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Excerpt:Running to the Mountain

Hemos posted more than 15 years ago | from the one-of-our-own dept.

News 169

As some of you might know, Jon Katz, one of our own has recently had his latest book published, Running to The Mountain. I've read an advance copy of the book, and was impressed (as I usually am) with Katz' take on life, spirituality, and what it means to be human. As he is obviously one of our own here, I won't even pretend to be able to give an objective review-I leave that to others-including the print version of USAToday, a rave review. For the reading benefit of the audience, I've included an excerpt from the new book below, along with the book cover. Read it-it's worth time. Update: 02/18 11:39 by H : The USA Today review is online.Update: 02/18 02:08 by H :Katz has written some words talking about this-look above the review to read it.Just want to report that since the Slashdot excerpt of my book went up, the sales ranking went from 9,000 to 200 in less than two hours. That's a pretty striking testament to the punch of this site. I fought pretty hard for the publisher to release the first serial rights here, (they didn't get any money) for several reasons:

  1. I think the site is great and Rob and Jeff deserve some help with the rent money. Books fought from this site send some money back to them.
  2. We write a lot on this site about empowerment, about individuals taking some responsibility for their technology. Writers need to do the same. I argued for months that I could bring my book to readers directly and bypass the hype machinery than handcuff writers and keep them dependent on reviewers and producers and marketers. So I always saw a link between an OSS site and an experiment like this.

And it worked. It probably doesn't take that many books to go from 9,000 to 200 (last week my ranking was l.2 million) but I think this is an experiment that has really worked. It shows sites like this reach people, even sell things. It gives some money back to a site that has given everybody else, including me, a hell of a lot. It suggests another empowering possibility for the Net. Writers can get off their butts and communicate directly with readers.
So thanks to those of you who have been e-mailing me those nice words. Thanks to the people who are buying the book and giving a dollar or two back to the site. And thanks even to the flamers for adding their usual free-wheeling spice.
I plan to top 100 by the end of the today. The USA Today review helped, obviously, but this is the place that made it happen.
you can e-mail me at

Running to the Mountain

Written by Jon Katz

So, tentatively, with equal parts determination and terror, I set out on what Thomas Merton liked to call a journey of the soul.

Merton, a Trappist monk whose work I began when I was in the 9th grade and in sore need of solace, as did millions of others all over the world, was my guide on this trip. I'd read almost everything he'd written. He was a Catholic, I was raised a Jew; he had absolute faith, I never did. Still, for reasons I may never completely understand, he spoke to me, personally and powerfully. As a boy, I'd written him a letter that he never answered; if he had, I might have wound up in the monastery with him. Merton died thirty years ago. I never met him, but if a stranger's voice can enter one's soul, his permeated mine.

"It is absolutely impossible," he wrote all those years ago, "for a man to live without some kind of faith."

It is equally impossible to change your life without some.

A prolific author, journal keeper, letter writer and poet, Merton lived in the abbey of Gethsemani in the Kentucky woods. He was approaching 50 when he retreated to a hermitage; perhaps it's not coincidental that as I approached 50, I ran to a mountain, too.

Merton was obsessed with a central issue for our time -- figuring out how to live, trying to forge a life of balance, purpose and meaning. I've grown to share his obsession, his belief that life demands a lot of tinkering, and requires people to give birth to themselves not just once, but over and over.

Central to much of Merton's writing was the idea of these journeys, powerful images of seeking and traveling. The journey of the soul -- his term -- is to me one of his most important notions. It has enormous moral force and potent appeal to us wretched pilgrims as we struggle to find direction, to figure out what to believe, to incorporate some measure of spirituality and peace into our frantic lives.

On my own journey, in the years since I stared into those monitors, my life changed more radically than I had imagined.

I underwent years of psychoanalysis, became a writer, and swore never to work for a large institution again. Shedding ambitions, friends and colleagues of 15 years, I left the world of offices, annual evaluations, meetings, suits and expense accounts behind for good.

The world I entered -- the life of a suburban parent and solitary author -- could not have been more different. I crossed a vast cultural and social divide in months, from barking orders in a high-tech control room to holding up in the attic of my house trying to write and sell a novel, keeping one eye on the clock so I never missed a carpool.

Had I a realistic idea of what a writer's life would really be like, I would have thought a lot longer and harder.

But the point was, I began one year a big-deal producer and ended it at home, fielding calls about playdates from the other Moms, learning the ways of supermarkets, and sitting in front of an early primitive Apple computer at the dawn of the Digital Age clacking out the story of a network taken over by a heartless conglomerate.

So began the wildest ride of my life.

But as I turned 50 in the summer of l997, even before I stood on that mountain, I already suspected that I needed to take another trip, even if I didn't really know why.

A decade, seven books and countless articles later, I was driving up the New York State Thruway, my heart pounding like some eager traveler about the hit the road again.

Change, I remembered all too well, is risky and frightening. Much as you flail around seeking help, when it's all said and done, there is only one genuine source of inspiration, courage and determination -- that's you.

In fact, running to the mountain, another spiritual adventure, proved even more frightening than the first. A decade of shocks, disappointments, successes and defeats had accumulated since the last trip. If I had a heightened sense that one could successfully change one's life, being a writer had taught me time and again that rejection and failure were even greater possibilities. The first time, I'd leaped more or less blindly into the void. This time, I had a sense of what awaited me.

Only recently has it occurred to me that recounting this ongoing trek might be interesting or useful to others. But because so many people have embarked on journeys of their own -- of all sorts, from embarking on parenthood or divorce to changing a career and facing the end of life -- it may be worth telling.

E-mail with questiosns or comments.

If you want to purchase this book, head over to Amazon and help Rob and I pay rent.

cancel ×


Katz worship. (1)

juuri (7678) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011637)

I for one commend Mr. Katz many contributions
to the world of open source and his willingness to help those who are having problem with OSS based operatin... oh wait a second, he has never done any of that.

In fact what has he done? Other than write a few horrid articles here and there? Can someone please explain to me why slashdot has a serious case of Katz worship? Linus or Jordan I can understand. Hell even that foul mouthed, ill-tempered little punk Theo, but Katz? Have we run out of heros that quickly?

