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In The Crowd

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


I headed over to 111 Minna last night for the EFF Blogger's Rights event. I'd been warned that 111 is populated primarily by the see-and-be seen crowd, by the considerably more low-key House Of Shields crew. This turned out to be pretty true, there was a high ratio of wine & cocktails to beer and clusters of attractively dressed people gossiping about other clusters of attractively dressed people. However, the subject matter did drag out a few conspiracy theorists, privacy obsessives, and other awkward, pale and otherwise endearing geeks. I even I spotted (in the wild!) that rarest of birds, the unix guru. I have a soft spot in my heart for those rotund, shaggy, sock and sandal wearers, dating back to my babysitter who printed out ASCII Snoopys on the UCSB mainframes to entertain me while he did some kind of ARPANET research. But that's enough of that cred-enhancing digression.

There's a good review of the event over at Metroblogging SF, where I've posted a comment. Put briefly, it was a waste of everyone's time. I genuinely believe that EFF is doing valuable work, but the event last night was more of a cheerleading effort for bloggers than a substantive discussion. The only useful information given (for those who didn't already know) was several people commenting on the existence and mission of chillingeffects.org, the clearing house of internet-related ceast and desist letters. Apart from that tidbit, it was just another opportunity for the incestuous knot of higher profile bloggers to talk about themselves and their friends. Which is fine with me if they want to do that on their blogs, but less fine when it takes over a supposedly informational discussion.


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