What Are You?

What are you?
No, really. What are you? If you stop to ask yourself the question, let it roll around behind your eyes for a minute, what kinds of answers do you get? Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Well, friend wonderchicken, I hear you say, I’m many things. I’m a human. I’m an American. I’m a writer, I’m a painter, I’m a mother, I’m a husband. I am my children. I’m a big fraidy-cat. I’m an alcoholic. I am a philanderer. I’m a survivor. I’m a thinker, I’m a lover. I am a Christian. I’m a woman. I’m a miraculous fowl. The possibilities are limitless, I know. We’re all many things all the time, and as selves die, new ones are born within us to take their places. That’s what makes life worth living, what keeps us from going snake-raping bonkers from boredom while we scamper madly around in our hamstertopias.
So, what are you first? What is the facet of your being that stands before — or behind, if you wish — all the others? What, to put it another way, is the part of you, of your self-perceived identity, that you cherish the most, that you would be the least willing to have cut away like a tumor, or wiped from your present or your past?
To be fair, I suppose I think of myself and define myself, if forced to do so in a phrase, as a wanderer, a seeker, a lover of the new and the outlandish. As a meat machine for saying ‘yes’. These are all the same thing for me. Were these things to be taken from me, I don’t think I’d be myself any more, whatever that actually is. Or even a reasonable facsimile thereof.
Your answers will differ, no doubt. This is as it should be. But I’ll bet that in response to my question above, none of you who took a moment said to themselves ‘First and foremost, I am my weblog’.
It is possible, though, that some chose as their centrepiece ‘I am a woman.’
Recently Shelley initiated some discussion about women in the digital world and whether and to what degree they (or more properly, the persistent textual avatars that are their weblogs, avatars that seem so often to be mistaken for the actual person in weblogging discussions) are or are not undervalued or pushed aside or whuffie-starved on the New Frontier. Not being ogled enough — non-pruriently of course — in our eyeball economy, not linked-to enough, despite the fact that they have just as many important and useful things to say as the wrinkly old Y-chromo dangler-waving oligarchs like myself.
I’m not sure I understand this, to be honest, and so my response may be off-target. I answered at the time she brought it up, off the cuff, that

Me, I’m less concerned with what I _am_ than with what I do, and what I say, both in life or online. This goes for my attitude towards others, as well.

I mean, I do understand that some women feel that some not-women are somehow unfairly barring them from the prominence they deserve, and that Women As A Group are under-represented in the Link Market, and that it seems natural to think that since we have a clear duality with women on the one hand and not-women on the other side of this Weblog Gender Gap, that it must be the not-women who are to blame, especially since we’re talking in the context of Power (if not power laws) here. As much as I am able with my feeble faculties, I do follow the train of thought.
But there’s a reason I asked the questions I did, above.
Although I grant that many women who read this may define themselves first and foremost as a woman, there is no real reason for anyone else, male or female, to look at them through that lens. In other words, I may think of myself primarily as a Pundit (like all these assholes), for example, while the vast majority of people I interact with, on the IntArwEb or elsewhere, may well think of me first and foremost as a f–kwit.
Now, if I am shunned and ridiculed because most people (rightly or not) think of me as a f–kwit, I can hardly accuse them of discriminating against Pundits, of withholding their sweet linky love because they are set on unfairly restricting the rights of Pundits to punditize! They’re denying me because they think I’m a f–kwit (or a Cheesehead or a WonderMonkey or something), regardless of how I want them to think of me.
Now this example was not intended to accuse anyone of being a f–kwit, other than perhaps myself. My point is this, and I apologize for the tortuous path by which I’ve reached it : on the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog, or cares. Unless you tell them, and even then, not much. That is, regardless of what you perceive yourself to be first and foremost, or fifth and hindmost, and quite probably regardless of what facet or facets of your identity you strive to push to the fore in your online persona in your weblog (which, to belabour the point, is your avatar and not your self) others will more often than not react to you based on what they perceive you to be. Not what you wish them to think. Would that they did.
And, further, out here in Textistan, I think it may be fairly said that your gender is less important as a cue for the way people treat you than it is back in the office, or on the bus, or on the street, even if you do make it a point of order. We are all more brain than gonad out here. Well, most of us are.
So, does being a woman (or a homosexual, or a juggler, or a drunk) come first for you? Fine. I have no problem with that, and I applaud the self-awareness that has led to that understanding. Does that apply for your internet presence as well as your Real Life Persona? That’s a fine thing too. But expecting me to interact with you in ways that are constrained or defined by the fact that you have made that choice? Don’t bother.
Shelley asked

