Ed Yourdon response to his new venture

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Makes sense to me, input and comments?


Okay, these are reasonable comments, and I respect your opinion. I'm not at all sure we'll see eye to eye on this topic, but it's worth a shot ...

First of all, I belong to that reasonably large majority of people who have to find a legal, honest, practical way to make a living. I wasn't born with an inheritance, I don't have a rich uncle, I haven't won the lottery, and I'm not inclined to rob banks (and I'm sufficiently clumsy that I would surely be caught if I tried). Chances are that you're in the same position, as are most of the people on this forum...

I suspect that what this means is that we all work at our "9-to-5" job, and then get on the Internet in the evenings, weekends, and other periods of "free time" to participate in a community where we can, as you put it "share thought's, reflections, expertise, wisdom, knowledge, experiences, convictions, opinions, sorrows, joys, accomplishments, worries..." And that's great, it is indeed one of the most wonderful aspects of the Internet; but unforunately, reality intrudes each morning, and we have to turn off our home computer and head into an office somewhere, in order to do stuff that's often far less meaningful and fulfilling, but is still necessary to pay the rent...

What I found myself doing, particularly during the 1997-99 period, was spending more and more of my "working time" devoted to these Internet pursuits, in the form of the Greenspun forum and my own web site. From your earlier comments, I gather that you believe that that, too, was all part of a dastardly scheme to separate people from their money, yadda yadda yadda. For whatever it's worth, having a New York Times best-seller does not guarantee a fortune, regardless of whatever fame it might bring; the royalties from that book were about half what I've typically earned from writing other technical computer books; and you may be aware that all of the articles and essays and other information on my web site was available for free, all along. Indeed, my overall income during that period was about half what it had been before Y2K came along, which is the same thing that several other Y2K "activists" experienced; I'm not complaining, because I think I was involved in something important (notwithstanding the obvious fact that Y2K ended up being a non-event), but it's hard to ignore the economic consequences of one's choices when it leads to a 50% income reduction.

So now here we are, 5 months after Y2K; like most of the other people who spent a significant fraction of their waking hours on Y2K, I'm trying to figure out what my priorities should be. In so doing, have I "dumped" the 700+ people on this forum? I think not -- they all seem pretty self-sufficient to me, and they're busily engaged in a wide variety of conversations and discussions for which I have no expertise, no background, and (in some cases, anyway) no particular interest. I haven't noticed any great periods of silence while people have been waiting for me to say something erudite; the traffic on this forum has been quite splendid, with or without my presence.

It's also pretty evident that most of the people who participate actively on the forum are pretty computer-literate and Internet-literate; hence they probably wouldn't even need the kind of information that I'm tracking down. That's fine; that's what "supply and demand" is all about. Meanwhile, there are now roughly 200 million people using the Internet, and not all of them are aware of everything that's going on. Yeah, if they're willing and able to lurk on this forum, they can probably pick up a lot. But some of them are spending money (gasp!) to buy magazines like Wired, or Yahoo! Internet Life ($3.99 per issue at your local newstand), or any one of a dozen other magazines, books, guides, tutorials, seminars, university courses, and so forth. Are you opposed to that, too? My opinion is pretty simple: them who needs it and wants it will pay for it, if they feel it provides a reasonable value for their money; and them who don't need it, don't want it, or don't feel it's worth the money, won't pay for it.

Meanwhile, I've got to deal with a simple choice: I can spend 60-80 hours a week doing straight-forward consulting and technical work for corporate clients, and 6-8 hours a week doing research and sharing information freely with people like the participants on this forum. Or, if I'm lucky, I might be able to shift things so that I spend 6-8 hours a week doing corporate-consulting techie stuff, and 60-80 hours a week doing research about the Internet stuff that I love. But the latter choice doesn't pay the rent if I spend the 60-80 hours per week on an uncompensated basis.

One of the great things about the Internet, in my opinion, is that it's big enough for everyone, and for every group, and every community, and every form of economic activity. I certainly admire and respect all of the activity on this forum, and I'm sure it will continue ... and meanwhile, I'm going to go off into a different corner and muddle along in a different fashion for a while. And yes, whether or not I make any money at it, I will indeed drop in from time to time to say "hi"


-- Ant (anthillkicker@yahoo.com), June 01, 2000


My comment:

snore, ZzzzzZZZzz

-- (You're @boring .us), June 01, 2000.

My thoughts on this - the man's gotta work, and if he chooses this, then I wish him the best, just as I wish the best for Rick Cowles, Roleigh Martin, and anyone else who tries to make a living beyond Y2K. I see nothing to "debunk" with any of their current pursuits, and the y2k "event" is over.

-- FactFinder (FactFinder@bzn.com), June 01, 2000.

Ed! you were the "Ant Hill Kicker!", what a novelty! I too, would like to fashion a financial nest from a new horizon, and my dedication. Show me where and how to sign up, only it isn't going to be on your ez, where you have a number, tatooed to your forehead.

-- My Story (and@stickingtoit.com), June 01, 2000.

FF is correct.

-- (retired@nd.happy), June 02, 2000.

... they're busily engaged in a wide variety of conversations and discussions for which I have no expertise, no background...

Hmmm...that sure didn't stop you from spreading FUD about Y2K now, did it? And don't give me that crap about being a software professional yadda yadda yadda! Had he limited his discourses to his backgraound, no one would have cared. As soon as he started postulating about embedded chips, power grids, economics, international commerce, etc., he was well into areas where he had "no expertise, no background"!!

-- My Full Name (MyEm@il.address), June 02, 2000.

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