Friday, May 13, 2005

Sunday, May 01, 2005

The ballad of Finnish public goods (and something about Lenore)

Once upon a midnight dreary while I wandered I posed a query,
of many a quaint and curious custom along that urban Finnish shore.
While I plodded, often slowing, suddenly I saw a glowing,
As if someone, numbers flowing, brushed a pattern on yon smokestack's fore.
" 'Tis some barcode," I muttered, "brushed on yon smokestack's fore;
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, quite staunchly I projected, that those Finns must be dejected,
That each factory's rejected smokestacks must be hard to store.
Eagerly therefore they painted numbers; identifying blunders to ease their chore.
But to my thoughts this seemed quite silly, just plain "out there," really, this and nothing more
Than to paint a rare and radiant barcode whose image causes all to snore
Pointless, actually, and such a bore.

A closer look at the Ballad of the Intellectual Finn

Then the silken weird uncertain rustling as ignorance's curtain
Thrilled me---filled me with fantastic terrors visions never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
" 'Tis some pattern entreating entrance at my mind's eye door,
'Tis the Fibonacci sequence!" I shouted, "---not industrial malfeasance!"
Glowing red, ancient mathematical lore.

Presently my mind grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"That, said I, is a testament to the Finnish; your forgiveness I implore.
But the fact is, I could not see the magic of your rara avis,
How so quaintly you feel the need, feed the public's growing greed,
For smart cheap intellectual seed." Here I opened wide the door;
---And took a picture, and nothing more.