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Excerpt:Running to the Mountain 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.

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Excerpt:Running to the Mountain

Comments Filter:
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • by Xar ( 11113 )
    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.
  • 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.

  • 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?
  • many times...

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

  • I thought Katz was twenty-something, too. The over 50 comment explains why he couldn't install Linux.
  • 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??
  • by anneke ( 4956 ) on Thursday February 18, 1999 @07:58AM (#2011661) Homepage
    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"
  • 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 :)


  • /. 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.
  • If you can question what Jon Katz has done, surely we can ask What have YOU done?
  • 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.
  • It's Rob's site, it can be whatever the hell he wants it to be.

  • 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."

  • 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".
  • by Anonymous Coward
    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.
  • 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 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.

  • "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.
  • >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!
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • Posted by stodge:

    similarly if you dont like a comment, dont read it.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.)

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • by kashani ( 2011 )
    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.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • by Xar ( 11113 )
    Thank you, but I know, and used, the preview feature. In my browser it looks just fine. :)
  • 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?

  • 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.


    NOT ONE OF US!!!

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

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

  • by Dast ( 10275 )
    We did see an article on a guy who made the spinning world record. *shrug*
  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • "(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.
  • 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
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • by Trepidity ( 597 )
    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?
  • I think you put your finger on it exactly. Your feelings mesh with mine. He's not a true believer (Give me GNU or give me an abacus!), he's just a user who likes the idea of Linux. Oddly enough, though, I feel he represents the future of Linux. Not a geek, nerd, or hacker, just a user.
  • No, this site is "News for Nerds." Not "Life, The Universe and Everything."

    Do people around here have abnormally short attention spans? Why is it that everybody gets sick of reading and quits before they get to the end of a simple six word slogan? Try:
    "News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters."

    See that second sentence there? Next time read the entire thing, not just the first half.
  • The slashdot community will not favorably receive anybody, with the possible acception of Rob and Linus. It's not that Katz isn't technical enough, because the /. community flamed RMS, who is more technically sophisticated then any 10 random slashdotters put together. It's not that RMS isn't business-oriented enough, because ESR is flamed all the time. Basically, if it's not Linus, it gets flamed.
  • So who exactly are you?

    Rob invited Katz to write for slashdot.

    In a vote, the readers of slashdot overwhelmingly voted to keep Katz around.

    So tell me again why he does not belong here. If the owner and the audience want him around, why should he leave just because you and a few other vocal Anonymous Cowards personally dislike him?
  • if Katz!=coder (insider==false) & more commentary

    Ok, this is the second invalid C syntax I've seen in the replies to this article, and this one's even worse. Something about Katz brings out all the wannabe programmers who pretend to know C.

    1) if() requires parenthesis around the expression being evaluated.
    2) you need something between coder and the opening parenthesis. You can't just stick another expression there with nothing connecting them.
    3) What is a bitwise AND doing in there?

    Even accounting for all the syntax errors, I have no idea what you're trying to say. "If katz is not a coder and insider is false and more commentary" perhaps? No matter how I look at it, it still doesn't make any sense.
  • You'll notice that Hemos posted this, not Katz. So you want to get rid of Hemos?

    Oh, and those quickies are a waste of time. What does a masturbation device have to do with nerds? Virtual Crack?

    So let's get rid of Rob.

    And OctoberX just hypes his site.

    And Sengan posts political articles.

    Hey, let's just get rid of the whole damn place then.

    Either that or you could try not reading the articles that don't interest you.
  • Old comparatively, of course. The way Katz seems
    to repeatedly miss the point makes more sense
    when I discovered from this post that he's
    about 50. I thought he was a 32 year old
    clueless jerk; instead he's a baby-boomer who
    is reasonably close to getting it. Of course
    he's not a Linux-kid; he's not a kid. His
    sociopolitical interpretations of the Net
    and 'puters are still too old-school, but
    at least he _is_ old-school.

  • I'm wondering how the 50,000 slashdot readers per day feel to be sold to the highest bidder (Jon Katz).
    Whores sell themselves, not other people. And have you noticed the bannr ads at the top of every screen? They've been selling our eyeballs for a while. How else do you expect them to pay for this place and have time to maintain it?

    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.
    You're right! I wondered why the site sucked so bad! Thank you for lingering here, despite its suckiness, and warning us all!

    How truly sad.
    Yes, I'm sure you are wracked by grief. You'd love it if we abandoned this site in droves and began frequenting Your motives are pure and pristine, you desire only to serve your fellow nerds.

    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.
    Wrong again. You should probably see a shrink about your paranoia problem. Seriously.

