Boing Boing’s comment moderation “policy”

Today, via her Google Plus stream, Xeni Jardin of Boing Boing fame gave us some insight into Boing Boing’s comment moderation “policy”… specifically when is it OK to call someone a Nazi?

ACTUAL BB COMMENT, nuked by one of our moderators: “Nice that BB got a plug, but a plug from Rachel Maddow? That’s the current day equivalent of a thumbs up from Joseph Goebbels”

Now, equating Rachel Maddow to Goebbels is childish and moronic. But why would BB’s comment mods delete that post while at the same time have no problem with this one – See the first comment on this post re: Glen Beck. A quick search on their site reveals many more such examples.

As soon as I pointed out the hypocrisy, Xeni closed comments on her post. 😦 You can read the entire thread here. And for the record, I’m no fan of Glen Beck! I just like the idea of an open and free internet – something the Boing Boing editors champion every chance they get. For example, have a look at their Intro to TOR.

UPDATE! June 2012 – An admin friend at DISQUS recently contacted me to remind me that if you use Tor to get around BoingBoing’s idiot mods you need to ensure that you use a different email address for each DISQUS account you register. Nasty words were said about Mark Frauenfelder but I will not repeat them here… Please don’t take advantage of Tor and DUSQUS to post insulting, racist, sexist, or otherwise ugly comments to blogs.

iPad – Infantilizing Hardware?

Crying Baby - techno-elitist

I have to admit that I found Cory Doctorow’s anti-iPad post at Boing Boing quite bizarre and techno-elitist. He seems to dislike both how easy the iPad is to use as well how efficiently it’s physical parts are put together (glue as opposed to screws).

His argument that the iPad is “Infantalizing [sic] hardware” is particularly short-sighted. I view the iPad as a sort of satellite of my  main workstation. With such a device, good user interface design should free the user from the sort of things that make a full blown computer more cumbersome, albeit more powerful. When you’re relaxing on the couch with a cup of coffee, or on a road trip to San Fran, and all you want to do is read Wikipedia, peruse your comic library, or catch up on the latest news, your iPad is probably a good delivery method.

Furthermore, what’s more important? Simple and easy-to-use access to the world’s information database, or you’re ability to disassemble the device your using to read it? The answer is obvious. The benefits of miniaturized (system on a chip) ICs, vertical circuit fabrication, and the power efficiency they bring far, far outweigh the the benefits of being able to disassemble such a device. And I would argue that the physical device itself is far less important in the grand scheme of things compared to the almost infinite software possibilities.

And of course, as a professional Unix admin, I know that options exists for people who want to tinker at a very low level (Linux + cheap commodity hardware). We shouldn’t think of the iPad as a replacement, but rather just another option.