Flamers Threaten The State Of The Blogosphere

There is something about the anonymity of the internet that magnifies peoples shadows. It’s difficult to watch and even more difficult to be the subject of one’s projections. But all of that is nothing compared with trying to have compassion for the flamers. I mean they are, after all, suffering.

A nasty war has been flaming around Dave Winer. It’s sad to watch. I have to admit that since I’ve been reading Dave’s blog for a long time now, I find he has a neurotic attachment to being the victim from time to time. He is only human. It’s nothing a little 3–2–1 couldn’t fix. But all in all, he seems like a good guy.

And I can sympathize with what he’s going through because people on the net can be nasty. I’ve been written about in a less than favorable light (not to mention false) and I once moderated a forum on absolute pitch which was a total chaotic mess. I finally gave the forum up after it was hacked by Islamic extremists two too many times.

There is something about the anonymity of the internet that magnifies peoples shadows. It’s difficult to watch and even more difficult to be the subject of one’s projections. But all of that is nothing compared with trying to have compassion for the flamers. I mean they are, after all, suffering.

So now Dave is threatening to quit blogging. Maybe he already has. It would be a loss for the blogging community because we would miss his insights like the following from Who is Phil Jones?:

In the comments on Hugh MacLeod’s blog post about me turning down god because I was too busy with RSS, he says: “Dave didn’t invent RSS. Nor does he claim to. Go listen to the NerdTV interview he did with Robert Cringely where he explicitly says he realized that (to paraphrase) the second mover ‘makes’ the standard, and so he threw away his own syndication format to support Netscape’s RSS.”

That’s true — and an important consideration that most people don’t seem to understand. In the world of standards the second-mover is the decision-maker, the first-mover is at the second guy’s mercy.

Invention here is hardly the issue. What matters is adoption and forward motion. The smart people in this space do what smart people do everywhere, they listen, think, learn and adapt, like Jones is doing. The idiots rule the roost though, it’s very hard to hear the intellect through all the honking and barking and ruckus that the idiots make. (Not talking about Hugh, his contribution is satire, and that’s always welcome. If you can’t laugh at yourself you break.)

This is the result of technology minus spirituality. Neurotic web surfers reeking havoc. And no constructive way to deal with them. But it’s up to the blogger to bring an integral framework to the blogosphere.

Me, I have friends in seedy places to deal with such matters.