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"Too big for his britches"

Several years ago I had a brief career as an amateur spam-fighter. I stopped when I realized I simply lacked the skills and commitment needed to fight the battle properly, but I've always felt a little guilty about giving up. But I still remember two lessons I learned from those days (and those fine folks at news.admin.net-abuse.e-mail).

The first is "you don't fight abuse with abuse." As satisfying and justifiable it may seem to launch a Denial Of Service attack on a spamming server, or sign a spammer up for all kinds of lists, or track down their home phone number and call them in the middle of the night, it's WRONG. The whole idea is that we are fighting on principle, and we need to preserve those principles. We have to make sure we remain "the good guys."

The second was developed in response to a lot of companies who gave services to spammers. One of the standard responses was "we have so many customers, we can't monitor everything they do." The answer to that one was immediate, and floored me with its elegant simplicity and sheer honesty.

"If you're too big to act responsibly, you're too big."

That basic idea stuck with me. I work for a very large company, and I live in fear of that mentality taking foot there. At work, we do everything we can to personalize everything with our customers, to treat them as the individuals they are. I know that if we start acting as big as we are, we'll lose them to the competition. The mom and pop operations will eat us alive the instant we give them that edge, because a lot of people are quite willing to pay a smidgen more if it means they get treated with friendliness and respect.

Apparently that mentality has set in over at Kos. According to "tas," Kos is too big to read and care about every single comment on every single thread, and to hold him responsible for what goes on there is "ridiculous." I don't accept that. If Kos doesn't have the time to monitor what is done on his site, then he ought to appoint some trusted supporters (much like Paul and I here at Wizbang) to do so. "Too big" isn't an excuse, it's a confession.

Yes, Kos has a history of deleting material that later proves embarassing from his site. The example is cited is exactly why I don't think I'll ever have any respect for him. When four American civilian contractors were ambushed and killed in Fallujah and their mutilated bodies were hung from a bridge, Kos called them "mercenaries" and said, and I quote, "screw them." Only when he started taking serious heat from that (in the form of canceled advertisers who took their money elsewhere) did he delete the posting and later post a half-assed apology. That incident prompted my own "I don't bury my mistakes" policy here -- I don't delete things I write. I'll go back and correct typographical and grammatical errors, I'll add clarifying details, I'll toss in updates in the middle of a piece -- but I will NOT attempt to hide evidence of my errors. "The moving hand once writ" isn't just classical poetry, it's an ethical touchstone.

And as far as moderating/deleting comments... I can't find a stated policy on Kos' site, but every single site I've ever seen has had the policy of deleting comments that violate the host's ethical principles. I've done it myself a couple times, and always had a twinge of guilt. But if someone were to post a way to rig an online contest at another site, I'd delete that without a second thought. I'd ban the IP as well, and I'd watch for the swine who did it to come back. In cases like this, "silence is assent."

The train of illogic on that comment thread is most enlightening. It goes from "we're losing" to "we're losing -- it's probably rigged" to "it's gotta be rigged" to "it's definitely rigged" to "we oughta rig it ourselves" to "hey, now that we've rigged it, we're winning!" to, finally, "since it was so easy to rig, everyone must have and it doesn't count" without a single shred of evidence to suppor the escalation. There were a few voices of sanity along the way (Sorceress Sarah, Hrothgar, Tacoma Narrows, McDuff), but they were quickly steamrolled by those in favor of the cheating.

Then, on the LGF matter: yes, a commenter posted a possible method of cheating. You'll notice that it was utterly denounced by the rest, and Charles had earlier asked people to not cheat on his behalf. Funny how no one in authority over at Kos has problems with cheating...

And no, I'm not being "coy" about the matter. I simply don't know, and don't want. I'm not involved in the Awards, not gonna get involved with them to that much detail. What Kevin started as a simple, fun way to give people a chance to draw attention to lesser-known but still worthy blogs has apparently turned into a huge nightmare of thankless work and headaches. He's a better man than I am -- had I been running things, I woulda said "screw it" and dumped the whole thing a while ago.

