January 29, 2004

Badges of Honor

A while back, a commenter tried to put me in my place by accusing me of being “sophomoric.” Unfortunately (for her), because of a certain sentimental association I have with the word, I can never be insulted via that particular term. On the contrary, I wear it as a badge of honor.

Now Glenn Reynolds reports that Mark Modzelewski of the Nano Business Alliance has had it with Glenn and with all of us “bloggers, Drexlerians, pseudo-pundits, panderers and other denizens of their mom’s basements.”

Well sticks and stones, Mr. Modzelewski.

Actually, that’s not such a bad list. Let’s examine the items one by one:



Yep, I’m one. I spend (sometimes) hours a day blogging. Quite proud of it, to tell you the truth. So thanks for noticing.



Okay, you got me there. I’m a Drexlerian. I’m also a Copernican,* if you get my drift.



Remember George Carlin (back when he was funny) and the “semi-boneless” ham?

“Is there a bone? There is a bone. And it’s a bone. It ain’t no semi-bone.”

Can you really have a pseudo-pundit? Isn’t some notion of “pseudo” or “quasi” built into the term? (Clearly, I’m not thinking of pundits of the Vodka, Daily, or Insta variety.) Or maybe Modzelewski is trying to describe a specialty. Whereas FuturePundit shares information and views on the future, a pseudo-pundit would share views and information that are highly specious, if not totally bogus.

I don’t know. That doesn’t sound too much like a blogger. It sounds more like a…hmmm…that’s a tough one. Oh, wait. I know.

It sounds like a “political damage control specialist.”



Yes, I suppose I am a ponderer. I do like to ponder the unknown. That’s what being a Speculist is all about, really, pondering what might be, what might not be — how’s that?

Oh, pander.

I never pander, except maybe to gorgeous women or people who I think might give me money. (I did win a suck-up prize once, though.)


Denizens of Their Mom’s Basements

Look, I may live here, but I’m hardly a denizen. (Also, I think in fairness I should point out that it’s as much Dad’s basement as it is Mom’s.)

Modzelewski seems to be implying that people like us lack social development. But the truth is, I have the gang over to play Dungeons and Dragons every Saturday afternoon. And it’s not like I never go out. Heck, I went to see Return of the King four times last week.

It’s a great feeling: getting up every morning, sitting down at the computer still wearing my bathrobe, my Vulcan ears freshly affixed. But I do sometimes have a vague sense of discontent. If only I could be more…hip. More suave.

More clever.

Better looking.

Damn. If only I could be more like that Modzelewski guy.


* That is, a follower of Nicolaus Copernicus: Polish astronomer, 1473-1543. He was a proponent of a lot of crazy ideas, most notably the notion that the Earth orbits the Sun. Sadly, history provides scant mention of how much time he spent in his mom’s basement.

Posted by Phil at January 29, 2004 08:57 AM | TrackBack

Perfect tongue-in-cheek response. Your post is a nice bookend to this serious response from Glenn:


"The business community feels, er, differently. It's afraid that advanced nanotechnology just seems too, well, spooky -- and, worse, that discussions of potentially spooky implications will lead to public fears that might get into the way of bringing products to market."

Modzelewski is afraid that we Morlocks will frighten the public with "gray goo" talk so that they won't be able to market stain-resistant pants.

Bloggers are not Luddites. There is probably not another group of people on earth as excited about technology. The problem is that bloggers cannot be controlled. We are loose cannons from a P.R. point of view.

We write about what interests us. This could include far-fetched technology and end-of-the-world scenarios. Of course neither subject is helpful to people who are trying to sell the industry to Congress.

So what? The arrival of nanotechnology is interesting and worthy of debate.

So Modzelewski: quit worring about bloggers and hurry up with those stain-resistent pants!

Posted by: Stephen at January 29, 2004 03:27 PM

Yeah, Stephen, I made a post on "Death Sucks" and got some strange assailing by a nanohead which ultimately made no sense in any way I could ascertain. I wish nanotech well, but am still trying to find out what it is: so far I know they are interested in making diamonds, so we can add this to the database you started with "stain-resistant pants".

Posted by: Joe Peden at January 31, 2004 07:16 AM

These postings are super hilarious

Posted by: lucy at April 15, 2004 02:15 PM