Hello everybody - as of today, I'm quitting Slashdot.
I have too many reasons to even begin to explain it to you, but I'll touch on a few salient points anyway. If you need more, read intermodal's journal. Me and him are on the same wavelength. Also, try this for more reasons. There are millions of pages that have reasons to leave Slashdot, this one is mine.
Despite having recently hit my karma cap, having good people call themselves my friends (thanks guys), and myself actually making an effort not to add any noise to the signal:noise ratio here, I still can't justify the incredible waste of time, effort, and brainpower Slashdot has become. Slashdot is draining beyond belief. It's quite painful emotionally to actually care about what happens to America and the world, and, as a result, to be constantly arguing that the DMCA, PATRIOT Act, or pre-emptive genocide is bad - when the people I'm arguing with think that fascism is ethical and that customers shouldn't have any rights but the right to spend more money and receive less value for it, while being spied on by the NSA without regard for privacy laws or the fundamental principles "innocent until proven guilty" and "probable cause". These people are running full blast into the abyss, which is fine with me, but they demand that we all join them, and they're doing everything possible to drag us down with them. And that's *not* okay with me. I'm not talking trolls here. The trolls are usually easy to point out, and are often funny in their own sick and demented way. It's the uncaring, unthinking, insensitive fools who comprise the screaming Moron Majority here on Slashdot, the ignorant self-centered redneck bastards spouting their own backwards All-American Gospel who are the REAL trolls. Any rational, balanced human being would go insane from being drowned out by the "I'm not logical, I'm not informed, I have no respect whatsoever for others, but I'll scream louder and swear harder than you until I win" crowd. And I admit, I've flamed quite a few losers in my time, but at least I'm trying to espouse a balanced diplomatic solution to our problems, which will maximize peoples' freedom, as opposed to something unthinking and idiotic like "Democrats are UnAmerican", "We're only attacking Saddam because he hates freedom, and anyone who digs deeper into our past relationship or examines the economic and political factors involved with this invasion is a terrorist", or "The GPL is communist, not really free, and should be made *illegal*" (that one's a ~BrettGlass special - what a self-serving, self-righteous, uber-biased f*ckhead extremist). It's cool to hold strong political views, but if you can't back them up with facts, or haven't researched *both* sides of the issue, you're just trolling. And unless your troll is funny, witty, insightful, or has some other redeeming quality, it's a waste of my time. And life is too short to waste it on my computer trying to teach a smirking ignorant troll why freedom is better than slavery.
I've wasted literally entire years of my life reading about every little microscopic crime against decency that Microsoft, Apple, RedHat, the RIAA, or the US Gub'mint has done behind the backs of America, and nothing has improved despite my intense petitioning, call-ins, write-ins, and Slashdot posts defending my position intelligently and honestly ("fighting the good fight"). Actually, I will admit that certain feature requests I have made of Apple have come to pass. But overall, the "Powers That Be" do not care what the peasants think. The sooner we realize that America is no longer a free country and get the hell out or revolt against the evil system running it into the ground, the better. America is the New Rome, and will fall from grace and primacy just the same - but *this* Rome has nukes, and won't go quietly into that good night - she's taking the rest of the world with her.
I've been Slashdotting for years, usually for hours each day - surfing, posting, learning, and lurking. My first Nym was in the low teens, but I forgot my password and switched email addresses years ago, so I can't get back in. Should have written it down, security be damned. I'm often stuck on Windows anyway, so why worry about securing my nym when I'm using the computer security equivalent of a fuzzy purple security rope and a "Do Not Enter" sign? I've had at least five or six different nyms since then (never hit my karma cap though, until I re-started using this fairly old nym when my most recent one got boring). A word to the wise: nearly all my karma is from being funny. If you are funny, you'll get modded up faster than being insightful. Mods here can't tell insightful from troll, but they can identify funny like it was a blue-eyed celebrity pornstar with a neon nametag on her gigantic bosoms. And I think people would rather be entertained than educated - education is like getting a lecture, and is no fun. Hearing a funny joke *that makes light of a serious situation* makes everyone feel happy and carefree, and that's what people want. They want to choose the blue pill. That right there is why the world is doomed. Ignorance is bliss, and every damn tv commercial promotes both ignorance and bliss by any means. Every product is something to make your life easier and allows you to think less. Comfort for freedom. Ease of use for security. There are always tradeoffs, no matter what the salesdrone tells you. Which brings me back to...
Slashdot. The great geek time-sink. In the amount of time I've been here, I could've learned how to speak fluent German, Japanese, or Spanish; learned a second, third and fourth trade; learned how to program in C, C++, Python, Perl, AND Assembly; spent quality time with friends, or started a band that would have made me a billionaire by now. Looking at this trend, Slashdot will eventually kill open source. I'm not kidding. It steals the best minds of open-source and renders them useless, arguing with morons about things they have no control over. What the hell is John Carmack doing wasting his time here figuring out how fast the Hulk would have to jump to fly 50 feet? Wil Wheaton complains about not having a steady job, but CleverNickName has posted hundreds of times. And that's despite his Bio, which simply recites the Fight Club warning, "This is your life, and it's ending, one minute at a time". He hasn't taken that to heart the way I have, apparently. Instead of being productive, I "cast my pearls upon swine", spending all those thousands of man-hours of time trying to convince people (who don't want to be convinced) that having a closed mind is bad and that they should judge things based on the evidence instead of their emotions (which are so easily manipulated). What I've found is that most people don't want to do what is right or what is just, they want to do what's best for them personally. That's it. Nothing more. They are completely selfish and self-contained. I believe in rational self-interest, but the stupid people in this world leave off the "rational" part. They say "It's ethical because it helps *me* right now - no matter how many other people I destroy with this whim, and no matter how it hurts me in the long run" (Think George Bush and BigOil here, or the RIAA and BigBrother). This is Slashdot; stupid, ignorant, proud, stubborn. I'm tired, and Slashdot has ceased to be fun. The most important things I could say get no responses and no mods. Nobody hears and nobody cares. And it's like that with a lot of great posts by a lot of great authors here. When the very cool intermodal tried to tell the people here about the problems with Slashdot's truly CRAPPY April Fools Day tradition of wasting our time and being completely unprofessional, he got modded into oblivion. But the guys who said "All your April Fools are belong to a Beowulf cluster of Natalie Portman's hot grits" got modded up as Insightful. Insightful means that THIS is the crap the mods think we should spend our time reading. Not constructive criticism, not information, just boring unfunny crap. Too often, they mod up crap. But I guess that's human nature. We suck as a species. We're still cavemen. I'd like to believe in Creationism, except that the facts clearly show that we're not only descended from neanderthal man, we ARE neanderthal man.
Basically, what I'm saying is that I, too, am taking the Blue Pill. At least I can get some rest without having to watch the world CHOOSE to commit suicide. I'm not turning off my brain, I'm just pulling my sheets up over my head and making my world a little smaller until it's safe to come out again. It's about time I do something with my life.
Well, that's it for me. I'm going out for a beer. Maybe I'll see you down at the pub. There are quite a few of you I'd love to have a brew with. Watch for me - I'll be the guy smilin' because he just got his life back and is finally free from his sick Slashdot addiction. And it really is an addiction. Try to kick it for a week and see what I mean.
While I'm gone, I'm sure they'll mod me -1, Troll. It's okay, I will never know and I will never care. I had great fun and met great people, but it's gotta end sometime, and that sometime is now.