Archive for August, 2008

“Rizzn” Eats My Lunch!

I am so busting up laughing. Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins (for some reason I love the gamer-dude middle name, with quotes and everything) has posted a smug response to my recent blog post I Remember Why I Don’t Like Mashable That Much.  I’m off my rocker!  I’m Leftarded!

First of all, I love the picture of you hanging out with a good-looking African American friend, apropos of nothing.   Mark, did you think I meant “racist” when I wrote “fascist”? Because I sure don’t think you are racist. But your subsequent struggle, real or feigned, to understand the term “proto-fascist” that I applied to you leads me to believe that maybe you didn’t quite get the gist of what I was writing.

First of all, FASCIST: (n). I don’t know, somebody who likes authority, likes to tell others what to do, likes to be part of the herd, feels profoundly uncomfortable with progressive impulses, worried about appearing weak, concerned about purity in both the abstract and actual, yadda yadda yadda.

Next, PROTO-: on the way to becoming; early-stage; preliminary; yadda yadda yadda.

Can you really not put those two together and grasp the meaning? If you’re not yet a full-throated, gesticulating Mussollini, you’re trending that way.  There’s nothing Orwellian about the phrase – it’s meaning is exactly what you would deduce if you knew what the terms actually meant in common usage.

My evidence to support said conclusion? This is a blog, not the Washington Post.  Based on your blog posts and comments on Mashable and elsewhere, I’ve drawn my own conclusions.  Let others decide what they will. 🙂

Mark, the fact that you put up a response on your personal blog leads me to believe (a) I hit close to home and (b) thou doth protest too much, methinks.

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I Remember Why I Don’t Like Mashable That Much

Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins of Mashable gives us another peek into his proto-fascist leanings with a breathless article about the LEFTIST MOB THAT ATTACKED POOR MICHELLE MALKIN in Denver.

Only she wasn’t attacked. In fact, she walked calmly away from the crazy loons who were trying to levitate a building. And nobody got arrested, which, if you’ve been following the news out of Denver, is a minor miracle, given the number of Men In Black surrounding every event and gathering.

For that matter, to describe Alex Jones is a leftist is sort of like describing Lyndon LaRouche as a rightist – maybe technically correct, according to the prevailing single-axis theory of politics, but it doesn’t provide any meaning. What Hopkins is trying to do, as you of course can guess, is to pin the despicable behavior on the entire Left – and the Democratic Party. It’s an old fascist trick, since at least the 1930’s.

He doesn’t bother to cover the much bigger news out of Denver – what turned out to be an assassination wish, if not an actual threat… no, no, that would be too pedestrian and unsurprising. After all, which down-on-his-luck white supremacist drug addict WOULDN’T want to get stoned and take potshots at Barack Obama from 750 yards?

Further, I imagine “Rizzn”‘s internal dreamscape is cluttered with Malkin clones, all in various stages of seductive undress, gesturing thither-come-yon; so the impulse to write a blog post about her is probably as natural for him as checking the weather. I’m assuming Hopkins is white, by the way.

My advice? Skip the facist honking and turn your attention on the tubes to something more meaningful, like that guy who does a bang-up imitation of Britney Spears.

How Valuable Is Your Source Code?

Approximately $0.00, according to witten at Coderific, and I wholeheartedly agree.  I particularly agree with the notion that non-technical business guys get in their head that they can “clean up and resell” software widgets is

[the] sort of widespread belief grips the software industry like a disease.

I’ve never seen it work.  Not once.

Problems with Someday/Maybe Lists in GTD – And How To Fix Them

Andre has a compelling post up about Someday/Maybe lists and in my opinion gets at the heart of a lot of the unconscious resistance to creating, reviewing, or updating the S/M during your weekly review.

My own bugaboo?  My list fills up with unresearched projects (#7).  Yes, I tend to use S/M as a place to put items I don’t want to make a decision about.  More accurately, I use it as a place to put things I don’t even want to think about in the first place.

