precedence

Here’s the story. In conversation with David, I mentioned ‘the girls of planet octagon’ — assuming the obscure reference to my own poetry would either be recognized or entirely opaque.  To my chagrin, the mighty Google led David to ‘discover’ the apparent referent [UPDATE: Ironically, the linked page no longer contains the content it did when the post was written.]. On clicking, my first thought was “Oh no, a porn site!”  But as it turns out, it’s just interesting web design and an odd tribute to the UFC ring girls (I think).

Of course the horror dawned on me that henceforth anyone who happened to read/hear/osmotically-ingest my piece then duplicate the fateful Googling would find this very same page.  Because ‘The Girls of Planet Octagon’ is a statistically improbable phrase, that might lead to the assumption my text was perhaps a paean to the UFC. So even though Camille has convinced me that poetry should be published in books, not online, I thought maybe I better stake a claim to the SIP: a defiant fist shaken at the mighty Google, not to mention the IP thieves over at gogettergalaxy.com.

But I’m sure you want some evidence. Very well, I have at least a shred.

Here’s an excerpt from the whois result for gogettergalaxy.com:

Domain Name.......... gogettergalaxy.com
  Creation Date........ 2007-02-24
  Registration Date.... 2007-02-24

And here’s the easily-forgeable-but-not-actually-forged creation date of the text file:

bash-3.2$ ls -l oct1
-rw-r--r--  1 clwk  staff  3320 Jan  4  2005 oct1

The file seems to have been renamed as drafts proliferated, but that appears to be the original. So, awesome as it would have been, what follows is not actually about UFC ring girls. I think Camille is probably right, and acknowledging that probably means more work in the future, but I think maybe the internet owned this one from the start.

Of course, what’s strangest about it all is that years after writing the above, I did get into MMA and even had a single amateur fight — so David’s misunderstanding probably made perfect sense from an easy associative point of view. I guess from now on I’ll have to start publishing dated MD5 hashes of all the statistically improbable phrases I concoct because, you know, I need to get credit for those.

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