2013 has been an interesting year. Or, as Mr. Spock would have said, “Fascinating.”
The recent American election was troubling. Not so much for the results, which went as I predicted back in July, but for the aftermath, which is still playing out into the New Year.
What’s really interesting is that we are seeing the same complaints that we saw after the re-election of George W. Bush in 2004, just coming from the other party.
Who is Pamela Jones aka PJ? That was the question that was bothering many people not that long ago, me among them.
All of a sudden I start getting messages, messages which didn’t make any initial sense. On Twitter I got this:
hfiguiere Hubert Figuière@_the_mad_hatter by retweeting schestowitz, you lose any credibility.
There’s been a lot of things going on over the last couple of weeks, which is why there haven’t been updates. Part of my time has been spent on recording and mixing. Part of it has been spent on setting up some web sites. Part of it was spent trying to give my mutts a bath – both of them appear to be totally allergic to water 🙂
Joking aside – I’ve been busy. But I have been keeping my eye on things.
Groklaw – a lot of us have been following the case of suicide by lawsuit that is The SCO Group. Many of us have been hanging out at Groklaw since PJ started it over at Radio Userland, and this is another thank you to her for all of her hard work. For those not familiar with the case, I’d suggest reading Carla Schroder’s article at Linux Planet. To get a better idea of Groklaw’s impact on the community I strongly suggest reading Frank Hayes’ paean of praise Frankly Speaking: Grokking SCO’s Demise published way back in August of 2007. If you read The end, finally, at last, hopefully? Jury finds Novell retained UNIX copyrights you’ll see them quoting Groklaw, just as Frank quoted Groklaw in 2007. The point being that the traditional media messed up time after time in the reporting. The only accurate reporting was the work that PJ did at Groklaw. Again, thanks to PJ. In fact she’s partially to blame for me starting up ‘Through the Looking Glass’ – without her inspiration I probably never would have gone forward with my own writing.
Boycott-Novell – Boycott Novell has undergone a name change, and an expansion of mission. The site is now known as TechRights. While I called this an expansion of mission, really it’s a recognition of a change that occurred a while back. While still covering the implications of the Novell-Microsoft pact, Boycott Novell had long been covering other issues of concern to the Free Software community. A lot of people don’t like Roy. There’s long been claims that his reporting is inaccurate and biased. The funny thing is that no one has managed to successfully challenge Roy’s reporting, no matter how hard they try. Good work Roy!
Boycott Boycott-Novell – The original post on Boycott Boycott-Novell stated ‘Our community and the people in it, are under attack. We are being disrupted, we are being defamed, we are being lied to, and, in some instances, we are even having our lives invaded.‘ Lefty seemed to be blaming Roy at Boycott-Novell for everything up to and including Acid Rain, and possibly woman’s hem lines. Whatever lit the fire under Lefty appears to have died out. The most recent post is dated February 2010. I know Lefty is still alive, and paying attention to things, he posted here yesterday, but he appears to have lost interest in his own site.
Barry Sookman – I’ve had a lot of disagreements with Barry over the last five months. As I’ve said publicly, I wouldn’t hire this man as a lawyer. His accuracy level varies between terrible and atrocious. A good example is his article Murdoch urges reforms to stem online copyright free riding, where he slavishly repeats Murdoch’s statements about online copyright infringement, without doing the basic research which would have told him that Murdoch is one of the biggest copyright infringers in the news business. Come on Barry, anyone who could make through Osgoode Hall Law School has to be smarter than this.
James Gannon – James works with Barry at McCarthy Tétrault LLP, a law firm that specializes in serving the so-called ‘Entertainment Industry.’ Like Barry he is given to making unwarranted assumptions, and a level of inaccuracy that is truly appalling. I’ve left James alone in the past, but his exemption is over, and I will be tearing into him in my next post. As with Barry James is either careless, or he is lying outright (again, I refuse to believe anyone who could graduate from Osgoode Hall could be stupid).
Michael Geist – This is a fun one. I’ve liked a lot of Michael’s articles in the past. Michael tends to be thoughtful, incisive, and to do his research. The problem is that he is adding 2+2 and getting 15 in several places. I will be covering this in detail shortly.
Howard Knopf – This is another fun one. I like Howard’s no nonsense style of writing. Like Michael he’s making some serious mistakes in my view, and I will be addressing them in detail.
I intend to have some fun with my next few posts. See you around.
Sam Varghese is one of my favourite writers. He tends to hit the nail on the head. Hard. The nail usually doesn’t enjoy the experience.