Are women linked less because our voices are different? Are we not as confident when making our assertions and are therefore less quotable? Are we not as aggressive in our opinions, and therefore less interesting?

My answer, then, is that asking about women just doesn’t make much sense to me. Not much of an answer, perhaps, but the only one I have at the moment.

About a year back there was much discussion around the neighbourhood about ‘identity‘. I think of the above as a coda of sorts to that discussion. I was intending to come out guns blazing, but I have not, in part because I’m too busy for a fight, in part because I don’t think it’s something starting a fight over is going to help, and in large part because all that crap above notwithstanding, I actually do think that Shelley’s probably right.
The dominance of males at the Big End of The Hockey Stick in our extended weblogging family is a symptom, not of deliberate exclusion of women, for the most part, I’m certain, but of systemic undervaluing of the contributions of women out there on the streets and in this other place, this place which still bears the imprimatur of the button-and-lever gearbox mentality that men have made their domain, to the slightly disdainful laughter of most women, since the first wheel rolled out of control, bounced down the hill and ran over Og’s favorite goat.
I suppose the balance will change as the machinery becomes more irrelevant and the men less proprietary, as more women wade in and kick a few asses around the block, and the phallerati will lose some of their dominance. I suspect it is an inevitability. But for my part, I won’t be paying any more attention to anyone’s gender — even if they ask me to — than I do now.

Hoopla!

The move to the new, stonkin’, co-op server seems to be complete, and DNS changes have propagated. There are some PHP errors and such floating around, which I’m trying to eliminate, with the help of my fine, feathered host. If things seem horribly broken for you in some way, though, please let me know, and I’ll do my best to fix them. This offer does not extend to your personal life, I’m afraid, and is of course void where prohibited by law.

The Next Big Thing Is The Last Big Thing

It is an ancient Blogger,
And he stoppeth one of three.
By thy long beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp’st thou me ?

Conferences, conferences everywhere. Mathematics degree or no long-forgotten mathematics degree, I don’t know a power-law from a goddamn cheese sandwich, and I’ll tell you, all these conferences and symposia and self-congratulatory bloggeriffic circlejerkathons lately, unfailingly dotted with laptop-lugging constellations of the Usual fat-end-of-the-comet Suspects, these cadres of neo-imagineering big-brained rent-a-pundits traipsing around telling everyone how breathtakingly important and revolutionary it all is… well, sometimes it just seems a little forced to me, and more than a little reminiscent of the frenzied bandwagonesque me-too (and the gimme-gimmes) of the leadup to the collective technojizz and detumescence and smoking rubble of the fin-de-siecle bubble. Just trade ‘revenue streams and ROI calculation’ for ‘creative renaissance and DIY journalism,’ and everything old smells new again. But it doesn’t smell much like teen spirit to me.

here we are now/entertain us

Not to get off on a rant or anything.
Then again, maybe I’m just bored of living in Korea again, and feeling left out and a bit jealous, dejectedly imagining the wild, drunken and sexually challenging parties that erupt spontaneously when all those pent-up wordsmithing blogtypes get together. Conferences, conferences everywhere, and me becalmed. That could be. But just ’cause I consider some of those blogorrheic pundits to be Virtu-pals™ (‘your digital friend who’s fun to be with!’) doesn’t mean I can’t poke ’em with sticks once in a while.
At least that f–king war’s over, eh?

