When I build a computer, I like to use Intel boards. Not so much out of brand loyalty, but rather for the fact that they are more robust and tend to have more system redundancy. For instance, this machine that I built has on-board video processing, a handy fall back when your video card goes belly up. Not my first choice, to be certain, but a damned fine alternative to having to stare at 800x600 resolution for the next week.
P.S. No Monday Dinosaur until I get this machine in some kind of order. I know, you're all heartbroken.
My video card has taken a flaming a taco dump, so my screen resolution is limited to 600x800 until a replacement can be found. Posting will be whatever it is until whatever it is is different from what it is now.
I’ve seen hundreds of comments around the blogosphere getting bogged
down in wish list items—“if Gates had only been more polite” or “if the
cop had only walked out once he saw the ID and knew it was Gates’s
home.” Yes, either might have defused the situation, then again, maybe
not. Yes, the cop was being yelled at by Gates, but it’s less the
yelling, than one specific thing that he said that hit the red alert
button on class—he tossed down the ”don’t you know who I am” card (”you have no idea who you are messing with”). That, friends, comes from privilege of a different kind, one that has nothing to do with race.
She mirrors my reaction to this fiasco almost perfectly.
There is, however, one thing that truly puzzles me. As the wingnut whoopee cushions bleat ever louder about the outrage of one uppity negro defending another uppity negro against the fine illegal actions or our brave men in blue, I have to ask: Whatever happened to the legions of Republicans and Libertarians who threatened dire consequence should some low-life pig cop ever invade their home and wrongly accuse them of criminal activity? Has the fear of having a black socialist muslim President so thoroughly castrated these people that they can no longer recognize right from wrong?
Ultimately, that's what this about. Race and class aside, Officer Crowley acted stupidly. Big Media Matt:
Meanwhile, note that racial motivations or there absence have really
nothing to do with the nature of Officer Crowley’s misconduct. What
happened basically is that Crowley accused Gates, whether for good
reason or not, of breaking into his own home. Gates, pissed off,
offended Crowley. At which point Crowley, even though he was now
perfectly aware that Gates was not guilty of anything, decided to exact
revenge by manipulating the situation to create a trumped-up disorderly
conduct charge. That’s not professional policing, and it’s not a good
use of the City of Cambridge’s law enforcement resources.
In a happier time, both liberals and conservatives agreed that abuse of police power was a bad thing. Apparently for many modern conservatives, that only counts if a black man doesn't upset a white cop. As Pam points out, Gates acted pretty stupidly. But, thankfully for those like Andy Hammond, stupidity isn't a crime ... more's the pity.
I butted heads with Bob more than once. Which basically means we just disagreed online. But he was a guy I respected for his caring and true wisdom. He gave a shit, and I hope that I conveyed to him that I do too.
I knew that eventually someone I knew and considered an online friendly would die. I am surprised by the depth of my reaction to it.
It saddens me to say that you have lost control of your website. I do not bring this up lightly. Rather, I submit to you that the ideologues have taken juicy bites out of what was a community, and turned it to their ends.
Ad Hominem argument has become de rigueur. Not only are arguments turned against yourself, but against any who might think you have value in your statements, as well as those who post at your hosting. This is not simple disagreement with your view, but attacks on the validity of disagreement itself. As you are no doubts aware, an Ad Hominem as with all fallacies has no truth value, whether it be Mark T.'s weak applications of such or the rather more harsh. You, sir, as the blogger of note, have allowed these arguments to profligate to the point where if another states such attack it does not imply a lack of truth value, but rather a lack of truth on your part. This has been and will remain your undoing.
It struck me as rather surprising this weekend, when I asked an assembly which is the "most popular website (blogwise) in Montana", they almost to a person named yours. Sadly, that is not the case, but through no fault of your own. What is your fault is that you went to great lengths to build a remarkably diverse community, and have let that suffer for the sake of those who cannot abide disagreement. You, sir, have allowed others to co-opt your good works. They indulge themselves in a forum where you are the receptacle of their spite. You allow them to do this. You have allowed specific individuals to highjack what community you might have built for their own ends, and you personally pay the price and consequence.
If this is your will, then please forgive my presumption for having pointed out the obvious. But if I, of all people, find it almost painful to peruse Left in the West, then I suggest to you that you have a problem as needs handling. Kindly keep in mind that I have done what I could to protect the communal spirit of your efforts. I have rated as I should, and apologized as I must. But simply put, I cannot abide seeing my friends abused for the sake of ideology at the expense of reality. That you seem willing to let it happen is most egregious to me.
I hope this missive finds you well, and bid you good evening.
In the post before this, 'Craig Moore' asked me if I had a Powerpoint of the talk I gave in Great Falls. No, I don't. And, no offense meant to Craig, but I do wonder just how people ever conveyed knowledge and ideas before Microsoft came along. But, always being accommodating, I will post my outline for the talk. The core remained the same, but I did cut parts out, and deviate from the narrative as audience reaction permitted or dictated. The thesis, on the other hand, was and remains consistent.
Expectation as theme
Types of blogs.
Essayist.(Digby, Daily kos, Michelle Malkin)
aggregator. (Glenn Reynolds, Atrios.)
blogs.Most popular website in
like writing style.(jarring, big words,
small words, verbose.)
like penmanship (design).
like the person. (vulgarity)
like the implications of the writing.(Political divide.)
Suck it up.Commenters are not blogging. Writing is
blogging.So why would the bloggers be
Blogging is opt in.The happiest bloggers are likely those who
don’t accept comments.
writer chooses to write.Why?
read is not a choice, Comment is.
read is a choice.