Today he posted an article titled ‘An insight into wrangles in the Ubuntu community‘ about issues with women and the Ubuntu community. It’s an interesting read, covering one woman’s complaints about how the leadership selection process worked, denying her a chance to play a larger role in the community.
Sam’s article is accurate. I’ve read Melissa Draper’s blog, including the posting about the community elections, and her somewhat panicked response when Sam sent her an email about the article he was writing. But while his article is accurate, it misses a couple of points.
I’ve been active in the Free Software community for four or five years now, including the Ubuntu sub-community. Like all such communities, there are certain people who seem to think that they have more rights than others. There are certain people who think that they should be leaders because of who they are, not what they do. There are certain people who think that they have the right to determine who is a ‘real’ member of the community, and who isn’t.
This is a problem with any community, whether it’s a volunteer effort, or a paid effort. There often is a self selected elite, and then there’s everyone else.
I don’t have a lot of patience for fools. I don’t have a lot of patience, period. I never have had a lot of patience, and the chronic pain has only made my temper shorter. This isn’t to say that the Ubuntu Community Council are fools. I don’t know any of them personally. Hell, they could be fools, and still be good people. The two positions are not mutually contradictory. I know people in several communities that I am totally incapable of working with, but who are nice people.
Since I don’t have the patience, while I take part in various efforts, I deliberately don’t get deeply involved. Instead I do my own thing, in my own way. If people don’t like what I’m doing, and I end up on an Enemies List, that’s fine. They have a right to an opinion too, however being me, I’ll happily correct them again, and again, and again, and again, ad infinitum.
So Melissa Draper, rather than defining yourself by the Ubuntu Community, why not force the Ubuntu Community to define itself by Melissa Draper? They may not like it, but you’ll have more of an effect, and have a lot more fun.
Frank Sinatra did a beautiful song called ‘My Way‘ – I think it’s fantastic inspiration.
Sunday March 14, 2010
I’ll never forget him playing Sergeant Pinback in Dark Star.
Good bye Dan.
Have some interesting news. Charlie Demerjian, ranter par excellence has left The Inquirer and founded his own new site, Semi Accurate :: News for the Everygeek. Guess my last reason for reading The Inquirer is now gone. The same thing happened to it’s predecessor (heck, the only reason I go to The Register website at all is to get my BOFH fix.
Notice how many news sources have stopped delivering anything other than pablum? It’s advertising. To attract advertising they tone down what made the sites interesting in the first place, and then loose readers. I wonder that the advertisers don’t have the brains to figure this out.
Oh, and guess who the biggest advertiser is? Yep. A certain convicted monopolist in Redmond. And the second biggest is also a convicted monopolist. The very companies that would be the targets of much of the more interesting rants. Is it any wonder that sites have to tone down their coverage?
Gary Gygax. Now there’s a name I have not heard for a long time.
Got home from work today, and Heather told me he’d passed away. For those few who don’t know, Gary was one of the people responsible for the massive popularity of Role Playing Games – in fact his gaming group invented the genre. Gary had many faults. Some of the modules he personally wrote we horrible. But some of the were astounding.
I can still remember the first time I played. I was at a Toronto Con, may have been Alpha Draconis, meet a couple of people who were talking about it, and a blond woman invited us up to her hotel room to play, and I had a great time. I don’t know who it was (though when I mentioned this to Lloyd Penney a couple of years ago he suggested that it was Tanya Huff) but I thank her for taking the time to take us newbies into a strange and wonderful place.
I still like playing, unfortunately time to play becomes increasingly difficult to find. Oh well – maybe after I retire…
On a final note – I was running the a campaign, and one of the players was this cute lady with an english accent. Heather and I married 7 months later, and have been together ever since.
Ann Coulter and Michael Moore have more in common than they think. They are both rude, insulting, and willing to twist the truth for their causes. In the inflexible American political system (consider that the presidential election campaign rules haven’t been updated since the days of horse drawn carriages…) they are considered to be at opposite ends of the spectrum.
Instead they are two heads of one beast – Cerberus would puke if he got stuck with them.
For reference their web sites are:
Neither is interested in the truth – and there is no doubt that would recognize it. Why do two intelligent people do this to themselves and their fellow citizens? Money? Fame? Who knows.
The only thing I am sure of is that neither is doing the country or the political system any good (despite their stated goals).
This is just a short post (yes, I’m alive). I’ll get back into the swing of things over the next month.