blogging

Why I Hate Cory Doctorow

First, yes I've read his books. Well, some of them. Well, part of one of them. I got fed up and stopped because it was stupid and poorly written. But that's neither here nor there. The fact of the matter is that I hate Cory Doctorow, I hate Boing Boing, and it's time somebody called Doctorow and his cohort of yes-men what they are: a bunch of assholes.

Normally it's not something that I feel like wasting too much time on, the hate of all things Doctorow. I mean, live and let live, right? If people want to waste their time on his weird brand of egomania, that's fine. I'm not going to worry about it. Just like I don't worry about that douchebag from Wired who wrote the Longtail book justifying the hegemony of global capital or nutjob libertarians like Eric S. Raymond advocating for creepy lifestyles dedicated to polyamory, computer programming, and owning guns. By and large the creme de la creme of geek nobility are fairly safely ignored. Although I have written elsewhere of the danger of confusing "geek chic" with "being cool," usually these people are no threat to anyone or anything I care about because the things they care about (file-sharing, Linux, web pornography, SF fandom, memorizing monty python sketches) are not things that I give a damn about one way or another. Occasionally tho, these people cross over into my real world life and I'm reminded that they are out there, festering, and are even occasionally presenting the danger of being taken seriously by real people. That, my friends, is a possibility I find absolutely intolerable and so am setting aside my usual Laissez Faire approach to The Doctorow Problem to outline in detail why it is that I can't fucking stand the the man.

FTC vs. Bloggers

So the FTC apparently has come out with new rules (PDF) where they can fine you up to $11,000 if you don't reveal any money or "freebies" you might have gotten in "exchange" for a review. Ed Champion does some pretty stellar reporting in interviewing a person from the FTC about this and explaining the problems with the new rules. Basically, there's a double standard; if a reviewer for a traditional newspaper get a free book as a review copy and then reviews it, that's okay, but if a blogger does the same thing suddenly he's treated as if he's being bribed. The interviewee also talking about having direct links to the product being a problem. But so what if I have direct links to where you can buy a book I've reviewed from IndieBound? And so what if I get a commission from those links? I can link to any book that's in print. No one's paying me to pimp their book, I'm pimping (or smacking down or whatever) any book I want to.

In other words, these new rules represent yet another example of clueless people in government making clueless decisions that favor old media over new because they just don't understand the new media. And it's bullshit.

Are we all going to have to wait until the people in government die off and are replaced by younger people who grew up with the new media before we get anything resembling clued-in legislation? How long are we going to have to deal with the type of folks who think the Internet is a "series of tubes" before we get people who actually know what they're talking about?

Very frustrating.