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Internet civility, my ass.

I remember reading about the whole Kathy Sierra flap sometime last week, probably in Michelle Malkin's website when she asked the entirely reasonable question, "Where the hell were you when I was getting this kind of treatment?" I blew it off at the time, partially because I was coming down with the latest round of cellulitis and partially because I found the whole episode amusing, as only someone of my generation can.

See, I remember the old Internet, back when the only people on there were academics, college students, and the occasional techie working for BBN, DEC, IBM and the dozen or so other government contractors. Guess what? It wasn't much more civil then, either, despite what those dewy-eyed revisionist scum would like to think. This whole business of the Internet plunging into the muck and mire once AOL let any yahoo with a 28k modem and money to burn onto the Intarbutts is pure crap. People were just as rude and nasty back then as they are now, only there weren't as many of them so they were easier to ignore. (Killfiles, anyone?)

So everyone who wants to emplace and enforce a "code of civility" is just as full of shit as people who think all baseball's ills would be cured if we got rid of the DH. First of all, none of the people who are causing the problem are going to sign up for this code. Secondly, there's no legal way to enforce it on a Netwide basis. Thirdly, every blogger already has the tools to suppress trolls and other idiots. GVDL explains it all here, as only he can.

As for Tim O'Reilly, Bob Scoble, Kathy Sierra and the rest of the weak sisters in the tech industry, I'd like to lock their browsers to /b/ for forty days and nights as a righteous punishment for selective indignation and utopian asshattery. It's the least they deserve. Stupid fuckers.