Friday, June 16, 2006

Plastic 2.0 is alive!

Nobody took me up on my offer to hand over the blog, so I'll just leave it to wither away quietly. The good -- nah, make that great -- news, is that Shane's replacement is actually up and running! Thus, this place no longer serves a purpose anyway.

Hopefully, there won't be a need for a "Waiting for 'Trees and Things'" blog for a while, so good luck to all of you. Plastic is dead! Long live Plastic!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Last post?

Confession time: I suspect I'm unlike most other people who read this blog, because I didn't really care when Plastic went down. Plastic, for me, is nothing more than a way to waste time, and, like most such, in many ways I would actually prefer not to have it available. I have spent an inordinate amount of time posting there, but that's something I regret, not something that I'm proud of. I started this blog mainly because there was a great need for it (not everyone could spend all day, every day, in the chat) and nobody else was willing to do it. As you might remember from my initial post, I didn't even want to run it -- I invited everyone who was interested to post for it, but nobody ever replied.

Maybe someone is more willing to post here now that it seems that there actually is a solid readership (170 comments to the last post, that's actually more than most real Plastic write ups got), so I ask again: is someone interested in posting the occasional update here? I feel like a hypocrite running the current Plastic replacement when I'm probably one of those who is least interested in one. If nobody's interested, I'll just shut it down. If you want to take over, post a comment with some suggestion as to how I could verify that you're not a pathological troll and some email adress I could post the account info to.

Summary of the last thread, for those unwilling to read 170 comments:

Some people advocate Newsvine as a replacement for Plastic, others advocate Flexile. The vast majority seem to advocate either nothing or some collectively born replacment. Port1080 and thefadd have a chat up and running. Thefadd has also been setting something up called Plastiverse, including a wiki about Plastic. Shane has a test server for the new site and also a mailing list.

I think that sums up most of the important things said in there. Good luck with the replacement. During the last years I have gotten the feeling that Plastic was slowly dying anyway, so maybe this is even for the better. Just try to encourage newcomers rather than shut them out this time, mmkay? If there are karma caps at stories, 20+ link requirements for write ups, and neverending pathetic personal feuds at the new Plastic too, the community deserves to die. Speaking of pathetic personal feuds, as this may be my last post (it probably won't be, but it's possible), allow me a first and last comment in the spirit of Plastic as of late (that is, personal attacks): if you let thefadd be in charge of the new Plastic, you're all doomed.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Is this it?

We've had a five weeks combined outage at this point, and now chat is apparently down too. Nobody knows whether it's for real this time, and quite possible we'll never get a definite word on that matter. However, it's becoming increasingly obvious that exiled Plasticians everywhere need to start thinking seriously about a Plan B. Everyone can't just hang around this lowly blog forever. I can't think of anything more depressing than us having the same discussions about when the servers are going to be back up in etc. in half a year from now.

So let's assume, for the sake of discussion, that Carl came down from the heavenly server room where we like to believe he spends his time and said once and for all that he's pulled the plug, won't relaunch the site in some other shape, and won't give away the code, ever. Then what?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

It's all yours

The QL thread seemed like a good idea, but obviously all you (i.e. random AIs) wanted to do was discuss Carl's addiction, which you know nothing about and which isn't any of your business, and try to find out what his paypal account is so you can give him money, which he doesn't want. My recommendation that you take the meta discussions to the previous thread, which nobody cared about, resulted in another recommendation, that you at least post a QL along with the meta comment, which you also didn't care about. That pissed me off to the point where I eventually deleted all meta comments from that thread. Please don't whine about that, you had your chance.

To prevent incidents of that kind in the future -- because unless Plastic comes back up soon, I plan to post a real writeup and let people have a real discussion, which I would like to be wholly uncluttered by posts about Carl's moral character and financial situation -- I hereby devote this thread to precisely that: Carl's drug addiction and Palpal account. Please finish the subject once and for all.

Have a blast.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

QL frenzy

In the last thread, anonymous (who else?) had a good idea for a thread. I'll just repost his or her comment:

    I propose a QL thread where we can share some of the stuff we're reading instead of Plastic.

    E.g. Salon: Missing girls and missing workers (labor shortage in China)

    "New Economist alerts us to yet another study of labor shortages in China, this one conducted by a Japanese research institute. If I seem obsessed by this topic, well, that's because I am. I don't think it's an exaggeration to argue that a tight labor market in China will, if sustained, remake the global economy yet again. And, at this point, there appears to be little doubt that labor shortages are real and significant. The study by the Mizuho Research Institute is the most detailed I've seen, crunching reams of numbers procured directly from China's Ministry of Labor and Social Security."

Please keep the meta discussions to the last thread, and let us have this one solely devoted to interesting stories that we're missing out on because of the outage. Anonymous have provided a first, and I'll provide a second:

    The Pirate Bay, the world's largest bit torrent tracker, has been taken down by Swedish police. 50 police men were involved in the razzia, where servers belonging both to TPB and the associated political party were seized.

Your turn.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Breaking news! Nothing has happened!

