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Journal: The perfection of imperfection

Journal by concealment

A friend in need asked me how I would set up and secure a network for a small private middle school/high school.

At first, I did the good geek thing and started closing every hole, making the "perfect" system to keep the kids from doing anything unauthorized.

Then I had a second thought. Half of us got started because we wanted to work around something and feel the mental reward of getting it to work anyway. This attempt-reward feedback is necessary in programming because it's what pulls us through the tedium of rote work.

Thus it seemed to me the only "perfect" system might be an "imperfect" one, that is, one that can be circumvented, but only by those who've made an effort above and beyond average knowledge and used some creativity.

So, Slashdot, I ask you: how would you design a "jungle gym" of a school network, such that most kids won't get off the path but those who make an effort can discover new worlds?

User Journal

Journal: Why it's important to support Slashdot 1

Journal by concealment

Despite having other demands on my time, I've begun spending a half-hour or so every day making submissions to Slashdot and trying to write quality comments.

I am doing this because I think Slashdot is an important part of the internet, which like other forms of media, for good or ill is a part of our "culture."

There is simply no other internet site like Slashdot. "Social networks" like Facebook, MySpace, Reddit, Digg and Fark don't really compare because they are not designed with a topic in mind. They are for people to blow off steam and waste time at work.

Slashdot on the other hand is a community. People come here out of a common interest, and learn from each other. This is one of the purest forms of culture I've experienced. Slashdot is the epicenter of people thinking about how to think about technology.

For that reason, it's not as popular as Facebook, but it's also much more interesting. Facebook is a good place for randomness. Slashdot is a good place for focused thinking.

It's not perfect. You can fill in the blanks here. I've been modded -1, Flamebait for a post I thought was insightful too. Nothing is perfect.

However, it is the right idea and the right direction. Slashdot is part of what made the early internet great, and now that the Dot-Com bust 2.0 is about to flop, it's time to bring back that spirit.

Support Slashdot. With your energy, time, money, whatever. It's worth it.

My computer can beat up your computer. - Karl Lehenbauer

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