Welcome to the fifth edition of "Zero Impact Posts" (ZIPs). If you missed the first edition, you may want to read it in order to learn about the many positive aspects of ZIPs and thus the inspiration for the ZIP series. See the fourth edition for the raison d'etre for the ZIP series.
According to Jotter, during the previous week, there were 1419 posts, of which 1384 received recommendations and 899 had more than 9 commenters.
And according to me, there were only 14 posts that had no recommendations and no comments. They had absolutely zero impact, as judged by these measures. See below for a table with these rare and remarkable posts.
ZIPs: March 24-30, 2012
Notes: To see the first first few lines of any post, just hover your cursor over the link to the post. The "com" count excludes the "Tip Jar" and any additional comments added by the author. The "impact" score excludes the "tip" count, because tips are not considered in the official impact formula used in the weekly HIP list. In this week's list, I have included a post (i.e., "Dogfighting and the 99%") that had one comment, because the one comment was just advising the author to add a blank line between paragraphs.
Typical Readers and Their Favored Posts
If the typical Kos reader were asked to describe their ideal post, I imagine they might reply using adjectives like "informative", "novel", and "clear" among others. They might say it should be interesting or amusing; revolve around a point, story, or idea; and stay focused with limited digressions.
When no such qualities are apparent to a reader, they may just move along to the next post. On the other hand, if somehow they were forced to stay put, perhaps they would lose their temper, as illustrated by the following movie scene:
Uploaded by TraversWriting on Sep 7, 2011
"This frenzied frustration exemplifies a reader left wondering 'what's the point of this essay?' You must begin with a clear point, or thesis, and all of your evidence and details relate to that point. Otherwise, you're just rambling on with disjointed ideas. This clip is from Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)." - TraversWriting
Rare Readers and Peculiar Posts
As Charles Darwin noted, there is variation in the species, which means there's no accounting for taste.
With that in mind, let us consider a whole different kind of essay, which could be described with phrases like "nonsense", "word salad", and "stream of consciousness". It is exemplified by Gertrude Stein's long-prose poem "Tender Buttons" (1914), wherein the author shows her preference for sound over sense.
Here is a paragraph from her poem "Tender Buttons":
A SELTZER BOTTLE.(Here is a short, helpful overview: poets.org - Groundbreaking Book: Tender Buttons.)
Any neglect of many particles to a cracking, any neglect of this makes around it what is lead in color and certainly discolor in silver. The use of this is manifold. Supposing a certain time selected is assured, suppose it is even necessary, suppose no other extract is permitted and no more handling is needed, suppose the rest of the message is mixed with a very long slender needle and even if it could be any black border, supposing all this altogether made a dress and suppose it was actual, suppose the mean way to state it was occasional, if you suppose this in August and even more melodiously, if you suppose this even in the necessary incident of there certainly being no middle in summer and winter, suppose this and an elegant settlement a very elegant settlement is more than of consequence, it is not final and sufficient and substituted. This which was so kindly a present was constant.
In Gertrude Stein's writing every word lives and, apart from concept, it is so exquisitely rhythmical and cadenced that if we read it aloud and receive it as pure sound, it is like a kind of sensuous music. Just as one may stop, for once, in a way, before a canvas of Picasso, and, letting one's reason sleep for an instant, may exclaim: "It is a fine pattern!" so, listening to Gertrude Steins' words and forgetting to try to understand what they mean, one submits to their gradual charm.Indeed, her writings have been set to music.
Several of Stein's writings have been set to music by composers, including Virgil Thomson's operas Four Saints in Three Acts and The Mother of Us All ...Good summary from Bartleby.com:
Stein’s innovative writing emphasizes the sounds and rhythms rather than the sense of words. By departing from conventional meaning, grammar and syntax, she attempted to capture “moments of consciousness,” independent of time and memory..
You probably won't find avant-garde prose on the rec list or the HIP list, but you might find it on the ZIP list. Given that we are all simultaneously typical (in many ways) and rare (in other ways) with respect to our tastes, the ZIP list may on occasion have something that others see only as a common rock, whereas you see as a peculiar gem.