Tim Bray on Republicans

There may be one or two Re­pub­li­can read­ers out there, and to them I’m sorry, but in the Dubya-and-since era, treat­ing that party as sub­stan­tially ei­ther crazy or stu­pid is a fairly main­stream po­si­tion. Pos­si­bly the Re­pub­li­cans are right that ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity weak­ens mar­riage and tax cuts don’t cause deficits and im­pris­on­ing a world-lead­ing pro­por­tion of your pop­u­la­tion in­creases pub­lic safety and dereg­u­lat­ing the fi­nance in­dus­try is good eco­nom­ics and in­vad­ing large Mid­dle-East­ern na­tions (then stay­ing) im­proves Amer­ica’s se­cu­rity, as does spend­ing more on the mil­i­tary than the rest of the world put to­gether. And maybe the rest of the world is wrong on these things. I doubt it, though.
-- Tim Bray


Adventures with Django

On Thursday evening, I gave a short talk at PyAtl on Django at the AJC. It went well, and there were a good number of questions afterward on our system and architecture, as well as on how Django is perceived within the company.

Unfortunately, our ridiculously amazing Django group at the AJC is being broken up. In a move that makes a lot of sense, Cox is pulling web development into a central group that will take care of 128 radio stations, television stations, and newspapers across the country. However, they're shrinking the number of development positions by almost half. We are keeping a team at the AJC, but it too is shrinking by half, and shifting focus a bit to deal more with legacy system integration and AJC-specific projects.

We have to apply for positions within the new organizations: resumes, interviews, the whole shebang. While completely understandable, the uncertainty, unknown timeframe, conflicting schedules, and confusing process are making things difficult for everyone involved. The 50% shrinkage means that we all have to be looking for jobs outside of AJC and Cox too, just in case. The AJC has already lost the best manager I have ever worked for, and I'm sure there will be more.

These are certainly exciting times to be working in the media industry: whether exciting-good, or exciting-bad, it's sometimes hard to tell! I will be more than happy if I get to keep doing what I'm doing now, either at the AJC or in the new central group.

And if you are looking to hire Django developers: sadly, I may have a few amazing candidates for you shortly.



Last weekend, we joined Charles and Dawn and Leif, and Mark and Donna Marie and Gwennan and Will, on a crazy adventure, biking to Anniston, Alabama. The first day, Bevin and Dawn rode 27 miles, while Charles pulled Leif in a bike trailer. We joined up with Donna Marie (in the minivan) for lunch in Rockmart, and then the girls and Leif joined the minivan crew while the guys rode the remaining 56 miles to Anniston. Foolishly, I decided to join them. I think I only slowed them down by an hour or two, and only cramped up badly enough to have to walk once! The next day, Bevin and I biked 44 miles back to Cedartown, keeping just ahead of a rain storm that unfortunately caught everyone else while they were waiting for babies to finish bottles, etc. The picture shows Bevin and I just inside Georgia, looking back towards the border where the Silver Comet Trail becomes the Chief Ladiga trail. The stretch of trail from Anniston to Cedartown is beautiful, and although it passes through some decently large hills, it follows an old rail line as is almost perfectly flat. Between Piedmont, AL and the border, the trail criss-crosses Terrapin Creek repeatedly over beautiful bridges. So, 71 miles for Bevin and 127 miles for me in two days! A new record, for sure. Weather permitting, Bevin and I are planning on biking from the border to the beginning of the Silver Comet trail on Monday… we'll let you know how it goes!


Martinis on the Titanic

I started working for the city paper in Atlanta in October, almost a year and a half ago. As we brace for layoffs, Clay Shirky has reminded me why these are such interesting times to be in, and especially to work for a newspaper.

We are watching the complete destruction of the print-based publishing world we all grew up in. The internet is doing to the printing press what the printing press did to hand-copying illuminated texts, and things are getting fascinating.

Working at a paper gives me a ringside seat. I sometimes morbidly joke that we're sipping martinis on the deck of the Titanic, watching the water and the great ship as she slides under the waves. But it's important to remember that this is not the death of Journalism. It's just the ruthless removal of all the artificial frictions of publishing. In the post-post-Gutenberg world, this is publishing. Already, almost a quarter of the earth's population has internet access, and could theoretically read this blog post. That's almost as crazy as the fact that about 60% of the earth's population has cell phone access, and could hit 10 or 15 buttons to call me and talk right now!

Crazy times… and exciting. Let's see where we go next!


Being famous takes work

I haven't posted a fake beauty post in a while, so here's something in a similar vein: Celebrity beauty is a full-time job.

It's depressing how “attractiveness attributes” (low weight/high weight, no tan/suntan) match with whatever you'd need disposable income and leisure time to accomplish.