Why do you hover your cursor over a diary's title, seeking clues as to whether it is worth your while to open and read? An evocative title, even if unclear, may draw you in. Human beings seek meaning in ambiguity, a subset of order in chaos, and it is natural to....
Are you here yet? Good. I wasn't sure how long I could keep that up. Back before hovering cursors gave you a snippet of a diary's content, I could have just put up the title and gone right into it. No more. I wanted the title alone to be what brought you in, if you came in.
Welcome. Relax. It's a game. It should be a fun game. If you like it, we can play it again and again. It's a game that shows how we do make meaning in ambiguity. It's a chance to express some wit, perhaps, perhaps some insight, as well as to take a collective public Rorshach test. I think that we may learn a lot from it. Take it seriously and have fun.
I had a dream last night, or maybe it was just a moment in one of the hypnogogic or hypnopompic transitions to or from wakefulness to sleep and back, and suddenly I had a phrase in my mind: "the long slow stain of mimicry." Don't bother looking for it; it's not in Google (until any moment, now when this diary itself gets archived.)
It struck me as the title of a particularly interesting academic paper, something followed by a colon that spelled out, over thirteen to twenty-three words, the actual finding of the study, almost certainly less evocatively.
My question for you is: based on your understanding of the words and the world, what is that academic paper about?
Some of you will want to respond with a snarky answer of five words or less. (I'd be one of the worst offenders in this respect, I'm imagine, if I didn't first read the admonishment in this very paragraph.) If you do so, you're playing the game, I suppose -- but you're not playing it well. The joy to be had is in taking this inkblot and seeing where it might take us if we take it seriously. Try taking it seriously. Stare into the crystal ball and tell us what you see. If you see nothing, you can say nothing -- at least as a top-level comment. (Everyone is welcome to react to other people's suggestions, of course.)
Take your time. Think your answer through. It has to explain the employment of the words "long," "slow," "stain," and "mimicry" -- as well as, I suppose, "the" and "of." My guess is that, if this works, we may learn more from the responses to this diary than we learn from most others. It's just a game -- and games are very serious. So take it with the utmost seriousness you can muster -- and have fun.