Seeing Asian Characters

If you wish to be able to see the Korean characters (like this favorite from the World Cup – 대한미국 화이팅!) in some upcoming posts I’m planning, or Japanese or Chinese elsewhere (like at glome.org or in some upcoming posts I think Jonathon is planning), and you’re using Windows, here are some clear instructions in how to get the fonts (and input method editors) you need (XP, Win2K).
Here are a couple of free truetype unicode Chinese fonts, too (requires valid email).
It says here that Mac OS X 10 did not originally include support for as many languages and scripts as Mac OS 9. Mac OS X 10.1 supported Central European, Cyrillic and Japanese, and Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese were made available as downloads.
If you’re using some other operating system, it’s time to become assimilated to the hivemind, weirdo. Heh.
More resources : Linguistic Considerations from scholarly-societies.org and Creating Multilingual Web Pages: Unicode Support in HTML, HTML Editors and Web Browsers from Alan Wood.
Good luck, and let me know how it goes.

Blogmatrix

I found this through one of the referrer-tracking tools I have set up like laser tripwires around this site, and it looks like a potentially useful set of tools, particularly the ‘blogthread’ bit, which promises to track and graphically display conversation threads, much in the way that we’ve talked about (with Shelley usually in the pole position) a few times in the past around the neighbourhood.
I’ve added some code to the templates, and you can see a little ‘Blogthread’ link down there at the bottom of each post, which at the moment unfortunately seems to do sweet bugger-all. Perhaps it needs some time to get revved up. We shall see, on the morrow. I love a new toy.
Edit : Well, this seems to work, though. And this SVG-based graphical view is pretty snazzy too. Hmm. I think it’s hungry for data. Feed me!
(Wow : my hundredth post to ‘metablogging’. That’s positively wanktastic!)

The Move

The ‘bottle is moving [update : tomorrow], and so (much as I love to get them) please don’t bother with comments or trackbacks for a day or so, friends, at least if you’re concerned that they might be lost.
With luck, all will go well. Catch you on the flipside!

Movin'

Well, it’s moving time again, but not, happily, as far as I had originally anticipated. Thanks to everyone for their advice and offers to help. As Shelley has so eloquently said, there are some wonderful folks around our virtual neighbourhood.

We'll get there eventually...

While I’m gone (may be minutes or days, depending on the vagaries of technology), this is an hour-long program [realaudio] from The Connection that touches more concretely on some of the tediously academic points I was making here. Enjoy.

Going Dark?

Shelley’s mentioned that she’s not going to be able to renew her lease with her webhost after the end of this month, so I guess it’s time I talked about it too.
Over the last year and more, even with all the financial chaos and stress she’s been experiencing, the Burningbird’s also been generously hosting the Empty Bottle, and when her weblog goes dark, that means mine will too.
I’ve only thanked Shelley indirectly in the past, because I believed that was what she’d prefer, but I’d like to very publicly offer a heartfelt thank you to her now, for her help, her encouragement, and her friendship.
Thanks, Shell, for everything. If you hadn’t noticed me a few years ago and been possibly the first to *gasp* actually blogroll me (I remember that cherry-poppin’ thrill, I do) and unexpectedly sing my praises (back when I had no idea that there were actually other people out there doing this stuff, before I knew that these random Neato Sites I kept running across were run by people who knew each other, personally or virtually, some of whom were allegedly part of cliques and denied it and some of whom weren’t and claimed they were, and that the web was primarily a social place, and that this was all going to explode into something miraculous and unexpectedly important to me) I might not be the Master of Time, Space and Dimension I am today. Or something like that, anyway.
Thank you.
And now, if the ranting is to continue, it’s hat-in-hand-time for me again, I guess.

