My Thoughts Exactly

Only You Can Save Creation Science

Listen, I know that there’s a pretty good chance that you (yes, you!) are some kind of policy wonk who only reads Wetmachine for the insight & analysis of all things FCC/Net Neutrality/media hegemony/First Amendment provided by the inimitable Harold Feld.

And there’s also a pretty good chance that you don’t give a care about Harold Feld’s wonky analysis, because you read Wetmachine for Howard Stearns’s stunning and out-of-nowhere insights into software development in general and 3-d collaborative virtual-world software in particular.

Or maybe you’re a Gary Gray groupie. Stranger things have happened. Maybe you even come here to see what I might have to say.

Or maybe, like those men who were busted at the suburban New Jersey bordello a few years ago, you just happened to be here because you pulled your car into the driveway to make a U-turn & got trapped when the fuzz showed up. Maybe you were googling for “Ted Williams’ Frozen Head” and wound up reading this instead.

I don’t care.

Wetmachine readers come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, even non-policywonk walks of life. Whatever. All is cool here. One love.

But you all should click on the above video, dammit. And you should chip in at least a buck to support Creation Science, the nifty new novel by moi, the Ur-Wetmechanic. I’ve been bringing you this site for 8 years now. Ain’t that worth nothin? Show me your love! At least watch the flippin video! It’s short!

N.B. Even if this is your first visit to Wetmachine, you can still show me your love. Click on the video! Join the family!

Posted in My Thoughts Exactly, Writing | Also tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

My Thoughts Exactly

Looking for my inner Billy Mays

Last week I was down in Manhattan pimping my books at a software developer’s conference. (Man, was that a dead conference. 15 people at a “Keynote”. Evidently there’s a recession going on, people.) A nice man named Noah Sussman approached the table where I was selling stuff & explained that he was a blogger with a site called Nerdabout New York. So of course I asked him to blog about me & my sublime geeky books, whereupon he whipped out his camera, about this size of a quarter, and said, “Why don’t you make your own pitch, and I’ll put it on the site.” Well that was very nice of him, don’t you think? So I looked into his little camera and commenced bullshitting away.

Today he kept his word with a very generous blog posting and including this video (below). I think the vid came out well enough for an impromptu thing, although I don’t know what’s with my weird Tourettes-like shaking in the first bit, and I wonder why I slouch so. And must I mumble so much, and how did I get so fat and bald and when did my teeth become so Austin Powerish? And why am I clutching my wallet as if it contains the Nukular Launch Code??? Oh well. I do think I’m a pretty good pitchman in person–Fred knows I’ve done it long enough–but working for the camera is not my metier, as we say around Place D’Italie. I need to work on that. Billy Mays, the infomercial king who recently departed this mortal coil, was good at what he did. I respect him for that. I wish I had had him pitch my books for me while he was still available for the job. But I guess I’ll just have to work on my own game. Meanwhile, here’s a shout-out and thank you to Nerdabout New York.

Untitled from Noah Sussman on Vimeo.

P.S. I think it goes without saying that, Billy being unavailable, I would happily settle for Ellie from the Rocketboom site in Howard Stearns’ “Inventing the Future” post just before this one.

Posted in My Thoughts Exactly, Writing | Also tagged , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Petraeus == Betray us

Or not, who knows, I don’t care. It’s an enlisted man’s pun, you wouldn’t understand. I just want to see if I can get the Senate of the United States of America to debate Wetmachine and maybe pass a resolution denouncing us. I’m sure that would be good for traffic, which is what it’s all about, ain’t it? Net capitalism, dude. It’s what’s for dinner.

But I don’t know why I bother, because Comcast or AT&T, the new Cellular, will edit this en route to your eyballs, and you’ll never even know I wrote it. It will be like the memory hole, only more high tech. And the bits will seal up around the absense of my message just like the metal man in Terminator Two, Judgement Day. (Remember, in Soviet Russia, Internet censors YOU!)

Hey, don’t taze me, bro. I’m just say’n what it is.

You may now go back to reading the triumphal return post, below, from our long-lost Web 3.0 boy, Howard Stearns.

Posted in "A Republic, if you can keep it", My Thoughts Exactly | Also tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Welcome Boingers and Sundry Wetmachine Virgins!

Step right this way!

If you’re looking for what Cory Doctorow calls my “gonzo hacker novels”, you are almost there. Click on the images on the top left of this page.

The creator of the illustrations for The Pains, Matthew Frederick Davis Hemming, is selling prints of the illustrations. Check out his site too!

