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Comment Too transient, how about redoing it as a poll? (Score 1) 85

I've been reading a lot of these books over the last few years and would even be glad to contribute a few comments, but... Too transient to justify the effort. How about redoing it as a poll? The current poll has been basically dead for a week or two, and this would seem to be a much more interesting topic.

You could get the top candidates at random, but I'd recommend using Amazon to get the bestselling examples for the top 4 or 5 slots and collect the others in the comments.

Seems to be a problem with the Cowboy Neal option. If it was about the creation of Slashdot, there's not much grounds for recommending it. Perhaps an option like "Cowboy Neal doesn't read books anymore"?

Comment Re:Abandon hope all ye who enter Slashdot? (Score 1) 47

Just my take on it, mostly based on a mix of my interactions with Taco and my own experiences with a couple of startups in the '80s, but I think they programmed the system out of love and the advertising model was tacked on at the end. I'm not saying that Slashdot was part of the dotcom bubble, but rather that the bubble created unrealistic expectations for the value of advertising on websites. The ongoing value of the "brand" is kind of illusory, largely because it's based on that critically flawed business model of eyes for advertisers.

I think the solutions require rethinking economics, but I'm too old and discouraged to worry much about those things anymore. The apparent resolution of the Fermi Paradox would indicate that there are no solutions after all.

Comment T'would be amusing if Slashdot tried to lead, eh? (Score 1) 173

Too early? One "funny" modded comment that wasn't much. Several "insightful" mods, apparently on some sort of confusion of wit with insight. Brevity is only the soul of wit, sorry.

Actually, I sort of think that the (increasingly evil) google has a good idea there, even if it's intuitively obvious to the most casual observer. Reputation is ultimately a human thing, and it is ultimately based on a network of trust. Three obvious problems:

(1) Abuse of anonymity breaks the foundation of the trust network.
(2) The google is biased by the love of money and wants "extra" trust to sell more ads.
(3) TMI

Improved moderation could make Slashdot a model of possible solutions, but there's no funding model to drive change here. Would you actually pay REAL money for more reliable information? Especially when there's an effectively infinite supply of "information" just a few short clicks away?

Since it will never happen on Slashdot, does anyone know of a discussion website where the network reputation of each source is displayed next to the avatar? Various ways to do it, but it would be easiest for me to interpret a multi-dimensional radar diagram based on reactions to the work published by that source. (Details available upon polite request, as the sad joke goes.)

Comment Re:Abandon hope all ye who enter Slashdot? (Score 1) 47

Just ran into another of those ancient-but-unfixed bugs and lost the longer comment...

Anyway, not motivated to reconstruct, so I'll just say that I think Slashdot was originally a labor of love, but never had a viable economic model. There were some advertising-related delusions associated with the first Internet bubble, but I doubt Slashdot ever covered its operating costs, and extremely skeptical it ever paid anyone anything approaching market value for the programming time.

Comment Re:Abandon hope all ye who enter Slashdot? (Score 1) 47

Hmm... My perception is that Slashdot was primarily a labor of love in the early years, but never had a viable economic model. There may have been a period when Slashdot was receiving some advertising income, but I doubt it ever recovered its operating costs, let alone pay for the real value of the programming time. In that sense, it was just part of the first Internet bubble.

However I may be projecting from my own experience. Then again, I still feel that my problem was that I was about 15 years too early. There is at least one apparently successful website that is basically running a similar system, and I even think that could have been the evolution of my system if I had stayed the course. (But probably not, because there's still the luck factor.)

Submission + - Time to break up the google? I think so! (

shanen writes: Don't think of it as a penalty for success. It's the reward of incentivized reproduction. We don't need a google monopoly, but rather a herd of little googles all working to build on the strong foundation. Two results: (1) Competition will drive faster improvements, and (2) We'll get meaningful choice and more freedom.

Comment If it ain't broke, don't fix it. (Score 1) 388

Simple enough. If something is working well enough for my purposes, then I'll tend to resist change. Actually, going beyond that, if it's working perfectly, then any change is going to make it worse. Doesn't matter that nothing is perfect if I think it is, or perhaps if I have adapted my purposes to fit with what the software is perfect for. (Or perhaps the real problem is that "perfect" is mostly a matter of opinion and the delusion is that there is a better solution for everyone.)

Solution: Don't fix it unless you can convince enough people to pay for the fix. In project form, describe EXACTLY what is going to be done and what success will look like.

Yeah, it's the old charity share brokerage idea again. Can you imagine a funding system so powerful that it could fix Slashdot? Me neither.

Comment Abandon hope all ye who enter Slashdot? (Score 1) 47

Sadly defeatist comment, but I am hard pressed to reply. Easy part is to say that I'm familiar with Soylent News, and have been following it for a while. I think it's sort of a bigger train wreck, but with fewer people noticing.

These day's I'm trying to focus on solutions, and I think the main solution would be to fix the economic models. From that perspective, not only does Slashdot perhaps have the most room for improvement, but Slashdot also has relatively more experience with failed economic models (if the history has been transmitted to the various owners) to learn from.

I certainly believe that better and more useful websites could be built, and I sadly agree that I'm not the programmer these days (if I ever was), but I still think that I could contribute some of the required funding to pay those programmers. If I were rich enough I could just pay for them by myself, but I'm not, so instead I wish there were economic models that would allow my small donations to be pooled with donations from enough like-minded people to create the good websites we all want to use.

Not seeing much progress yet.

Comment Re:2001: A Space Odyssey (Score 1) 1222

I think you deserve a mod point for some sort of first post or best answer, but I never get mod points, so forget about it.

Having said that, I'm not sure why this one came to my mind as the best SF movie. I don't like either version of the book that much, but the movie was spectacular and it was rather far ahead of its time, too. The computer graphics have reached the point where recent movies are just computer artifacts.

Comment Re: Commodore 64 as informative? (Score 1) 857

Actually, what I find far more interesting is that there are essentially no trolls or mentions of politicians. It is almost as if the old Slashdot is back. Alas the experience is no doubt fleeting :-(

Are you a troll? If not, and having nothing to say, then perhaps you should say nothing?

Oh wait. I forgot this is today's Slashdot. It's approaching 99.44% pure nothing.

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