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milardj (4452)

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Journal of milardj (4452)

Thursday April 07, 2005
01:18 PM

Whuffie in Action

[ #24057 ]
Cory Doctorow wrote a book called Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom which won the Locus and was nominated for a Nebula. Cory releases all his work under the Creative Commons license so follow the link if you want to download and read.

Down and Out takes place in a post-scarcity/post-mortality universe. Post-scarcity because basic human needs are met for all; post-mortality through cloning and brain backups. This isn't a book review (I was slightly underwhelmed but not to the point that I wouldn't read more from him) but I bring this all up because I see Cory's concept of Whuffie (think karma) all around me.

Autrijus has amassed so much whuffie in the past two months I would put him (not sure of the proper pronoun as a writeup of a perl golfing tourney kept referring to "her" and everyone else to "him" - I'll be able to settle this at YAPC::NA if no one sets me straight before then) as Thor to Larry's Odin and Damian's Loki (for the trickster aspect not the evil aspect - natch).

That doesn't mean that Autrijus has done more for the perl community then Tom C/Chip/Dan/Leo/Pierre/Alison/Luke/MJD/Damian or a dozen other good candidates. It doesn't mean that Autrijus is smarter then other people - it means that Autrijus started something that resonated with a lot of people and they repayed him in the new currency: respect.

What did Autrijus do? He started Pugs sure but more importantly he started his own tribe (an anarchist-collective of ADD/OCD/gay/straight/thumbed/thumbless/ritalin-taking/wage-slave/self-employed hackers - all hackers in spirit if not all necessarily in skill). Even more importantly I think Autrijus threw a virtual coffee cup against the wall and reenergized a community that desperately needed it. We don't need to wait for Perl6 - it's here right now. People are hacking in it now and exposing both warts and beauty marks.

I didn't mean this as another paean to the pugs-tribe but I've been thinking about whuffie lately. I've been watching as python-whuffie has been increasing as perl-whuffie has been steadily eroding. Surf lambda for a while, and though extreme, you'll get a pretty good sense of what perl-whuffie is like outside of our community. Loving Perl is starting to resemble an 80's John Hughes movie - really digging this girl but slightly embarrased about it and afraid you're friends will find out.

Which is a shame, because just like in that John Hughes movie (or think of Better Off Dead where John Cusack doesn't seem to notice that the hot french foreign exchange student is ... well .. hot) I am so excited about what @Larry has done with P6. There are things I don't agree with, and there are lots of things I still don't understand, but damn that hot french foreign exchange student is ... well ... hot.

Where Guido is removing features form Python so that developers don't have to think too much (that's almost a direct quote) I'm glad that the swiss army chainsaw is ... cue Mike Myers impersonation ... going nuclear, BABY!

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