Monthly Archive: July 2014

What he said.

That’s my usual reaction to Allen Frances, and I think he hit the nail on the head again with this, or at least parts of it. I have no knowledge and really no context to understand what goes on in our prisons, but I very much do understand the tension that has developed over time as psychiatric illness has become fashionable. I see relatively well people tossing around diagnoses that can also be completely devastating and I think to myself, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

It makes sense, though, that people push away the severely ill because we all have this impulse when faced with illness to separate ourselves from it in some way. You see it in the blaming and shaming that happens with heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. And I would guess that you are also seeing it when someone who thinks they’re depressed sees someone whose illness is so severe that they are psychotic; if such a condition is given a sufficient moral taint then we can all believe that we aren’t vulnerable to such a thing, prescription for Prozac aside. And maybe most people aren’t, but that won’t stop them superstitiously dehumanizing the people who are.

(Via Dr. Dinah Miller)

Bad Judge on “the place to avoid in Cap-Ferret: Il Giardino”

I know, it’s France and what would a French court know about how the Internet works, but still, what an absurd decision. Write a review, get high search result placement, get fined?

Well, maybe not that absurd. I once wrote elsewhere about local news, a matter of public record, and thought I would get an offer I couldn’t refuse when Google didn’t clear the results out of cache fast enough, even after I promptly took it down in fear for my safety. And that was a case of people simply not understanding how the Internet worked, and how Google worked. At least that’s just people, not a judge or other legal authority.

Deja News

Anyone remember Deja News? You wouldn’t, if you were never active on Usenet, which was a big part of the Internet before the web was developed (announced on Usenet, mind you) and became, to most mind, “the Internet.” It was a web site that could be used to access and to search Usenet. Search being the big deal, though it was handy to have something that didn’t require a news reader program.

Google bought Deja News eons ago, which drew mixed expectations that leaned, if I recall correctly, negative. Still, they made some improvements for a while, and used it to promote non-Usenet “groups.” There had been various companies offering those. Ultimately it came down mainly to Yahoo, and groups were and are essentially mailing lists that also have a web archive/interface. Which isn’t so hard to do. I run a little-used mailing list of former colleagues, using a common mailing list program, and it keeps a web archive/interface members can access, if they know and remember they can. But I digress.

Google has increasingly downplayed Groups, their own and especially Usenet, perhaps even to the point of helping Usenet be forgotten. First you take over an important access point and tool, then you make it obscure…

As it turns out, there is still an alternate Deja search interface out there that can get you the results that may no longer be easy to search for otherwise. Worth knowing about, if you want to take a look back.