Katz != one of our own (1)

Milhous (5181) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011638)

I'm sorry, but he's not. Katz is a bystander, a media type who has found something he really believes in (or thinks he does) and because he can't, say, contribute code, or documentation, or something useful, he's taken to writing hopeful articles about Linux with really long paragraphs.

Often followed by short ones.

Katz is a joke, an author without a subject who seems to have adopted /. as a playground where he can learn linux and gain street credibility with the larger media world.

Has he, like Bruce Sterling, released books with free electronic distribution? What has Katz ever really contributed? He's an Anonymous Coward with a login, slashdot email account, and an eye on getting back into slick print media.

If he really wanted to help Linux instead of just rah-rah from the sidelines, he'd sign up to write documentation for the FSF, or Debian, or any of a hundred projects that need manuals more than they need his approval.

more fluff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011639)

when am i going to be able to filter all jonkatz related articles from my view of slashdot? its lowering the s/n ration significantly. this guy should be writing for usa today or the new york post.

Now it all makes sense (1)

DaBuzz (878) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011640)

So THIS is why Katz was made a contributing editor here ... to build a name (good or bad) then promote his book. I wouldn't doubt it one bit if there was some under the table transaction behind this whole ordeal. Ever wonder how Rob makes it without a job? I don't anymore.

This all smells to high heaven.

Only 28% of slashdot readers use Linux or *nix, while 55% of them use Windows. How ironic.

Katz Sucks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011641)

To save valuable screen real estate, please post all messages that could be summed up as:
"Katz sucks and I rool"
as replies to this post. This will neaten up the thread display and save everyone time.

The Management.

Katz serves a purpose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011642)

Katz should most definitely stay. Katz (sometimes) offers a useful point of view to OSS. No, he's not a programmer, or ducumentor, or really (for now...) even a user. He DOES, however, write in a fashipn understandable to the mainstream. Face it. If OSS is to survive, it needs mainstream acceptance. Not many OSS people can communicate to the masses in the way Katz (sometimes) does. Is slashdot the right place? Maybe. I occasionally enjoy his pieces, though I'll often read a summary, without reading the poster, and think, "Oh god, here's another Katz article."

Katz worship. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011643)

"Worship" is the wrong term, "respect" is more like it.

Why? Because he can write. In fact, he's rather good at it. He is also pro- Free Software. Few people from this community are able to write good, original articles that are fit for the mainstream press.

*spitting out water* baaahaaahaaaahaaa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011644)

...Katz' take on life, spirituality, and what it means to be human. As he is obviously one of our own here...

No, this site is "News for Nerds." Not "Life, The Universe and Everything."

Katz != one of our own (1)

Cordova (16031) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011645)

The world doesn't revolve around Linux! /. is, and I quote "News for Nerds. Stuff that matters." Just due to your concetration on News doesn't mean people on here don't want some Stuff. If you don't like Katz don't read the book.


Can't lurk all the time.

Katz worship. (2)

||Deech|| (16749) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011646)

So what have *you* done? Other then read articles (clearly labled as to what they contain and who wrote them I might add) that you don't like and therefore don't pertain to you then whine and complain like a child that you don't like them and wah, sniff, he shouldn't be here and make the bad man stop, mommy...
Look, For you and all the other idiots that complain about Katz, I said it before and I'll say it again, noone came to your 'puter and forced you to read a Katz posting or a post by Hemos about Katz or anything else on slashdot for that matter. If you don't like it, don't read it. Thats what Titles are for, they tell you whats in a posting *before* you read it. I for one, like Katz's articles, and plan on buying his book. For my own amusment or just to piss you off, I haven't decided yet... :P btw, that earlier question, the one about what have you done, etc. was retorical, I really wasn't giving you an invitation to toot your own horn about whatever it is you have done for OSS or anything else for that matter...

Why the Anti-Katz trolls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011647)

IMHO, Jon Katz has contributed two very important things to Slashdot (Note, SLASHDOT! not Open Source, not Linux, not FSF):

1) He has been able to verbalize the experience of a newbie user to the world of Linux and Open Source. He has done this accurately (as far as I can tell), rationally, and most imporantly, has done it in a very clear and literate manner.

That is much more than many of the "Katz Sucks" crowd has been able to do.


2) He is a published journalist who does lend a bit of credence to Slashdot. Not that WE need it, but sometimes the ouside world does.

Now, I don't really care much for mainstream journalism. It tends to be sensational, shallow, short-sighted, and self-serving. However, I have seen NONE of this in Jon Katz writings here.

You don't have to be a programmer or work for free or be rabid anti-Microsoft to make a difference in our world.

As for the book; who among us ISN'T looking for a way to live. Many of us somtimes think we have found it, but vendors, and bosses, and Microsoft keeps popping up in our Edens.

I think it is very appropriate..

John Fulmer
(Not a Coward, just Lazy)

well.... (1)

mackga (990) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011648)

Even though I don't have too much use for this type of book, I wish jk good luck. May your royalty checks be large and never bounce!

USA Today article polluted by bold from a search (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011649)

Just a comment, but I found it very distracting to read the review [] that Hemos linked. Seems to have been the result of a search for the name "Katz" and everytime the word appears it's bold and italic-- very tough to read.

In case you overlooked this, now you know.

What's the Big Deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011650)

The problem with this book excerpt is that I can tell the whole "journey" is a really big deal to Katz, yet he hasn't stopped to ask if we the reader would find the trip equally fascinating.

I'm tempted to ask "So what?" What's unique here, besides the author's self-indulgence?

I can name off the top of my head at least twelve books that tackle this kind of narrative better.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011651)

Speaking as a proud member of the community, I would like to say that Katz is not one of us, never has been one of us, and never will be one of us. When I read /. the last thing I want to see is yet another writer's take on the meaning of life, and how he "found himself". /. is not supposed to be a self-help center.

Katz writes the next Linux For Dummies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011652)

Actually Mr. Katz has an interesting writing style. Perhaps as his knowledge gains in the future he might benefit the linux community by writing a basic How-To or whathaveyou in his style...

I think Mr. Katz gets bashed way too much here. I don't think he's a NBH (Natural Born Hacker), but he's a hell of a lot more technically literate than the average joe, and UNLIKE the average joe, he wants to learn more than 'click this icon to launch Word'.