Read More

Promises

I have promised, in roughly chronological order, to write about

(apologies to anyone I missed.)
I’m not sure how many of these, if any, I’ll get to, but I’ll try. I suck at digging out from under the results of my own laziness.

On Second Thought

Thanks for the help with the redesign candidate a few days ago, friends, but true to contrarian form (well predicted by Fishrush), I think I like this brand spanking new idea I’ve been fiddling with even better. Even though it looks best on IE (transparency is a wanky but purty) and at resolutions higher than 800×600, it still looks reasonable on the latest Mozilla and doesn’t totally derange Opera, at least.
That said, I may well change my mind again tomorrow, but it’s bedtime for now and my eyes hurt. Comments are welcome as always. But please keep in mind that this is an early prototypy thing, and I am aware that it imposes some limitations as a result of design decisions (like supporting 800×600). I’ll probably end up just implementing the skinning doodad I was working on a few months ago as monica suggested, so you’ll be able to choose your (persistent between sessions, with cookies) look and feel thanks to the Magic of PHP, this current design included.

Dirt Stick Stone

About a year ago, I squeezed out the following brainfart

…is it only a matter of time until Hollywood starts regularly hiring hundreds of blogtemps to fire up new weblogs, post furiously and praise to the skies the latest piece of crap opus by Jerry Bruckheimer or some other purveyor of soul-destroying cinematic garbage, interlink to themselves and a few ‘a-listers’, start offering large cash incentives to Kottke and Rageboy and other high-traffic blognodes to link back to the rent-a-bloggers, and watch the Google rank for their new Product soar? Or record companies to promote their wares? Or governments? Are recent, highly-successful experiments in spiking the GooglePunch like the recent one by Matt Haughey the tip of the iceberg? How soon before big business catches on, before the Office of Strategic Mind Control realizes the subtle power (if they haven’t already) of the interconnectedness of blogs and begins working blogspace like the infopimps they strive to be? Before this ‘place’, too, becomes branded and corporatized? (Forget the stone-knives-and-bearskins, bandwidth-wasting crudity of banner ads – savvy marketers will work the medium, pimp the actual hyperlinks, and tickle Google till it quivers, moans, and page-ranks, gratefully. Linkwhoring could become a serious business. Perhaps we could form a mafia, a Blogga Nostra, and skim a little of that corporate cream off the top, broker linkage deals, extort flame-protection money.)

And today, as weblogorrhea reaches epidemic proportions, Dr Pepper’s soulless, clue-deficient marketing shills are actually giving it a go, boys and girls.

Next comes a blog-related twist on viral marketing — recruiting ‘key influence bloggers’ to promote Raging Cow by sharing their enthusiasm, linking to the site and distributing special screensavers, banners and skins. Beginning with an initial group of six people in their late teens and early 20s — flown to Dallas with their parents for an induction session — Dr Pepper hopes to develop a ‘blogging network’ to hype Raging Cow and “be part of the ‘in the know’ crowd,” says its brand-marketing honcho Andrew Springate. Those spreading the news via their blogs won’t disclose their flackitude, says Springate, because officially they’re not paid Dr Pepper employees; they only get promo items like hats and T shirts.

*Takes off tinfoil helmet*
Doc Searls is quoted as saying in response to this : “In my view blogs are the antidote to viral marketing.”
In my view, this clumsy teentastic attempt at manipulation – more likely to attract attention to itself (which, let’s face it, has got to be the real goal here, rather any genuine attempt at marketing juice thanks to the efforts of some cadre of hiphop dipsh-t teend00d bloggers pimping their avatars for some gear – it’s a metacampaign, kids!) and spawn subtle and inventive imitations as a result of the MSNBC article and other media attention – is the first salvo in a coming war of web words. Blogs aren’t the antidote to viral marketing, they’re the petri dish where the virulent brain-colonizing memetic equivalent of Ebola will be grown. Call it wEbola, and reach for the mental prophylactic of your choice. At stake are our very souls!
That’s complete bullsh-t, of course. I’m just flinging hyperbole around to make this all seem a little more interesting, you know, ’cause I can. The truth is, even if I do disagree with Doc’s quotable quote there, if I should happen across a weblog pimping some craptacular, pointless and inevitably unnecessary new product (“Buy this crap! Buy it you f–kers, or we’ll lose our jobs and have to whore out our children!” – now that’s a marketing campaign I could respect), well, *click*
Heck, I even refuse to read weblogs that perfunctorily link to Amazon, for christ’s sakes, never mind ones that are busy flogging some sh-tty sugar drink. But this sort of thing is going to get more sophisticated, mark my words, brothers and sisters, and more insidious. The marketrons will continue to colonize the new frontier. I have seen the enemy and he is us.

