Blog Comments or “Saint jdn – fighting Those Who Cared”

I have to explain the new tag line.

Updated: the new tag line was fine for a day.  Back to what it has always been.

In the meantime, don’t forget the first rule of the Blogosphere: opinions are like assholes.  Everyone that has one, is one.

Because of the weird phenomenon of people in Eastern Europe posting spam links that advertise porn or poker or whatever, I have moderation turned on for the site.  It’s annoying because almost no one reads this thing and almost no one comments on it (except maybe to say “DOH!  I did that too!”), but if I don’t have moderation turned on, once one test spam comment gets through, hundreds a day come in, and it’s just a pain in the ass to deal with.  Right now, the big thing appears to be selling term papers to college students who don’t want to actually do the work themselves.  One gets submitted every couple of days, which I then kill.

Anyway, other than spam, I’ve never deleted a comment for any other reason, and except for something that was just blatantly racist or something, I don’t know what I would delete.  Maybe completely off-topic comments about politics or something.

I have this general policy for a reason, and one that ties back to the ‘birth’ of this piece of crap blog.

Back when Scott Bellware was blogging on CodeBetter, he was going on in his general humble (</sarcasm>) way about something he said or did, and I submitted a generic snarky response commenting on how nice it must be to be superior to everyone else.  Which, of course, he deleted.  And then he wrote a post about it (I think it was titled ‘BlogCoward’).

Anyone who’s read this blog or, well, ever met me, knows that I can have somewhat of, uh…an aggressive personality.  (Translation: “I’m kind of a dick”….what do you mean, kind of?  “Fine.”).

Naturally then, I commented about it.  I don’t remember if he deleted the first one, but eventually, one stayed and general frivolity ensued.  “Who are you jdn?  Are you just a troll?”  Which eventually led to my “My name is John Nuechterlein, I got a Ph.D. at the age of 25, I’m a good cook, I play a mean guitar, and I’m a snazzy dresser” comment, and there we go. (i’m no where near being a snazzy dresser, the rest is fairly accurate….but I digress).

From all of that, I have what I might call the ‘pot meet kettle’ moderation policy.  It would be rather cheezy for me to just delete comments if I didn’t agree with what was being said, or if the comments were somewhat…’aggressive’.   This was what was so funny about Bellware’s old blog, he’d post really rude and obnoxious comments about everything and everyone, but if anyone posted the slightest thing critical of him, he’d get all offended and wussy.  I’d link to examples (especially that didn’t involve me) but he deleted all of his old posts when he split from CodeBetter.

If you are going to have a blog and allow comments and say provocative things, don’t be a loser and delete stuff without a reason.  That’s true blog cowardliness…or something like that (i guess my attitude also stems from being on USENET back in the day, as the things that people call trolling today ain’t nothing like then.  There’s nary an H. West amongst them.  Not even a Plain and Simple Cronan.  Moment of silence for Cronan, rest his soul with God………….thank you.  The world misses that guy, and doesn’t even know it.  but i digress).

So, the new tagline came from a comment that Rob Conery made on his blog to a comment I made before he deleted the whole exchange and banned me from the commenting system altogether.  Burning bridge?  What’s that?

true story digression: after I graduated from the University of Miami with a Ph.D. in Philosophy at the age of 25 (Hi Jeremy, Hi Rob!), I stayed around for a year or two before finally leaving the hellhole that is South Beach (City motto: It’s a great place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live here), and so during that time I was still around the Department for meetings, colloquiums, parties, etc.  Anyway, for a few months I dated one of the graduate students in the program, and some of my former classmates and colleagues asked her what it was like to date this jdn guy.  When she told them that I was very sweet and kind, the unanimous reaction was pretty much that she couldn’t have possibly understood the question properly, or she was actually dating someone else.  I consider the time when she told me about this one of the highpoints of my life, if only because it was so funny…lol, sorry, I digress.

Rob’s been on a kick about getting rid of relational databases and using NoSQL type databases (which are entirely different topics, which he doesn’t get), and supplying a lot of useful code, all of which is good.  He seems to think that if he does something good in one area, it means he’s excused for harmful actions in other places.

The ultimate problem is that advocating getting rid of relational databases would make this industry worse on orders of magnitude.  He doesn’t like to hear that, so he deletes comments.

This has always been the problem with Alt.NET.  Really smart people advocating really stupid business practices, e.g. all of the good that could come from examining NoSQL possibilities drowned out by dumb ideas that you have to get rid of relational databases. 

Anyway, Rob was making some generally ignorant comments and so I posted the following:

"In the 24 years that I’ve been doing this, I’ve changed a column name on a DB precisely twice"

So, in other words, you don't have a lot of experience in this area.

