The Terrible Secret of Livejournal: archived comments

Thursday 9 August 2007, 04:00

Link to Part 1.

When I posted my item on "The Terrible Secret of Livejournal" in 2007, it attracted a lot of comments. I've since changed the code that runs my Web site, and it's not easy to import those old comments as regular comments in the new code; but I wanted to preserve them, so I'm posting them here in the form of another entry. New comments are disabled here; you should add them on the concluding page of the article.

The Terrible Secret of Livejournal, part 3: what to do?

Thursday 9 August 2007, 03:00

Link to Part 1.

It should not be thought that Six Apart have completely clean hands here. I'm not by any means a big fan of Six Apart.  It's partly because I'm not a fan of Six Apart that I've left Livejournal and given up my paid account.  Nothing in the previous section should be taken as my saying that Six Apart are perfect.  I think they're basically doing the right thing, but what have they done wrong?

The Terrible Secret of Livejournal, part 2: avoiding notice

Thursday 9 August 2007, 02:00

Link to Part 1.

In the previous section I mentioned that fandom itself is considered a perversion. I don't think most people in fandom are willing to admit that they know that. It might be another terrible secret - the terrible secret of fandom. The thing is that fandom is about creating a line that separates Us from Them. That's the point. That's why you joined - remember? You wanted to be among your people and escape from the ones who aren't your people. The trouble is that when we separated ourselves from the mainstream, we created a really good reason for the mainstream to separate from us too.

The Terrible Secret of Livejournal, part 1: the Secret

Thursday 9 August 2007, 01:00

I'm hearing another round of rumours about Six Apart, the company that runs Livejournal, and its deletion of Livejournal users.  It sounds like they've changed their code to make it less obvious when a user has been deleted (by hiding usernames or something, instead of showing them in strikethrough), and they're continuing to not follow their stated policies of issuing warnings and conducting reviews and so on.  The fandom community is up in arms, and the current situation is seen as an example of Six Apart not sticking to the promises it made last time there was a round of deletions.  I think the time has come for me to reveal the terrible secret of Livejournal - the one big issue behind this situation, that neither side wants to admit even to themselves.  Because of this one big issue, I think that fandom is making unreasonable demands of Livejournal.  This is a sort of open letter or reality check for the fandom community:  you can't expect Six Apart to give you what you're demanding, and you need to recognize why.

Why astrology?

Sunday 11 April 2010, 07:55

Revised version of a Livejournal posting of 27 August 2005.

I consider astrology to be primarily a form of art.  It's a way for us to express our creative powers.  From that point of view, asking whether celestial forces influence the tenor of our lives becomes somewhat like asking whether The Starry Night is an accurate portrayal of how some real starry night physically appeared, such as might be produced by a skilled but not particularly artistic photographer.  It's just not an interesting question.

Desdemona

Friday 9 April 2010, 10:35

Desdemona, agent's daughter
Never would you cross the water
For the men who sought to take
Your quiet voice, your hidden face
Des, you held a thousand heroes
Peaceful in your arms.

John he said

Thursday 8 April 2010, 10:26

Walked on the beach today
Met John all a talk-talk
All a comfort my mind.

Technical analysis

Wednesday 7 April 2010, 09:41

No chance in Hell I'd sell my gold for mud
And give up hope of wiping off the stain.
She tapped in vain and never tasted blood
The toxic arrow lost into the sky.
Now chance repeats the lesson; have I learned
This random mapping on the complex plane?
I stalked the archer, saw the fire, was burned;
Devoured the pseudoscientific lie.
One day defines the gap from thee to thee
One speck of dust can tip the cloud to rain
In one night both of you could take from me
The difference I can't plausibly deny.
Corroborate the price at which I'll sell;
Dial in the bids, and ring the opening bell.

Truly

Friday 27 March 2009, 09:09

Where have ye been all the day, fair son of mine?
Where gat ye your dinner this long lonely while?
I did eat with my sweetheart, who put me on trial
I was flogged for my crimes and all covered with bruises
They were red and white and they were green and yellow

Mistakenly thought to be djinn

Sunday 4 April 2010, 17:41

First appeared in talk.bizarre, July 1997

You must know that Man was not the first of the Earth's masters.

A great many unusual people may be seen in the marketplace of Damascus on any hot summer day, but the Adept was definitely out of the ordinary.  She strode, alone and proud, though the crowd which parted unconsciously.  Foreigners have written that one veiled woman looks like any other, but even the quality of the material of Fatima's veil distinguished her from the rest.  The locals, accustomed to making the most of whatever they could get, stared outright, all as if they'd never seen a woman before.  They undressed her in their minds as she passed by.  The year, in your infidel's reckoning, was 738.