Katz != one of our own (1)

MSG (12810) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011653)

I think that you are missing the point of OSS. We need users as much as programmers. If not for the users of the world, then WHO IS OSSS FOR? Why does Linus want to direct Linux as a desktop OS more than a high end UNIX server platform? It's because he (we) believe that OSS software isn't very useful if it's not usefull to everyone.

Katz is definitely one of us, and so are all of the AC posters, like it or not. We don't all have the same ideals and backgrounds, but we are all one. Who are you to question his contributions? Where are yours?

It seems like Katz gets a lot of resentment here, and Sengen too. Why is that? I think that these people are real. They express thoughts and opinions. They have real interests that extend outside of computers. I respect that.

Be more accepting of people, and you'll be accepted too.

Moron (1)

Xar (11113) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011654)

If you think one lousy manual for a free software program does more for the community than the attention garnered by Katz's writing, you are a moron.

Try understand how the world works before you make yourself look stupid, again.

Nuff said.

Now it all makes sense (1)

DaBuzz (878) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011655)

Interesting that someone who contributes nothing (I didn't see your personal site's URL) has such strong opinions about what's "worth reading".

I guess this proves the point ... consider the source.

Only 28% of slashdot readers use Linux or *nix, while 55% of them use Windows. How ironic.

Look in a mirror and say you are not like Katz. (1)

earthy (11491) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011656)

Let me start by stating an obvious fact: Jon Katz is as human as we all are.

He is trying to turn around his life to a more technically savvy state. This is something most of us have already done years ago as kids without so much as giving it a single thought. The nice thing is that Jon *does* give it a thought. And he filters the thought through some 50 years of experience living, and then tells people about it. This makes for very insightful texts on learning one's way around technology and the technologically savvy (ie us).

Note that all of us have gone through the same process. And personally, I *like* analyses of stuff I went through. They enhance my own insight in things, and that is Good Thing. It makes me more well-rounded as a human being and as a nerd.

Telling `other people' about how great being technologically savvy is is not an issue to me. I just don't care about that. You guys criticizing Jon seem to be very much against that. How 'open' or 'free' is that?

Darn if Katz doesn't grow on you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011657)

I'm glad Jon had the asbestos suit on to repel all the flames, as I was originally against the guy. Now I look forward to his articles and I'm impressed with how often he's able to write a clear column. I'd be lucky to put together one a month, he seems to do about one a week.

Me thinks that someone watched X-Files 1 too... (1)

Hemos (2) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011658)

many times...

Yeah, you've found the big secret. We're actually tools for Random House. Congratulations. Your door prize is on the way.

Katz Sucks and I rool! vi4EVAAAAHHHHHHHH! (1)

A Big Gnu Thrush (12795) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011659)

I thought Katz was twenty-something, too. The over 50 comment explains why he couldn't install Linux.

Katz != one of our own (1)

John Campbell (559) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011660)

Because documentation needs to be clear, concise, and written with an eye towards the hard facts by someone who knows what they're doing.

I mean, when you type "man ls", do you want a description of its switches, or a ten page rant on how ls is going to help the new geeks destroy the corporate culture and bring back the Sixties and get geeks more in touch with their geek roots and make everything geeky and cool and oh, by the way, I don?t use ?ls?, I use ?My Computer??

if Katz!=coder (insider==false) & more commentary (3)

anneke (4956) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011661)

Although Katz's writing style tends to grate on my nerves occasionally as another example of cliche' writing style, he does sometimes have interesting stuff to say. Otherwise, those posting reply upon reply about Katz's ineptitude should admit that they only read his stuff to savor The Joy of Flaming. He's not the best writer I've seen; he's also by /no/ means the worst. Slashdot may not be the most appropriate forum, precisely /because of/ the nerd-oriented and tech-saavy community to whom he's writing. But hey, he does this on a volunteer basis, and we should give him some credit for that; not to mention that we obviously keep reading his stuff, as the comments attest to.

Considering that the articles written for this site are free, we could probably cut him/CmdrTaco et. al. at break for posting a book excerpthere-- why not grant him the press. I agree, however, that in general he's writing on a different level than a fair number of Slashdotters (or that they/we can appreciate.)

I find it fairly annoying to see, time and again, people rejecting Katz or other non-coders off-hand because they haven't physically contributed to
Linux, in the form of documentation, code or the like. There are probably more than enough Anonymous Cowards out there to tell me that that's what it's all about, and that I'm only bitter because /I'm/ not doing it either.

Not so.

Slashdot is not just about Linux-- it's about /all/ "News for Nerds," and I love Linux to death as much as the next Slashdotter. But there's more to being "an insider" (although I was skeptical when i read that as well) than writing code. Katz /may/ be able to increase the visibility of the Linux (and additional OSS) OS, and he's helping in that way; and those of us who love the functionality of Linux and /use/ it can be just as suppportive via word-of-mouth explanation and the willingness to help newbies get started as those who code up a storm and submit patches. He may be a different sort of insider, but we don't reject Rob and Jeff as outsiders, do we? The entire concept of Slashdot is on community participation, just like OSS, and such members/leaders are just insiders on a different level.


"Real women use Linux"

Merton? (1)

pingouin (783) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011662)

Cool! You've now sucked me "into the tent"; I'll be contributing to your rent shortly :)

To the hardcore Katz-bashers: there is a world outside our boxen; it has a way of influencing the world inside our boxen (see the forest of Perens threads). So maybe Katz' posts can be seen as Stuff That Matters. Squint if you have to :)


Shut up about "don't read it then" (2)

nacho (1714) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011663)

/. is not a "Linux only, OSS only" news site. Read the title: "News for nerds...stuff that maters".

I've said this before; it's important to pull your head out of the sand once-in-a-while, and take a look at the big picture. I really like Katz's writing, not because it's technical, but because it's insightful. If I wanted to read something technical, I'd grab an O'reilly book.

An offtopic slashdot article is an oxymoron.

Katz worship. (1)

RattRigg (4253) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011664)

If you can question what Jon Katz has done, surely we can ask What have YOU done?

/. Opinion Column (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011665)

What Katz writes, as I see it, is an opinion column. I don't always read it, but I like to see that sometimes. And so far I've found it to (usually) be one hell of a lot better than its equivalents in most of the paper mags.

I didn't vote in the earlier "JK referrendum", but I would now. Keep the guy - he's worth the read. And if it's not your thing, just skip right on to the rest of the tech articles.

why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011666)

How about this: If you don't like it, don't read it! That seems to work, eh? Kind of like, you don't like Windows, you don't use it? Hate to be the one to break it to you, but you aren't going to like everything.

Sucks, though, huh?

I didn't think it was possible, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011667)

um, wow. What a bunch of stuck up little twits. I imagine that most of the comments here are based on a youthful lack of perspective. I don't agree with everything Katz writes, but he does have one thing that I'm willing to bet most of the posters don't - experience. Life is a hell of a lot more than coding and documentation. I'm not talking about pop culture here, but what it all MEANS. Get a grip, people, and maybe even attempt to think outside the box once in a while.

Katz worship. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011668)

Man there is more whining in here than in a nursery. Why don't you just go fuck off if you don't like things here?

Katz != one of our own (1)

A Big Gnu Thrush (12795) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011669)

Did anyone else think of deformed sideshow midgets when they saw the title of this thread?

One of us, One of us, One of us....

Katz needs to contribute to the movement before he can crawl under the wagon and writhe in the mud.

Go ahead and write some documentation so we can hate you for other reasons.

Age discrimination? bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011670)

What the fuck gives you the idea that /. is limited to people under 25? Is technology limited only to the young? If you honestly believe that, you've got worse problems than Katz.

Grow up, butthead.

Shut up about "don't read it then" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011671)

Start your own site then crybaby.

since JK cant code... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011672)

since he doesnt code, doesnt contribute documentation, lets get rid of him, along with him goes Rob, since he posts stuff about star wars (never saw a linux box in the millenium falcon have you?) and Hemos, since he posted about JK.
that would solve all our problems and make slashdot the boring little soapbox it needs to be to gain all of your acceptance instead of a cool place to read stuff that DOES interest people other than yourselves.

*spitting out water* baaahaaahaaaahaaa (1)

Phrack (9361) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011673)

It's Rob's site, it can be whatever the hell he wants it to be.

more fluff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011674)

Here's is a hint.. Perl, Sockets, parse slashdot front page for 'Katz'. Should be trivial for someone as obviously smart as you.

Or just go away.

Very interesting stuff (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011675)

Posted by OGL:

Is it just me, or does Katz' writing style seem to change dramatically between his "geek" writings and when he writes about himself? For some reason when I read his tretises about nerd movies or open source, they always seem rather condensed and rushed. It's like trying to study "War and Peace" while stoned.

I could speculate that short articles really aren't Katz's ideal format, but I also think he has the ability to improve if he learns to make more subtle points with less verbiage. I also like the idea of Katz being "one of us", even if he isn't a true nerd. As Scott Adams once said while comparing his experience at PacBell with Jane Goodall's Chimpanzee research, "I was not a member of engineer society, but I worked closely with them."


Don't know about you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011676)

No, I'm interested in the larger world as well. So bring on the stories about world hunger!

Oh, doesn't that belong here? Why not?

What? Not one of us? (2)

Porno Queen (13786) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011677)

Where did this close mindedness come from? What are we, a private country club? How do you define "one of us"?
I say that Katz most definitely is one of us based on his interest in free software and its implications on society. That he is spending the time to try to learn to use Linux first hand is an even bigger indication that he's one of us.

I find Katz's articles some of the most interesting at slashdot because I've also considered the role of free software in remaking our society. It definitely can be argued that a large portion of geek community is concerned with things like freedom and privacy, two topics which he's written about in the past.

I like that he's a "real person" and not just a one-dimensional geek. As another slashdot community member, I don't want you to speak as a "proud member of the community". I'm embarrased by your exclusive ideas about who "belongs".

Katz worship. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011678)

Slashdot isn't mainstream press. That said, it doesn't hurt if Slashdot actually presents some original stuff every now and then. Presently, Katz is just about the only one doing that.

I did not say that good writing involves writing for the mainstream press, neither did I claim that Slashdot *is* mainstream press. Distinguishing good writing from bad writing must be hard when you're unable to read.

Katz writes good, original articles. Slashdot needs that, and nobody else has done a better job than Katz in providing them. Certainly not either you or me, so neither of us should be bashing Katz unless we can do what he does better than him. Somehow, I don't think you're quite up to the challenge.

As to his spelling and grammar, it's about the best I've seen on Slashdot, though that isn't saying much.

Flavor Crystals? Not in my classroom! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011679)

Don't get your depends in a bunch, Sir. It's just that /. is made by college students, and seems to be oriented toward that age bracket. One does not expect to see 50-year-old VJs on MTV, but seeing a 50-year-old VJ on VH-1 would not be surprising. Similarly, I would expect more elderly people to go to, say, than

What? Not one of us? (2)

Porno Queen (13786) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011680)

Where did this close mindedness come from? What are we, a private country club? How do you define "one of us"?

I say that Katz most definitely is one of us based on his interest in free software and its implications on society. That he is spending the time to try to learn to use Linux first hand is an even bigger indication that he's one of us.

I find Katz's articles some of the most interesting at slashdot because I've also considered the role of free software in remaking our society. It definitely can be argued that a large portion of geek community is concerned with things like freedom and privacy, two topics which he's written about in the past.

I like that he's a real person and not just a one-dimensional geek. As another slashdot community member, I don't want you to speak as a "proud member of the community". I'm embarrased by your exclusive ideas about who belongs.

I didn't think it was possible, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011681)

yeah, i thought katz was the only person who blew methane out of his mouth about his own work.
guess he paid of hemos to spout hot air for him too.

the crap i read on slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011682)

I would guess that the majority of slashdot post-ers have had a decent education. It seems strange to me that the level of grammar and the spelling aptitude of the majority seem so poor.

To see post-ers who constantly misuse their native languages while attacking another post-er (ie: Jon Katz) for a simple spelling error. It is difficult for some of the post-ers to even piece together a coherent sentence...... Grow up people. The slashdot community is guilty of the one large problem that Linux is facing; alienation. Start being a little more tolerant of others.

Anonymous Coward != Proud Member of the CommunityA (1)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011683)

I would really like to know which community you are a "Proud" member of so that I can make sure that I am not a member of the same community.

Personally Jon strikes me as a pretty genuine person, and while not all of his articles are solid gold, he has made several excellent points (unlike certain random Anonymous Cowards I can think of).

No one is forcing you to read the Katz articles. In fact I imagine that will a little bit of perl scripting you could be free of Katz forever.

Unfortunately I can't hardly do the same thing to get rid of your silly posts. I might want to read what the more enlightened Anonymous Cowards have to say.


losers (1)

kevin lyda (4803) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011684)

"katz sucks, he doesn't contribute."

yeah, whatever. i'm guessing the losers who post that have contributed squat to any free s/w project. one big goose egg. get a life.

i hate to reply to these morons, but not doing so gives the impression that they're in the majority. i'm sure for every negative post, there are 100 positive readers - who most likely don't read comments to jon katz posts since they're filled with mindless crap.

good, a bunch of you don't like him. wonderful! we've figured it out; we've all gotten the point the first 2^128 times you made it. now shut the fuck up.

Give me a break, you morons! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011685)

Jesus. I can't get over how many of you morons
jump to Katz's defence. First of all, Slashdot
*is* about "News for Nerds", and I have rarely
seen a Katz article that was appropriate to this
forum. Either he writes about something that we
already know about and would be better off posted
elsewhere (preaching to the choir), or he writes
about something that has nothing to do with "News
for Nerds".

To those of you who said Katz will do wonders in
bringing Linux into the mainstream spotlight, I
would ask: Exactly *what* has he written about it
that has been helpful? All I have seen so far are
just silly diatribes about how wonderful the
community is, and how exciting the political act
of installing Linux is, and how his pre-configured
Linux box arrived in thousands of pieces, etc.
Just what the *HELL* benefit does this have for

Katz is a moron who should pack up and leave. I
didn't participate in the last "Dump Katz" poll
but I certainly would now! Slashdot is called
"News for Nerds" not "Ponderings by Morons".

(I suppose for some of you NT users, Katz's
writings are right up your alley, however).

Katz worship. (1)

Eccles (932) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011686)

>So your definition of "good" writing contains numerous spelling errors and poor grammar?

Maybe CmdrTaco edits his articles. :-)

P.S. Just teasing Rob, keep up the good work!

Shut up about "don't read it then" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011687)

The front page of /. is only so big, why clutter it with irrelevant, offtopic rambling from pseudo-intellectuals?

Uh, hello? The front page is as big as the Cmdr. wants it to be. Oh, pity that extra second or two of download time...

Verbalized? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011688)

Sorry, I don't wish to be pedantic but Katz hasn't 'verbalized' anything (whatever that means). He may have *articulated* certain thoughts or experiences, but I would question whether his style is either clear or literate.


Katz != one of our own (1)

Tardigrade (17769) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011689)

I do not disagree with you, but who are you to determine who is "one of our own"? Tens of thousands of people read slashdot, obviously some of them like Katz. Therefore, he is "one of our own" to a sub-section of slashdot. The owner's of the site let him on; if anyone should be allowed to determine who is "one of our own", it is them.

Katz worship. (1)

bobdehnhardt (18286) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011690)

Articles that are critical of spelling and grammar errors should contain none themselves, in my opinion. The author in question spells his name "Katz", not "Kats". And I believe you meant to use the word "includes", rather than "contains". We won't go into the missing commas in the first two sentences of your post.

/. is more than just techie-oriented OSS news - certainly, reports on manned Mars missions, Star Wars prequels and Grateful Dead MP3s have little to do with Open Source. To my mind, this falls under the term "Stuff That Matters", as defined by Rob and his editorial staff. Their definition of the term doesn't always line up with mine, in which case I simply skip the article.

I would also point out that the term "good" is a relative one. By the standards you put forth as being required for "good" writing, ee cummings would not qualify (a statement with which a large number would disagree).

Back to the topic, I found the excerpt from Mr. Katz's book to be quite interesting, and will probably buy a copy. This would be the first book by him that I have ever purchased, I might add. You, on the other hand, are welcome to not purchase a copy, if you so desire. Isn't freedom wonderful?


Fastolfe (1470) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011691)

Why is this so fucking difficult for people to understand?

Why must people descend upon every single Jon Katz article they see and proceed to bash him, the article, and Slashdot for making it available?

Do you people get routinely beat up at school? Do you feel you have to vent your pent-up frustrations and emotional problems using every outlet available to you? Do you feel like a wimpy geek at school and that slashdot is the only place that you can pretend to be superior?

These anti-Katz comments are NOT PRODUCTIVE. If you have nothing productive to contribute to an article YOU SHOULD NOT BE POSTING. If you see the headline for an article that does not interest you, DO NOT READ IT. Skip it like you skip every other uninteresting article on Slashdot.

I am amazed by the number of you that do this over and over again. It's pathetic. Get a life.

Katz worship. (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011692)

Posted by stodge:

similarly if you dont like a comment, dont read it.

Katz worship. (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011693)

Posted by stodge:

Thats what titles are for? This particular title was completely useless in that it didnt tell me anything about the contents. So I read (some) of it. Can't comment without reading the content. It seems strange that people cant post their comments and thoughts without getting flamed. I decided I didnt like this statement about Jon being one of our own, so I made my thoughts public. So why the ranting response? Why dont people just accept my point of view and post their own, rather than just rant and swear and flame?

I didn't think it was possible, but... (1)

Tardigrade (17769) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011694)

What's wrong with that? Don't/didn't you use extracurricular activities to make your college application look better? Do anything on the side to improve your resume? At least he's giving us something in return. You might not think it worth it, but I don't mind.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011695)

Because, with the exception of Australian kangaroos in the market, those topics are plainly and thoroughly covered on every other news source imaginable. I'm glad Katz posts here, its good to poke one's head out of the geek bubble, if only for a post or two. Heavens forfend anyone should talk about anything grander than the new Linux kernel here.

P.S. I *do* remember there was a /. article regarding the U.S.'s rediscovered afinity for bombing Iraq on here a while back.....

i don't care if you like him or not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011696)

the imsple fact of the matter is that postings like this are not news, have little or no rlevance to slashdot, and for the good majority of us who do not engage in 'idol worship' it is a waste of our time and bandwidth. i do not care to see book reviews, movie reviews, nor information about the personal lives of anyone, not even linus or rob. and i can vouch for everyone at my office and at my old company with that statement as well. we want news, not opinions or noise.

