How Hacker News and Social Editing has Jumped the Shark

How's that for a Malcolm Gladwell-style subtitle title? Alex Payne posed a piece on why he thought that, basically Hacker News had jumped the shark. He's right, of course, but I think that his analysis of the root cause of the problem, and therefore the solution he proposes, is a bit too optimistic. It seems to me that all of these socially edited link-based blogs where lots of people submit links and then the community votes on these stories to generate headlines and a filtered and sorted selection of content based on the appetites of the communities.…

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Java and Me

Stan reminded me recently that I have now written two posts about the Java programing and software development. For something that I admittedly don't particularly care for, and don't know a great deal about I've sure ranted a lot about it. I think I keep returning to think about Java because of how incredibly important Java is to the technology we use and how prevalent Java development remains. Maybe I've read too much by Red Monk folks, but they tend take a very productive approach to these kinds of things.…

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Searching for Known Results

(Note: I was going through some old files earlier this week and found a couple of old posts that never made it into the live site. This is one of them. I've done a little bit of polishing around the edges, but this is as much a post for historical interest as is a reflection of the contemporary state of my thought.) This post is a follow up to my not much organization post, and as part of my general reorganization, I've been toying with anything for emacs which is a tool, or set of tools, which provide search-based interaction with some tasks (opening files, finding files, accessing other information, etc.…

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Anti-Social Media

I've been playing with this idea for a Critical Futures blog post for a few days, so you'll probably see this again at some point. Still, I wanted to pose a couple of questions that have been nagging at me for a while: Does the fact that we think of content as something that is becoming increasingly user generated, or generated outside of traditional professional structures, affect writers' ability to survive from an economic perspective?…

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Philosophy of the Present, Egypt

I've been watching the Egyptian revolution, off and on since it started. There's so much interesting stuff going on: the pragmatics of political organization, the foundations of revolutionary movement, the evolving state of American political power, and the way that Egyptians are racialized particularly in contrast to Iranians and Tunisians. The aspect that I'm most interested is in what western analysis of "Janurary 25th" tells us about how the west has made sense of past revolutionary moments in the last '50 years notably the Iranian revolution and "May'68.…

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Caring about Java

I often find it difficult to feign interest the discussion of Java in the post Sun Microsystems era. Don't get me wrong, I get that there's a lot of Java out there, I get that there are a number of technological strengths and advantages that Java has in contrast some other programming platforms. Consider my post about worfism and computer programing for some background on my interest in programing languages and their use.…

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The Rise and Fall of Netbooks

"I'm old fashioned," R. said to me in an email, with that link to an article about how tablets have replaced and supplanted netbooks. In many ways, you have two netbooks: the little one that's been broken since may that I'm fixing and your real laptop. Which is to say: the advancement of netbooks was not, so much, the small form factor, but the fact that they were under powered computer systems meant to be used mostly with web-based applications.…

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