On leaving h2g2
Posted May 29, 2007
I still very much like the idea behind h2g2. However, I can't say I entirely agree with the way it's turned out. Wikipedia represents the opposite extreme of user-based encyclopedias, where perfectly ordinary authors and editors run the site with neither nannying nor helpful hands-on guidance except for relatively rare and extreme situations.
There's a happy medium somewhere, but neither h2g2 nor Wikipedia has found it. Wikipedia is simply not reliable enough, as any college professor will be happy to explain. h2g2 has developed layers of bureaucracy, due in part to the BBC's hand, that has an unfortunate chilling effect upon free speech. When considering a contribution, one must carefully weigh whether it will be worth the longterm hassle. Increasingly, these days, it isn't for me.. And I need not go into deep mathematical analysis as I once did to know that the wait time for entries in queue is little changed while the number posted daily has dropped from five to three. So it isn't just me, I don't think.
I've admittedly cut back on internet publishing generally, but I enjoyed keeping the door open a squidge for the rare project that fits best in a wacky and informative guide to the world. Some things seemed worth getting out there a bit more. But based on a rather silly and extended conversation with an editor about a single sentence I wrote many years ago, I'm quite certain I won't be contributing anything more.
It's certainly not the fault of the actual editor. Like other editors I've met, they were simply doing their level best to follow the rules they were given. It's just the nature of the beast, as dictated by those who created the rules for how the site is designed to function.
I plan to leave this personal page up, including biographical info that will become increasingly outdated. Of course, h2g2 is certainly free to keep and/or modify any and all of my past writings. However, I won't be updating anything or responding to comments about my entries. Nor will I be conversing generally or visiting to check up on people. I suppose this makes me no different from the huge majority of contributors that have come and gone. Perhaps the only thing really different is that I considered it carefully and took the time to leave an explanation.
I made several friends at h2g2. Most of these have left or become rare (at best) contributors like I was. If any would like to keep in periodic touch or exchange contact information, I'd recommend leaving a comment on (or friending) my livejournal. A couple in particular will know I'm talking about them and should know that it's with a heavy heart that I leave behind one thing that once pulled us together.
Take care, all of you! And thanks for all the fish.
Submitted another entry
Posted Sep 21, 2005
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Posted May 26, 2005
For those who haven't heard one way or another, I'm engaged. Peter and I wanted various people to know before we made a general announcement, and by the time we'd finally managed, it all seemed rather old hat somehow. So I procrastinated more than I could have, but here we are finally.
Peter proposed to me on the first day of spring in Prospect Park just a little ways from our apartment. We raised butterflies last year and released them there, in the anticipation that we might see butterfly descendents in subsequent years. So it was a sentimental place and a good one to reflect on how we've grown. It was very easy to say yes.
We're not exactly speeding the wedding plans along. So far the idea is to get married in March next year in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It's rougly equidistant between our respective extended families. My parents had their honeymoon there, which also helps ease my mind. We have no exact date and no particular place yet. We have no idea how many people we're inviting. We only know that our budget is very small.
Though I'm going to Las Vegas June 7th through 11th for a work-related convention, we decided not to run off and get hitched then. It might've been easier, but both our mothers would have been very upset indeed.
Posted Jan 14, 2004
My work life has gotten a bit hectic, and I need my spare time to do whatever I can to reduce my level of stress. So for at least a week or two, I'll likely lay off on improvements to the Asimov article. Feedback is still welcome, but I may not respond immediately.
I feel good that I can take time out for myself and still remain confident that I will finish the project. It helps that the editing process at h2g2 is long winded enough that I needn't feel terribly guilty about a delay in submitting the article.
Posted Jan 6, 2004
By popular request, I'm set on finishing my entry on author Isaac Asimov next. I've just gone through my copy of his last autobiography for some helpful details. I remember now why I like him so much.
I still have some research to do. I would like to find additional Asimov quotations, need to add more information about his best known characters, must craft a decent description of his 'Empire' series of books, and want to find out more about the upcoming movie: I, Robot.
I have my work cut out for me!
When the research is done, I'll need to do a lot of rephrasing and reorganizing. I'm unfortunately trying to piece together several different biographical timelines. It seems that when people write about his work, they tend to neglect his personal life and vice versa. And a great deal of information was known only by the author himself, who preferred to cover one topic at a time regardless of the timeline.
It may take me a month or more to complete my work. Any advice, information, or criticism is welcome until then. Ta!