May 2010


Usually I appreciate the commentary on TechCrunch. Even though it's often short-sighted and hyperbolic, I usually think they get the big picture ideas right and hit on the stuff that we really should be debating. But Paul Carr's recent article called Facebook Breached My Privacy, And Other Things That Whiny, Entitled Dipshits Say is so stupid, but at the same time so indicative of the ways that many tech. folks are stupid, that I just have to point it out.

Usually, I know, I'd lay down 750 words on it. No one ever accused me of brevity. But this is actually pretty simple. I'll encapsulate Carr's argument in a few sentences, then present my own.

Carr: People who complain about privacy on the web should shut up. They are deluded about what today's social systems are really like. They shouldn't put anything about themselves on the internet that might be a problem, and they should control all others who might do the same. "Blaming Facebook’s flaky approach to privacy for the ills of the exhibitionist generation is just yelling at the stable door, long after the horse has bolted."

Me: Carr sounds like an ignorant elitist jackass calling all the rest of us "whiny, entitled dipshits" just because we don't want to live by the lowest common denominator of privacy, whatever Facebook decides is best for its bottom line. It's ridiculous for a geeky, tech-savvy internet journalist who spends all his waking hours trying to understand online social systems to crap on people who do other things with their time by calling them whiny and entitled. Get a clue, buddy. People like you might code the web, but it's people like us who make it work. Learn to live by our rules, not the other way around. Expecting people to learn how to 100% control all the content they share online, and then do the same for everyone else around them is pure fantasy. If the horse has bolted, then lock the fucking stable door and we'll just hang with the chickens and the pigs.

Amidst news that Internet Explorer 6 is still making up a 13% share of the browser market during peak business hours (see Corporate IT Just Won't Let IE6 Die), this cracked me up:

Dilbert.com