As the currently running threads here are rapidly devolving into the same kind of flamefests of anonymous sniping that very well might be the reason Plastic is down in the first place, a new one is long overdue. May I suggest that all trolls and semi-trolls keep their comments to the threads already running, and let's try to make this one moderately civil, mmkay?

So, what has happened during the last week of Plastic outage? As far as I know, nothing at all. If anyone knows whether the almighty Carl has said anything of import, please post in the discussion. I have heard rumours that the site was going to be up saturday, sunday and now today. Obviously, none of those estimates were correct, so it's probably reasonable to take future such with a slew of salt.

If you have long logs to post, please post them here instead and then provide the link. I think we had a little too many comments that went on for pages in the last thread.

For the next blog post here, I'm thinking of running an actual story unrelated to Plastic's demise or non-demise. Because, let's face it, everyone who reads this blog is sufficiently addicted to Plastic to need a fix badly by now. It would be pretty naive to expect such a thread to turn into something even remotely resembling a normal Plastic discussion, but we can at least try. So if anyone has any topic suggestions, please post (or, alternatively, email them).

PS. If anyone wants to post about this "kym" business, please first explain why anyone could be expected to care about it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

It's semi-official: Plastic is down for good

From the irc log (courtesy of DrCron):

    May 22 15:51:40 plastic is closing on july 1st.
    May 22 15:57:39 shutdown. for good
    May 22 16:16:16 * carl has quit (signoff)

Is it true? Who knows. Then there's also this earlier log:

    May 16 20:05:48   Difficult to post a status message
    when you don't know the status. Plastic was down;
    when you went to Plastic, it was down. Status provided.
    May 16 20:07:11 They actually would have changed it the
    other way, a couple centuries ago.
    16 20:08:12 They weren't gonna have words spelled just
    the way any old person spelled them.
    May 16 20:08:19 carl I still believe you relied too
    heavily on people realizing that chat was still up.
    May 16 20:09:51 Always good when Plastic's members are aware
    of the entire Plastic family of fine network products.
    May 16 20:11:49 Remember how you wouldn't tell your little
    brother you were all going away for vacation? Hoping he'd
    leave after awhile and never come back?
    May 16 20:16:32 carl.
    May 16 20:17:45 "super."
    May 16 20:19:29 But yes, I should probably make the tag line
    "Plastic - Nobody ever promised 24/7. You're kidding, right?"
    May 16 20:21:57 The thing is with these expectations is that
    I need the slack, when everybody around me asks me why I'm
    even doing it. The more it needs to be justified, the more
    difficult it is to justify.
    May 16 20:25:09 I just have to create something automated when
    things aren't a problem, so T_Slothrop can have his status page.
    May 16 20:25:52 But Dean told me not to automate anything based
    on DNS. Bad, bad idea, he said.
    May 16 20:26:48 carl is most delightful when one has no
    May 16 20:28:22 Even if I make the "Please stand by" screens more
    standard, so I don't have to come up with something to say.
    May 16 20:31:12 That's the real problem. I don't want to say
    anything until I know what I'm saying. Because if I say the
    wrong thing, make a bad estimate, then I'm savaged. Pilloried.
    May 16 20:32:57 Anyway, we had no machine from which to broadcast
    said status message, T_Slothrop. We just went from three to two.
    I have to find another sucker.
    May 16 20:33:17 Three to two locations, that is.
    May 16 20:35:22 All I got going for me nowadays is the guilt of
    others. The damn sell-outs.
    May 16 20:38:41 I might work something out. If I stay away from
    the meta discussion so I don't get upset.
    May 16 20:40:11 I won't feel the usual guilt, then.
    May 16 20:41:54 BTW, I suppose that's a good a place as any for
    mentioning I'm not done, and the site's gonna go down again.
    May 16 20:43:17 Good good.

What's so bad about just having a chat is that I'm just learning of these conversations now, as is, I'm sure, many others. It would have helped a lot to have things like these quoted in the meta thread.

I guess that's part of what this blog is for. If any of you have any more logs of interest, please post in the comment section.

Down Again

After coming back to life on the 13th of May, Plastic was up for ten straight days. Since yesterday, the 23th of May, Plastic is down again. Thus this blog, which lives in a kind of reverse symbiosis with Plastic, has been resurrected. This time, the situation is apparently even worse than previously, because now even the irc server seems to be down. Since that is the only well known gathering place for Plasticians, it seems unlikely that many of them will find each other, and receive updates about the outage, at all. Some have taken the discussion to Wikipedia, but the average user is unlikely to think of this.

During the previous outage, a meta discussion about the outage received more than 200 posts, most of them essentially saying something like "Carl doesn't owe you anything, and it's back anyway. Stop whining. If you wanted to find out what was going on, you could have just gone to the chat." It remains to be seen whether this will be the prevailing attitude when Plastic comes back up this time as well.

It might also be worth remarking that users with karma less than 35 have still seen no discussion on Plastic regarding the previous outage, since there was a karma threshold even for viewing the last meta thread. If they haven't been to the irc server, it most likely remains a complete mystery for them, and now they are getting screwed again. It is quite possible that following this outage, only the frequent posters will remain faithful to the site.

If anyone has a word from Carl or any other news about what is going on this time, please post in the comment section.