(a little OT, but . . .) One of the most interesting (IMHO) observations Bruce Sterling makes in THE HACKER CRACKDOWN (palmDOC, html, txt, paper) is that a person will fight harder to protect his/her community than he/she will for anything else, even to protect his/her self. (side note to the OT post: I've been reading BEOWULF, and note a great resonance in this kind of thinking-- after all, whenver Grendel is spoken of, the speaker foregrounds the fact that the monster is "the horrible walker alone"-- I.E. it has no community. Grendel first attacks Hrothgar's kick-ass longhouse on acount he (Grendel) hears the vibrant community inside and feels lonely, and thus jealous, and thus enraged.)
in reply to Chip (on the shoulder) Monks
At any rate, as a sort of barometer of how wwe're doing, as a community, I note that we are making a big hullaballo about threats to our commune-integrity (as well we should.) This, I think, is a very good sign. I really value this community, am charmed by its erudition and good-nature, and will be damned if I'll leave it to be gore-streaked by the lonley monsters who skulk through the web.
I swung by Slashdot for a while yesterday (prior to my monkification, I used to hit slashdot 30+ time a day), and was heartbroken to see what a mess it is-- the sig-to-noise ration is ridiculously low, and all of the noise is harsh, meaningless, hurtful attacks. And, basically, no one really cares anymore. SOme folks gallantly try to carry on the good ole discussions, but it's nigh-impossible to follow them, as they're drowning in a sea of "you're a fag" and "penis bird" posts. There's no community there, and it's sad. How the mighty have fallen and all that jazz.
Well, I've reached my belly-aching quota for today. Let the good times roll.
The Autonomic Pilot; it's FunkyTown, babe.