Yes Virginia, no fooling, April 1 is the birth date of this weblog, and this April 1 (Sunday) is the 10th birthday.
In the spririt of item #2 below, I’m going to offer the full archive of Scripting News, a full decade, downloadable in a single archive, free, no charge — let’s party! :-)
NY Times: “Many of the fired prosecutors were investigating high-ranking Republicans.”
NPR: “Under questioning from a string of antagonistic senators, Sampson repeatedly contradicted his former boss, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.”
Ponzi and Chris sent a really cool house-warming present. :-)
Story of My Life.com, “launching soon, is a unique way for you to preserve your life’s memories and stories, pictures, videos and more to be treasured for generations to come.”
IHT: “King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has told Arab leaders that the U.S. occupation of Iraq is illegal.”
Rex Hammock: Why I Blog.
Steve Rubel: The Value of “Why I Blog” Posts.
Fox News: “As Cathy Seipp lay dying, her nemesis took his parting shot on the web.”
1. I love public radio and television, but it’s time for them to become two-way media. Next time we go to war, and we seem to be doing that all-too-regularly, we must be certain that the kinds of conversations that ordinary people have about the motives of our political leaders make it onto the airwaves. And I’d like to know what the pundits are saying when they go out to dinner, not just when they’re on the air. Many people thought Bush was lying in the lead-up to the war, now let’s reform the media so those thoughts get proper coverage in time to avoid future national catastrophes.
2. I’d like to be able to pay a web company like Amazon or Google a one-time flat fee to host my content for perpetuity. I’d deposit my writing with them, on the web, and not worry about whether or not my heirs will keep paying the hosting bills to keep it alive. Today I’m hosting the weblog of my departed uncle (who I miss terribly!), I don’t mind doing it, but what will happen when I pass? I’d gladly pay $10,000 to be sure my site and his survive my death. Long-lived institutions like Harvard University or Mount Auburn Cemetary (in Boston), even insurance companies, could get into this business. Think of it as a personal endowment, it would work like the money richer people leave behind as memorials to their own lives, or lives of loved ones.
3. Another idea along these lines, I’d like to pay a few bucks to beam my thoughts to a nearby solar system that might have intelligent life. Back in the seventies, I thought it was really cool when we sent a satellite into the cosmos with a copy of the Magna Carta and Declaration of Independence and some Chuck Berry tunes (and Beethoven and Bach as well). I think this should be available to ordinary people like you and I, possibly for a fee. Maybe they could run a contest or have a reality show for people who don’t want to spend the money.
4. I’m in favor of ideas that capture the imagination, because I think we don’t have enough of them when it comes to solving problems we must deal with. If I were Bill Gates, I might send a copy of Windows Vista to Alpha Centauri (of course with a computer to run it on) and hold a contest for kids to write software that aliens might appreciate. One can be pretty sure that because of global warming or the war on terror or loose nukes that our terrestrial backups probably aren’t much good, long-term, but the stuff we send out into the cosmos might actually survive us. Do we have any ideas worth preserving? Hmmm. We might generate some if we had a reason to.
This turned into a long piece and I don’t have time before a breakfast meeting to edit it. Please read this with a generous open mind. I mean well, please try to assume that. Thanks.
Just want to get on the record as Michelle Malkin did yesterday, that the kind of abuse that Kathy Sierra reported is not anything new, it’s been going on for a very long time. Without going into detail, because I’ve found that just creates more of the kind of crap we don’t like.
People aren’t going to like this, but it’s true — when a woman asks for a riot she gets one, and almost no one comes to the defense of a man who is attacked. Who’s more vulnerable? Well, honestly, it’s not always a woman.
Those who provided the riot Ms Sierra asked for, unknowingly, I’m sure, attacked at least one person whose health is pretty fragile. I wonder how y’all feel now that you know that. I wonder how you’d feel if that person died in the midst of the shitstorm. Someday if we don’t change the herd mentality of the tech blogosphere, that is likely to happen. I don’t want to be part of the herd on that day, that’s why I won’t join herds.
Yesterday I said I don’t support the kinds of rules of conduct that Tim O’Reilly was calling for. Giving Tim the benefit of the doubt, I think he doesn’t fully unerstand what was going on in the blogging world, and I’m not claiming I do either, but he was running a conference this week, and it couldn’t have gotten very much of his attention. And you know what, that’s a good thing, and we should all strive to keep our perspective, before we create the kind of fantastic graphic imagery that was created around this event.
If anyone had a reason to want retribution against the “mean kids” — I have it. They’ve been on my case for years. They’re really nasty people. That’s why I have some credibility when I tried to put the brakes on the mob. Next time, let’s have some more people do that too.
To the credit of the mob, very few people attacked me for doing what I did. That’s cause for hope! At least some sense of perspective remained.
And out fo all that was said I think Doc nailed it — we got used by a few trolls, and no one knows who they are. Everyone played a role in this, the people who stopped blogging, the people who threatened their friends, the people who called it a gang rape, and yes indeed, the mean kids. But they’ve paid enough. It’s time to welcome them back into the blogging world, and in a few weeks, ask them to reflect on what they learned. These are all intelligent and creative people, who have acted badly. But they didn’t deserve what they got.
The time to act is way before it escalates into the kind of post that Kathy Sierra posted. There should be people who are willing to provide personal support to others who are ostracized this way — and that support should be available regardless of gender, age, or other circumstances. I won’t support anything that only offers support to women and not men, we must help unpopular people, even people who we think are mean. It’s no crime to be unpopular, and you can measure our humanity by how good we are to people we don’t like.
Sometimes people say things that are designed to hurt other people. Locke, Sessum, Paynter and Head Lemur are the kinds of people who do that. I read yesterday that Denise Howell considers them friends. I’ve asked other people who do, like David Weinberger and AKMA how they can support that — I asked when I was a target of their attacks. All I got was silence. I think people need to come to terms with that, and speak up whenever people say or do things designed to hurt other people. That’s how we prevent explosions like the one we dealt with this week.
So if we have a code of conduct, it can’t just talk about how trolls behave, because truly we have no control over that. It should talk about responsible people whose names we know with reputations they care about — what should they do when abuse happens? That is something we can do something about. There should be 18 steps before something like Kathy Sierra’s post appears in the midst of the blogosphere, and it shouldn’t come from teh person who has been victimized, someone else should stand up for them and explain what happened. For so many reasons this is a much better way to go, and I’m sure the victim would like it better too (I speak from experience).
You know there’s nothing worse than being hunted and having no one care enough to speak up for you. That’s what we need to work on folks. And when we solve this problem, we can go to work on Iraq — because that’s much heavier and much worse, but kind of the same thing. Why aren’t we angry at all the wasted lives? I think we’ll find the answer to that question is related to why we’re so bad at dealing with situations like the one we tried to deal with this week.
I gotta go now. See y’all later. :-)
As Jerry sang: “I know the rent is in arrears, the dog has not been fed in years…
“It’s even worse than it appears.”
Which has been the motto of Scripting News for quite a few years (it’s the universal response to people who flame), and btw, is the weblog version of WMSS. :-)