This is the last piece I'm planning on writing about the Awards. The initial idea of them was outstanding, and I hope they will still serve that purpose. All I've written so far has simply been elaborations on a basic theme -- "Kos is an asshole, and so are a lot of his supporters" -- and that was abundantly clear back in April when he first posted the "screw them" comment about the murdered contractors, then attempted to cover it up.

So go vote in the Weblog awards. And out of simple decency and respect, follow the rules Kevin has imposed. It's his site, his idea, his contest, his rules. If you don't like it, you're welcome to go elsewhere. Hell, even start your own contest -- don't crap on his work.



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Comments (21)

I'm sorry but I really have... (Below threshold)

I'm sorry but I really have to say, "You are surprised because why?" - Kos is one of the biggest left wing blogs around (as we all know). As such, I've seen no difference between the way they run their blog versus the way the left wing runs political battles - meaning (IMHO) honesty, integrity and care pretty much get thrown to the wind when it comes to winning.

I like the liberals less and less as time goes on and I'm about as surprised at the behavior over at Kos as I am that the pope is Catholic.

What?!?! The left-wing, fe... (Below threshold)

What?!?! The left-wing, fever swamp, moon bats cheating? Who wouldda thought? That's their one and only mode of operation. The only contest they could win honestly would be the "Dumbest, most illogical blog", - it would be a hands-down, landslide victory.

As time goes on, I have less and less respect for the lefties. facts, honor, integrity are the first to go out the window - win an any cost, seems to be their motto. No thanks, I'm fine.

No, the Left's motto is: th... (Below threshold)
nobody important:

No, the Left's motto is: the ends justify the means.

I'm calmed down a bit at th... (Below threshold)
Krusty Krab:

I'm calmed down a bit at this point, and agree entirely with Jay's assessment. I would encourage Kevin to follow up and report these individuals to their respective ISPs.

I would call for a bit of moderation here: Not all liberals are exemplified by the pathetic unreasoned and unprincipled behavior of DailyKos participants. The Right has had its share of ideologues who, for example, through their unreasoned fixation in getting Clinton at any cost, have done long-term damage to the image of Republicans.

Mirroring Jay to an extent, I think that Kos has failed in his responsibility of moderating his own group, and has turned a blind eye towards unethical behavior on the part of members of his group which could result in disciplinary actions being take by their ISPs/companies/etc. Tolerating flagrant violations of internet codes of conduct just exposes Kos to be the empty and miserable excuse of a person that he really is.

What has been made clear here is that DailyKos attracts unprincipled soulless cretins married to ideals which they have no ability to appreciate. Having no morals or substantce, as is human nature, they assume that this is normal. For the rest of us (left and right), they are just sick twisted f**ks.

Hey Wizbang. I wandered ove... (Below threshold)

Hey Wizbang. I wandered over after hearing about the awards from the Let's Try Freedom blog. I am on the 3500-5000 category. I finally stumbled upon your actual blog and really enjoy it. I have blogrolled you, too!

And, regarding this issue - it NEVER entered my mind to want to cheat at this. There is no joy in winning by cheating and I certainly wouldn't want to win that way. I think the awards are a great way for lesser known blogs, like mine, to find some new readers. Thanks and keep up the good work.

What is particularly enligh... (Below threshold)
Lurking Observer:

What is particularly enlightening to this observer is the argument about how, since it's easy to cheat, it's really the fault of Wizbangblog, and not of the cheaters.

The locus of responsibility shifts from the person doing the cheating to the person hosting.

This is interesting, to me, b/c it's the same sort of argument that one hears whenever a nation is found cheating. Take North Korea: North Korea cheats on nuclear reprocessing, and it's noted that "Well, it's not like anyone ever said that they couldn't reprocess uranium." [Point of fact: Yes, several treaties actually forbade that as well.]

Or the USSR when they encrypted telemetry: "Since we won't tell them exactly why their encryption is wrong [although it was forbidden by treaty], it's not their fault if they cheat."

Of course, if we were to do that, or if conservative blogs were to do the script-kiddie thing, watch the outrage!