(conflict, no conflict, strong, weak.)
Commenters stand in opposition to the blogger.
Relationship building and impact.
as a tool of relationship.
minded.(Debate vs. disagreeable
exposure and anonymity.
seek to usurp power from where it belongs.
power and setting the rules to serve that.
Commenters are at a disadvantage
because they don’t know the rules.
The blogger sets the rules.
Those rules should and must serve
the expectations of the blogger.
The real power of blogging is in fulfilling expectations of blogger and commenters. Community is built.
minded community (social networking)
Advocacy and organization.
dynamic, organic and fungible.
sucks.Its expectations are well known. We all agree on that.
Evolution.(Social networking, change in standards, the
*The thought experiment was really simple. I asked everyone in the room to imagine that I had given them 20 minutes to write a 'blog post'. Then, they were to have 5 other people read it. The end result? Everyone in the room is unhappy about something, because at least one of the 5 readers didn't like something about what the 'blogger' wrote.
Keep in mind that I am available for finer parties, Bar Mitzvahs, funerals, proms and sporting events. My fee structure is such that I require lunch and at least an hour of good fishing talk with an attractive woman.
P.S. The outline was copied from a Word document, so blame the formatting issues on that. There's times I really hate Microsoft.
Before anything else is written, I want to extend heartfelt thanks to Gregg Smith. He opened his heart, his will, his mind and his home to the blogging community of Montana. He, and his beloved, hosted a great event. I also want to sincerely thank Bob Adney, and the Treasure State Network. They bought me lunch; well, me and everyone else. That was *cool* in a can, no lie. Finally, I want to thank my beloved for giving me up for a whole Saturday, and letting me borrow her car which a) gets vastly better gas mileage than my truck, and b) simply looks far sweeter cruising down the road.
I had the rather unbelievable honor of tooling to Great Falls this Saturday to meet with other bloggers and blog commenters and spouses of the web addicted. Gregg had asked me to present a talk, and I simply couldn't refuse him. In all honesty, I was as nervous as hell. I disagree rather vehemently with many of those I thought might be there, and more to the point, they disagree with me. I sincerely felt like a guy who'd gotten dared to step in a bear trap, and did it just for the filming of the next Jackass movie. But, Gregg had some confidence in me, and I wasn't gonna let him down. Hopefully, I didn't.
I'm not going to go into a whole lot of specifics about who was there, what we did (other than have fun), or the play-by-play. If you expect that, Sorry! I'm mostly going to give my general impressions. Since time is limited for me, this may spread out over several posts.
The initial get-together at the restaurant was awkward, I haven't doubt. Most everyone there was from Great Falls, and that's why I refer to this as an ECW community meetup. The only out-of-towners were from Bozeman. I was somewhat disappointed that I didn't get to meet some of the folks from Missoula. (But I am hopeful that the next such grouping will take place there.) I was relieved that Dave Budge wasn't there. Get the two of us in the same room and it might be like matter/anti-matter. Shit might go terribly wrong. Those that were there certainly didn't know what to expect from me, and I had no clue what to expect from them. That was the perfect way to begin.
The talk went well. I strayed from my narrative a bit, and left a bunch of stuff out, but I was more interested in hearing what others had to say in response. The point of my presentation was that commenters/readers are the bane of bloggers because of differing expectations, and that bringing them together builds community which will satisfy all parties. It's win/win. Because the attendees shared a respect for Gregg and the idea of community, they were remarkably receptive to, what is in my mind, an obvious message. There are websites in Montana that are really building some things that are powerful, and Electric City Weblog is one of them. They are building community. I don't state this as proof of thesis, but as a witness to what happened on Saturday. Trust me, that was cool beans.
Many of the people there were/are associated with GF city government. I am stunned with how well they have embraced the online media as a tool and as a forum. That struck me hard, but on many levels. It struck that Great Falls is not only isolated in geography but in outlook. They see themselves as 'different'. (Don't mistake me. Many other Montana cities do as well, but this was different from my experience.) These are the people of the river. It infuses their lives.
I did finally get to meet an old nemesis/friend. David Sherman was there. We have been together online for a very long time. He had a strong invite to party in my backyard, but didn't do so. Finally, I got to meet him. I have real affection for this guy. He has been many places, but adores his community in Great Falls. I do wish him the best.
Yes, I know. Another of the family Dromeosauridea. So sue me. It's an obsession I have.
The Bambiraptor is still cool because this critter is about 3 feet long from tail to teeth, it has the hooking claw and it was found by a 14 year old in the fine state of Montana. It may be, maybe, a juvenile Saurornitholestes,
(That would be the killer on the right.) But I like to think that it was it's own species of diminutive slayer that could use it's hooking claw to flay a dragonfly in nothing flat. If it is it's own species, it is smaller than it's cousin Troodon, and even cooler for just that.
But be aware. Over the last several years, we have sold Jack Horner a metric ton of high powered Apple computer equiptment. Dr. Horner just wrote this book. He's got access to dinosaur DNA, so you do the math ...
I've only watched a bit of the Sotomayer confirmation online. But it does strike me that most of the serious resistance to her on the SCOTUS is coming from the left. Don't get me wrong, the right is trying. They simply haven't the tools that don't show them to be a satire of themselves. Witness Sessions confronting her with the contrast to a judge who was in the room to *support* Sotomayer. These Southern white guys are beyond goofy.