ANTI‑

Anil Dash is an Indian-American bon vivant/bipolarist whom I met once or twice and defended on several occasions, of which fact he is entirely ignorant. What he’s done is succeed upward (despite appearances to the contrary) in the Web bubble over a period of 20 years. He’s a perfect tech-industry product: “I’m an entrepreneur, activist, and writer focused on making the tech world more humane and ethical…. My work focus[s]es on ensuring that tech serves those who are most vulnerable and in the most need,” which must always be read as “Everyone but you.”

Anil, whose name I, a linguist, mispronounced for years until he corrected it to my face, which measure was what was apparently actually needed, is a “blogging pioneer” who barely ever blogs anymore. Lots of fair reasons not to. But he prairie-dogged the other day long enough to write a treatise on fast-charging an iPhone. I wrote back (edited):

In cold light of day, couldn’t [your post] (a) have just used the slug /charge/ and (ii) been reduced to a “tweet” and a link to Apple Support documents and/or ?

Response from this defender of the downtrodden:

LOL don’t ever change, man. Couldn’t your email have been reduced to you shaking your fist at your computer screen?

I wrote back: “I am unlikely to change from being an editor of decades’ standing, no. Try to be nicer to fellow old-timers. We’ll all be dead soon enough.”

Like Textism. I should have mentioned that at the time.

I had previously written about being the only X in the village in any village and for any value of X. An esteemed colleague introduced me as such onstage once. I respect that colleague’s honesty in not even bothering to camouflage his exasperation sometimes; I prefer to be stabbed in the front.

I fondly recall visiting a Web-standards mensch’s midtown apartment of an Xmas. Certainly I was treated like royalty. Unlike another friend who had had a depressive break he denied (here again: to my face), were we in the same town for one reason or another right now, he would be just as thrilled to see me. The feeling would be mutual, within respective exuberance levels.

If pushed, I could not defend the following to the utmost, but my impulse is to state that Web “pioneers,” all of whom are now above age 45, have a duty to be nice to each other (term used advisedly). Certainly not snide. At the very least, put the same energy into maintaining friendships, over long timescales and distances, that you, the humane, ethical tech entrepreneur, might invest into protesting “misgendering” on Twitter.

I would positively not reject my old friends out of hand, because my kind can accept growth and disagreement. They’re all of a single kind and they can’t. I have a strong guess as to what they’d think of me now, and not a single fact or experience I could explain to them would matter.

Textism committed suicide in large part due to ostracism, which I keep telling you is fatal. Behind the scenes (nothing is ready to announce), I seem to be the only one putting any effort into forestalling a repeat.

I do find Anil Dash gratuitously nasty, but I know he, like his ilk, think it’s the least that was deserved. They agree on everything, including the unassailable fact they’re the best.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2018.09.05 14:00. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
https://blog.fawny.org/2018/09/05/oldtimers/

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