The Miscellaneous Project™

A geometric pattern captured for the eye.spy project.

—noun [ Origin: 2009; David J. Downs ]
A seemingly random endeavor, requiring a significant investment of resources of time, effort, money, or some combination of these, and having little or nothing to do with one’s professional preparation.

Guidelines for the creation of the Miscellaneous Project™:

1. After the initial rush that accompanies a revelatory idea profound enough to hold your attention, immediately move to naming the project or initiative. The name must be memorable and marketable. Ideally, the name should be two words, at least one of which is unknown by the population at-large [Note: this is easier than it sounds]. Score extra points if both words are unknown by the general public (e.g., immemorial adumbration). Alternatively, juxtapose common words in a unique manner, such as using homophones and/or rhyming to interesting effect (e.g., eye.spy).

2. Remember that trademark and copyright law protect your work even when you don’t bother registering with the trademark or copyright office. As such, use marks like © and ™ liberally. Running a records search before using the mark is optional. Don’t worry—if someone else is using a trademark you adopt, their lawyers will be kind enough to fill you in on the details.

3. Present your project name and concept for public view, no matter how sketchy or poorly fleshed out. The Internet is ideally suited for this. Purchase a series of domains (at just under $10/year/domain) related to the project name and park introductory pages there indefinitely.

4. Never consider a lack of expertise to be a detriment. Rather, revel in your amateurism.

5. After the project is underway, it will become readily apparent if you have the knowledge, skill, interest, and/or motivation to bring the initiative to some measure of completion. In any case, the project should remain in public view. Knowing the entire world can see your incomplete efforts may motivate you (via guilt, shame, or both) to make additional progress on the initiative. Maybe.



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About J.

J.I'm an educator, technophile, artistic adventurer, and jack of all trades living and working in the heart of America. A brief biography is available for those interested. Please explore the site, or track me down elsewhere: