Archive for 2010

Cites & Insights December 2010 available

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Cites & Insights 10:12 (December 2010) is now published and available for downloading.

The 34-page issue is, as always, in PDF form. Five of the six (6! count them, 6) essays are available separately, using the links below. (As always, My Back Pages is exclusively for PDF readers.)

This is not the end of Volume 10, although it is the last issue as such. A title sheet and indices will follow, probably later in November, and the annual paperback print volume will become available at some point.


Bibs & Blather (pp. 1-2)

Announcing the publication of disContent: The Complete Collection, a limited-edition casebound. Also updating plans for The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010 and repeating the same info as the paragraph above regarding the rest of Volume 10.

Perspective: Futurism and Deathwatches (pp. 2-17)

Thoughts on good and bad futurism and (always-bad?) deathwatches…including the final disContent column, “‘Is Dead’ Isn’t Dead–But Maybe It Should Be.”

The CD-ROM Project (pp. 17-19)

Kidstuff: Three CD-ROMs designed for kids, all of which I scored as Excellent back in the day. Two work, one doesn’t…the latter being perhaps the most intriguing of the lot.

The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010: 2. Methods and Metrics (pp. 19-26)

The draft version of Chapter 2 of The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010, the first of several chapters to appear in C&I. Note that this link yields a 6×9 PDF, formatted as the book will be, rather than an HTML page.

Offtopic Perspective: Mystery Collection, Part 3 (pp. 26-33)

Discs 13-18 of this 60-disc 250-movie megacollection, including one classic and two near-classics.

My Back Pages (pp. 33-34)

Six snarky little essays in a bonus for whole-issue readers.

If you’re wondering, while Volume 10 is about 100 pages longer than I’d originally planned, it is not the longest volume. Volume 9 (2009) holds that honor(?), and I hope will continue to do so.

Doesn’t anyone have editors, part 18,000

Monday, November 8th, 2010

So I’m finishing up the October Wired (read, as usual, in brief spurts in the most appropriate room for Wired). And I run into a “WiredU” feature. Much or all of which I could grump about, but that would be taking Wired far too seriously.

And then I hit “Waste Studies,” a supposed course about waste, which features as a Guest Lecturer Saul Griffith, who apparently figured out how to audit his total energy consumption, not just the household consumption. (And found, in the process, that he was a wastrel–he was flying a LOT, apparently). So far, so good.

But the big infographic on Griffith’s energy consumption has this as the total headline:

Saul Griffith’s 2007 Energy Consumption: 18,000 Watts

Which is pure nonsense. No, I’m not willing to spend half an hour on a TED talk to see what Griffith actually said. I’d be very surprised if he said “I consumed 18,000 watts n 2007.”

Watts don’t work that way, and Wired should know better

You can no more consume 18,000 watts, with no additional qualifications, then you can go on a journey that’s 60mph long.

Watts measure rate–not quantity as such. If you have a 2.5kW photovoltaic generation system (as we do), that means the system is rated to generate 2,500 watts as a maximum rate of generation (or, most likely, somewhat more than that)…just as your car may be limited to go at a maximum speed of 120mph. Speed is a rate: it’s not a quantity as such.

Calories, miles, pounds, meters, grams: Those are all quantities. The equivalent for electricity is kWh, kilowatt-hours:  One kWh is 1,000 watts for the period of one hour.

I’m pretty certain Griffith didn’t find that he used 18,000 watt/hours or 18kWh of energy in 2007: That would be incredibly low. (Our household electricity consumption over the last year was about 4,000kWh, and we run a very energy-efficient household…and that doesn’t count all the other uses of energy, including gas, transportation, etc., etc.)

It’s possible that Griffith found that his average rate of energy consumption was 18kW. That would translate to 157,680kWh for the year, and that is a lot of energy. On the other hand, the pie chart says gas and electricity only represented 6% of that, and 9460kWh for gas and electricity is actually pretty good–the average U.S. household uses more than that in electricity alone.

I’m not blaming Griffith for this. I’m about 99% certain he didn’t use 18,000 watts as a quantity. I’m blaming the Wired writer and editors. For a magazine that claims to be knowledgeable about technology, that level of sloppiness is hard to excuse.

Transliteracy and Chess-Playing Bears

Friday, November 5th, 2010

In an odd and interesting FriendFeed thread today, I included this comment:

Derailing further, I find myself wanting to do a post about semi-related issues (the distinction between getting and liking)…and what I might call the Walter Carlos Williams problem (*not* Wendy Carlos Williams on later albums), or “is this a dancing bear?” Probably won’t; even that description is all over the place. [Oops: My bad. I’ve removed “Williams.” Sorry.]

OK, I wrote “Walter Carlos Williams” and “Wendy Carlos Williams,” somehow having conflated William Carlos Williams–whose poetry I read in college–with Wendy Carlos (orig. Walter Carlos), whose synthesized classical recordings I was, at one point, very fond of. If you go to the thread, you’ll just see the right names–I don’t know how to do overstrikes in FF.

Now, as to the post itself, which isn’t directly about transliteracy but may be about new forms and whether you should be able to enjoy or even understand all of them…

Well, I didn’t mean “dancing bear” but “chess-playing bear,” where the marvel isn’t that it’s done well but that it’s done at all (if it is).

As for fleshing out that post: Not gonna happen. My thoughts there are too confused, even by my standards, and I’ll just leave them that way. If you take the implication that, when I went back to it 10 years later, I no longer found Switched-On Bach either revelatory or very enjoyable–well, that’s true. If you do find it either one, good for you: Tastes do and should differ.

How about plain old literacy?

Friday, November 5th, 2010

It’s an ad–but not some tiny little offhand ad or a local ad.

It’s a two-page color ad, on special heavyweight slick paper, in a very large circulation national magazines.

The ad’s from British Airways. It’s about an impressive program, one in which BA flies “hundreds of small business owners” to meet with potential partners…for free.

And here’s the first sentence of the first paragraph of the actual ad copy:

Last year British Airways launched it’s Face-to-Face program and awarded hundreds of small businesses free flights and other services to nurture their business growth.

The. very. first. sentence. Yes, I know, British English and American English differ in some ways. Not this way, however: “It’s” is not a possessive in either language.

Is this stuff that hard? Shouldn’t copywriters at least have a basic command of the language?

Just one of those weeks…

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

I planned to do some actual blogging this week. Really, I did.

But somehow…well, I’ve certainly spent lots of time on blogs, but not blogging.

disContent: The Complete Collection

First, I finished up this “freemium” book (described in this post) as a different kind of experiment, a collection of well-edited columns on topics that should interest most librarians, in a form that simply won’t be available for free or through other means. Will it get 100 sales? Will it get one sale? We shall see.

(My own copy was shipped today, considerably faster than I’ve ever seen a casebound Lulu book shipped in the past. Depending on how it looks, there might be a different cover for other copies. Or, who knows, there could be a different cover every week or two. Collect them all! Hey, it seemed to work for TV Guide for a while. OK, Now I’m being foolish…)

The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010

Most of my time has gone to this “as universal as I can make it” survey of English-language liblogs, which you could call a research project or an obsession or a hobby. I finished the first draft of Chapter 6 (length of blogs and average length of posts) and figured to edit chapters 2-6 this week, at least enough to be ready to use a draft version of chapter 2 in the next Cites & Insights. That went more rapidly than expected…and I decided to start Chapter 7 (conversations–that is, comments).

Oh yeah, there was half a day in there discussing California propositions and offices with my wife, filling out our ballots, taking them over to the polling place…and, given the current margin in the local Congressional race (last I heard: our preferred candidate is 121 votes ahead of the guy who wants to shut down public schools, with considerably more than 160,000 votes cast…and some absentee ballots, like ours, probably won’t be counted for days yet), I’m even more glad than usual that we did vote. Odd to have California as one of the saner states, but this time around…

Well…Tuesday afternoon, after voting and all that, I was doing the prep work for some of the tables in Chapter 7, and doing some informal consistency checks, and saw something wrong or at least wildly unlikely. Given past problems with data seeming to shift around when I sort spreadsheet pages with some hidden columns and complex links and formulas, I took a belt-and-suspenders approach this time:

There’s a master spreadsheet with all the raw data, links and formulas–discussed here. I have two backup copies of that master spreadsheet. I don’t actually work with that spreadsheet at all.

Instead, I created a “fixed” spreadsheet that’s a page-by-page copy of the master, with one huge differences: Everything’s pasted as values and formats, turning all the links and formulas into simple data. That eliminates one set of potential problems–and if I doubt the Fixed spreadsheet, I can always recopy a page.

