Tagoutrage

Two Sides

I try to understand both sides of an issue. I’ve gotten criticism from my side for not being on that side enough. I’m not coming out with guns drawn and scathing words. I understand there are two sides to everything. If there wasn’t, it would be an issue.

It’s easy to find the other side because other thoughtful thinkers will point it out. Not in a way of OMG DID YOU SEE THIS MESS? or I TOTALLY AGREE WITH THIS! But in a simple way of hey, look at this other perspective that’s different from my own. That’s important. It’s necessary to see the other side and why they believe what they believe. Even if I find it repugnant. I need to know where they’re coming from or we’ll never hope to meet on a common ground.

The most recent debate about the Confederate flag finds itself at the middle of a controversy just like this. For context, I grew up surrounded by them. It was a way of life for me to see it on cars, flying in front of houses and in the community where I lived. I didn’t think much of it because it was my privilege not to have to worry about it.

But I understand its history and its message. Whether it be heritage or hate doesn’t matter. It’s a symbol closely associated with slavery. Just as the swastika was a pagan symbol before the Nazis used it. You don’t see many swastikas around anymore.

Federico Viticci made a similar point on Twitter.
We also have a heritage in Italy. It’s called fascism. We don’t celebrate it or miss it. Time to grow up for some Americans.

Heritage and history do not exist in a vacuum. They’re two sides to every history. The side that gives you pride in the South also reminds others of a terrifying, painful period in their lives. Where their great-grandparents were literally owned by your great-grandparents. That’s the heritage.

Just as there are two sides to everything, there are people in the South who want to make the argument to remove the flag of the United States of America because of what it represents.

I saw a group from the South arguing against the US Flag because of what the country has become. I’m paraphrasing but they wanted it removed because of the acceptance of homosexuality, the deteriorating morals of the US and the liberals ruining the country.

I don’t agree with them and their belief doesn’t change the history associated with the Confederacy but there’s always another side. A side I absolutely disagree with.

The Confederate Flag is coming down. It’s no longer for sale in Wal-Marts, Amazon or eBay. Virginia’s Governor has a plan to remove the licenses plates with it from the state.

It will eventually come down in South Carolina, but not until some more work is done. It’s not as simple as merely lowering the flag. The flag cannot be lowered, only removed. It can clearly be seen in photos. The mechanism to remove it is under lock and key.

It’s time to move on. There is a line that needs to be drawn between heritage and hate. You’re allowed to do whatever you like in your own house. You can fly a flag on your farm and in your home if that’s your desire. But it’s time to remove it from government. It’s time to take it off government buildings.

Those buildings are not just used by those who want to fly the flag. The public grounds are used by everyone. They’re used by white and black alike. They’re used by people from all walks of life and it’s time to take down this symbol of hatred and slavery.

The Nazis gave Germany the autobahn and rocketry, the swastika is not an acceptable symbol of heritage in Germany or anywhere else. Your heritage is not more important than the atrocity accompanying it. It’s unacceptable to continue to fly and use a symbol that hurt so many for so long. It’s over.

Mark Down will make you a great deal on formatted text

New Rule For the Internet: Let’s not get overly worked up over things that won’t matter in 24 hours.

It’s a rule I’m trying to live by more. It is very easy to get pulled into the Internet Outrage Machine™. Everyday there is something absurd to get all worked up over. Then, the next day, it won’t matter to anyone. This is also why I do not cover tech news on this site. There is no point in speculating over upcoming hardware. We’ll see what it is when it’s released. I stay out of petty internet drama.

The latest drama took over Twitter yesterday. And within the course of the day, the cause of the drama was resolved. It would have been much quieter if the two people involved would have worked things out privately. But that’s not how the internet works.


I tease my wife for watching The Real Housewives of ______ or Keeping Up With The Kardashians. But this week I was reminded, nerds are no better when it comes to drama. One guy invented Markdown, a way to style plain text. He made it a decade ago and hasn’t done much with it since.

As a result, there are a number of implementations of it. Adding or changing different parts of it to suit the needs of the different groups of people.

Well, a group of well-meaning people got together and decided to create a version called Standard Markdown. This made the creator, John Gruber, unhappy and got a lot of nerds up in a tizzy. Many words were written. Sides were taken

I summed it up like this.

Joe Rosensteel has a nice piece about what this is all about.

Standard – This is like telling everyone you’re cool. “Hi everyone, I’m Cool Joe! Come hang out with me!” Congratulations on jinxing yourself? The iPhone is not called “Standard Phone”. Also, as I’ve established above, this is only standard in name only. A few guys made this in secret to scratch their own itch.
Markdown – Lots of things use “Markdown” as part of the name of their implementation of Markdown. The Python library I’m using does this. It’s usually not paired with “Standard”, “Official”, “One and Only”, or “Legal” to imply it holds some special place. This is, after-all, a fork.

As he notes, the name has already been changed from Standard to Common Markdown to comply with the creator’s wishes.

Joe makes a great point.

For someone that says he loves Markdown, Jeff doesn’t seem to understand anything about why it is popular. Or why attempts to rein in the wild sprawl are bound to fail.


See how silly all of this already has gotten? Did you follow this?

The problem is one group of people wanted to do something. They asked the creator’s opinion on it. Since they didn’t get a response, they assumed no response was an OK to move forward. The creator, John Gruber, asked for three things.

  • Rename the project.
  • Shut down the standardmarkdown.com domain, and don’t redirect it.
  • Apologize.

All three have been done. No harm, no foul. At the end of the day, adults were adult about the situation.

But I have to ask, why did this become a public spectacle? Jeff Atwood and John Gruber could have sorted things out behind closed email clients.

But it was public.


I would absolutely be doing you a disservice if I didn’t mention Sid O’Neill‘s post on the topic.

A Tale of Two Markdowns

“Oh, Sir Knight,” said she, “I am come bearing sad tidings from the fair Lady Markdown. Her Lord, the evil giant Gruber, has kept her imprisoned for ten years, to great lament. She wishes her freedom, and calls for a brave knight to rescue her.”

Then did Sir Atwood take heart, for he saw that here was a quest deserving of his mettle. Turning to his companions he bade them prepare themselves for the journey. With them as they travelled they took a cart filled with Standards, pulled by two white palfreys. They would need these if they were to defeat the giant.

The troubles that Sir Atwood and his noble band suffered as they journeyed are too many to set down here, but suffice to say that at length they arrived at the castle wherein the evil Gruber made his abode.

Tech drama as medieval tale should be the new standard for tech drama reporting.

Reality TV has nothing on the drama nerds can create on Twitter about something like plain text formatting. Yes, this is the kind of thing nerds get upset about. Insane, isn’t it?

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