minor list changes

John Foust jfoust at threedee.com
Mon Mar 7 18:22:18 CST 2005

At 04:45 PM 3/7/2005, Tony Duell wrote:
>> At 08:03 AM 3/7/2005, you wrote:
>> >On Mon, 2005-03-07 at 07:38 -0600, John Foust wrote:
>> >> Why the emotional attraction to a mailing list as opposed to the web? 
>> >Because the web is shit for just about everything?
>> That would explain its unpopularity, of course.
>Anybody who believes 'popular' == 'good' is, IMHO, a total idiot!

I'd never say that, so logic dictates I must be a genius.
I wonder what I'd be if I said that if something was popular
that it must be bad.

There's also a persistent geek belief-system where, once they 
believe a device is technologically superior, they think it 
should be popular and all those who believe otherwise are idiots. 
(Ask me, I was once an Amiga fanatic.)

I'm baffled by those who would gladly spend months searching for the 
right NOS replacement part for a 20-year-old computer, and who would 
cheerfully build their own computer out of sand and bamboo on a desert 
island given a proper vacation, or who've memorized the arcana of all 
mechanical and electrical technology in the last 100 years, or whom
I regard as minor gods because they generally know how to do dozens 
of things I can't fathom, yet these same folk claim to be unable and 
unwilling to locate and revive a cast-off PC with sufficient power 
to run a contemporary web browser and/or connect to the net faster 
than dialup.  All because they're dead-certain that it's not better than 
TECO and their VT-100?  Lordy!

To wit, I'll summarize some of the savvy arguments posted so far against
web-based forums:  Web sites are slow.  Not all browsers can use them.
You need browser plug-ins to use web sites.  They're not ASCII
and you can't save ASCII from them.  You can't make a local copy.
I can't run 'grep' directly on them.  I'm paying for Internet
by the byte and/or minute.  I don't have room for another computer.
Web sites are always immediately overrun by clueless WinXP sufferers
and will drift off-topic.  Web sites are confusing because all of 
them don't have the same interface.  Web sites are in reverse video.
You lose the ability to edit text when posting to a web site.

A few thoughts ran through my mind while I wrote this.  One, the
phrase "Techno-Amish".  Hurry, the domain name hasn't been registered.
Two, "They worship old technology, but they're scared of new technology."

Not a day goes by that I don't encounter a web- or programming-
related concept that is new to me.  I've been geek and programmer
and reader and writer for all of my 41 years, and doing it for 
money for about 25, but if I ever stop being curious about *new*
technology, please shoot me.  Then you can have all my old stuff.

- John

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