Skip to main content

Moment of clarity

I just had a moment of clarity, and it creeped me out. I won't relate who's blog I was reading, but suffice it to say I was exploring my region when it dawned on me what bothers me so much about Ann Arbor and zealots in general. They define themselves via hate.

I'm talking about a lot of groups here, but the one that struck me was someone defining themselves via their feelings on the current administration. While that can of worms threatens to explode all over the place, I'll leave it alone since I have problems with Bush an Co. myself (asta la vista Ashcroft; don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out), but seriously, when you define yourself, who you are, with something you hate, that's a serious issue.

These same people would come out of the woodwork if I went around defining myself as someone who's not to keen on the current state of minority rights. It feeds back into the attitude around blogs that as long as you conform to some pre-defined way of being (hate Bush, crusade for gay rights, call America "Jesustan", anti-DRM, pro-iPod, etc), you're ok. Hate all you want. Define yourself that way; no one is going to call you on being a bigot in your own right. As long as you're "right", according to the bulk of the Technorati Top 100, it's ok.

I saw a great quote (and I can't find it now), but it really speaks volumns. "Republicans think Democrats are wrong; Democrats think Republicans are evil." There's a lot to that, more than the chuckle you just had reading it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Happy Retirement Pat Sweeny!

In a previous life, I was an active member of the West Michigan Shores Chapter of the STC. I met a lot of really cool people there and learned a lot about what it meant to be not just a technical writer, but more about how technical writers can break out of the mold and accomplish things.

One of the people who did that was Pat Sweeny. Pat is (or was, by this point) the President and owner of The Bishop Company, a contract do-it-all house; they document, streamline and illustrate your process, and they do it damn well. Pat was one of the first people in that chapter to "get it", which is to say, he and his company understand that technical writing isn't going to be a department for very much longer, it's going to be a business.

He had the foresight to actually make it a business, but he also had something else. Pat was forever trying to better those around him. He would come to meetings (which was a big step beyond most people) and teach you things. Or he would come to …

Google Inbox: A classic Google product

My work domain (an EDU) recently had Google Inbox enabled so I had a good chance to try it out. My personal email is relatively quiet and, I believe, doesn't provide a good Inbox experience. Work is more active and requires actual management, something I've tossed many a tool at over the years. As part of my work life, I supported the Google Apps for EDU installation here and took a pretty extensive presentation to campus about how to manage large amounts of email.

Inbox is a classic Google product: the distillation of a number of excellent ideas into a set of half-complete features built for a use case most people don't meet. We've seen this in the past in products like ChromeVox, Google's Chrome extension for accessibility. ChromeVox works great on ChromeOS devices, but completely ignores the point that most users of accessibility tech (AT) don't have or want ChromeOS devices and come to services with their AT in tow. ChromeVox also ignores decades of convent…

Evernote

Evernote, for better or worse, is the best note-taking service for my needs. It works across all my devices/computers/modes. It's fairly easy to get stuff into it. Hell, they even have 2-Factor authentication. The Windows app is a little clunky and my girlfriend and I have never been able to get shared notes to work properly (conflicted note! three times in the same grocery trip!), but what service is perfect? At least they have nice socks.

Everything, in fact, is pretty good as long as you don't screw up. And screw up I did. I'm not very regular about making backups, but I do make them every month or so. Once you figure out how to create a backup, that is.

There's a helpful Export Note option (which turns into Export Notes when you select multiple notes HINT). The export process is essentially opening All Notes, selecting every note, and then choosing Export Notes. Or something like that; Evernote never tells you, you're left to figure it out on your own. The file…