The Ugly: Bandwidth and Politics —
Two issues that are on the forefront of my mind as of late. They are not related, but they are both minor issues in the context of most of my work, so I’m just combining them in one entry so I can be done with them.
TEXTFILES.COM is slow this week. The main reason this time is because the nice folks at planetmirror.com are mirroring not only the roughly 1.5 gigabyte collection that comprises textfiles.com and web.textfiles.com, but also a lot of my larger sites, like audio.textfiles.com and pdf.textfiles.com, which are now getting into the a-lot-of-gigabytes realm and aren’t slowing down.
As discussed perhaps too many times before, I do not accept advertising, and do not put banner ads or other such trickery on my sites. I actually recieve the very occasional sparse criticism for this, but mostly, I get either a spare compliment, or even better, a complete lack of noticing this fact, the way it should be. It’s encouraging because it means people are living their lives, browsing information, not having to notice the lack of advertising. Excellent.
But I do get a lot of complaints the site is slow. Yes, this is true. Slow and free. I made that choice a long time ago, and I am happy to live with it. Someday I’m sure I’ll get something faster than a T-1 line, but the monthly cost falls under “hobby” level as opposed to ‘”sacrifice” level, So I expect it will stay as such. Every once in a while there is a flare-up and the site is particularly slow. This is one of those times, and I thank folks for their patience. Mirrors are important things; I will not always be here, and as my popularity (or at least my site’s popularity) grows, I am trying to expand it without comprimising too many principles.
The other issue is that I have been making a concerted effort to avoiding dabbling in politics. I am not engaged in too much in the way of political criticism and I do not look out among the users of this site or of the world and haplessly cleave everyone into designations and names, then leave them in these bins to rot. I should state emphatically that I favor a set of laws and social mores that allow textfiles.com to continue to exist, but beyond that, I do not see what it solves to have my thoughts added.
But I will say that I have seen a number of my favorite sites, lists, and destinations ruined, absolutely ruined, by derisive and inaccurate name-calling, classification, and a level of perceived teams that rivals professional sports. It has reached the level that I now find it disturbing and troubling, and I am finding less reason to engage myself in many sites or discussions as a result. That’s sad, and ultimately my problem and my problem alone.
Nothing I can say will be effective in imploring people to stop, so to go into too many details would just add to the ball of hate. I will simply say that I will continue to make my best effort to bring what I do to as many people as possible, without attempts to gift-wrap it in my critique of percieved flaws in the world that have no place in the transaction. I love all of you, even the broken ones, and I wouldn’t run these sites if I didn’t.
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Thank you for always staying true to yourself and for refusing to be mired in the ugliness that has become our reality. I’m glad to see that there is still love in the world. Can’t wait to see you at Christmas.