Katz -> Stuff that matters, NOT. (1)

smithdog (3152) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011697)

I did not know that he was an old clueless Merton fan. That really fails to impress me. I had the impression that he was a sixteen year old that was still learning grammer and spelling.

Just goes to show you, anyone can write a book and get it published.

Why should anyone waste their time/money reading it, I will never understand.

Maybe JK can start his own web site called (Clueless rantings, stuff that matters not.)

Katz != one of our own (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011698)

Posted by stodge:

I dont resent Katz posting on here, just the content of what he posts. I had hoped that with his background of journalism we might get another insight into the technical world from a different perspective.

Then explain how ... (1)

bobdehnhardt (18286) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011699)

How is Katz's book that is a "take on life, spirituality, and what it means to be human." news for nerds? Last I checked, nerds liked technology oriented things, not spirituality and humanity.

If these are the only things that interest you, you have my sympathy. There is a whole other world outside of computers and technology, which is "Stuff That Matters". To me, at least, and apparently others here.

Geek (1)

kashani (2011) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011700)

Can we get a number on how many times the word geek will appear in the book? Maybe just a percentage if you don't have a number.

I refuse to read anything by Katz that doesn't have a 2.5% geek usage quotient. Oh wait. That's everything he's written.

Katz's reception not unusually hostile (1)

fizbin (2046) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011701)

When I think about the reactions to Katz, and the fact that my gut instinct is to flee far from anything he has written, at first I stop myself and say "remember, everyone was a newbie once". Then I remember that that Katz's technical inexpertice is not what's causing that gut reaction.

Growing up, I had the good fortune to have access to my father's old collection of Doonesbury comics (early 70s-era stuff) and there's a scene that seems to me a good analogy. Mike Doonesbury, the inveterate geek, (and I mean that in the "socially clueless" sense of the word) decides one day that it's silly that the lunch tables are segregated by social custom, and decides to go mix with the black students. Essentially, over a series of about 4 or 5 strips, he is told that by the black students that they don't want him to sit there, because they don't want to be part of his college "experience". Mike Doonesbury was an outsider who wanted, not to join a group, but to "share in the experience". I've seen some of the faces the black students made at Doonesbury reflected in my monitor when I read one of Katz's articles.

My senior year in high school a (Philadelphia Inquirer) reporter did a series of articles on "the class of 1993"; she did this by interviewing selected students at my high school (basically, she interviewed people in a program similar to high school work-study). The reports (there was a series of 4 inserts into the Saturday paper)made me twitch each time they came out. Surely this woman had not visited my world; even when I knew the life stories of the people she interviewed, I couldn't imagine how the reporter had turned them into what I read in the paper. In every story there was something fundamental she just didn't get. The gut feeling then is very similar to the gut feeling Katz gives me.

As an aside, I was not the only one to feel this way; in fact, the reporter had to come back and address the concerns of those students what wanted to be there; this did little but convince the students present that the reporter was possibly from another planet.

I view Katz as a similar interloper. His writing conveys the impression that he is drunk on the feeling of the philosophy of open source software, but when I look into it there's obviously something he just doesn't get - I can't put my finger on it at the moment, but it becomes clear that he is writing about the free software movement not because having heard about and investigated the free software movement he is moved to write, but because he decided to write about something cool, and free software is the latest cool thing. Note that it's not so much a lack of commitment to free software that dooms his efforts - I can easily imagine wonderful free software writings by people who can't compile "Hello world" - but his motivation and direction of approach guarantee not only that he will always be the outsider looking in, but that he will always be the outsider looking at a deliberate distance.

The true story of the 1960s generation was not told in the 1960s. The story could only really be told by those who were part of the generation (which took time); the outside media of the time just didn't get it. The free software story will not be told by the likes of Katz (or by Wired magazine, which is what his stuff reminds me of often), but by those involved. Katz (and other outside media) hangs on to his own identity as outsider too strongly to ever get the story right.

Incidentally, I get this feeling of "wrongness" from the media whenever they cover a story which I know from the inside, and after a while, I begin to see how they must be badly distorting other stories as well. One source of media where this isn't the case (that is, I get the twitches of wrongness less often, though regrettably it still happens) is NPR. Those who listen to "All Things Considered" or "Morning Edition" regularly, and then watch any form of TV news (or even then pick up most local papers) will know the difference.

Hail Slashdot (2)

JonKatz (7654) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011702)

I'm happy to report that since this excerpt was posting, the sales ranking on of my book went from 9,000 to about 200. That's a phenomenal jump in two hours, and a testament to the punch of /. and the people who hang out here.
I'm very happy the excerpt was printed here -- I really fought for that to happen -- and that a percentage of all these sales are going back to Jeff and Rob and the site.
When we talk about empowerment and OSS, this is writer's version of that in action...skipping the machinery of hype to take a book directly to the people who might want to buy it. Very kewl. Many thanks to those of you e-mailing me and buying it. And thanks to to the flamers (I always think of those German fighters in WWII) who give all work a bit of spice. But this is really quite amazing.

Heh (1)

Xar (11113) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011703)

Thank you, but I know, and used, the preview feature. In my browser it looks just fine. :)

Katz, Community and OSS (1)

Raindog (13847) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011704)

For once, I have actually seen some intelligent discussion regarding Katz...unfortunetly, it seems as if the case against Katz is limited to his occasional spelling and grammer error and the nature of his writtings. To the first, I say wahhhhh, quit your publishing, even from the most reputable sources, has errors, its the nature of the beast, its all about getting stuff up in a timely manner, errors slip through. I for one would rather have writting with some errors than have it edited into sterility like most mainstream writting.

As for the content, people have recited the "news for nerds" mantra over and over again. I challange anyone to provide a solid definition of what that is. How come Star Wars fits but Katz mussings don't? Katz is not focusing on on the technical issues...thats fine....he is focusing on more abstract issues regarding the OSS phenomena than the purely technical, it might not always be relevent, but it is important....find me any one event, community or movement that did not have people who stepped back from the immediate goals of said group and looked at some bigger issues. This is vitally important to any movement it it wants to survive. Katz might not be technical, but he does seem to understand some of the deeper roots of what makes oss tick.

