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Experiment #1: The Floating Opinion

This post contains one sentence which will be here for only 30 minutes. It’s the last sentence of the post, and it’s in bold.

If the sentence is still there at the end of this post, you are one of a very few people who will have read it. You may even be the only one. I will tell you what to do with that sentence, and you will be part of my first 3L Epiphany Experiment.

I am going to make a controversial statement. It is about nothing major or important, but it will strike some people as XXXX. What I am going to do is give my honest opinion of a particular XXXX that a lot of people XXXX. You could even call the XXXX a XXXX. I’m posting my opinion of XXXX on this blog for 30 minutes.

If the sentence is there at the end, please do the following

Copy this post, with the sentence and explanation, to a document. Then send this post to a non-law related blogger that you know and trust. If you don’t know of any such bloggers, do a Google search and find one that looks like it might be a good place to send this. Ask the blogger if he can post the sentence for a little while. But the blogger should not post this explanation, nor name me as the source. You can send this whole explanation so that the blogger understands what I’m doing, but he should only post the one sentence, and he can then comment on the sentence if he wants to.

I’m asking that this sentence only be sent or posted at a non-legal blog, because people who read 3L Epiphany also visit other law blogs (“blawgs”) and will probably figure it out if they see this sentence on a blawg.

If you are a non-law blogger reading this, feel free to put it on your blog. But again, do not identify me as its source and do not post this explanation. Just say, “I read this somewhere,” etc. You can add, “I agree/disagree with this because….” and say whatever you want to. You can even quote the sentence as if it were your own words, and I won't take issue with it. But don’t name 3L Epiphany yet, not because I’m ashamed of the sentence, or because I’m intimidated by anyone who disagrees with it, but because I want to see if this sentence will “float” on the Internet for awhile. I’m going to see where this sentence goes on the Internet after appearing here for 30 minutes.

In one month, I will see if I can locate that sentence on the Internet somewhere. I want to see where it has traveled, and if it has multiplied. Perhaps the sentence will be on a particular blog, but will have passed into the archives (traveling back in time, and then being recovered). Or perhaps it will have traveled from blog to blog, leaving a trail behind it. Or maybe it will disappear from the Internet, and no-one but myself will ever know its content.

If a non-law blogger likes this idea, he can send the sentence with the explanation to other bloggers (if they’re not “blawgers”). These other non-law bloggers can also post the sentence, and sent it along to other bloggers as well. My hope is that no blogger will ruin this by posting the explanation with the sentence. The only people who will read the explanation (but without the sentence) are the ones who read this post here at 3L Epiphany. Readers of the blogs who participate will not know where the sentence about XXXX comes from, or that it is part of an experiment.

Again, bloggers who like this idea can send this post to other bloggers, ad infinitum, but with the same instructions: Do not post the explanation on your blog, only the sentence and whatever context you want to put around it. Do not identify 3L Epiphany as the source, or make it easy to figure out that this is an experiment. But you can do whatever else you want (criticize or approve the sentence, make it your own opinion but use the exact same words, etc.). And I will look for that sentence exactly one month from now. If I find the sentence, I will disclose it. I will also link to the blogs and locations where I found it.

If you are reading this, and you know the sentence, consider yourself an honored guest who is part of a significant experiment. Thanks for visiting.

Here’s the sentence:

[Sentence deleted.]

Update 1: Bloggers who participate may feel free to quote each other. It might seem strange if a bunch of bloggers all start commenting on the same thing using the same words. So they can quote and link to each other if they prefer. But please use the same words, and don't yet name 3L Epiphany as the source.

Update 2: Besides crossing out words in this post that might give the sentence away, I also made some changes based on a reader comment. I’d like to thank him for his observation. I removed his comment because it gave his website address, which includes a blogroll and thus names possible participants.

Update 3: By the way, I will soon conduct this exact same experiment using "blawgs." It will run simultaneously, but overlap, with this initial experiment using non-law blogs. I will re-post the entire experiment and disclose the missing sentence and crossed-out words. I will leave it up for 30 minutes, and then see if/how it travels on law-blogs. But I won't say when.

February 11, 2006 in Experiments | Permalink

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