It's always ''hard to say''.

Anchor for this item  posted Monday, June 26, 2006 at 11:02 AM MST

In his "Say what?" Jon Udell responds to a comment about his writing style. (He self-deprecatingly called it a "dope slap" ... Jon's the sorta fellow who knows the benefits arise from proper user of a clue stick or clue by 4.) BTW "Say what?" is an allusion to Ami Hendrickson's blog, ''Muse Ink''. Later in the piece Jon describes a system users Eureka momet ... "we bought the wrong kind of software" ... yaa, that! (Out of the mouths of illiterati?). That moved me to this reply:
With allusion ot "vague queries" and social software: the person may not have said what they meant (lacking the qualities and training to do appropriately precise failure mode identification) but they meant what they said! p.s. I was pondering how sophistry ham-strings development ... because we are fallible and our knowledge is limited we have a righteous need for explanations; excuses distract and mis-lead."
But really ... elsewhere I essayed a bit on sophistry at a political level (as a comment to "Blair's Moral Barbarism").
"I was wondering about how sophistry ("excuses") so frequently has a sour, caustic, bitter tone to it. Perhaps because the individual is a) dreading being exposed as a coward, and b) in denial concerning having actually and really made a choice. We can produce explanations. We can, otherwise, produce rationalizations. But really, don't you think it's very sad (tragic?) that most folk are geared up to make good use of excuses?"
Rhetoric is useful ... when your intention is to land a man on the moon and get him back safely you need to pick one plan from the short list. Getting all hands to haul along that line takes skilfull use of language. But sophistry ... that would endanger the entire project, along with peoples' lives. Sophistry ham-strings development; because we are fallible and our knowledge is limited we have a righteous need for explanations; excuses distract and mis-lead. It's always hard to say what we mean ... but we're morally bound to mean what we say; otherwise is corruption of one sort or another.


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''This is Serious''

Anchor for this item  posted Sunday, June 25, 2006 at 1:26 PM MST

From arstecnica: Tim Berners-Lee on Net Neutrality: "This is serious.":
"The inventor of the WWW has a short, to-the-point post that explains exactly why supporting real, bona fide net neutrality is the Right Thing to Do. I absolutely encourage you to read the entire post, but really he sums up the whole argument for net neutrality in his opening sentence:
"When I invented the Web, I didn't have to ask anyone's permission."

Net Neutrality: This is serious | Decentralized Information Group (DIG) Breadcrumbs: Submitted by timbl on Wed, 2006-06-21 16:35. :: Public Policy and the Web
"When I invented the Web, I didn't have to ask anyone's permission. Now, hundreds of millions of people are using it freely. I am worried that that is going end in the USA.
I blogged on net neutrality before, and so did a lot of other people. (see e.g. Danny Weitzner, SaveTheInternet.com, etc.) Since then, some telecommunications companies spent a lot of money on public relations and TV ads, and the US House seems to have wavered from the path of preserving net neutrality. There has been some misinformation spread about. So here are some clarifications.

Net neutrality is this: [...]"


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