Greg Rose and the evolution of a wet machine

Sometime right soon, Dr. Gregory Rose, he of the brilliant fisking of the spectrum auction scam, will be making his inaugural post at his new Wetmachine blog Econoklastic. So may I be the first to welcome him: Welcome, Greg! Welcome to Wetmachine! I have no idea what he’ll write about, but his background leads me to expect good things. Greg describes himself thusly:

I’ve been an academic economist for more than 20 years. My
dissertation was on developing mathematical techniques for aggregating
affective variables in utility functions. I left OSU Tulsa to come to
DC in 2004 to set up a consulting company. I’ve been doing consulting
for the public interest community on telecoms ever since. And I’m a
very unconventional economist: I’m probably the only socialist member
of the Public Choice Society.

Adding another name to the Wetmachine masthead seems as good an occasion as any to launch into some meditative malarky I’ve been cogitating on for some while about where Wetmachine came from, has been, and is tending. Especially since the one-two combination punch of Harold Feld and Greg Rose should pretty much establish Wetmachine as a premiere telecommunication/first amendment/innaleckshul property policy wonk “destination shopping” blog. Which is kind of cool, especially since it’s nothing like what I set out to create when I launched Wetmachine seven years ago. At that time I was mostly trying to pimp my books (still am), and I also was pretty irritated by the technological utopianism of blogs like Slashdot and Boing Boing & I wanted to do something in the same basic zip code as those blogs but much more curmudgeonly and technoskeptical. Sort of a blend of Slashdot and Boing Boing on a bad acid trip by way of the Unabomber Manifesto was what I had in mind. I also imagined that that the now-atrophied Bonehead Computer Museum would evolve into the central attraction of the site. Guess I missed that guess. I had no idea when I invited Harold Feld to blog with me that I was snagging a world-class policy expert with a major talent for snark, nor did I know that Howard Stearns would emerge up to his eyeballs in Croquet at the head of the Web 3.0 movement. Much to my astonishment, and with little help from me, Wetmachine has become of blog of substance (by some definition of “substance”.) Who woulda thunk it? Any of y’all as may be interested in some more of my navel-gazing, feel free to follow me below the fold.

On second thought, I think I’ll leave the meditative malarky for another occasion, such as the 1000th wetmachine blog entry, or the $100 million purchase of Wetmachine by DoubleClick, whichever comes first.

I’ll simply point out now, for the record and for all twelve of you who have read this far, that the “Wetmachine” name was chosen to connote some kind of creepy admixture of hardware, software and wetware — brains, in other words–and that the tag line “I fear these things” is lifted from a word game as reported a scene in my novel Acts of the Apostles, and was chosen to connote dread, my normal state. That scene in Acts, by the way, was based on something that actually happened when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, West Africa, in 1973 or so. But that’s a story for another day– a not too distant one, I hope.

Meanwhile there’s no time like the present for fearing the future, and I trust youze-all will enjoy the additional flashlight through the gloom soon to be known as Econoklastic.

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