It must be wonderful to be a pundit–and never be wrong!
John Dvorak wrote a truly atrocious column in the July 18 PC Magazine, “Creative Commons Humbug.” It began with the question “Will someone explain to me the benefits of a trendy system developed by Professor Lawrence Lessig of Stanford?”
Fair enough–but Dvorak sure didn’t seem to be asking an open question. He proceeded to say, “This is one of the dumbest initiatives ever but forth by the tech community. I mean seriously dumb. Eye-rolling dumb…” “Creative Commons actually seems to be a dangerous system with almost zero benefits to the public, copyright holders, or those of us who would like a return to a shorter-length copyright law.” Later, he says that Creative Commons “is similar to a license”–much like his published rant is similar to a column. Later? “This is nonsense.”
He goes on and on…and ends, “Will this nonsense ever end?”
Well…someone called him on it, explained how difficult it is to voluntarily reduce your copyright rights (particularly without abandoning them altogether), and so on. And here I quote Donna Wentworth’s October 28 post at Copyfight:
So will Dvorak write another column admitting that he was wrong? Not so fast. Explains Dvorak:
“My column was never wrong, my column was questioning….I was saying ‘I don’t get it, will somebody explain it to me, please?’…Sometimes you’ve got to go public with your bafflement, which I do…”
Isn’t that wonderful? You can attack something outright, call it nosense, belittle it, and so on–and as long as you include at least one question somewhere–“What is this all about anyway?” should do as an all-purpose question–you never have to admit you’re wrong. You were “questioning.”
Right. Before, I was beginning to regard Dvorak as frequently nonsensical and getting tired. Now, I regard him as a hypocritical jerk, too full of himself and his bafflegab to even admit that he was flat-out wrong, damaging Creative Commons to an audience of more than a million people.