And about community, again, OSS/free software/Linux requires all types of people, not just coders or documentors. I personally, consider myself part of the community. I am technically oriented, done my time in tech support and all, but according to the average definition of what a OSS person is, I do not qualify. Why? I couldn't code my way out of a box, I don't have the time to document material, and, in short, I don't add anything original myself. Most human relations are of this sort, not of original creation but of partisipation in the project nonetheless. What do we do, submit bug reports, actually use the stuff being produced, show others the wonders of what computers can really do if one becomes literate in them and in general think about what the hell is going on. Its not coding, but it is still important to the survival of the movement. I'm sure there are tons of of other people like me who read /. and are otherwise members of the "community"....Katz draws heat because he is actually bold enough to try to contibute in his own manner, more power to him. Others, including myself, will hopefully begin following and making further contributions.

I remember my first attempts to install Linux, which failed miserably. As soon as I walked into the Linux area of the local software store looking at the distros, I was attacked by helpful geeks. That attempt failed, but latter other geeks took me under their wing and showed me the ropes to the point where I can now take care of myself. I'm no guru, but I am competent, and I'm repeating that process with others. Linux desperetly needs this in order to keep new people from coming in and from becoming evermore closed off, a static, closed society of geeks. How can we have open software and closed minds? My, that sounded cheezy, but the sentiment is there.

OK, I've spoken my peace, at least for now...I am actually vaguely toying with the idea of putting up a forum based site dedicated towards dealing with some of the "meta" issues of geekdom....the philosophy of geekdom, if you will. I'm sure many would not be interested in it, but it still might play a role in OSS. Does anyone out there have any interest in contributing to this?


Katz != one of our own (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011705)

>This is a forum for the posting and discussion of >technical news items

Says who?

Were you on here complaining about the review of the last Star Trek movie? Not what I would call a "technical news item".

You know... (1)

Samrobb (12731) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011706)

I never knew that Jon was over 50. To be honest, it significantly changes my opinion about him; in many cases, for the better. A 20-something geek wannabe is an entirely different person from a 50-something journalist who decides, damnit, this stuff is *cool* and I'm going to figure it out even if it melts my brain...

My father was on the verge of 50 when we got him his first computer. My dad's a lawyer, a rabid SF reader, a history nut, enjoys technical toys, and is just generally a sharp guy. Granted, I may be biased :-)

Still... thinking back on what my brother and I have gone through with my Dad over the past few years to get him computer-literate and on the net... it looks like Jon's come further, faster, than my Dad ever could have. We can't even convince him to try and tackle Linux (he still has the DOS command cheat sheet I made for him years ago!)

Congratulations, Jon. Keep on pluggin.

Fixed Now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011707)


Now I think I can finish the review.

How about some OctobrX bashing? (1)

Squeeze Truck (2971) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011708)



Please people. Does everyone have to be a coder to help the movement?


Katz != one of our own (1)

FPhlyer (14433) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011709)

My God some of you people really suck.
You say that Microsoft sucks, Macintosh sucks, and that people need to convert over to Linux and then in the same breath that Katz is just a bystander, not one of "us."
This reasoning requires only the brains of a retarded clam.
Katz is a writer. He is a member of the media. And no matter how new he is, he is a Linux user. Not a programmer, not a hacker, he is just a Linux user. This does not brand him as a looser or a lower form of life.
Get real. Grow up. Move along...

The Cult of Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011710)

(Darn enter key.)

Quickies aren't fluff? (1)

Squeeze Truck (2971) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011711)

Or polls, or star wars, or t.o?


The Cult of Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011712)

(Darn enter key.)

This is another example of how Linux is becoming a 'members-only cult.' It'll never be accepted in the mainstream if people have a petty 'you're not one of us' attitude. Shortly before they went out of business, a Commodore executive said, 'the Amiga cultists haven't done us any good.' Keep this in mind. Petty infighting doesn't make people eager to accept anything new.

Free software is _all_ about self help... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011713)

As in helping yourself, instead of waiting for some crappy organisation's agenda to produce the things you need.

Ehhh (1)

Dast (10275) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011714)

We did see an article on a guy who made the spinning world record. *shrug*

Thank you for patronizing me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011715)

Actually, I just don't like reading pseudo-intellectual psychobabble. That's why I skipped most of your post as well.

Try reading and learning: 32&pid=196#273

Katz bashers are 14-yr-old boogers on skateboards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011716)

Grow up, bashers. You should be so lucky as to have someone like Jon Katz take an interest in your lil'l Linux skateboard park here. Whattsa' matter? Ain't his pants baggy enough for you? Sheesh!

news for nerds (1)

pohl (872) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011717)

I can't get over how many of you morons jump to Katz's defence.

In my case, it's not defense, so much as taking offense at the mindless hostility. So that makes me a moron? Whatever.

Your opinion is entirely based upon the "News for Nerds" catchphrase. That's a weak, weak, weak foundation upon which to base an argument. Here's a better one: slashdot is Rob Malda's web site, and its content is subject to his fiat. Now, what authority do you have, then, to suggest that a Malda-approved article-submitter should pack up and leave?

I Like Katz, most of the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011718)

...and when I disagree, I don't feel the need to flame the hell out of him, Slashdot, Rob, or anyone else. I merely disagree.

That must be that "maturity" thing in action, eh?

What a shame that it is not more universal.


The POINT of Slashdot? (1)

Squeeze Truck (2971) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011719)

The point of Slashdot is whatever Rob wants the point to be, wether it's Katz, Star Wars, or the world spinning record. NOT what you think should be posted here. It's his site.

Know who invited Katz to stay? Rob.

Oh, and the rest of us too. We put it to a vote, remember?


Similarities between Slashdot and Chaucer (1)

tomblackwell (6196) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011720)

I enjoy the hubbub that arises whenever John Katz posts something new to Slashdot.

When I used to study English in High School and University, they used to make us read books by authors from hundreds of years ago. These guys (Chaucer and Shakespeare) have not written any code that I'm aware of. If they did, it was in the pre-Linux years and is most likely not Open Source. I didn't really like the idea of reading stuff by these dinosaurs, and it was definitely tough reading (especially Chaucer who was writing in an early-Alpha version of English, probably version .85 or so).

