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July 19, 2005

Time the Avenger

How on earth am I going to get through it all? I have no idea. There is so much going on that I'm about to pop.

First of all, I just finished up at my last assignment. So now the design doc is done and we sit on our hands for several weeks while the sodbusters in procurement decide whether or not we who have done the brainwork in Research get to do the moneywork of Development. On the other hand, the whole point of this farce is to let the Indians do it cheap. I'm starting to become a red-blooded American asshole. But I'm trying not to got nativist all at once. I'll let the next contract lost push me over the edge. For the moment I am just on edge. That's one.

The new gig has got me wheeling my hooptie all the way out to Westlake Village. Close but far, and they've got the nerve to want me out there at 8am sharp. Damn! Well, at least their spaghetti isn't so tangled as others I've seen this year. It's hands-on for a change. I'm actually building stuff. That's nice. On the other hand, they've got my sites marked as verboten by that firewall dingus, so I can't update pieces of drafts during the day. Not good. That means the 4 day forecast for blogging is dreary. Ahh well. That's why they call it work.

I'm never going to have enough verbiage to describe all the camaraderie at the Summer BFL gathering this weekend at Cal Tech. It's a damned shame because that's at least one thing I know that will get trackbacks. Be that as it may, there are others capable of handling that action in general. Nevertheless, there are some standout moments that I absolutely must address.

Firstly, J. Craig Williams, the fiercely sharp guy who runs the new blog May it Please the Court, helped adjust my thinking on the issues surrounding the Shield Law. I like his attitude, firm and assured. That's what does the convincing - he's not merely logical, but an advocate. What sticks is the notion that one should talk what one knows as a blogger / publisher, for we are called into account for the information we release. You need to understand the import of what communication you do on behalf of sources, whether or not one might be compelled to release their identity. You simply can't get off scott-free; nobody is 'just' a messenger. This is a responsibility that lies independent of one's right to be shielded.

Schneier never answered my question about the self-shielded whistleblower, but I am becoming more convinced that such a thing is possible in the web. Somebody like Cryptome who has decided to be something of a secrets clearinghouse may very well prove to be a precedent sometime in the future. But there are interesting possibilities to be decided when a self-cloaked blabbermouth engages a semi-witting agent to publish news special somebodies want kept quiet. It's a tricky road, but I am more convinced now that there are real possibilities. I am also more convinced now that we may begin to tread into spycraft, and the legal stuff behind that is deadly - just ask Plame or Rove.

Speaking of which.. naaah. Later.

It turns out that just the very kind of guy who ought to get it, it being the future of voting, computer mediated deliberation and all, is too something of a gamer. Marc 'Armed Liberal' Danziger and I will be throwing ideas around to look at the next level of blogospheric organization. If I can manage to crawl out of bed early enough, I'll explain XRepublic to him.

I don't know how I got it in my head that I'd be tossing bourbons back with Gerard. It just seemed like a good idea at the time. He was kind enough not to look at me strangely as I publically persisted with that notion. I simply find it odd that this guy, whom I've known in various joints on the web going back a dozen years, have not met much less had a drink. Maybe I've been watching too many Western movies. Cheers anyway. Maybe it'll be motorcycles in the end.

In typical style, I was bursty at the joint, alternatively being extraordinarily attentive and breathing people in and then doing a ventriloquist whistle to make it sound like Miss Attila is from Brooklyn. I had a ball all in all. What a bunch.

Now I have to go check my head at Dreadnought according to the Gay Patriot. Damn. It's midnight.

Posted by mbowen at July 19, 2005 12:07 AM

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I had forgotten about that! For a few hours people were going up to me and complimenting me on "my" whistle.

I wanted to say, "look at me! Does it look like I have that kind of lungpower?"

But I just insisted that I can't whistle, and you must have known it deep down--so you did it for me. Got everyone's attention, all right!

Posted by: Little Miss Attila at July 19, 2005 12:15 AM