Grumpy Dickhead Chronicles

You can never predict which blog posts people will pick up on. In my case, often the ones I may not want trumpeted get that treatment. One case in point, is Doc Searls picking up on my bristling exhange with Lucas Gonze, which he refers to as “The Grumpy Dickhead Chronicles.” Sigh. Oh well, that’s the nature of decentralization. I made the posts, I need to lie in them, so to speak.

It should be pointed out that I’m cool with Lucas. He made an apology for picking me up as an examplar for something I’m not, and I apologized for reacting to that more strongly than was strictly necessary. Here is his more considered statement. I can’t say as I really agree with much of it, particularly his casting of my wave of podcasters as a squad of idiot savants who accidentally did the right things. However, I do acknowledge it as a valid reading of events with his particular take on it.

I think Lucas and I differ at the architectural level and that spills into all sorts of unpredictable places. He thinks that fundamentally the store-and-forward nature of current podcasting is something to be avoided and only grudgingly acknowledges its efficacy for the present day reality of the occasionally connected devices. His ideal world would involve little or no storage, and instead would allow for universally connected devices that stream on demand rather than the subscribe and fetch. On the other hand, I dig the way that you can achieve what we do without constant connectivity. I think it is a more efficient use of resources, and I like how you don’t have to build out for the high water mark like the streaming world does. Since a lot of the traffic is actually automatic processes at non-peak times, this spreads out the load to times where the servers would normally be sitting mostly idle. This is important for allowing folks to get involved as it lowers the horsepower necessary to play the game, and part of what is driving the popularity.

I just want to get it out there that I don’t have any personal issues with Lucas. We agree on some things, disagree on others, so mote it be. I have found myself in lots of arguments lately ranging from rancorous to highly rancorous so anything that can reduce the drama is good with me.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

11 thoughts on “Grumpy Dickhead Chronicles”

  1. Dave Slusher Says He Needs To Lie in Posts.

    Ahh, the price of notoriety. The next step is when people start doing Barry Bonds interviews with you. Have you ever noticed that they like to start interviews with Bonds with questions like, “Why do you hate the media so much, you lying steriod-abusing asshole?” Only with you they will start asking, “Why are you such a grumpy dickhead?”

    You can, however, take some small comfort in the fact that if you were simply mediocre nobody would give a rat’s ass what you said or did.

  2. mike dunn says:

    wow – tough crowd 😉

  3. PJ Cabrera says:

    James, you’re shameless.

    Go, James! Hahaha! 😀

    Sorry, Dave, I’m just pulling your chain because you’re my favorite podcaster to jab in the ribs. 🙂

    Your brother does have a good point at the end there. People give a rat’s ass about your opinion and deeds. But as you’ve seen with Doc Searls slight misrepresentation of the facts, (hmm, he does that often, doesn’t he?) notoriety is a mixed bag.

    At any rate, I hereby lay claim to having invented instant messaging, all in my head, back in the late 70s, when I wished there was a way to chat in real-time with my best online friend from a BBS in Iowa, while I was loggin on with a VT110 dumb terminal attached to a 300 baud modem in Puerto Rico. 🙂

  4. PJ Cabrera says:

    The reason I thought real-time chat would have been better, was because with emailing through the BBS, it took forever for the screen to download, and you had to sit there watching the terminal redraw the whole BBS screen and menus in VT110 ASCII art. With my instant messaging invention, it was just a stream of my lines and his lines scrolling off the screen. Much more lightweight, just right for 300 baud on noisy long distance calls to Iowa on a badly constructed bluebox. 🙂

    And no, I don’t think the IRC folks can claim to have invented IM, because those idiot savants had to put up the whole needless TCP/IP infrastructure to do the right things. 😀

  5. Dave says:

    I don’t actually think Doc misrepresented anything at all. The only thing I was commenting on was that the post that caught Doc’s attention was me at not my best.

  6. that when you have a certain notoriety you get noticed all the time, whether you are having a good day or not. So the small things get amplified. My point with the Bonds analogy is that the next step is when those overamplified things become accepted as reality and take on their own momentum.

  7. Ken Nelson says:

    about the design of the EDC shirt. I am also perplexed as to what might be the musical selection for same 🙂

  8. Ken Nelson says:

    the *GDC* shirt. Another acronym run amok..

  9. Lucas says:

    Flame wars attract attention. Oh well.

    Also, ‘grumpy dickhead’ is just a fucking hilarious slam. I’ll blow 15 bucks on the shirt for sure.

  10. Gordon Smith says:

    I think Lucas needs to live somewhere with a sparse population density to appreciate that his anytime, anywhere, streaming just isn’t going to happen for many people anytime soon. I’m still awaiting for my 512 kbit/s 2-way satellite service to replace the intermittent 40 kbit/s modem-over-telephone-over-radio-link that I currently have.

    Then I can download podcasts at home, but will still need to load them on my MP3 player for the commute (rather than have them streamed to my vehicle), or to listen to as I walk around the property.

  11. Mark Topham says:

    You’re better off for being right Now, than right Later.

    I was having breakfast with a friend of mine on the weekend, he left the table and I stole his new Axim (PocketPC, VGA screen), er, borrowed. I was browsing various documents he grabbed with AvantGo. Something not entirely dissimilar to Podcasting clients. (automatically fetches webpages for later browsing on a Palm Pilot or PocketPC.). Not as slick as grabbing RSS feeds, but it works.

    When he got back to the table we discussed AvantGo. I’ve used it previously but never been satisfied with it, but one of the improvements that made me appreciate it more was the Axims VGA resolution screen. No change in AvantGo itself. Then the discussion veered to offline news readers. (specifically from the fido era, grabbing a bunch of topics, disconnecting from the BBS and being able to spend time offline reading & composing your responses before connecting up and submitting them.

    He told me how cool he thought it would be if he could download messages from some specific web-forum software, compose his responses and then reply, using his PocketPC.

    I laughed, I said it was a great idea, but by the time it was done we’d have 24/7 wireless access to the net anyway. I was mostly kidding.

    If we all had fast wireless access to the net all the time then ‘downloading’ content to playback later would make little sense. Indexing it might make sense, but actually acquiring a copy of it would be a waste of time and effort.

    But that time isn’t yet. For now those of us with highspeed net connections are the lucky few.

    Podcasting might be a short term fad, to be replaced by some other method to make audio/video content available to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

    That doesn’t make it any less important as a stepping stone on the path which will be traveled to get there.

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