But I don’t actually work with the Fixed spreadsheet either. I work with a copy of it, called Work10, on the assumption that Work10 can be repeatedly recreated from Fixed any time I think there might be an issue.

Turns out that, ahem, I screwed up a few thousand of the formulas on the Comments page of the master spreadsheet. (OK, I actually screwed up somewhere between two and eight master formulas, but each formula gets copied-and-shifted 1,304 times, so that’s somewhere between 2,608 and 10,432 problematic formulas.) What really happened was that I copied them from the Length page, but I’d changed the order of other columns…

Anyway: Fixed the formulas, very carefully, checked them twice, did the 1,304-line copies, looked at results, then recopied values to Fixed and Work10.

And went to each other formula-based page in the spreadsheet to check for similar problems. Whew. The rest of the formulas appear to be correct. (These aren’t terribly complex formulas but they aren’t entirely trivial. Here’s an example:


There’s probably a simpler way to do this, but I’m no Excelpert. (This is basically calculating a percentage change where the denominator might be zero and where either figure might be a special negative figure that means “there was no data here.”)

Wednesday’s hike was a long and good one, and by the time I was back and finished lunch it was 2 p.m., so Wednesday afternoon was entirely spent correcting the problems uncovered on Tuesday.

Ah, but then something else happened on Wednesday…

Today, I finished the draft of Chapter 7. I probably won’t touch the remaining chapters, including the all-important Chapter 1 (the chapter that won’t appear in C&I), until the December C&I is out. (There may be two or three more chapters in addition to Chapter 1. I’m not sure yet. I may also be adding to existing chapters.)

Worthless Writing

“Ah, but then something else happened on Wednesday…”

To wit, an LSW thread on FriendFeed in which someone whose views I usually respect was asserting that books in the library field should be public domain PDFs, given away by their authors. It got to be a strange discussion. I stopped contributing on Wednesday to control my temper, but came back to it today.

I might write a proper post about the implications of all this, but not now, and maybe not ever. It’s certainly not that I don’t believe some library books are overpriced and underdone. (Part of the reason I left the LITA Publications Committee and, now, LITA entirely, has to do with one publisher.) It’s certainly not that I don’t believe the free literature is worthwhile–after all, I probably contribute to it as much as anybody in the field I can think of offhand. As for other thoughts…well, see the subhead above. (For a few hours, I was honestly wondering whether I was damaging the field and setting up unreasonable expectations by continuing to write and give away Cites & Insights. I concluded that I’m not going to think about that. For now.)

I have thought of an interesting analogy, particularly given the suggestion that the Needs of the Many (librarians who can’t afford to pay for professional books) outweigh the “walking-around money” of the few, since, you know, all us writers have cushy jobs that should provide all the money we need (hmm: I must be missing something here). To wit:

Library schools should be free. Most courses are taught by adjunct faculty anyway, and the need of many potential librarians for cheap education outweighs the desire of a few dozen librarians serving as adjunct faculty for walking-around money.

To my ear, that’s an outrageous suggestion. I’m sure someone can tell me that it’s MUCH more difficult to prepare and present a library school course than it is to write a library monograph…or not. In any case, it’s not a serious suggestion…but it is an interesting analogy.

That’s why I haven’t posted much this week…

Sure, it’s only Thursday. But I really should wash the windows here, there’s reading (and laundry) to be done, there are essays to revise, and I clearly need to cool off further.

disContent: The Complete Collection – Limited Edition

Monday, November 1st, 2010

disContent: The Complete Collection

A limited edition collection of disContent columns

Available immediately–but only for four months or 100 copies, whichever comes first: disContent: The Complete Collection. It’s 314 pages long, hardcover (case-bound 6×9), signed (electronically) on the title page–and costs $50.

It’s a “freemium” experiment–something that carries a premium price but offers something you can’t find elsewhere. To wit, all the columns I wrote in EContent Magazine from 2001 through 2009, offering an amateur’s view of econtent, context, media, borgs and more–73 columns in all, each with a postscript bringing it up to date or otherwise commenting on it, for a total of roughly 88,000 words.

