« The Fall of Lebanon | Main | OtF Audio »

Futurismic, and Slashdot

I'm now a regulary (monthly) columnist at Futurismic, and my very first piece, A Gadget-Free Futurism, is now up. This is, by and large, a good thing, and I'm happy to have the chance to do the column.

The Futurismic editor submitted the post to Slashdot and, much to my surprise, it was accepted. There's something terribly surreal about seeing one's name as part of a Slashdot headline. Surreal in a different way is the level of vitriol coming from the Slashdot commenters. Not because of what I wrote, per se, but because I have a funny name, or because they had never heard of me before, or because they'd seen ideas something like those in my post before, or maybe just because somebody had pissed in their Lucky Charms. I've never had anyone actively hate me before, at least not in print, so to see such anger over so little provocation is a bit mind-boggling.

Fortunately, I've been a Slashdot reader for years (four digit /. user ID), so I know just how much weight to give the comments.


amusing yes but also startling to see the anachronistic upwelling of uni-disciplinary sci-tech guys that still feel so threatened by interdisciplinary thought, and the suggestion that their work doesnt actually occur in a lily-white clean room. i found your piece to be a solid and concise, covering ideas that have been around for a while-- packaged so as to be refreshing, timely and pertinent but not really provocative or controversial. i guess the lesson is that it wouldve been worthwhile to cite to some of the earlier thinkers on the topic, to head off some of personally directed vitriol and hostility. as in, "hay guys, relax, the rest of us have known for a while that theres life beyond your server rooms and CAD programs."

thanks for the piece-- i miss your perspective over at worldchanging and look forward to the weekly column at futurismic. it will be interesting to how the comments and mods at /. shake out over the rest of the day.

Thanks! I really appreciate the support.

For the record, though, my column at Futurismic will be monthly, not weekly.

Excellent work, Jamais. My work has been slashdotted a half dozen times, and I've yet to see an intelligent comment. I'm definitely open for strong, intelligent, criticism. But I wouldn't call Slashdot trolls critics, much less "intelligent critics." It's such a weird bifurcation, isn't it? Obviously a lot of smart people read Slashdot. But the "discourse" there is overwhelmed ("dominated" is not strong enough) by morons, cheap jokers, and trolls. The moderation system does make it possible to remove the garbage from view, but it doesn't seem to do much to elevate the level of discourse. My theory is that nobody smart enough to have something intelligent to say is going to waste their time when they will have to pay out the attention needed to read the inevitably less than useful replies.

I think the negative reaction is probably a good thing - certainly better than indifference. I rarely bother with the comments at /. for exactly that reason...they're such an insular bunch, anything that suggests there is something more important than the latest Ubuntu kernel or Steve Jobs' new flip-flops is inevitably greeted with immense scorn and dismissal. And hey, it got people talking (which was the righteous purpose) and it got the site some traffic (the not-so-righteous purpose)!

Count yourself lucky, anyhow; they completely ignored my interview with Igor Aleksander at VCTB. Meh. ;)

Thanks again, Jamais.

I came from /. and I'd never heard of you before (although many of my friends have "funnier" names).
I thought your article was spot on- brilliant even. I look forward to reading your future columns.

I hadn't visited here for a little while and noticed the article first on /.

I thought the column was good - and lets face it, a fair chunk of the commenters at /. will pour vitriol on anything for essentially random or arbitrary reasons - its nothing to get too concerned about - maybe they're simply angry sysadmins who have been stuck in the bowels of a badly lit and noisy computer room for a decade or so and this is their way of lashing out at the world...


Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered By MovableType 4.37