Giving Birth

3:32 AM Tuesday, February 22, 2000

I can't find a better way to waste 7 minutes of the hour between 3 and 4 am than listening to "Soon" by My Bloody Valentine. It's from "Loveless" one of the 10 best albums of the 90's. Ok, it was from the late 80s. The CD that launched shoe-gazer rock. As I minimize Word and click over to my html editing software, I think, "Should I bother to write?", "Or should I just spend another 100 or so hours editing web pages?" I seem to have the stamina to do it straight through and entire day with only tiny bouts of sleep and occasionally foraging for food. It's rather addicting. I want to write but I can't seem to pull myself away from the maniacal reformatting. Tweak, refresh.....tweak, refresh....tweak... The solution: take time out to burn a CD of what I have so far. A backup. Here's the former sysadmin in me talking: MAKE BACKUPS. Just like you should take time out to consider those less fortunate than yourself, you should take time out to consider backups. You should consider it even if it is only to make yourself a little more guilty so you'll be closer to doing it the next time.

So while that baby burns, let me get this out of the way: go to and look at what I did. Yes, it's brazen self-promotion, but in this context.....

me at mehta   30022 bytes

So what's happening? Crows are crowing, old men are stirring, keys are clacking, and I'm sitting in my underwear typing. I've spent the last week and a half learning all the idiotic ways that Netscape 4 chooses NOT to enforce the rules of Cascading Style Sheets. I want to firebomb the Netscape campus. Can one of those network wizards that I know out there anonymously hit them with a denial of service attack or what? No, that's not good enough. Why haven't the html coders of the world gone down to Mountain View and sledge-hammered the Porches of Jim Clarke and Mark Andressen? Life is too short to try to reverse engineer the way a browser renders tables when the browser has been disowned by the company that made it. God what a pain in the ass.

Fight for your right to web standards!

This is what annoys me. I'm not bothered by cruelty to animals or poverty. I hate inelegance. If this shit was easy and clean there's no way I could sit here at my desk for 20 hours straight and do it. My sensibilities are repeatedly thrashed by my masochistic little Sony. I'm compelled by the sharp whip of bugs and nonsense "features". Here's a thought: any "computer genius" you've ever known is only so benighted because he or she happens to be ten times more frustrated by these fucking computers than a regular person and works 10 times harder to get over the frustration. -- all you could ever want in a website.

Websites are a beautiful thing. Think of all the beautiful young things burning their youth building them. After killing myself for a mere week I suddenly realized (ok, not so suddenly) what it's like to be one of those html foot soldiers of the information revolution. How many of those poor wretches get mowed down by the first spray of bullets as they climb out of the trenches? How many make it to IPO-land? Is the six months of work that takes ten years off their life as easy to slough off as the effluvia, the veritable waste product that are the .html, the .asp, the .cgi's of their overactive brains? I can only imagine the webtrosities being perpetrated to build this empire when all the drones busy "implementing" it have so little self-respect.

But we'll have none of that here in Bombay. Or at least I won't. I'm getting out before this place goes completely "dotcom" crazy - if it's not already. People here wonder, "Dave, why don't you stay and hit big all over again? With your experience...." With my experience I can't bear to witness it again. It was bad enough the first time through. I can only imagine it being 10 times more painful in India where they won't have the benefit of, well..., of anything! Except maybe cheap labor and believe me, the non-cheapness of the labor was the only thing I liked about working in the computer industry (and the free soft drinks).

I can't stand the hype. That's what being experienced does for you makes you know better. It took years for the press to get savvy to how they were being manipulated by the computer industry in the US. For the longest time you either had crackpot doomsayers or PR puffers overwhelmingly molding people's opinions. The people here are begging for it. Bending OVER to take it. So the people are ready to be abused. For sure. And looking around, I don't see fine critical thinking manifesting itself anywhere in the Indian media. I got up outta bed to work tonight because I couldn't get Chuck D out of my head. Kinda funny that I ended up writing about hype after singing "Don't Believe the Hype" about 10 times in the dark.

Here's to wishing that "those that perpetrate, they drink Clorox".