Journal Entries


Some of you may have read this in the thread in which the original version was posted.



Let's look at this in a historical perspective, rather than an hysterical one.

December 2000 - the site is bought by the BBC, a yahoo group is set up by the Italics who say nothing, and tell us to wait. April 2001 the site is back, the Italics have been bound to silence by their professionalism and their contracts of employment with the BBC. (It should be noted that they were not paid for a significant period of time around Christmas 2000 - their dedication to the good of the site was considerable).

April 2001 - the site has to operate under Moderation. The Italics have to implement and, in public at least, support this policy. They spend over a year telling the Powers Behind the Towers "these are responsible people - trust them", and all the time they were bound to silence by their professionalism and their contracts with the BBC. And all the time personal and general abuse was poured on their heads. Their coolness under fire was considerable.

April 2001 - it was no longer possible to post links in forums. The Italics spent over a year saying "h2g2 users are responsible people - trust them". After a while, the BBC trusted us, and it was good.

Summer 2001 - there was a major hoo-hah about lifetime bans, which was escalated to people within the BBC but outside h2g2. The Italics said very little, and were heaped with abuse on and off site. (Goated almost beyond endurance, some of them). But they got the situation back under control. The community settled back down again. Their patience throughout was considerable.

Summer 2003 - the BBC again impose restrictions on the site. The community again starts abusing the Italics. The Italics again say very little....

... fill in the blank here yourself.


So-o-o-o if we are being scrutinised by Higher Powers it behooves us to behave.

If we hadn't proved trustworthy with expletives we would either still be moderated, or - given the known pressure on resources - we would have been closed down.

If we hadn't proved to be responsible in the links that we posted we would not be able to post any.

If we don't treat the Higher Powers with courtesy and respect, we cannot conceivably expect courtesy and respect in return.

Elsewhere I have jibed at the suggestion that it was a good idea to try to make someone 'become a better person'.

Well, now I am urging all of us to become better people. Trust the Italics - they have been silent before while all the time they were negotiating with Higher Ups.

And for goodness' sake do as you would be done by so far as BBC employees are concerned. Follow the rules of the site. No trolling, no flaming, no spamming - and this goes for inboxes of the senior members of the BBC *far more* than it goes for the threads in the forums here.

I have an awful feeling we have a tiger by the tail.

a doomsayer called Ben
[email protected]

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Latest reply: Jul 28, 2003


As a fair number of folks here know, I write poetry. I don't however post it here because of the copyright issues. I have therefore set up a geocities site which includes most of what I write. I am going to use this thread to post links to new poems as I write them.

One thing I am aware of is a reticence when it comes to critiqeing poetry. Poetry often seems scary, (mine is as lucid and simple as I can make it - so don't be afraid). And they can seem too personal to say things like: 'I'm uncomfortable with ... the "quilt" line, I'd prefer it if you were simply wrapping yourself in the "knowledge of your love."' However I welcome that sort of comment, because I don't know what works in other peoples' minds, and what doesn't. I am robust, and don't take offence about that sort of thing.

So - you are cordially invited to take a look at and comment on my latest two poems, and indeed any others you find on the same page, or linked to it.

And I am always open to more abstract dicussions about poetry.

I'll update this thread the next time the muse grabs me by the subconscious and shakes me till the words start flowing. Bitch that she is.


and immediately following that one:

Discuss this Journal entry [461]

Latest reply: Jul 18, 2003

Come on in, the water's lovely

The UnderGuide is really happening, at last. We are but dandruff on the shoulders of the giants of AGG/GAG/CAC and the Post. But we are here, we exist, and shortly there will be links to UnderGuide entries from the Front Page.

The Miners who are the UnderGuide's Scouts and Subeditors are minesweeping the Alternative Writing Workshop, (<./>RF5</.&gtsmiley - winkeye for gems. We have a real live Yahoo Mailing List, and we have elected two UnderGuide Editors, (GTBacchus and Jodan).

So come on in, sign up at A1092539, and join in the fun!

Mining is enjoyable. You never know when you click on a link whether you are going to get poetry or prose, travel writing or autobiography, science fiction or political theory. Most entries in the AWW have a certain something, and interspersed amongst the variety are true diamonds, which have moved the existing miners to helpless laughter or to tears.

People post in the AWW for an audience, for comment, critique and feedback. There have been times when things have languised ignored for months. That has now changed, and helping to change that is rewarding.

Mining the AWW is a very condensed way of lurking, and it is one of the quickest ways of meeting some of the most interesting minds on h2g2.

Of course, if you don't want to enjoy yourself, you can do it for glory or kudos.


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Latest reply: Jul 5, 2003

USB - Unfortunately Still B*gg***d / Unreliable Sony Box / Underpowerd So Bollixed

Long story, boring story: I am offline at the moment because being online using a modem costs on a per-minute basis: and the USB ports on my PC (which are needed to talk to the broadband connection) are b*gg***d.

I am going to have to contact Sony, and... yadda yadda yadda, all of which may take six weeks, cost me a fortune in carrier charges, and involve re-formatting the hard-drive, or of course it may take three days and cost me nothing and be a credit to Sony's investment in post-sales support. I will let you know...

In the meantime the sun is shining, I am out of work but cheerful. Hell, it IS summer, after all. My Private Life remains complex, intricate and entertaining, (for other people, if not always for me), and I have quit smoking but am still drinking dark rum like a good 'un. The cats are cute, (which is what they are paid for), the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and so far no-one is foreclosing, so I cannot complain.


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Latest reply: Jun 11, 2003

The Rolling North America Meet - Postponed...

This is just to announce that GTB and I have come to the conclusion that the different and rather complex things which have happened to each of us this spring mean that we are going to have to postpone the Rolling Meet.

The decision came to both of us as a mixture of relief, sadness and frustration, but I have no doubt that it is the right decision for each of us. As we say on the Home Page for the Rolling Meet: "If you are going to do something spontanious, it is best that you do it quickly".


Discuss this Journal entry [39]

Latest reply: May 1, 2003

Back to a girl called Ben's Personal Space Home

a girl called Ben

Researcher U148580

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Former Underguide Volunteer
University Researcher

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