Ya know, I just couldn't stay away.

From: Eric Smith <eric_at_brouhaha.com>
Date: Fri Feb 11 15:43:07 2005

Evan wrote:
> People who don't work in my field (i.e., almost everyone on this list)
> have nothing but the final product and their own speculation for
> understanding what happens on the inside.

That may be true. But we don't *CARE* what happens on the inside,
because all we get is the final product. I don't care what happens
inside Microsoft; their software engineers may be wonderful people
with the best of intentions. But the final product sucks (IMNSHO),
and so that's what I judge them on.

> Now, I'm not a software developer. But by the common logic here on
> cctalk, since Microsoft is the world's most dominant software company,
> I'm entitled to judge all developers by the crap that Windows typically
> is.

No, not any more than I can judge all television news programs by
what Fox News does.

However, given that all television news programs are basically the
same, and all major newspapers are basically the same, I definitely
*can* judge "Media" based on that.

There are, of course, small independent newspapers that are less
beholden to corporate interests. The fact that they are less
affected by advertisers is *because* they are small, and they will
either stay small, or they will grow and become more affected by

So yes, I fully concede that there are counterexamples. Yet I also feel
fully justified in judging the Media industry by its main output, not by
a few minor exceptions. Just as I would judge the software inudstry
by what Microsoft, Adobe, and CA produce, not by what a few much
smaller companies produce.

> I know that isn't true -- not even close to being true. Yet if one of
> you had some personal interest in the media and joined a mailing list,
> and one day some reporter really went overboard about how much software
> and those loser nerds behind it all suck, well, you'd have every right
> to fire back.

Not really. I'd be right in there agreeing with them, despite that
fact that I'm a software developer. I wouldn't take it personally;
as a whole, the Software industry does suck. Does that reflect poorly
on me as an individual software developer? Maybe.

> And that's what is happening here. I'm a writer with an interest in
> vintage computers. I'm not a complete doofus: I can certainly handle a
> crack now and then about my industry.

Really? You seem pretty thin-skinned, which doesn't seem like a good
survival characteristic for a journalist. But then, I'll readily
admit that I'm not an expert on such things.

> Some of you said "hey we're talking about your industry, not YOU, so
> relax"... that is crazy logic.

Why? You can insult the software industry 'til the cows come home, and
it won't offend me in the least. I'll even agree with you. Because
I don't take it personally.

> I can't understand how anyone ELSE
> cannot understand why I'm taking this personally.

I still don't understand why you're taking it personally, but you're
entitled to your opinion. However, I don't think that if I insult an
industry which you happen to work in, that the appropriate response
is to insult me as an individual. And even if that was appropriate, it
still doesn't actually provide any logical counterargument to the
statements that I (and others) have made.

> So in all that experience, you can be sure I've pissed off a whole lot
> of people,

But you can't take being on the other side?

> And you know what? Never once did I have a story changed by advertising
> pressures.

You're lucky. I only know a few reporters personally, but they
have all had that happen.

> So, whoever still thinks that we the media are scum, you are welcome to
> throw away your TV, stop buying the paper, unsubscribe from all
> magazines, block my newsletter from your inbox, rip out your car radio,
> and go be a hermit on the top of some mountain.

Certainly I could do that, but it seems a ridiculously extreme reaction.
I think the software industry sucks, but I still use software. I do
in fact avoid watching the network news programs.

> Can we talk about computers now?


Received on Fri Feb 11 2005 - 15:43:07 GMT

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