Rob really didn’t like this, I guess.  What I said was accurate (if you’ve ever worked on a DB system with hundreds of tables worked on by dozens of people over 5+ years, changing column names is pretty common.  Not every day common.  But common.).

Oh, he didn’t like this at all.  Because he’s too lazy, err, because he uses Disqus to handle comments to his blog, I got the full response in the email that gets sent out.  It was a brilliant rant.  I wish he had had the guts to keep it online, but it included the following:

“You, my friend, are the smartest of them all. You see me for what I am - a sham. And when I spend 5 hours of my Saturday trying to concoct yet another Lame Blog Post to try and answer the Good People of the world (whom I've completely fooled) - you're there to call me out. You should be commended. No you should be Sainted. Saint JDN - savior of the Geeks. The guy who understood what no one else did and saved the masses from the tyranny of Those Who Cared.”

I love this.  I really do.  The sarcasm is awesome.  Rob has never been able to handle challenges to his positions, so he resorts to this sort of thing.   Brilliant.

He didn’t actually get around to banning me from his site until my follow up comment:

“Why do you insist on things like:

- copying the points made by Udi and Greg and others, but without attributing them at any point, as if you were an original source on any of this (which you aren't, you are simply repeating what they have said, for the most part).

- thinking that your criticisms about relational databases actually relate to them, since your critiques of them seem irrelevant to how they are actually used in the real world”

That did it for him.  As the ultimate Gloryhound, he likes to post stuff where he rips off material from other people and pretend that he was the source.  When I post about cqrs, I make it clear that I am building on the work of others.  Rob thinks it is okay to plagiarize.   Good for him.  Derik has been doing with Dimecasts what Rob is doing with Tekpub, except Derik doesn’t charge for it (Dimecast official motto: “learn something new in 10 minutes or less, average running time of episodes is 12 minutes”).  Good for him.  As I said to him in an email, Tekpub is as popular as it is because people like Ayende are part of it.  It’s not like anyone thinks his blog series is real world code.

As I mentioned to him in my response to his email, I have an open invitation to have a Skype session to go over all of this.  I’d be fine with recording it so that everyone could hear it and come to their own conclusions.  He’s too scared to do that.

From his last email to me, he seems to think that I hate him or that I have a lot of anger towards him.  He’s a blogger guy.  So was Bellware.  If I don’t hate Scott (who has actually blogged a bunch of good stuff in the last few days since abandoning Twitter), why would I hate anyone?  This is all just talking about code.  I think Rob is killing the message of the advantages of using NoSQL stuff with this silly and ignorant comments about relational databases.  Not surprisingly, he has a different opinion about.  Okay, so what?  We differ about that.  I’m willing to talk about it in any open forum he wants.  Like SB, he runs away from that.  No problem.


If you have a blog, and you allow comments, be a man about it and allow comments that disagree with you.  You aren’t as smart as the people who disagree with you, and the people who disagree with you aren’t as smart as you either.  I think that makes sense.  Besides deleting whatever comments I had on his blog, he’s deleted a bunch of other things as well (there’s some guy named Eric that really riles him up…anybody know who this guy is?), and left in all the stuff where people thank him for what a great guy he is.  Which is okay.  It’s his blog, he can do what he wants with it.

And remember the first rule about the Blogosphere: opinions are like assholes.  Everyone who has one, is one. 

Deal with it.

posted on Sunday, February 07, 2010 9:28 PM Print
# re: Blog Comments or “Saint jdn – fighting Those Who Cared”
Jimmy Bogard
2/8/2010 7:40 AM
I like to keep a pretty simple rule: if it's mean/crude/crass/profane, and anonymous, deleted. If it's mean, but there's a name behind it, not deleted. I figure, if I have the balls to put my name behind my posts, commenters should too.
# re: Blog Comments or “Saint jdn – fighting Those Who Cared”
2/8/2010 9:42 AM
That's not a bad rule to follow. I'm not sure about the whole anonymous thing though. Think 'Alt.NET Pursefight'. I have no clue who produced that, but a lot of that was really funny, even when crude/profane/etc.

I guess I would follow your rule except not deleting something if it was funny. Conery's rip on me was funny, whether I agreed with any of it or not. I would have left it up.
# re: Blog Comments or “Saint jdn – fighting Those Who Cared”
Ollie Riches
2/8/2010 9:57 AM
it's like being in the playground again...
# re: Blog Comments or “Saint jdn – fighting Those Who Cared”
2/8/2010 10:10 AM
Shouldn't you have a disclaimer on this post suggesting that the reader go burn some cash in front of homeless people in order to get into the proper narcissistic context? Don't you usually have to pay money to watch people pleasure themselves on the internet? At least tag it NSFW.

# re: Blog Comments or “Saint jdn – fighting Those Who Cared”
2/8/2010 10:31 AM

LOL. You bring up another important modification to the rule: don't delete if it's accurate.

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