Grrr

After much screwing about, I had this layout working flawlessly in Mozilla, near as I have been able to tell, but I just downloaded 1.4a, and the sidebar over on the right looks very weird indeed.
Does anyone else see some weird font sizing with the new (or older, for that matter) builds of Mozilla? I’d appreciate any feedback you can give…
Edit : Fixed, with thanks for the feedback. Repeat 100 times : I must not edit templates while drinking. I must not edit templates while drinking.

Commenter and Commented

Shelley speaks so eloquently on so many other topics, you (well, I) sometimes forget she is also a Geek Goddess without peer. This latest innovation from her is a really cool idea, and one that might help to combat that feeling of impermanence and evancescence of weblog comments. I want one too!
(I find myself remembering the toolset for OLAP analysis of financial data that was a small part of the Swiss Army knife professional practice management product that I (almost, if it hadn’t been for the f–kwits) almost took to market at my last tech job, and wonder when we’ll be able to effortlessly pivot our views of a given weblog against a wide variety of axes, at will. Slice and dice, baby!)

You mean…I'm off the *team*!?

Although until recently I was often actively drawn into discussions about meta stuff, it seems as if that’s no longer the case, and I find myself wondering why. Context in this situation is the new piece by Clay Shirky that seems to have people a-buzz, and around which a sometimes heated conversation is now springing. The aether is a-buzz with talk, but I don’t seem to be invited, which is unusual, and which I can’t quite figure out. No one’s invited me to the prom, mom! I know it’s unspeakably lame to whine about stuff like this, and I don’t mean to, but it’s worrisome, kind of, and on my mind, and has context given the topic of discussion, I think.
I wonder if that f–king Bloggie shortlisting is to blame, actually, and has fostered some sort of ‘well, f–k him, he’s going in some weird famehog direction’ feeling, which is most assuredly not the case. That surprised me as much as it did anyone. I don’t think I’ve gotten any more profane and offensive, lately, that I can see, and I tend to talk in much the same way as I always have, about much the same sort of things. If anything, I get more visitors on a daily basis than I ever have before. But the (smart, good) folks with whom I have felt a sense of neighbourhood in the past seem to have withdrawn. Perhaps I’m just talking more crap than usual, I dunno.
That’s life, I guess. But it leaves me befuddled, a little, and wondering if it really is the case, and if so, why it happened.
Anyway, I posted a few further thoughts over at Jonathon Delacour’s in light of what I’ve been reading about the Shirky piece this morning, which I reproduce here because I’m lazy, even if no one is interested (whine, sniff, pout).

Clay mentions LiveJournal, and I really see no one paying much attention to that particular phenomenon around the traps today. Last I heard, there were more people writing ‘blogs’ with LiveJournal than with any other tool, and last I noticed, the overwhelming majority of those were of the “publishing an account of your Saturday night and having your 3 closest friends read it” variety.
Ignore them (or to use more emotionally charged language, ghettoize them) and you get an incomplete picture of the whole.
It amuses me, and is predictable, that people would respond with ‘Who cares?’ Obviously, we do, or we wouldn’t spend so damn much time talking about it!
If I have a problem with what Clay was saying (well, I have a few, but) it would be his attachment, by implication or explicitly, of qualitative criteria to what he’s describing, and thus create a hierarchy, where none exists in reality. That, I’m guessing, is in part why some people seem to have their backs up over this.

Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality

This somewhat academic and very interesting piece from Clay Shirky [via Phil] on (in part) the eternal A-list debate is heavy with meaty bits just begging for a good gnawing.
Some bones I plan to worry at a little more, when I’m in a gnawing mood :

  • Like Phil, I’m not so sure about “As beloved as [some well-known bloggers] are, they would disappear if they stopped writing, or even cut back significantly. Blogs are not a good place to rest on your laurels.” My recent experience of taking more than a month away from the site seemed to indicate otherwise, at least going by the crudest of measurements, hit counts.
  • “Finally, there is no real A-list, because there is no discontinuity.” I’m not sure this entirely makes sense to me, either, even understanding as I do the math underlying his point. I tend to think there is an A-list – a secret document, signed in blood, locked deep in the vaults under Stately Kottke Manor – mostly because folks deny existence of it! No, I’m not serious; I’ve always taken it as an in-joke of sorts that escaped into the wild and took on a life of its own, because it had a kernel of truth to it. Regardless, I would have thought that the Power Law distribution that Clay discusses, including the constellation of ‘stars’, would argue that there is an A-list of sorts, but not one that is entirely self-selected. Although in many cases those who sit at the extreme left of the graph (amongst the ‘stars’) may show no greater objective merit than some who do not, the other factors he mentions (early adoption, agreement-reinforcement, ‘solidarity’ and so on) combine to keep many who are there there, once they reach that level of recognition.
  • “Are there people who are as talented or deserving as the current stars, but who are not getting anything like the traffic? Doubtless. Will this problem get worse in the future? Yes.” The first answer is most assuredly correct, but I’m not so certain of the second. Although the network model that Clay uses is, I’m sure, unassailable, I’d like to think that the problem of talent going unrecognized will not get worse. Do I have any evidence to back myself up? Naw. Based on my traffic and recognition factor and all of that, I think I’m probably creeping up into the grey area between Conversation and Broadcast with this site (see below), but the truth is that I’ve been at it for almost two years, and although I’ve never actively sought out blog stardom, I do rock, and I’d’ve figured by now that I’d be, like, Master of Time, Space and Dimension or something.
    This, though, was the part that really interested me :

    At the head will be webloggers who join the mainstream media (a phrase which seems to mean “media we’ve gotten used to.”) The transformation here is simple – as a blogger’s audience grows large, more people read her work than she can possibly read, she can’t link to everyone who wants her attention, and she can’t answer all her incoming mail or follow up to the comments on her site. The result of these pressures is that she becomes a broadcast outlet, distributing material without participating in conversations about it.
    Meanwhile, the long tail of weblogs with few readers will become conversational. In a world where most bloggers get below average traffic, audience size can’t be the only metric for success. LiveJournal had this figured out years ago, by assuming that people would be writing for their friends, rather than some impersonal audience. Publishing an essay and having 3 random people read it is a recipe for disappointment, but publishing an account of your Saturday night and having your 3 closest friends read it feels like a conversation, especially if they follow up with their own accounts. LiveJournal has an edge on most other blogging platforms because it can keep far better track of friend and group relationships, but the rise of general blog tools like Trackback may enable this conversational mode for most blogs.
    In between blogs-as-mainstream-media and blogs-as-dinner-conversation will be Blogging Classic, blogs published by one or a few people, for a moderately-sized audience, with whom the authors have a relatively engaged relationship. Because of the continuing growth of the weblog world, more blogs in the future will follow this pattern than today. However, these blogs will be in the minority for both traffic (dwarfed by the mainstream media blogs) and overall number of blogs (outnumbered by the conversational blogs.)