About companies servicing S... (Below threshold)

About companies servicing Spmamers, a story:

I've been an ardent COSTCO member and shopper since the place began, or very close to that.

It was only in the last two years that I ever wrote to COSTCO's "customer service" (hehehehe) and also followed an ongoing COSTCO promotion to members as "a service" (hehehehe) and that was to file for merchandise rebates via email to COSTCO.

As soon as I did both of those, massive Spamming entailed. Like, within a week after I both sent an email to COSTCO and also filed that "online rebate" with COSTCO for a few bucks that was due me. AND THE SPAMMING BEGAN, MASSIVELY, AFTERWARD.

I wrote to COSTCO to complain about it, that they'd sold/exchanged my membership information with Spammers and they wrote back a very, very snippy email saying, "we removed your information from the customer service records" but no explanation, NOR APOLOGY, about what they'd done, and are, apparently, doing:

if you're a member of COSTCO, and you file an online rebate (which requires using an email address, d'oh), COSTCO through their contractors sells your email address to Spammers. Lots of Spammers.

You'd think they'd apologize. But, no, they not only never apologized, they actually were quite resentful that I even minded that they had (that COSTCO "shared" my email address with Spammers). To wit, the snippy "customer service" response, such as it was, I received when I contacted them about the massive Spamming underway.

I still shop at COSTCO and maintain a membership there but the luster has fallen away -- I've yet to encounter a more hostile "customer service" department than they maintain and, about the Spamming, COSTCO is responsible for 'sharing' membership contact information without permission by individuals. Now I use the mail like I used to for rebates, and never contact COSTCO, or, when I have to, use a dummy telephone number and never share an email address with them, having long since abandoned the one I used for that lone rebate a while ago.

And, Jay, I agree with your... (Below threshold)

And, Jay, I agree with your take on the Awards, even and only from a point of business, as in, the ethics of doing commerce.

And, also, as I do about your conclusion that if you begin underappreciating, even not appreciating, customers as individuals (and that includes by all employees, in whatever position with any business), you run the risk of a certain loss of customer confidence.

Yes, people do not mind spending a bit more when they feel that they receive "greater value" from another source that offers them greater care and information in their shopping processes. I mean, as a standard, nearly all of us is frugal with our resources -- I'm sure there are some who are grandiose and/or who don't have to account for what they spend, but for the most part, most people are conscious of the value of their money and act accordingly -- so as to appreciate lower and/or lowest prices in a comparative shopping practice, but, then again, if any commerce experience is insulting to your sense of behavior, fairness, even morality and/or cleanliness, you just look around for other options, and when finding them, don't object to paying more if you feel greater value there, all things considered.

I just went through that with web hosting, and also with other services. I can speak incredibly well of, say, COX Communications, who provides the all around best customer service that I've ever encountered in any utility, much less in any company, and a few others (Lands End is another, as is DELL). Companies like that, who make sure that a customer is pleased with their service/products and is valued, makes for a good relationship and especially for return visits. Companies that don't 'have time' for my issues, that treat inquires with intolerance and dismissal, that contradict a customer's experiences even, those are the companies that I never, as in, NEVER, return to, and I always reconsider even an initial purchase. I mean, life is short, why get involved with the contrary, the unpleasant, when you can chose the supportive, the pleasant and helpful?

I’d just like to say thank ... (Below threshold)

I’d just like to say thank you guys for the whole idea of the Weblog awards. Much to my surprise I got selected to compete in the UK blogs category....not going to win of course but fun and an honour to make it this far.
You’ve obviously taken on a great deal of work to make it happen and while I’m not all that surprised at people trying to fake it with scripts and so on I do find it contemptible, not least because none of the pustulent little zitoids has actually had the courage to put up a hand and say "Yes, my bad".
There is one further thing that has made the whole experience so deliciously enjoyable. One of the other nominees was so shocked at the company he was being asked to keep that he withdrew. He’s a self-described "left-liberal" and while I realise that it was one other blog in particular, by a Brit journalist called Melanie Phillips, that upset him so, I do hope (indeed, the very thought helps to keep me warm on these cold winter nights) that my little collection of foam flecked libertarian rants contributed to his disquiet. Liberals so upset they run screaming from the room? Mission Accomplished.
So, thank you not just for the awards process and work but also for a much more personally enjoyable moment or two.