Speaking of Cory, check out the podcasts of his interview with me:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

If you care about holding onto democracy and yer constitutional rights in today’s modern digital-futuristic world of today, check out Harold Feld’s Tales of the Sausage Factory. He’s written a lot of good stuff lately — on net neutrality, on the new FCC chairman, on collusion in FCC auctions, on municipal wireless & democracy. . . When Harold writes something it’s usually well written, informative, funny, and very important.

If you’re a software geek, check out Howard Stearns’ Inventing the Future. Howard is one of the lead developers on the Croquet project.

Speaking of cool web n+1 software, isn’t about time that you checked out OpenLaszlo?

In conclusion, let me beg for money. Please buy one of my books (or make a paypal donation as a token of value received for the free downloads).

Posted in My Thoughts Exactly | Also tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

My Thoughts Exactly

Croquet and OpenLaszlo: Plans for World Domination

Howard Stearns’s post, below, about How Croquet will Take Over the Universe (Bwah-hah-hah) got me thinking about OpenLaszlo and our own plans to take over the, um, er, well, our plans for success.

Laszlo Systems, Inc, signs my paycheck, but 90% of what I do for that check is related to OpenLaszlo, the “Rich Internet Application” platform that is given away for free. Just as Howard suggests, Laszlo Systems makes its money by selling applications and services on top of the platform, not from selling the platform itself. Laszlo Mail is the first such product, and others are under development. The OpenLaszlo platform, which Laszlo Systems Inc subsidizes to the tune of several full-time developers and one full-time documentation guy, generates exactly zero dollars for the company.

Laszlo Systems, Inc, is a startup in which I have a relative pantload of stock options. So I want Laszlo Systems, Inc, to succeed, which means that Laszlo has to convince deep-pocketed customers to buy Laszlo applications. In order for Laszlo applications to be acceptable to potential customers, the customers must be convinced that the underlying technology is sound and that it will be around for the long haul. That implies that OpenLaszlo must be seen to be thriving. There must exist a rich ecology of corporations that have a financial interest in keeping OpenLaszlo healthy.

Trust is the substrate upon which the open source ecology can grow. The best way to ensure that trust, of course, it to make OpenLaszlo really, truly open; to make it abundantly clear to potential developers that Laszlo Systems is not self-dealing, not trying to control the platform for its own benefit.

Laszlo is the fourth startup I’ve worked at. I ain’t rich yet, and I ain’t getting any younger. So I want *this* to be the one we get right. Wetmachiners Howard, Gary and I all worked for, and got virtually incinerated by, Curl, which, like Laszlo and Croquet, developed a potentially web-transforming technology. Alas for us, Curl screwed the pooch, as they say; it pissed away all the opportunity that that technology could have given them (us) by messing up this fundamental process that Howard wrote about.

Read More »

Posted in My Thoughts Exactly, Software | Also tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

My Thoughts Exactly

Well Hello Again Everybody

And welcome once again to the Whiskey A Go-Go on the fabulous Sunset Strip.

Things seem a little slow around Wetmachine these days and I can only hope that Harold Feld has not gone on sabbatical, as I am a TotSF junky and am kinda jonesing a little right now. Howard Stearns has been a little scarce at ItF also, but I’m not worried: that boy is just gestating, I’m sure of it.

As for my own contributions, well, I’m working in my usual desultory way on three little essays:

— On the tendencies towards totalitarianism, anarchy and community, and where “technology” as a abstract concept fits into all of them;

— On the notion of Borgification;

— On walking away from a dream, or why I have stopped working on a novel that was specifically requested by a Big Name Publisher.

So, this is a placeholder entry. Until Stearns and Feld come back I’m going to hope that Gary will continue to populate with the odd disturbing story here and there so that we can continue in our disoriented stumblings into a fearful, fretful future the in the true Wetmachine way.

Posted in My Thoughts Exactly, Wetmachine site news | Also tagged , , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Wetmachine makeover

Fans of Harold Feld’s “Tales of the Sausage Factory” and/or Howard Stearns’s “Inventing the Future” will be happy to note that those columns are now their own blogs within Wetmachine. TotSF and IfF posts will continue to be integrated on the Wetmachine front page, but if you just want the pure stuff (undiluted by my ramblings, e.g.) you can bookmark the column you want.

The respective urls are Tales and Inventing. You can also get to them from this page by clicking on their links to the right, under the heading “sections.”

We’ve also improved access to the archives. Other improvments, including rss feeds, will be forthcoming.

Thanks to Gary for pulling this together. . .

Posted in My Thoughts Exactly, Wetmachine site news | Also tagged , , | 7 Comments (Comments closed)
  • Connect With Us

    Follow Wetmachine on Twitter!

Username
Password

If you do not have an account: Register