Nobody likes to be called a dummy by a dummy.

This is for you, wsv

Bollocks!

Since time immemorial newspapers have published editorial columns, and in the letters pages people have commented on the editorials, either agreeing or disagreeing.

Comments to blogs are no different. They are just like the letters pages in a newspaper. The only difference with the Internet is that everything happens faster.
Permalink Send private email bon vivant 
July 20th, 2007 1:31pm
>Since time immemorial newspapers have published editorial columns, and in the letters pages people have commented on the editorials, either agreeing or disagreeing.

Could you imagine what newspapers would be like if they printed every opinion?

Since time immemorial, newspapers have selected a very small number of submissions (which are already small because writers know there is far from a guarantee that their words will be read) for printing. This is how you often end up with letters that largely support the paper's stance, and then some off the edge kook criticizing the paper, making the paper look good in the process.

Not to mention that most papers print your name, and they validate that you are legitimate.
Permalink DF 
July 20th, 2007 1:39pm
Here's my response:

http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?joel.3.522163.7
Permalink Send private email Philo 
July 20th, 2007 1:41pm
> That's not freedom of expression, that's an infringement on their freedom of expression. Get your own space, write compelling things, and if your ideas are smart, they'll be linked to, and Google will notice, and you'll move up in PageRank, and you'll have influence and your ideas will have power.


Joel should see his convictions to their logical end. He should turn off the forums if he believes people can just comment in their own space.
Permalink strawdog soubriquet 
July 20th, 2007 1:52pm
Actually I think Joel is right; he can shut the forum down and it's his right to do so.
Permalink Rick Zeng 
July 20th, 2007 1:57pm
Except that's not what he said, and that's not what he's proposing.

Do keep up, 007.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 20th, 2007 2:06pm
>He should turn off the forums if he believes people can just comment in their own space.

He did stop linking to them from his blog entry, and really the forums have a life of their own (when I do visit them, the few posts that do relate to Joel's posts often seem without context).

I'm pretty much in agreement with Joel. It doesn't seem to be that he's against all comments, but once you start moderating comments you inspire the fist shaking "censorship" claims, and for someone like Joel it's probably far more trouble than it's worth.
Permalink DF 
July 20th, 2007 2:13pm
Clearly.  I mean, one suicide and ?off_topic was gone.  Wait, that's how we got CoT!

I guess there's a silver lining after all.  No need for US to over-react, though.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 20th, 2007 2:24pm
I guess one analogy is that I should shout out my windows, and if my message is interesting I will gather up an audience below and word of my eminence will spread high and low across the kingdom.

Not everyone can shout out of windows or stand on busy city corners. Personally, I prefer conversations at dinner parties over shouting from rooftops. By his analogy, only the host should talk at a dinner party. :)

Or perhaps the meatspace analogy is that everyone gets their own corner/window to shout from. And other people drive by, leave a poster or business card pointing them to which corner *they* are shouting from.

He is right in a way. It is about power. Those with power (here proxied by PageRank) believe that they gained it by force of being right. They believe in individuality over community. That anyone can by mere force of individual will ('Get your own space,') replicate success. If you ask me, the JOS forums, were as instrumental in his rise to fame as anything he wrote himself. He's abandoning the hood, so to speak.
Permalink strawdog soubriquet 
July 20th, 2007 2:32pm
"Except that's not what he said, and that's not what he's proposing.

Do keep up, 007."

Well, he is wrong on this though; comments without name are not guaranteed to be better.
Permalink Rick Zeng 
July 20th, 2007 8:05pm
I believe he is trying to say you don't have the right to write your opinions after someone else posts. If you think you are so important that you have this right, you should be able to write your own blog and others will notice.

For example, SaveTheHubble should be more polite to me. If he thinks he has the right to make fun of me, he should do it on his own blog, not right after my post.
Permalink Rick Zeng 
July 20th, 2007 8:24pm
You can say what you like here and elsewhere on the Net - which is the beauty of the current arrangement. PM John Winston Howard ventured onto Utoob a few days back to a fairly predictable response:

http://www.theage.com.au/news/in-depth/lost-in-cyberflaming-hell/2007/07/20/1184560036272.html

The sad thing is that this marvellous medium availale to anyone possessing with both an opinion and an ISP is going to be blotted out once those lampooned work out how to throttle the feedback.

For a historical precedent consider how English printers were saddled with stamp duty. That might be tried with taxes and registration fees  but I think control will be asserted by enclosure and privatisation of Net commons by corporate carriers applying QoS to the pipes. I don't expect the Dems or any other elite to overturn this if they achieve usable power as no-one likes to be jeered by the herd beyond what editors will publish in letters to the OpEd page.

Pity is that if they do a good enough job, this freewheeling catcalling anarchy will sink into the distant memories of those lucky enough to have experienced it. For an idea of how stifled it may become, look to China or Singapore.
Permalink trollop 
July 21st, 2007 7:28am

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