I regard some of these columns as absolutely first rate and most of them are as relevant today as they were when I wrote them. On the other hand, a few represent bad calls on my part or are otherwise mildly embarrassing at a remove–but they’re all here. For a little while: Four months or 100 copies, whichever comes first. (OK, technically, if there’s a flood of orders, the “100 copy” limit could be exceeded slightly, as I’ll take the book off sale the day after that target is reached…if it ever is. The four-month limit is firm: The book will go out of print on March 1, 2011, regardless of sales.)

Why You Should Want It

It’s complete. It includes columns I might just as well forget. Most of you probably haven’t read these columns, since you’re probably not EContent subscribers–and it’s some of my best writing.

It helps support my ongoing research and writing. Not in any huge fiscal manner (if all 100 copies are sold, I’d wind up with around $2,400, not exactly a fortune), but in terms of interest and support.


I don’t much care for the term or the Andersonomics “econtent must be free” attitude behind it, but I’m always welcome to possibilities.

A few of these columns appeared in the early years of Cites & Insights. One–the last one, actually–appears in the December 2010 issue, at the end of the major essay in that issue. A few more will appear in future issues…but certainly not all.

Depending on the level of interest, it’s possible that  I’ll strip this collection down to the 37 “best” columns, which would be just about half the length of this collection, and publish that as a regular trade paperback. That won’t happen before April 2011, and may not happen at all.

What’s in this collection? Here are some of the column titles:

Keeping the Faith: Playing Fair with your Visitors
Survey Says…Or Does It? [Fun with Statistics]
Who Do You Trust?
Contemplation and Content
The Coming of the Borgs
This is Going On Your Permanent Record
Rich Media is Hard
Shortcut Literacy
The Renascence of the Writer
Ghosts in the Social Networking Machines
Security, Naïveté, and the Limits of Pseudonymity
Long Live the Audience!
Will You Be My Friend?
The 24×7 Ubiquitous Connectivity Blues
Welcome to the Neighborhood
Can You Read Me?
Not Me, Inc.
The Top 10 Reasons You See So Many Lists
Authenticity and Sincerity
Is Dead Isn’t Dead—but Maybe it Should Be

It’s worth the $50. Go buy it. Do be aware that casebound books take an extra week or so to produce (no, I don’t have my own copy yet…) This one isn’t available as an ebook, although the selective collection (if it appears) will be.

Mystery Collection, Disc 18

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Inner Sanctum, 1948, b&w. Lew Landers (dir.), Charles Russell, Mary Beth Hughes, Dale Belding, Billy House, Fritz Leiber. 1:02.

A story within a story—with a twist on the outer story that I won’t reveal. The inner story: Guy gets off a train, woman gets off after him, they argue, she winds up dead, he throws her on the rear platform of the departing train. Lots more stuff happens involving a kid, his mother, a boarding house, a semi-loose woman, a one-man newspaper and various small-town folk. Oh, and a flood that strands the guy in the little town.

It’s OK, but nothing particularly special—the only real mystery is whether he’ll get away with it and what will happen in the process. I guess it could be called noir; I found it mostly dispiriting. The print’s good. As a minor B picture, it’s worth maybe $0.75.

Gaslight, 1940, b&w (released in the U.S. as The Murder in Thornton Square). Thorold Dickinson (dir.), Anton Walbrook, Diana Wynyard, Frank Pettingell, Cathleen Cordell, Robert Newton. 1:24.

This is the original Gaslight, a British film—not the much better-known American version with Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman filmed in 1944. (Supposedly MGM attempted to suppress this version.) I haven’t seen the later film, but this is essentially the same plot and based on the same play: That is, a man is driving his wife insane (or at least to the point where he can have her committed)—in this case so he can continue searching for rubies that he killed his aunt for, years ago in the same house.

In this version the husband is a sneering Victorian tyrant, a true villain, and the wife is neurotic enough to make the overall plot believable. Well played and a good print. Not quite a masterpiece, but very good. I’ll give it $1.75.

The Last Mile, 1932, b&w. Samuel Bischoff (dir.), Preston Foster, Howard Phillips, George E. Stone, Neal Madison, Frank Sheridan. 1:15 [1:09]

Primarily a short death-row drama featuring eight prisoners, each in his own cell, and the guard watching over them all—although the surround is one person who’s innocent (and the only one who survives). Lots of talk (and one execution early on, with the interesting variation that the prisoner’s Jewish, so the prayers being spoken are different) followed by an attempted prison break and attendant action. Very much anti-death penalty, including a textual introduction from a prison warden.

