All entries for Friday 05 May 2006

May 05, 2006

The wrath of the veggies

From this week's Times Higher comes the salutory tale of the man who wrote an essay called Why vegetarians should be force-fed lard. So far, so drolly humorous, you might (or might not) think, but what makes it more interesting is that this essay was housed on the web server of the University of Newcastle. One can only begin to imagine the joy felt by their IT department, therefore, when angry vegetarians from around the country began contacting them demanding the removal of this piece. The THES says:–

Their arguments were initially rejected by Quentin Campbell, acting for the University's Information Systems and Services. His phone number was then published on the vegetarians' website with a suggestion that he should be pestered.

The same person who suggested Operation Pester–cide also invited fellow veggies to call the Sun newspaper to generate bad publicity for the university.

Faced with the wrath of the veggies, Newcastle University apparently conceded defeat and removed the offending pages. The stick, it seems, is mightier (and tastier?) than the carrot.

Gall's law

Writing about web page's_law

I hadn't heard of Gall's law until now. It states:–

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system.

Sounds right to me, and seems like a credible explanation for a significant number of successes and failures.

Writing about web page

Isn’t this a bit, um, brazen? Time was you had to faff around with BitTorrent and whatnot to download your favourite TV shows. Now you can just go to this site and there they all are. Is that sound I hear in the distance the RIAA exploding into a nuclear fireball of rage? I give it about another seventeen seconds before the C&D letters arrive.

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