    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.
    This sounds a lot like Saddam Hussein in 1990, declaring victory and pulling out of Kuwait. He's nuts, too.

  • I don't always agree with Katz but I think he can write. Ok, sometimes his spelling is off but for me writing is about content. I'd rather have bad spelling and worthwhile content than good spelling and pointless content.

    When I say worthwhile I mean : Makes you think.
    If it makes you think "Katz is an idiot" that's fine, at least you thought about it and hey, it's your mind.

    Katz isn't a programmer, he's a writer. He's contributing what he can. You may like or hate his contribution but at least he's putting something in and you're under no obligation to patch it in to your wetware kernel.

    If the management of this site are giving Katz an open forum for his writings that's upto them. Katz has the /. religion (OSS, Linux, Net Utopia) so they ain't going to censor him - I do note however that it's not editorial policy to promote and present an alternative view. At least they let the /. masses comment on his work.

    Personally I don't buy the religious aspect of this site. Its a free world and I'll wash my own brain thanks all the same. But that's my opinion, you reserve the right to yours just as Katz does.

    - SparkyUK.

    I've tried to be reasonable in this post but if you must prove your superior enlightenment go ahead, flame me.

  • I'd like to see the correlation between Anonymous Cowards and Katz haters. Most of the latter seem to be the former.
  • I agree the way the amazon list is calculated is suspect, but so is the NY Times best seller list and the nielson ratings. Anyway, it is up to number 45 right now.

    For people who liked the excerpt, Jon wrote some colums for hotwired in July and August of 1997 that are related to the book. The first [] was about trying to get wired on the mountain. The second [] is about the importance of water and the third [] is about coming down from the mountain.

  • You know, if there was an article about a Linux coder in Kosovo, or how the Asian economic crisis had weakened Microsoft tremendously, or why Quake was eliminating world hunger (they're feeding giblets to the starving :), or how many kangaroo skins it took to buy one Pentium II in the outback, I don't think I'd object. See, Jon is installing Linux. If Jon was doing flower arranging, I'd have to agree with you. But he's doing something nerdy - installing an alternative Linux. Your argument won't fly.
  • In much of the media out there, most of the focus is on "paradigms" and such nonsense. None of those touchy-feely things could spring about without specific advancements (an open-source kernel, which GNU took its sweet time in making, allowing Linux to jump ahead; etc). If Jon Katz were struck dead, a million other folks would jump into his place to make shallow, "Dateline"-esqe analyses of technology. Sociology is easy. Seeing a coding project through is hard.

  • No, he's correct. Age matters.

    It's not that someone who is over 50 can't learn new technology if they already think technologically; they definitely can. A COBOL programmer can learn C at 50, no problem. However, it is much more difficult to cross disciplines as one gets older. A 30 year-old graphic designer can learn java programming, from a point of not knowing anything about computers, in the space of a year or less; it's very, very rare to find older brains capable of that sort of plasticity.

    Jon Katz is a media guy, a word-person, who never had any real motivation to participate in technical disciplines. Things that seem painfully obvious to us - the nature of long-term storage vs. active memory, for example - are difficult ideas to grasp in minds that already have a rich and rather intractable metaphoric vocabulary. At 50+, he is much less likely to be able to suddenly immerse himself in a completely different cognitive landscape.

  • I find Jon Katz' stuff mildly interesting at best. But I have now learned to ignore all the blather that follows whenever one of his pieces is posted here. The kind of stuff in this thread has quite clearly got the lowest signal-to-noise ratio on /., getting down into Usenet territory -- and that's saying something.

    It's OK though, the more time some people waste calling Katz names here the less time they have to mess up other topics.

