Three Friday Rants

Ah, yet another busy week! So that I have at least some content to offer, here’s links to three pieces I found worthwhile.

It’s not a “space”, it’s a “market”

Of all the current corporate buzzwords, “space” shits me the most. I’ve been meaning to write about it, but web pioneer Marc Andreessen got there first:

There is no such thing as a “space”.

There is such a thing as a market — that’s a group of people who will directly or indirectly pay money for something.

There is such a thing as a product — that’s an offering of a new kind of good or service that is brought to a market.

There is such a thing as a company — that’s an organized business entity that brings a product to a market.

Marc’s article goes on to explain why there’s no such thing as “Web 2.0” either — in fact that’s its main thrust. It’s worth reading.

Hell, his entire blog is worth reading.

On the other hand, William Shakespeare is worth reading too.

So are P J O’Rourke, Daniel Petre, George Orwell, David Marr, John Birmingham, James Burke, George Lakoff, Brian Eno, Lao Tsu, Sherry Turkle, Steven Levy, Neal Stephenson, Umberto Eco, Richard Watts, Paul Graham, Bruce Schneier, Father Bob Maguire, Matt Ridley, Daniel Dennett, Zern Liew, Steven Levitt… but you’ve just got to draw the line somewhere!

If I ever become an Evil Overlord…

… then here’s the plan: Follow the advice given in The Top 100 Things I’d Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord. Including:

  • My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear plexiglass visors, not face-concealing ones.
  • I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum — a small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.
  • If my advisors ask “Why are you risking everything on such a mad scheme?”, I will not proceed until I have a response that satisfies them.
  • My vats of hazardous chemicals will be covered when not in use. Also, I will not construct walkways above them.

Sure, the list is a decade old, but I only found out about it just now from author John Birmingham, who continues the discussion.

Post 100: Thinking about Values

Writing this, my 100th blog post, has set me a-thinkin’ about why. Why I’m writing a blog, yes, but also why I’m doing lots of things. Why I’m frustrated by the work I’m doing. Why I love Sydney (and Melbourne, don’t feel left out, folks). Why I get passionate about certain issues in the media.

Actually, I’ve been thinking about these things for some time, but writing this post focussed my thoughts. And while doing so, the word “values” turned up — twice. Once for the current public debate about “Australian values”. And again when my friend and colleague Zern Liew asked me to list my own “personal values”.

Continue reading “Post 100: Thinking about Values”