What’s your experience with Someday/Maybe?  Could you implement any of Andre’s fixes?

Identi.ca to Twitter Bridge

Based on @marinamartin’s experience, I’ve decided to set up a bridge between Identi.ca and Twitter, so that updates I make in one tool can be viewed in the other.

My first experiment was with Brad Williams’ tool, but that appears to be one-way only, from Identi.ca to Twitter.

Another search pulled up kshep’s bridge, which ALSO appears to be one-way only.

Is there such a thing as a two-way bridge?

While I was searching, I saw some tweets that seemed to indicate that there may be a conscious decision NOT to program in two-way updates, due the “closed nature” of twitter and in order to make a “political statement”. Oh snap. I suppose that’s what happens when you get a bunch of talented open-source hackers on a project in an election year 🙂

So here’s where I’m at: if I can’t get two-way updates, then I will mainly use Twitter for the near future. If I can get two-way updates, I’ll use identi.ca.

Federation, heal thyself?

Liverpool 2 – 1 Middlesbrough

This season has started off with a lot of drama.  After last week’s late win at Sunderland, you’d think the Reds were due for a yawner, a nice 3-0 thrashing of Boro.

That wasn’t the case.

A 70th-minute stunner by Mido put Boro ahead 1-0, and Liverpool appeared to be likely to headed to defeat.  But a 85th-minute equalizer by Jamie Carragher (Ed: did you say Carragher? Yes.) brought the Kop to their feet, and then a superb bit of play led to a 94th-minute winner by (who else?) Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard had spent most of the game looking lethargic, and the announcers had even described him as “lazy” at one point. Yet, when it came time to shine, Gerrard was right there, and that right foot of his is a beastly menace for opposing keepers to deal with.  It didn’t help that Boro’s #1, Brad Jones, was out due to a dislocated finger, leaving Ross Turnbull to handle things in goal.

Other notes:

  • I didn’t realize that Boro hadn’t won at Anfield since 1976.  I’ve barely been alive that long.
  • Torres had a chance to break a nearly 50 year old record if he would have scored.  The record is for most consecutive home fixtures with a goal, and Torrest is currently tied with Roger Hunt at eight in a row.  I’m guessing that he’ll take the W.
  • I had mixed feelings about Robbie Keane coming on board, but I think now he’ll be a good pickup.  Keane has a positive, aggressive nose for goal.  I think the pairing of Torres and Keane will pay dividends, at long as the midfielders pick up their passing accuracy a bit.

Rating Development Stacks for Startups

On the Seattle Tech Startups mailing list, there’s been a discussion recently about the pros and cons of various development platforms.  Eventually it devolved, as many of these discussions do, into a general throwing up of hands and a recommendation by several people to avoid development stack debates, because it inevitably leads nowhere.

I’m not so sure I agree with the proscription.

It seems to me that there are few things in play:

  1. Very few developers know more than a few stacks well enough to assess whether or not they are REALLY better or worse for certain tasks.  For example, I don’t have enough Python or Ruby experience to be able to pass on anything other than secondhand knowledge (and my own guesses) about their true capabilities relative to, say, .NET.
  2. There are intrinsic and extrinsic factors that can be evaluated for each stack.  Intrinsic factors are things like readability, breadth and depth of built-in libraries, expressiveness, flexibility, etc.  Extrinsic factors are things like cost, availability of developers, vendor support, etc.
  3. The notion that each common stack is as good as the other is bunk, in my opinion.  Maybe it’s my latent objectivist streak, but just as C# is objectively more productive than assembler for web development, you could pit any two languages, and – given perfect information – come up with a rank-ordered list for any required scenario.

Someone on the STS list asked the reasonable question: “where do I go to get information about the various choices?”  I agree with the commenter who thought listservs like STS are a great place to go in theory.  It’s mostly working professionals, in or near the startup experience, and refreshing lacks the anonymous yahoos that flame away on Google Groups tech lists.