it is still important to identify the turkeys, even if they get pardoned. And if discussion decides the posts weren’t too bad and finds something new to say, then it might play into another Thanksgiving tradition: leftovers.
I have posted 228 times since starting this blog almost two years ago. Here are my three suggestions for my personal “turkey” awards.
The World is Digital. This generated a lot of comments and some applause, but as a turkey it may have been shot down by my own student (Subruk), though I posted anyway. I still think I made a good point; let me restate it as Perhaps another time.
Complexity Classes Meet Particle Physics. I argued that particles were like complexity classes. Oh well.
The Iceberg Effect in Theory Research. I discussed the notion that often it is hard to tell if a result is new. Perhaps this was not a good idea, or even a new idea.
Have a happy Thanksgiving. Yes I know that in Canada it was October 11, and in many countries you do not celebrate Thanksgiving like we do. Lots of food, lots of parades, lots of football on the tube, and on Friday lots of shopping. In any event have a wonderful next few days.
Of course the main question is which were my worst posts? It is unfair to vote for this post, but I guess that it is possible to do that.