    To a certain degree, although I’m inclined to want to push back against the tendency to put things into two or three simple slots – in Clay’s piece they’d be Broadcast Blogging, Conversational Blogging, and Blogging Classic – I think he’s nailed it to the door pretty well, here, as long as one acknowledges the continuities between the styles, and that some sites in each bucket will break the mold.
    I think that one thing Clay misses in his description of the hockey stick head, the mythical A-list, the region of stardom, and the long, somewhat unsuccessful tail of conversationalists and classic link-and-a-haircut blogs, is the assumption that possessing ‘merit’ or ‘quality’ (Zen and the Art of, anyone?) automatically push a blog into the stardom stratum, through the processes he accurately describes. Many of those who have an online presence have no desire for ‘upward mobility’, I think, and are perfectly happy to continue what they do online with no sense that it is less worthy than anything else. Moreover, for every seeker after fame, there will be at least one who has no interest in assuming the pressures that hundreds (or thousands) of daily readers can bring. Of course, as I’ve rambled on about before, there are those who desire nothing less than fame and recognition, and cultivate it carefully, and measure it in links and hits.

  • “There is no A-list that is qualitatively different from their nearest neighbors, so any line separating more and less trafficked blogs is arbitrary.” Comparing two groups of blogs (ie those who get an average of say 500 hits a day and those who get an average of 50) this is true, certainly. Is it also true, as a generalization, when we compare two individual blogs? Which makes we wonder, too, what we mean when we talk about ‘qualitatively different.’ Dangerous and emotionally charged territory, this, perhaps, in the sense that for many people their personal web sites are an avatar of themselves, and the person they perceive themselves to be and the ways they want the world at large to perceive them are deeply wrapped up in what they say and how they say it.
    This is, one assumes, why (like on this very page) many people (especially those new to the game, before they get jaded and throw up their hands in disgust and disavow ever looking at their traffic figures) add hit counters to their page – they are looking as much for feedback on their own sense of self-worth as anything else. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. It comes part and parcel with the self-regarding Dark Side of the whole personal publishing world.
  • Anyway, I ramble, as usual. Although it may seem as if I’m arguing against some of Clay’s points, that’s not really the case. There’s a lot to chew on there, and I found it both illuminating and instructive, and thought I’d try and note down some of my reactions before the coffee wears off.
    Me, I like me some conversation, but as moderate fame is thrust upon me, I find it not unpleasant. What do you reckon?

    Coin of the Realm

    In light of recent ruminations in some places about the politics and social implications of hyperlinking and blogrolling, I find this amusing, no less so because of my opinions about some of the names involved. What a sad and silly game it is, and how inconsequential.
    For my part, were I asked, I’d have to say that Jim Cappozzola, whoever he is, can take a flying f–k at a rolling doughnut, even if I do agree with him about the virulence and unpleasantness of the Little Green Cesspool. The proper response, I would say, to his threats (is it a threat if the consequences are so completely and laughably trivial?) to de-link people if they do not comply with his demands that they de-link Little Green Poosticks is : “So?”
    Fun to watch the fur and feathers fly, I suppose. But it’s something a little embarrassing for adult people to be so concerned about, even if it does touch on important issues that go well beyond blogdom, like censorship and freedom of expression, like tolerance and bigotry. My response to LGF and its ilk, though, is a little like the one I have to those fat, 40 year old men who dress up in Sailor Moon costumes : “Yay! for expressing your inner dipsh-t and striking a blow for repressed losers everywhere, Mr Man, but please take it out of my face, OK?”

    Pundits-r-Us

    It’d be fun to get some statistics on Blogspot bloggers, or blogs in general, I suppose, to get a handle what the blogly zeitgeist is like. How many would characterize themselves as political, how many consider themselves part of a community, how many try to use the word ‘f–k’ on a daily basis, how many insist on writing posts without the use of capital letters…
    And how many call themselves ‘pundit.’ A whole hell of a lot, would be the answer for that one, it seems.