Pessimistic Sheep (?friends with Interrupting Cow)

My blog reached a milestone today: TheOrist has its first follower! (Technically second, but since my first follower, AVOT, is someone I know well I feel like it hardly counts. Same as when your mum writes you a Valentine’s Day card – sorry, love you, but it doesn’t count.)

I started this blog more for documenting my thrilling life and constant emotional turmoil in this more accessible form of journalling, and really wasn’t aiming for a readership specifically. I just hypothesised that there’s the potential my life experiences (mostly mistakes) may help someone, or at least provide some form of entertainment.

So, this evening I was introduced to Cristian Mihai with his almost-breeching-the-fourth-wall-type blog post on his 7 rules of blogging. And in the tradition of being humanly sheep-ish, he follows me, I follow him – but partly because I liked how his writing came across, and partly because it got me thinking about a few things.

For a start, I feel like I should apologise to my readers quickly for any mistreatment on my part, because I think I may have broken some of Cristian’s rules already:

1. Passion for subject matter. Tick. Maybe too many ticks… sorry.
2. Blogging frequency +/- deadline. Sorry about the over blogging yesterday. Deadline would be good.
3. Engage your audience. …Mightn’t even get to see this apology if you’re not engaged enough to keep reading this far down.
4. Use other social media platforms. Well, I’m okay about breaking this rule since it’d only be relevant if I want to/need to spread the word about TheOrist.
5. Prettier shorter posts are better. Definite apologies on that one.
6. Sharing is caring. Tick…sort of. so far.
7. Visual layout. Meh, tick as far as I’m concerned – comment if you hate it enough to want me to change it.

But the other thought provoking part of Mr Mihai’s post was at the end of his post where he hints that tomorrow’s post will cover “How much is a follower worth?”.

Perhaps it is my pessimism that has maybe predicted what one could consider to be a fairly dick move.

My theory is (and, no, this doesn’t justify an important enough theory for any numerical value): he’s going to have ‘followed’ a number of blogs to see how many are going to ‘follow’ his blog in return, purely because people are sheep; and then he’ll have the opportunity to blog about x%  (or x number if he’s a less exciting/scientific blogger) of people are just monkey-doing as they’re monkey-seeing and therefore the worth of a follower is meaningless in this scenario; but it does make your blog look popular and helps to divert traffic to your rambling supposed awesomeness.

To justify my pessimism on this:
– gnawing sensation when I read his tomorrow’s topic
– the timing of it all too
– lack of increase in my blog’s views
– lack of similarities with our blog topics
– lack of communication – i.e. no comments
– I’m also quite naturally argumentative and it seemed like a fun preemptive strike
– could also make my deductive reasoning skills look killer awesome

I won’t know until tomorrow at the least if I’ve proven his point by being a sheepy-monkey, disproven it by potentially calling his bluff, or if his blog post is nothing of the kind and I’ve taken a preemptive but unnecessary strike – in which case I may have offended someone who was actually enjoying reading my precipitations, or I could have made a friend, who is likely to be extremely forgiving (and probably never pulls any dick moves). (Innuendo left intentionally).

Guess we’ll see with his post, or whether or not I’m still being followed.

*Knock, Knock.*

“Who’s there?”

“Interrupting Cow.”

“Interrupting co-”


Affectionately calling you all my Sheep now 🙂

(Also realised I might actually be the Interrupting Cow where the preemptive bitchiness is concerned…  😦 )

– Dr. “Interrupting Cow” Orist.


Feeling Sheep-ish

Well I know I have been truly testing your patience levels regarding love-related-bloggosphere-content over the last …several posts. My sincerest apologies.

If it helps, I get to use the Christmas gift plane tickets to visit Ben in a little over a week. With any luck this will stem the torrent of anxiety-ridden ‘boy’ topic posts for a little while. I’m counting on at least half an hour. That seems about an appropriate length of time for the reassurance of Ben’s presence to dissipate, wouldn’t you agree?

My theory #11: People are like sheep. And monkeys. We follow the crowd and do what others do, even if it is not necessarily the best course of action.

This isn’t even anything about peer pressure or attempts to fit in. It’s just What Humans Do.

If you get the opportunity next time you are in a long queue, you can test the sheep theory by taking a step forward that is not only slightly to one side, but one that also just changes your angle to the line compared to the person in front of you. More likely than not, the line will slide in obediently behind you, off at a little angle. You can even appreciate this as a bystander: observe how any line moves up each space over time, even if that means someone takes an insignificant step forward that, aside from in the extreme literal sense, does nothing to bring them closer to their goal. Rarely are these actions consciously decided upon.

Ultimately, the copy-cat gene is so ingrained into human instinct that it is almost not worth fighting. Anthropologists could probably claim there’s a link between these sorts of actions and, in an evolutionary sense, moving-with-the-herd survival technique.

The only thing I would recommend is to at least try to be aware of your actions. For example, if I am stuck standstill in horrendous traffic, I will wait for enough space to open up in front of me to make the move forward worthwhile. Truth be told, it’s less about proving an anthropologic point and more that I drive a manual car, so I’m mostly trying to save my leg muscles, but I do like to think that even for a small moment I help raise the hope that the traffic is clearing because “oh wow, we moved up quite a bit that time!”.

So, in the only way I know how, I want to make sure you are prepared if you are to jump on a band-wagon – I’m turing to medico-legal speak.

For informed consent: it must be given willingly or freely (i.e. not under any influence or coercion), it has to be specific to the situation at hand, and it has to be given by a competent person. To assess competency (or medically it’s called ‘capacity’), a person must be able to understand and retain the information, believe the information, and weigh up the information to be able to arrive a reasonable decision. It doesn’t matter how you would arrive at the decision, and the it doesn’t even have to make sense, as long as you have been provided with all of the information you (or a ‘reasonable person’) would require to be able to come to a reasonable decision.

(..A little off topic here.. but while writing that I had the strong urge to end that paragraph with how you cannot meet the requirements for informed consent if you are wanting to drunk text. Perhaps it’s a little too wordy to try to explain if you’re talking someone out of drunk texting…)

If you are a Twitter fan, now is your opportunity to give me enough information to be able to arrive at an informed decision about whether I should be joining this band wagon or not. I attempted to just see what it was like but hit the speed bump of “find five friends to follow!” when I’m trying to keep this largely anonymous and I haven’t quite decided where this blog is going. I also have no idea if it will stay fairly PG-13, ..actually it’s pretty likely I’ll talk about sex or swear or share a bit too much shortly anyway.

My point is help: Twitter or not to Twitter??

– Dr O.


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Speaking an infinite deal of nothing (Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice).

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