  • I guess the /. effect is good for something besides crashing NT webservers. Judging by how much the books above it appear to suck (I never realised Internet people were so interested in self-help and entrepreneurial books!), I don't think its peaked yet. Cool.
  • Now Katz makes perfect sense. He is an aging hippie who's found a new cause.
    We need those guys. Know why we need those guys?
    They're the ones running things these days- _they_ are The Establishment. Bigtime. However much Katz wants to disclaim it, he _is_ Establishment. This is why he is so totally confident that no flames touch him- he knows he's getting all the breaks, and he can humor all the poverty stricken under-30s who will never touch the hem of his Birkenstocks or the fender of his Beemer.
    He can spend a year or more playing writer- if it doesn't work out, he can go right back to being Big Boss Man with little fuss.
    This is why his adopting Linux as a pet annoys. He is an aging hippie and believes he is legitimizing it.
    Guess what? We need those guys- not because they are useful, for they are not- but because if they're against us, they will be an absolute bastard of an obstacle. We gotta reach those aging hippies running things, and get them pumped up about Linux and operating system choice. If we don't, it's Windows forever baby! They are much inclined to blindly accept what they are fed- as Frank Zappa observed way back in the 60s- and we need them blindly accepting Linux, otherwise they will blindly swallow Windows until they choke, meanwhile setting MS up for seriously alarming power and control over the entire world's information.
    WE NEED THE OLD HIPPIES. I don't care how annoying they are, or what bankrupt ideological baggage they carry along with 'em. Some of that can be used to break down the monopoly... the point is, these guys ARE the establishment now, and if we can get them, it blows a major hole in Microsoft's, or anybody's, plans of manipulation and control. These guys are running boardrooms all over the country, beemers and birkenstocks and they still figure they are the spiritually elect. Fine- now let's persuade them that Linux, and open source, and the free software/free information concepts, are important! We gotta get these guys away from MS, who have them pretty well nailed down, except that hippies are fickle and don't have much of an attention span or much loyalty to anything tangible. Win 'em, capture their attentions, get 'em to write big grandiose essays to each other about how linux is really a philosophical journey! The practical results that will come from this are IMPORTANT.
  • I'd be interested.

  • Stupidity may not be limited to the young, but informed, experienced inteligence is in whole (or damn near enough) limited to the older. You'll learn someday. Yes, even you, shall change your mind.

  • Posted by The Mongolian Barbecue:

    I love this. What a classic. After weeks upon weeks of spewing out rubbish at slashdot, after being cajoled, threatened and begged to stop writing for slashdot, katz

    1) Writes a book about his personal problems.

    2) uses slashdot to help sell book.

    and then, to add insult to injury

    3) includes excerpt of the rubbish he's written on slashdot. In case anyone was wondering, the book is confirmed to be completely unrelated to computers, linux, or anything that someone on this site might care about, and is nothing but a long winded sob story.

    My god this gives new meaning to the word shameless. Whatever else we may think of katz, we know he has balls.
  • Whores sell themselves, not other people. And have you noticed the bannr ads at the top of every screen? They've been selling our eyeballs for a while. How else do you expect them to pay for this place and have time to maintain it?

    Two flaws in your logic:

    1- Actually PIMPS sell most whores, usually against their will. When our visits and attention is sold against our will, we are whored out.
    2- Banner ads are not disguising as legitimate news stories. Most of us ignore the banner ads all together and look just at the stories. When the stories are masked ads themselves, what does that leave? The info-mercial network.

    Yes, I'm sure you are wracked by grief. You'd love it if we abandoned this site in droves and began frequenting

    Why would I want anyone to rush to I don't cover much of the things you guys are interested in anyway, I've also barely posted any news lately at all. It makes a lot of sense for me to want to send thousands of people to a mostly stale site, you've caught on to my plan. You're pure genius.

    Wrong again. You should probably see a shrink about your paranoia problem. Seriously.

    Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to get me.

    This sounds a lot like Saddam Hussein in 1990, declaring victory and pulling out of Kuwait. He's nuts, too

    Hemos contended that there was no "pay off" for posting this story. Jon Katz's own post shows that this is blatantly untrue and shows the true movtive being the story's posting.

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

  • Posted by The Mongolian Barbecue:

    Comments are not printing out right. When I clock on one I just get the index again.
  • Every time Katz posts, the whiners come out.
  • Thanx for your contributions to /., I value them & I share some of your experiences with my first time Linux install, not so long ago.

    While I am part geek, there are some other parts to me as well, including mountain climbing. So I will be buying your book, when I emerge from my current poverty .

    I ve read some of John Ralston Saul also (whom Jon quoted), very interesting & insightful author, whom I meet once when he was out in New Zealand. Well, it s Friday night, so I am off to do other things. Thanx again & keep up the writing.

    Contemporary Nihilism is meaningless.
  • okay okay-- geez, people, the only thing you can post in reply to what i have to say is to dis my code syntax?
    Like i said, i'm not a programmer.. i was using syntax vaguely similar to Perl, if you must know-- and therefore yes, i should have put parentheses around the if conditional statement-- i haven't looked at Perl in a couple of months, and i don't really code. anyway--
    I basically meant that a previous poster was implying/saying that because Katz wasn't a programmer/writing code or documentation, he was considered an outsider. the use of the ampersand (sp?) "&" was only because i ran out of space in the subject line, and couldn't spell out the 'and.'
    Happy spamming.
  • me want to be professional writer too.
  • Katz: "I bought a tiny cabin at the very tip of a mountain in a remote corner of upstate New York and went there by myself. . . . I went for a lot of different reasons, but mostly, I think, to try to be a better human."

    Try again. (Take your Linux box with you this time.)

