Hello Vientologists

Hello Vientologists!

There’s been a ton of discussion and some acrimony about this new term for the study of roads and highways. As with any new idea, sometimes there is some pushback from people who have an ax to grind, or like the way an institution was in the past, just after they joined.

H. B. Elkins offers a pejorative definition of vientology. On the other side, Carl Rogers has been championing the term in constant newsgroup postings, and his website wwtl.com.

So what’s the state of vientology right now? My spellchecker still flags the term. A few people use it unironically (me, Carl Rogers, and a Louisiana blogger). Most other people group the term with other unwelcome neologisms such as webinar, digerati and staycation.

To me, vientology is deep, diligent study of roads and the science, politics and history surrounding them. A photo or video is nice, but not really enough. If you’ve actually been to the photo site, that’s better. If you can provide more information about the site, better still. If you provide information most people do not already know, and some insightful commentary, then you’re on your way to being a vientologist.

Many self-called “roadgeeks” practice vientology, even as they deny doing it. As we’ve seen, the term vientology won’t really take off until there is more than one open practitioner. Carl Rogers, of course, gets credit for being first out of the gate with wwtl.com.

I have no experience being a webmaster, so I won’t be able to put up a competing site, much less one that gets 60,000 hits a month like wwtl.com. But this blogging thing looks a lot easier, and I can certainly put in my experiences and research, and even a few photos.

My first topic will be something near and dear (I can see it from my house) but also of national importance: one of our longest and oldest interstate highways, I-59.

See you next post.

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2 Responses to “Hello Vientologists”

  1. Archy Says:

    I think it’s vi*a*tology, that’s the term Calrog always uses. Check out http://youtube.com/watch?v=HylKVlCLDdk (not rickroll) – Federal US route 68

  2. Rachel Says:

    Thanks a lot… I totally have to get this video done… and I’ve spent the last two hours poking around in wwtl.com instead … :-/ this vientology thing is a huge time sink

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