Sometimes they used words that meant nothing to me. They would trip me up and get in the way of my finishing a sentence. I found the best way to deal with this was to cruise along, and skip over words that I didn't understand. I could pick up the gist of what was being said by the context. The tone of the piece often conveyed more information than the literal translation

I find myself slipping back into this reading mode when the endless hordes of Jolt-guzzling, OSS-cheerleading, self-righteous arbiters of literary good taste come out of the woodwork and start the weekly "John Katz lynch party". Their words run together and I'm left with an image of a narrow-minded, horribly *young* reader who seems to believe that they have all of the answers and that authors, artists and the over-25 crowd have none. I am embarrassed and ashamed by the company of my fellow slashdot readers.

This is simple proof that we are all whores ... (1)

DaBuzz (878) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011721)

I'm wondering how the 50,000 slashdot readers per day feel to be sold to the highest bidder (Jon Katz).

This "kickback" Rob and Jeff will now receive is all the proof needed to show that they no longer post what they feel is important, they post what will hype the site and make money.

How truly sad.

I also find it humorous that Katz's post is scored at a 2 instantly and this one will probably gain a -1 within minutes of it's posting.

To all the people who bashed me above for questioning the motives behind this story (Hemos included) ... sit back and now enjoy your crow, you deserve it.

Only 28% of slashdot readers use Linux or *nix, while 55% of them use Windows. How ironic.

Katz bashers are 14-yr-old boogers on skateboards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011722)

I'm not Jon Katz, booger (you think he'd bother swatting flies after going all the way to the mountain?).

I hate Star Wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011723)

Just because you may not consider the subject matter interesting does not mean that other nerds do not.

Is it that difficult to realize that? I FUCKING hate Star Wars, but I never bitch about why there are all these Star Wars news items in /. (except now of course; but this is to just illustrate a point)

BTW, I think it is important to make Linux/GNU software more accessible to everyone. Katz has at least written about his experiences with installing/using Linux.


sales rankings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011724)

I wouldn't put much faith in them as only Amazon knows how the algorithms work.

Similarities between Slashdot and Chaucer - :) (1)

mackga (990) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011725)

"(especially Chaucer who was writing in an early-Alpha version of English, probably version .85 or so)."

LOL. That's great. Actually, though, he was writing an early-Alpha version of Modern English. His was referred to as Middle English, Olde English (from Anglo-Saxon) and Elizabethan English (Modern English for all intents and purposes) were on either side. Nice way of putting it, though.

Hurray! (1)

shaldannon (752) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011726)

Finally...someone with good taste and a good head on their shoulders...what happened to the rest of the folks in here?

# find /dev/brain
find: cannot open /dev/brain: No such file or directory

Then explain how ... (1)

gmc (14071) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011727)

Until then, I'll consider this


Do that, get the hell out, and take your tunnel vision with you.

There is a whole lot more going on in this world then tech and toys. I pity you for your world view.

The Slashdot Community (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011728)

is whatever is attracted by what Rob chooses to publish. Guess what? He chooses to publish Katz stuff. I suppose that's because Rob believes Katz stuff is relevant. And since it's his site, his opinion on what's relevant wins.

Too bad for you.

Upstate? Hey, Jon, where? (1)

mackga (990) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011729)

Jon, if you're out there, I noticed that the review mentions that you went upstate ,NY, and into the Adirondacks. Where abouts? My folks still live up there. Just wondering.

Now it all makes sense (1)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011730)

Ever wonder how Rob makes it without a job? I don't anymore.

Let's see - Rob (et al) provides a news filtering service, a public discussion forum, a question & answer service, and some original content. All of this was voluntary, all of this is free. Now, unless you're willing to pony up enough to feed Rob, pay Rob's rent, buy computers for Rob, and keep the phone company off Robs back, shut up. I doubt there is anything "under-the-table" going on, but I really don't care how he finances /. because it's a good site with good information. When that is no longer true, I will go away.

14-year-olds Unite! (1)

erhead (17530) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011731)

As much as the flames concern me, I am equally concerned by the number of Jon-ites who dismiss arguments against Katz as being written by rude teenagers. Last time I checked, stupidity wasn't limited to the young. Swearing, acne-covered skateboarders/geeks ARE surely part of this community, but they can't take the blame for every idiotic post bashing an old geezer!

Correlation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011732)

I wonder if there is a correlation between liking Katz and not having a college education....

It seems to me that you have to be quite a simpleton to be entralled by his writing.

Poll idea!

Katz != one of our own (1)

Analog (564) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011733)

I normally stay out of the Katz discussions (he's not really my cup of tea), but insight from another perspective is exactly what you get from him.

Granted, it's from more of a "don't know much about it but like it so far" feelgood angle than you would normally find around here, but that makes it no less valid.

Really, I'm not sure why it bothers so many. As I said, he's not the type of writer I enjoy reading, so I usually just skip it (checked in today to see what people had to say about his book). You can do that too. It's okay.

And remember, getting another perspective is just like getting another opinion. You may get it, but you might not like it.

Katz worship. (1)

boswell (153882) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011734)

Humm, this comment along with the dozens in the same or
viler tone only serve to confirm one's overwhelming impression
of many of the self-inflating pimply faced posters here... to wit
they are mostly mere children.

While one might wish they would grown up in age and deeper
in wisdom, one simply rests in the comfortable knowledge that
time will teach them, with a torch and a chain saw, what their
parents and teachers so utterly failed to accomplish.

invalid C syntax. (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011735)

Katz != one of our own

That means absolutely nothing. That's "Katz is not equal to one of our own." What does equal have to do with it? "Katz" and "one of our own" are not comparable quantities...Katz would be a subset (or not) of "one of our own," not equal to it.

If, as I assume, you meant "Katz is not one of our own," and wanted to look like you were tech savvy or something by phrasing it in el33t pseudo-C syntax, it should have read "Katz !is one of our own." Why you couldn't have just said "Katz is not one of our own" is beyond me, but if you're going to use C, use it correctly.

Anyway, I use != and stuff occasionally too, but only when it's useful and makes sense. "Open Source != Free Software" makes sense, since it's saying that the two quantities are not identical. "Katz != one of our own" does not.

Katz (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011736)

Ok, now that I got the invalid C syntax out of the way, I'll take on the rest of it :P

Katz is "one of us" whether or not you want him to be. He may not be one of whatever group you represent, but he's part of this "community" of sorts. Rob invited him to write for slashdot. The users of slashdot voted overwhelmingly to keep him here. So if the owner and the users like Katz, who are you to say he doesn't belong?
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