Not great, not terrible. It’s a play on film, and feels that way. The print’s missing six minutes and is choppy in places. I’ll give it $1.00.

D.O.A., 1950, b&w. Rudolph Maté (dir.), Edmond O’Brien, Pamela Britton, Luther Adler, Beverly Garland, Lynn Baggett, William Ching, Henry Hart, Neville Brand. 1:23.

A classic, or at least a minor classic. Guy stumbles into the homicide division of a police station, asks to see the person in charge, gives his name…and they’re all ears. The rest of the story is flashbacks, and it’s a doozy. The guy’s an accountant from Banning, who’d gone to San Francisco for a little vacation (upsetting his girlfriend)…and who gets poisoned while he’s there, with a “luminous poison” for which there’s no cure but could leave him going for a day, two days, a week.

The rest of the story is his attempt to find out who murdered him. It’s a complicated story, but hangs together fairly well. To say any more might involve spoilers, and this movie’s good enough that I won’t do that. Well acted, well written, well directed. The print’s not great, but the movie is—about as good as film noir gets. $2.00.

It’s been a while…

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

…since the most recent post hereabouts. Looks like six days. Which is maybe OK–the oddly high level of traffic here seems to grow if I don’t post anything and shrink if I do. (Hi Abigail! And, by the way, in doing my near-universal study of English-language liblogs, I’m finding that the small subset of liblogs that are “book blogs”–primarily devoted to reviews, whether of books or other media–are distinctly different in longevity and posting frequency/consistency than most other blogs. Oh, and in preferred blogging software as well.)

I have a handful of topics on my little notepad that might be worth doing Proper Posts. I have a separate list of possible essay topics that could yield more–topics that aren’t ready for full-fledged C&I essays but worth addressing. And I’m not ready to deal with either of those. So, for what it’s worth, a random set of updates for a random blog.


In case it’s not quite clear, I continue to be astonished at the apparent level of activity at Walt at Random (from September 1 through October 22–my Urchin stats run a day late–I’m showing an average of 3,524 pageviews per day in 1,503 sessions, from 7,939 different IP addresses during that 7-week period), given that Walt at Random is caught in the middle: stuff that isn’t (yet) ready for my primary outlet, Cites & Insights, but requires a little more thought than blather on FriendFeed. I think it’s mostly a case of random accumulation coupled with relatively low posting frequency, so that people don’t get bugged enough to unsubscribe or stop coming here. (Now, if I could get an advertiser who’d pay, say, $5 per thousand pageviews…but there are also advantages to not having ads.)


We got our year-end true-up statement from PG&E, although we think it’s a month early. For the full year (as PG&E views it), we generated just slightly more electricity than we used. We won’t get paid for it (that comes next year, and if we did get paid, it would amount to something like $16), but it feels good.

We actually stayed under the zero line until a couple of days ago. Now, given complete overcast and shorter days, we’re back above zero. Remarkably, yesterday–which I would have called 100% overcast and gloomy all day long–we still managed to generate around 3kWh: When they say thin-film panels can deal with dim light well, they’re not kidding.

The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010

I didn’t get a lot of feedback on various possibilities, and no interest whatsoever in either of the side project possibilities (the “freemium” collection of disContent columns or a possible 5th-anniversary followup to Library 2.0 and “Library 2.0”), which I have to admit is not a surprise, so as usual I’ll make decisions based on what’s most interesting to me and feels right.

For the “as universal as I can make it” survey of English-language liblogs that still had an open web presence in late spring/early summer 2010, that choice turns out to be #3 on my original set of possibilities. That is: I”ll reserve the name “The Way We Blog” for a possible 2011 five-year study (assuming I don’t drop this hobby/obsession and take up something useful like golf or writing nutcase letters to editors), do as much with this set of data as seems appropriate, and publish the results as a Lulu paperback for the few who might want it, while publishing draft versions of most chapters (excluding the first, which will have overall commentary and fun facts from various chapters) in Cites & Insights along the way. That way, most of the important data will reach lots of people, but the few who are willing to pay a little will get a more interesting and more polished overview. (There won’t be individual liblog profiles. Period.)

