I’ve been on the internet an awfully long time…

More than two decades, in fact, though most of the earliest stuff was on borrowed accounts–I don’t think I had my own email address until twenty years ago _next_ year.

The funny thing is that there are people I know from my very earliest ventures on the ‘net with whom I still cross paths.

In no particular order:

“Steven Grimm”:http://www.facebook.com/sgrimm, who is now a member of Facebook’s infrastructure team working on memcached (which we use very extensively at Ironic Design) was “very active in the Atari ST community”:http://groups.google.com/groups/profile?enc_user=UASgvBQAAACx55dwHhwEwRiGqT1dtGCz6ByVaTvQhk5i4n6ZEwWJug back when I was first getting on the net.

“Howard Chu”:http://highlandsun.com/hyc/ was, if I remember correctly, responsible for both the largest FTP repository of Atari ST freeware up at terminator.cc.umich.edu (for which I used to know the IP address, because DNS was not reliable in those days), as well as handling the porting of the Gnu C compiler to STOS. This is what I learned to write C in. These days, he is the primary coder on the OpenLDAP server (which we use very extensively at Ironic Design).

“David Parsons (orc)”:http://www.pell.portland.or.us/~orc/ was part of the community when I started reading newsgroups, and worked on the STadel port of the Citadel BBS software to the Atari ST. I ran across a reference to his C reimplementation of the Markdown text-processing language.

Now my current connection to orc is more tenuous than the others, but the idea that these people I have known of for twenty years are still involved in software that I used and depend on on a daily basis…it’s kinda weird.

Why many anti-flu vaccine people annoy me

So, a friend on facebook posted this, and it pisses me off enough that I really need to vent:

I’ve held my tongue about a lot of the anti-flu-vaccine talk that’s been flying around because while I think it is pretty baseless, ehh, it’s the flu, who cares–as long as you’re pretty healthy going into it, you’re going to endure a week of feeling like crap, and maybe if you’re unlucky, a nice bout of pneumonia.

(Hopefully not a multi-drug resistant strain, in which case you might be screwed, since it’s always been true that it’s usually follow-on infections that kill you, rather than the flu itself)

Anyway, I, myself, am very inconsistent about getting vaccinated–sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t–so I’m not going to whine at people to go do it.

However, I draw the line at anyone who believes all vaccinations are bad–as the person who captioned this video does, and as many, many people going on about not getting the H1N1 vaccination give the impression of believing–is at best, spectacularly ignorant.

At worst, they’re a *Dangerous Fucking Idiot*.

Don’t believe me? Two words: “smallpox”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smallpox, “polio”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polio.

Go research *those*, and understand that vaccines are too important a tool for their application to be governed by knee-jerk reactions either for or against, and if you’re helping to create an environment where people are fearful of vaccines, one day it is going to backfire when something much worse than mere flu comes along.

I feel like I am living in the 18th century when it comes to this shit. I have no love of Big Pharma, but fucking-A, people, sowing fear, uncertainty and doubt like this is neither helpful nor productive.

Of course they knew each other

I think it’s clear that their work is of a piece–wildly innovative, to the point of being totally incomprehensible–so it should come as no surprise that “Frank Zappa and Jack Kirby not only knew each other, but apparently hung out a bit”:http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2009/10/jack-kirby-and-frank-zappa-a-cosmic-friendship-.html