Quote du jour

The best blogs are easily the equal of the best opinion columnists at the New York Times. – Jimmy Wales, a few minutes ago at Public Media 2008.

Later: Software patents are a really bad idea.

6 comments

  1. Seth Finkelstein’s avatar

    [breaking my New Year's Resolution]

    Yeah, but “So what?” The factual content is something like saying “The best Chinese newspaper columnists are easily the equal of the best opinion columnists at the New York Times”

    I suspect he’s slipping in a blog-evangelist strawman, the phony argument that the New York Times opinion columnists are better than every other writer in the entire world. Seen like that, it’s a pretty silly thing to argue. Or maybe it’s the idea that you can data-mine free workers, which is his business now.

    Bah, no point.

  2. Doc Searls’s avatar

    So, did you at least like his point about software patents?

  3. Seth Finkelstein’s avatar

    Sure, but it carries very little information – it’s not like he’s arguing against a self-interest on his part. He runs a digital-sharecropping business which doesn’t use any advanced algorithms. Mainly a lot a cult labor. So why would his opinion on software patents be meaningful? I don’t want to be unfair, but that sounds a lot like what the Wikifolks call “Argumentum Ad Jimboem”, ie “Jimbo sez …”.

    This is one of the well-known problems with the A-list. You get social points for saying things that other people like, but worse, it’s as if that proves anything other than it’s a popular opinion among the A-list.

  4. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Well, Seth, you’re making me sorry I posted it. Really.

    For what it’s worth, I posted the quote only because I thought it gave the best bloggers some deserved respect — for the worth of their work, not for their position in a caste system. I certainly didn’t post it to win social points.

    Not that you’ll believe me, but I’m telling you what I know is true.

    As for the “digital sharecropping business” line, I think it’s wrong; but we’re not likely to find commong ground there either, are we?

  5. Seth Finkelstein’s avatar

    I have a bad habit of doing this stuff. I shouldn’t.

    Let’s put it this way, it comes across as patronization to me, not respect. Yeah, yeah, I’m sure it’s all of the highest motives, and pay no attention to all the businesses trying to be built on the hopes and dreams of the Z-listers.

  6. Crosbie Fitch’s avatar

    The good thing about software patents being an egregiously bad idea, is that it provides a foot in the door to the idea that patents are a bad idea (except to those to whom they are granted).

    May this meme be multiplied by the multitudes, whether of minor or major rank, or nefarious or noble motive.

    I will not accept the enslavement of my fellow man, nor any imposition upon his liberty, as reward for the publication of my art.

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