A side note. The latest auto-update to Firefox broke the word-count add-on that plays such an important role in gathering liblog metrics. If that isn’t fixed, or replaced by some other Firefox or possibly Chrome extension by next June, that may be the tipping point for giving up this particular quixotic research.

Progress report on that: I’ve “finished” chapters 2-4 (of what should be an 8-10 chapter project) and the first third or so of chapter 5. A draft version of chapter 2 will almost certainly appear in the December 2010 Cites & Insights. A draft version of chapter 3 will probably appear in the first 2011 Cites & Insights, assuming there is one. A draft version of chapter 4 will…well, you get the picture.

Cites & Insights

One potential sponsorship is still up in the air, as it has been for three months now. I’m open to other possibilities. The current issue has gotten a couple of nice links and comments (which, without sponsorship, is the only thing other than actual readership that keeps C&I going). There’s no shortage of potential material, now or in the future. (One essay for December 2010 is now a finished draft. Add Chapter 2 and another Offtopic Perspective, and I suspect there will be at most one other essay and some CD-ROM reviews, if that.)

Open Access: What We Need to Know Now

“In production” at ALA Editions. As soon as I have concrete dates, etc., I’ll let you know. I think it’s going to serve an important purpose. At least I hope so. As for OA returning to C&I as an ongoing topic…probably not, as the reasons for giving up haven’t changed.


I let the end of September come and go without buying the discounted bundled registration for Midwinter and Annual 2011. I’d already thought that my 35-year record of essentially-unbroken attendance at both conferences would probably disappear in 2012, replaced by highly selective attendance (based partly on financial arrangements, partly on location, partly on other things). That’s now likely to be true for 2011 as well–and although San Diego is “nearby” (427 miles, certainly not an easy drive but a relatively short flight), it’s only marginally less expensive to attend than any other conference city. A lot can change between now and early January, but right now I’d say odds are heavily against Midwinter…and while I love NOLA, I’m not sure I’m committed to Annual either. I love getting together with people face-to-face, but realistically (and particularly given the absence of one especially good networking event for bloggers), the few dozen people I chat with during a conference can hardly justify either the time or the expense. I’m getting more retired all the time, helped by living in the nicest home we’ve ever owned. (If it wasn’t raining today, we might do an afternoon stroll to a nearby winery; Saturday before last, we did do such an afternoon stroll to pick up more locally-produced Frontoia-olive olive oil directly from the grower/producer. And if there’s any light at all, we get it.)

So there’s my post for the week. Time to resume work on chapter 5 (or vacuum, or go to the library, or read, or whatever).

Open Access Week

Monday, October 18th, 2010

This is Open Access Week. That term should yield dozens, more likely hundreds, of blog posts and other items, some of them from people whose thoughts I value quite a bit.

I don’t have much to say at this point. That isn’t because I don’t care.

I used to write about OA quite a bit (and have collected the essays from Cites & Insights into a book you can download for free or buy for essentially the cost of printing, if you’re so inclined–but it’s just a collection, with no new material and no index).

I gave up on OA in C&I in late 2009, for reasons that may or may not be reasonably explained in a full-article essay on Library Access to Scholarship. Basically, I was tired of coping with the extremists on both sides and felt that others, much more knowledgeable, were doing a much better job of covering the field. I felt that I wasn’t really adding much value.

My chance to add value came this Fall–and it should emerge early in 2011 (I’ll post the date as soon as I know it): A Special Report from ALA Editions, currently entitled Open Access: What You Need to Know Now. The “Special Report” moniker means it’s brief (30,000 words), will be a slender 8.5×11 monograph (I’m guessing 80 pages) and was written and is being published on a fast schedule.

I believe it will be a useful summary for library people and, for that matter, others. It covers a lot of ground in a few pages and ends with a whole bunch of good places to go for more information.

That’s about it for my current involvement. For current info and arguments, others do it better…just do that phrase search and see what comes up, including posts from Dorothea Salo, John Dupuis and other library folks.

Just go read this. Now.

Monday, October 18th, 2010

John Scalzi is generally a thoughtful and interesting writer and his blog, Whatever, frequently worth checking (both for the posts and for the many comments–if only /. and other forums had the general quality level of Scalzi’s commenters).

Today, though, is different. It’s even better.

Go read this post. Please. And think about it.