Cluetrain Derails in Blacksburg, Virginia

One of the best-known techbloggers was embarrassed Monday when he sent the following private e-mail and it was published by the recipient:

From what I gather so far (and info is incomplete), most of the cell phones in use by students at Virginia Tech, and the system they used as well (much more feature-rich than phones provided by big carriers, and user-programmable to boot) were provided by a company in New York run by my friend ... . I think what they're doing is critically important: helping the users help themselves and each other. And using this tragedy to create the phone systems we want, rather than what the carriers are willing to give us.

Though he backed away from this sentiment, for reasons that should be obvious, he can't deny thinking that the massacre might be a useful lever to get better phone services.

Not long ago, another prominent techblogger proclaimed that a new computer chip was more important than cancer, using a news story about an actual teen with cancer as his example:

... having cancer is important to that one person. Intel chips change the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

Yesterday, a third techblogger's first take on Cho Seung-Hui's release of a multimedia manifesto was to claim him as a vlogger, a person who publishes video updates of his life as a blog.

The Virginia Tech shooter sent a package of video and pictures to NBC.

In other words, vlogging comes to mass murder, in ways no one anticipated (or no one I know).

It makes perfect sense, in a perfectly senseless way.

I've been a techblogger for a long time, hyping stuff that excites me about web publishing, programming and affiliated forms of geekery. But there ought to be subjects that are larger than their ability to sell cutting-edge technology, and I'm pretty sure that mass murder and childhood cancer are two of them.


But don't you think it's wonderful how the first writer "nails a bunch of angles on this"?

Honestly, I admire the self-restraint you show by not using the above writer's names.

Winer is up to his old tricks again, deleting any post that receives criticism that he doesn't like. Consider this page:

Compare it to what is in Google's cache:

The quote that you mention in your post above has been removed.

Rogers, if you are going to quote my blog, please don't take me out of context.

I never said chips are more important than cancer. I said the NEWS VALUE of chips was bigger than one person having cancer.

If you don't understand something I said, please do ask for clarification but it really pisses me off when you take my words out of context.

My mom died last year. Her death wasn't news for the front page of the New York Times. But Intel announcing a new chip? Definitely is news.

The fact that you don't grok that makes me wonder about how we can even have a decent conversation about anything.

I don't see the distinction.

You were asked the direct question "You think Intel making a smaller chip is more important than cancer?" It's very weird that you still don't know the correct answer is "Of course not."

Both here and in defense of your original statement, you've argued a tiny, pedantic point when a giant issue continues to miss your notice: Your cancer comparison was grossly offensive and hilariously parochial. Only in the tiny world of the TechMeme-, TechDirt- and TechCrunch-obsessed techblogger could someone make a statement like that.

You keep talking about being burned out and needing a vacation. You should take one. With all of your blogging, vlogging, aggregating, podcasting, webcamming, and twittering, you're missing the fact that there's a larger world out there in which most of the shit we care about in tech couldn't be less important.

There's nothing wrong with tragedy leading to better technology.
There is something wrong with tragedy.
There is definitely something wrong with vultures.
Let's hold off until the mourning period is over.


NOTE: I'm developing a comment tool that forces me to be more prudent.
It seems to be working.

There is definitely something wrong with vultures.

That's a better way of making the point than I did. The immediacy of blogging makes some of this thinking out loud look worse than it would later. But I think we get carried away seeing everything in the world as an opportunity to evangelize tech.

"I think we get carried evangelize tech"

Thats so true !!

One can't solve the problem with the same mind set that created the darn problem !

On Dave W comment of "making sense" was totally askew. It just does not make sense at ALL. Its funny he pulls the quote rather then a transparent edit !!

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