Scott Hanselman

News Flash - I'm a Luddite

October 24, '04 Comments [7] Posted in ASP.NET | Javascript
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If I had a nickel for everytime someone called me a Luddite, I'd have 5 cents.

Main Entry: Ludd·ite
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps from Ned Ludd, 18th century Leicestershire workman who destroyed machinery
: one of a group of early 19th century English workmen destroying laborsaving machinery as a protest; broadly : one who is opposed to especially technological change
- Luddite adjective

Dave Winer thinks me opposed to technological change as I'm currently underwhelmed by Podcasting. Here's a Dave's comment from Carl's blog (my annotations in bold.)

Dave Winer: Carl, every time some new form of communication there are always people to say it's unnecessary or no one wants it. I've even been one of those people from time to time. ;->

Your friend's mistake is that this isn't a replacement for PowerPoint, it's a replacement for drive-time radio, or radio listened to while exercising, or radio not listened to on long airplane flights or drives. (Where reception is non-existent or only idiotic right wing idealogues are available. They can be entertaining, but after a while you yearn for some adult conversation.)

Anyway, PowerPoint, which btw, I had a hand in inventing (Smooth segue. Apparently Dave invented the bulleted list and the slideshow. Here he remind us of one of his many places in history...), is a disaster for communication (...then as a technological bad-boy bashes it), it should be wiped off the face of the earth, a crutch for freaked-out speakers, and the people who have to listen to someone wade through a PP presentation know all too well that as soon as the first slide is up, people start falling asleep, checking their email or reading blogs. Now they'll have a new choice, put on the headphones and listen to one of the verbal incontinents [sic] your Luddite friend is so dismissive of.

When did PowerPoint come into all this? An example of another often low-fidelity content format perhaps.  Thank you Rory, for saying it simply "Podcasting is a means of syndicating binary content - that's all!"

That said:

  • I've been an Audible Subscriber since its inception and use it for NPR as well as AudioBooks.
  • I did a nationally syndicated Wireless Trip across the country in the Spring of 2000 that distributed via MP3s and produced by a local AM radio station. A few links. I've still got the MP3s, perhaps I should post them.
  • I've be a PodCast subscriber since .NET Rocks started using PodCasting.

And I'm saying simply:

  • It's ironic as we were all up in arms two weeks ago about RSS's use of bandwidth, now we're using RSS as a pointer to a 40 meg MP3.
  • Other than Engadget and .NET Rocks, I'm underwhelmed by the content.
  • It's fun to say "verbal incontinence" but now that Dave's chimed in, I'll start using the more descriptive "diarrhea of the mouth."

Thanks Dave for making my point about content quality for me by raising the quality of the discourse.  Too bad you didn't Podcast it.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Sunday, October 24, 2004 2:26:18 AM UTC
well said.
Sunday, October 24, 2004 3:51:53 AM UTC
I posted a few weeks back on how I felt about podcasting: Yawn.

http://blogs.msdn.com/smakofsky/archive/2004/10/07/239083.aspx
http://blogs.msdn.com/smakofsky/archive/2004/10/08/239787.aspx

The response I got was generally the same: no one really wants to listen to bloggers yap on and on.

Sunday, October 24, 2004 11:47:47 AM UTC
I know for a fact that Scott is NOT NOW and has NEVER BEEN a luddite.

However, rumor has it that he washes his ties in Woolite!
http://www.fabriclink.com/Woolite/

Coincidence? I think NOT!
Sunday, October 24, 2004 5:53:23 PM UTC
I agree with you completely about the bandwidth issue but even though I have absolutely no use for podcasts (no iPod, no car) I don't see the point of trashing it because I haven't heard any good content from it. I am sure the same thing could have been said about every other content distribution system since the dawn of time.
Cave Drawings ("jeez, do I really need to see drawings of that bearhunting story you won't shut up about?!")
the Press ("more Bibles? Those are everywhere and now you're mass-producing them?")
blogs (I'm sure we all remember how lame the majority of content was in the first years of blogging)
Monday, October 25, 2004 1:14:18 PM UTC
Dude, I saw your IM sig this morning "Dave Winer thinks I'm a Luddite" I knew we were in for an farcical morning. On the other hand, being called something stupid by Dave is an honor..no wait he does that to everyone who doesn't agree...
Monday, October 25, 2004 7:24:50 PM UTC
I believe the word you need, or maybe it's Dave who needs it, is 'logorrhea'.

Pete
Peter Hornby
Friday, November 05, 2004 3:03:18 AM UTC
I really like the news flash.I am sure the same thing could have been said about every other content distribution system.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.