TCLP 2012-01-08 Inner Chapter: At All Levels

This is a feature cast, an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

Listener feedback this week came from Thomas who wrote to let me know PuTTY is available in Debian based Linux distros as well as on Windows.

The hacker word of the week this week is foobar.

The feature this week is an Inner Chapter in the challenges and opportunities of working at all levels.


View the detailed show notes online. You can grab the flac encoded audio from the Internet Archive.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

6 Replies to “TCLP 2012-01-08 Inner Chapter: At All Levels”

  1. Out of interest I wonder at what “level” you understand your podcast to be “at.”

    You cover a broad range of topics, in a fairly accessible manner. Are you attempting to generate conversation or are you simply desiring to lecture a subset? I realize you view me as a bit of a troll, and perhaps too attached to a subject that I don’t fully grasp; yet at times, this podcast seems to be aimed at any and all of curious types such as myself. This is the genesis of my question.

    I, more frequently then I should, don’t fully grasp the jargon and concept of your podcast.

    Often in conversations online I find myself being told, that I “just don’t get it.” in the technical sense. At the same time such intrigued individuals as myself find that we are treated as adversaries when our view are either differing or skeptical from the prevailing tech-geek baseline. I am worried that you, and the hacker community as a whole, nominally see people such as me and other, less technically-oriented online-types in this light.

    So it is with all this in mind that I am wondering what “level” your podcast is “at”, who are you pushing hands with? And do you view such repeated inquires by the uninitiated, such as myself, as unwelcome, annoying, or not worthy of response?

    I guess I am asking if someone of my lack of talent should bother to pay attention to your concerns, if you only intend them to be for a specific audience and not “all” of the public, even though your podcast is publically available and an open invitation for inquiries is at the end of every episode. If find the ambiguities confusing.

    1. I don’t consider you a troll and even if I don’t always respond, I do try to think about the questions and concerns you raise. I will try to be better about acknowledging your input even when I don’t necessarily have an answer or a response that furthers the discussion.

      I would say that I lean towards trying to make the podcast accessible. I doubt I always succeed and hence always manage to operate at all levels in the writing and production. I do try to be aware of it and absolutely rely on listeners and readers of all backgrounds asking questions and sharing thoughts to help me understand where I may be failing to clearly explain an assumption or overlook some particular perspective on the topic.

      1. I appreciate your understanding. Based on my experience, I can’t help but thinking that I’m somehow missing something that everyone else takes as a given.

        1. As long as I understand that you are simply trying to figure out what the thing is that you might be missing, as opposed to non-constructive criticism, I will always try to muster the patience necessary to answer what I can.

          1. Which I am grateful for, however there is only so much knowledge I can gather on my own. I lack proper direction in many ways, and therein lies my problem. I, like most, “regular folks” can only close half the gap.

            Often I feel that that same effort to close the other half of the gap is not made by those in the hacker community. I can’t go school to learn coding or start work as an web administrator to get the knowledge I need to properly relate (even if I had such knowledge one time in my past), and I think it is wrong to expect me to be capable of doing so.

            This is what I was getting at earlier, if your comments are ment for just the self-identified hacker subset, then I need to know and I need to move on and not waste both your time and mine trying to come to terms with matters that are best left to the experts

            (my blog grew out of this perception, a normal guy trying to cross the gap between normal, selectively-networked, citizens and web Denizens and hackers elitism (RE: Anonymous/LULZ)) and the ruminations of Shirky, Anderson et al.

            However in unfortunate counterpoint to your honest engagements here, my criticisms and simple inquiries over at BoingBoing are actively resisted, and my comments there are deleted with some frequency. I know you are good friends with a regular contributor Cory, and so at times I am confused by the ambiguities between how approachable he seems on your show and how strong and combative his posts are on BoingBoing. Its a lot for a lone, uninitiated soul, to keep up with. Which face do you respond to? Never mind the nightmare of the moderators….

            I find your open engagement policy very refreshing (even as at times I feel I’ve worn out my welcome (I profess ignorance on the proper etiquette and unwritten rules I might be breaking)), I generally feel I learn and grow when I engage with you and I generally find your points more constructive then combative.

            The same can’t be said when I engage almost anyother facet of the hacker community, almost as if I am an enemy to them (RE: my BoingBoing experiences) even if I am just a regular everyday citizen, trying my best to keep up with a relevent community even as that community is also highly insular and resistant as a whole.

            I am just not in a position to fully close the knowledge gap required in a way that is pertinent to my living and employment situation as a simple citizen, I can only cross part of that gap on my own, the realities of my situation are not unlike many others, and at the very least, we as citizens need to be recognized for what we actually are by the heroes of the Web, people not just angry comments.

            Otherwise You Get What You See, the hacker community loses its potency for the average citizen and once again it slips into the shadows again until on of the more brazen members makes negative headlines for the whole of you and this circus starts over…

            (perfect recent example is OWS slip back into obscurity, they didn’t listen to anyone in the 99% that asked them about the realities of their cause…)

            So I am grateful for you engaging with me, I just wish the same could be said for the rest of the community…

  2. Once again I am pestering you with a follow up, if you care to invest the time.
    This post,Seeking Density in the Gonzo Theater over at ribbonfarm, makes the case for the value of ones work and it is specific to writing, and to writing “at all levels.”

    Beyond that the post addresses this modern notion of copy but in a rather benign, yet pertinant manner. In this post I see the roots of why I felt compelled to question your aims and intended audience. I warn you, its a bit long, but I think you will find it enlightening.

    here’s the raw link.

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