    Regards, Ralph.
  • I appreciate Katz, and plan on reading the book.

    Besides. Trappist Monks make the BEST beer in the world.
  • ...I could code as well as I wank!

  • The snippet shows a very high quality of well-edited writing. Your editor gets a hug and Hershey's kiss. Two spelling mistakes in your intro, however, get you a boot to the head. Running a spell-checker is NOT enough. A spell-checker won't tell you that you used the word "fought" where you meant to use "bought" and what all.

    Such frequent mistakes are a hallmark of your writing on Slashdot, and undermine your credibility as a professional writer. If something is really worth saying, it's worth taking the time to say it clearly.

    Basically, if YOU don't take the time to read your own writing, why should I?

    All that aside, good luck with the book!

  • Ok. Since reading dozens of flames from inveterate trolls and hearing a number of ridiculous conspiracy theories about Katz, Rob, Random House, etc., I've decided to come up with my own: since juuri here is almost always the first person to post a flame on Katz (which makes me wonder why the hell he's still reading him after ~4 months now), he's obviously taking money under the table from some sort of neoconservative/fascist/new world order/hatemongering/anti-Jon Katz group. He's their point man for the web, whose sole purpose in life is to further the campaign to destroy Katz's public credibility. I suggest they find someone new, as juuri's rants have gotten old as hell.

    Of course, he could just be a big dickhead.
  • Why the vitriol? I've not seen extreme reactions like this outside genuine threat/response situations, which are usually indicative of paranoids attacking concepts which undermine their preconceptions.

    I can't see why Jon would provoke this kind of response. It's just not logical. He has been direct, open, and honest. He's bared his soul, and worked to do Good For All. For that, he has my respect.

    I have more time for elegant writers than for mean coders.
  • For the sake of our communal god(s), couldn't you guys learn TO SPELL; and to FORM A SENTENCE?
    Katz can write; He does so - well. ALWAYS! YOU BOZOS CAN'T! He flows - you don't.
    I'm tired; that's enough.
  • Nope, I don't care to read immature opinions...only carefully aged
    and considered opinions. Ones that show they've been tempered
    with something approaching a life.

    This idea that no one should profit from his own efforts and use
    his own networks to sell goods made with his own hands and mind
    is dubioius at best.

    I'm sure that most , if not all, of the people posting on these boards
    have incomes of some sort that allow them to have computers and
    internet connections as well as the luxury to read and reply. This includes
    students battening off their parents or other educational financial
    services be they scholarships or jobs.

    Why shouldn't Mr. Katz be allowed and even encouraged to sell
    or promote his book through this and other venues. I am quite sure
    that if anyone else here was in the same situation they would do the
    same thing.

    The anti-commericalism strain that stains the Net ignores the huge
    amounts of money that subsidizes the Net and those who pretend
    to work for nothing and live on nothing and nobody at the same time.

    Look at it this way, if Katz's book is a hard cover and sells for $20.00
    he gets about $3 per copy. If this site moves 1,000 copies of his book
    (which I really doubt that it could on its best day) he makes $3,000 .

    This may seem like a lot to the hard-core unemployed that infest this
    board since they probably don't have two C notes to rub together,
    but it is -- for a person with mature obligations and responsibilities --
    a trivial amount.

  • You both strike me as shameless shit-eating hypocrites who couldn't do
    a lick of productive work if you both has a chain saw rammed up your butts and set on stun.

    Get to work and quit dissing those that actually get some output out.
  • Well for one,Katz seems to generate a lot of comments. Now his book has further brought a bit of well deserved notices. As with the WirEd issue featuring our slashdot mentors picture, Katz book will call attention to open source/gift economy ideals.
    What are we doing to promote this ideal?
    Seens Katz has raised the bar a bit, huh.
  • I've been reading it all today.
    It came from Amazon last night.
    So far, i really like it.
    It's not what i expected, but he's
    a really good writer and keeps it
    interesting. I hope you all read it.
    Not too much about technology,
    more about introspection and dealing
    with the complexities that slowly start
    to weigh down on us in life, about change;
    a lot about change, and silence. Thats
    as far as i've got. He's dealing with

    If i was to offer any advice to Jon Katz,
    I'de just tell him to give more details
    about whats going on; his surroundings, the
    current situation, etc. Sometimes it just
    seems to dwell too long on change. Then again,
    I'm 20, so maybe i need to wait a while to
    get the point.

  • While I acknowledge that this is an older posting now, I hope a few folks out there will read it.

    I just finished Katz's book. Here's my thoughts:

    1. Go buy it.
    2. Read from it.
    3. Enjoy it.
    4. Learn something from it.

    'Twas an A+ read from someone who generally only gives C-'s.

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.