I've won Anil Dash's new intellectual dishonesty award for my item on Bram Cohen's technological manifesto. The award appears to be issued weekly, which means Karl Rove goes home empty-handed.

Dash faults me for not approaching Cohen in e-mail, where he could have explained himself before the story got more traction with weblogs and the media.

Perhaps he has a point, but I regarded an essay Cohen linked on his front page for two years as fair game for evaluation, independent of anything else he might say on the subject, and I don't know the guy. The idea his manifesto might be a parody never entered my mind, nor did it occur to anyone else I read yesterday.

The headline was based on my read of Cohen's statement "I build systems to ... commit digital piracy." It was a jaw-dropping thing to discover through a comment on Ed Felten's weblog.

I would never try to mislead people on Workbench to spike traffic or bait the media. I gave Cohen's statement the huge play I thought it deserved, and when I was told he called it a parody, I added an update to the post. Between that update and visitor comments, I think readers could fairly judge the justification for giving it a headline as big as "Boy Trapped in Refrigerator Eats Own Foot."

As for my last media hack, the idea I would use my 36 hours of fame to criticize the papacy was never entertained. Though I have concerns with the church that would explain the 26 years that have passed since my last confession, I'm not particularly eager to become the Catholic Salman Rushdie.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

I can see what you're saying -- I've only heard about the story after the fact, and I thought the Wired News piece was unfair and the connection seemed really weak.

I wasn't aware of the homepage link until you mentioned it, but it still seems like a bit of a stretch and seems to have gotten blown out of proportion by others.


 

Karl's in the running for lifetime achievement. :)


 

Add a Comment

These HTML tags are permitted: p, b, i, a, and blockquote. A comment may not include more than three links. Participants in this discussion should note the site's moderation policy.