On ’blogging 12 Jan, 2006
Last night I decided to check out some of my less-visited bookmarks, and ended up at Hacknot. I used to go there a lot: it had plenty of good articles for coders, and after a very quiet period things seem to be stirring again. So anyway, I began to skim read. One post (in somewhat untimely fashion!) is a lengthy exposition of the whole Dan Lyons / attack of the blogs thing that kicked off back in October. The essay mainly deals with the Kryptonite saga, but goes into the wider issues too.
I must confess that the Lyons scuffle didn’t interest me that much — yet another “journalist” writing in a sensationalist style for the hell of it — but I did glance over the Hacknot piece which is generally well thought-out, detailed, quite heavily researched, and so on and so forth (whatever floats yer boat I suppose). This quote jumped out at me in a section about the “dark side” of weblogs:
The guy is a grade A loser. He’s the sort of squirty little tit that everyone ignored in the playground…
Uh-oh. Sounded familiar. Sure enough, I followed the link for the quote, and this took me to a post on Richard Schwartz’s site about Lyons, complete with the above as a comment by — who else — yours truly. LOL. Well, I have to say, I stand by it. If it’s deemed an ad hominem attack, so be it. Personally, I would say that a journalist trying to get someone fired, simply because of what they wrote on a web site: that’s an ad hominem attack (it’s breathtakingly hypocritical to boot).
In instances such as this, I can’t be doing with the careful analysis (Hacknot person drew diagrams of the Kryptonite bike lock as part of their piece!) If you’re a blogger, sure, take a step back from time-to-time, and look at what you’re writing about. You could be way out of line (e.g. the recent Digg brouhaha), so fair enough. But when it comes to writers like Lyons, I’m really not going to go for the measured response, nor am I going to agonise over allegations of “social hysteria” and what Hacknot person has to say about people like me in general:
Such juvenile stone-throwing hardly leaves the offenders in a position of strength from which to take issue with Lyons’ language and objectivity.
One final thought: I “sign my name” against my posts. How about everyone doing the same?