10 Jun 2002 raph   » (Master)

I'm a little behind on sleep, so tonight's entry will be short. Today was a nice family day.

A friend gave Alan a crystal radio set, so we put up a 100' antenna and tried it out. We were able to get a faint signal on one station, so it was a cool demo of radio waves, but could have been cooler.

I've been thinking more about trees over the weekend, particularly caching and change notification. Unfortunately, it gets complicated, and I worry that most readers don't have much context. At some point, I'll put up real infrastructure for Fitz, and the display tree will be part of the design docs. In the meantime, I like the blog form. I'll post more tomorrow.

Dave Winer has a big thread on blogs, journalism, and integrity. I'm not that moved by arguments of integrity. My feeling is that journalism is governed by Sturgeon's Law just like everything else. I fear that tech journalism is particularly affected, though. Most tech stories in the mainstream press have serious factual errors, and show lack of understanding on the part of the writer. I don't really care why tech journalism is so bad. It's likely to have something to do with the highly centralized structure of the media business, but I haven't thought much about the exact pathways. Dave asks: "Dumb-it-down or deliberate manipulation?" I'm not sure it matters much.

Blogs are also subject to Sturgeon's Law, of course. The vast majority are not worth reading. But there's real diversity out here in blog-land, no doubt related to the fact that blogs are not owned by a tiny number of megacorps. Can you imagine what a mainstream story on tree access protocols would look like? Yet, if you're one of the few people who cares about this, you're reading my blog, and I'm probably reading yours, and we're both engaging the subject very deeply.

Dave points out interviews as particularly bad in the mainstream. He's right. The process is fundamentally broken. The ideal of objectivity, while it might be important in other contexts, is somewhat pointless in an interview. It's the interviewee's point of view you care about. Why filter and distort it through a journalist who doesn't understand the topic and is a bad writer to boot? A blog lets you say what you meant, and if people misinterpret you, you can answer them.

Btw, I'm notoriously bad at checking my telephone answering machine. It's one way of doing flow control, I suppose. But I'll check it tomorrow. Now it's time to catch up on sleep.

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