What I really love is the j... (Below threshold)

What I really love is the justification, that the Weblog awards are a neo-nazi award, apparently because of the logo design, therefore it deserves to be hacked.

asdfasdfasd ... (Below threshold)


"Don't crap on his work."</... (Below threshold)

"Don't crap on his work."

Heh. Heh heh. Heh.

So, where's your roster?

chad: that's an outrageous... (Below threshold)

chad: that's an outrageous statement you wrote here about the logo, that it was indicative of a "neo-nazi award (process)".

WHAAAT???!!! There's nothing "neo" or even remotely "Nazi"-esque or referential about that logo except in the lunatic ravings of the minds of those who suggest/interpret the design as such.

I'm ANYthing but a sympathizer of, much less someone who references "Nazi" issues or elements in my work and anyone who imagines/perceives such in my work is insane. Insane. Purely and simply, insane.

The typeface in the numerals is a commonly found one called "Old English" (sarcasm/now, THERE'S a "Nazi" statement, ohyeah/sarcasmoff), and the typeface in the "Weblog" and "Awards" lines are something created in the recent years called "MEO". And, the rest of it is something akin or at least remotely suggestive of Napon or Japanese traditionalism.

How in the crazed imaginations of anyone who would dare to suggest that the logo is an emblem about or in reference to "Neo Nazism" is someone who really needs psychiatric help. I doubt that those types ever get the help that they need, just saying that they'd be wise to at least research the possibilities.

I'm a Catholic. A devout one. I bear no racial nor racist animosities nor evaluations about any human being about their race, nor their nationality. INTERESTING NOTE HERE IS THAT THE PERSON WHO STARTED THIS NASTINESS ABOUT THAT LOGO DID SO BASED UPON A DISMISSAL OF THE AWARDS PROCESS AS BEING "...(a)...Anglo Saxon" group of blogs in finalists.

SO, end of story here, conclusively, THE CRITICISM INDICATES A NEO-NAZI ETHIC, not that which they criticize. Which never ceasese to amaze me, just how transparently evil attempts to paint as faux-evil that which it intends to destruct.

Meaning, very badly intended persons are responsible for the meanness and destructive actions as to this Awards process, and about me as an individual designer responsible for the logo.

I think I'm going to write a complaint to the ISP that hosts that lunatic's blog who started this nastiness about the logo and also send a letter to an attorney with a screen shot of their website. I will enjoy collecting damages.

Suzy, he was commenting tha... (Below threshold)

Suzy, he was commenting that on the KOS thread, some of those f$%ers wrote how your logo font looked "nazi-like" with "semi-swaztikas" in each corner.

I find it funny that they made the connection when I didn't even see a resemblence.

chad himself didn't say it, KOS commenters did.

Henry, and chad, too, I rea... (Below threshold)

Henry, and chad, too, I realize that chad was commenting about the donut that the dummy first pushed down the tacky hill, using the logo issue to start the process, and I wasn't directing any criticism in those comments I wrote a bit ago today (^^) (this thread) TO chad, but about what chad wrote. That is, it's not clear in what I wrote/what I expressed that I was not criticising chad but I was criticising what chad described, not chad himself. Chad described an accurate point and I was criticising that point, not chad, nor the comments by chad, but, to put it as plainly as possible, joining in with chad in the issue and adding comments of my own.

I am truly horrified to read that some disturbed persons on our planet are projecting their paranoid and irrational perceptions onto my work. But, just as I suggested here a while ago when Jay Tea first wrote about me as to my past design work, and then McGhee posted a comical, sardonic humorous barb about same, I knew, based upon my human experiences, that someone, somewhere, would not be able to discriminate theatrical work from reality. And so they have not been able to do, and here we are, me and my work being subject to the cesspool of disturbance that is the paranoid, unstable and quite immature academic(s) projecting some flippant "neo-Nazi" label onto the Awards logo and me as a person.

As in, I designed for George Lucas a "very fascist" logo per his request for a theatrical work -- his film, STAR WARS -- so that makes me a fascist. I voted for George Bush so that makes my work emblems of "Neo Nazism." It is the most abusive and rankorous, disgusting level of projected and quite paranoid and insane, even, statement that anyone could ever attempt to apply to me, a Christian, a Catholic, a kind and quiet creative person who lives by what I believe in and that is generosity and good intentions and a lot of faith in a loving God. I'm a theatrical and editiorial designer, not a decorator of pages and sites, rooms and patches and tattoos and such, but an academic designer with literary and theatrical experience.

Along those lines, I suppose those who rail me and my work in this experience as they have and are, assume that SPIDERMAN was a comic drawn by a giant Arachnid.

If any of you tend toward the criticism of "celebrity" among those who work in entertainment, you have just witnessed why some "fans" are so dangerous and merit caution. To wit, the nutty French website that started this awfulness about the Awards, based upon the logo, and their own hate and irrationally awful opinions about "Anglo Saxons" and me, someone they do not know, have never met, and never will.

Perhaps you understand better why public persons have so many concerns about nuts in our world: because they are there.

And, that corner graphic co... (Below threshold)

And, that corner graphic comment...interpretation...is INSANE. That is a graphic file that is commonly found on the internet, a background file that's free for public use...it represents four corners, pages, elements of publishing.

It's purely and utterly INSANE that someone applies their paranoid Rorscharche (spelled?) Test results to my logo. Purely and utterly insane.

I just worked on a Design Sheet for that logo and described the elements involved. I'm going to go post it on my blog, BIRD, and am going to ask here that as many concerned persons link to it and try to share the reality of the logo to dispell this crazed story of paranoia that that nut somewhere in France/Switzerland started. Who also doesn't care for "Anglo Saxons" so perhaps that tells you something more about that author, if you can call them that.

Anyway, I'm posting the Design Sheet now on BIRD and hope that people will go read it, and link to it and hopefully the correct information as to sources and motive of design and influences will get around. BIRD CAN BE FOUND HERE:

and I'll return in a minute with the Permalink to post for the thread with the stylesheet....

Here is the blog informatio... (Below threshold)
KOS is an idiot - not just ... (Below threshold)

KOS is an idiot - not just here but on other sites and I think most of us already know that, so we bypass his comments - anyone who tries to argue with him does so in vain so if you want to keep your b/p down, don't even bother.


- Suzy - I had a good laugh... (Below threshold)

- Suzy - I had a good laugh when I first saw the posting's yammering about the "Nazi-like" rendering of your beauitful awards logo. I was totally puzzled until I looked again, and then I saw what they were building this specious screed on....

- The typeface you selected was used by Germany and almost every other Euro country that had a printing press. This is the same sort of picyune parsing the asshats used during the past election.

- They find some reference, anything will do, start with a twisted unconnected example and then build an entire misrepresentative "story" based on that intentionally misleading kernal. It works with the liberals because they have a fundemental willingness to accept every manner of paranoid jibberish and "conspiracy" theory....

- One lousy book, with little or no proof or credibility, was the entire basis for the "neocon/Nazi's/BushHitler" meme. The other reason that Facism always appears at the core of their crazy idea's is that the Marxist/Communists/Socialists have a total irrational hate for the Nazi's who they saw/see as their personal "monster in the closet" and direct compitition for their totalitarian ideologies. You can predict their every move.... I'd laugh this one off if I were you. Just another example of their childish uninformed, paranoid idiocies....

- The joke in the end, were it not so tragic for the rest of the world, is that the Islamic Jihadists are the closest to anything Facist today, as is France and by their support of these vicious killers, the extreme lefturds themselves.....

Just a note - The ... (Below threshold)

Just a note -

The poem reads:

The moving finger writes; and having writ,
Moves on:

Auto Loans and Financing<br... (Below threshold)

Auto Loans and Financing






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