I’m delighted to see that Judge Patti B. Saris in my home town of Boston, a town not normally renowned for avoiding confrontation, is ducking the question of whether the GPL can be enforced. She does appear to be practicing good jujitsu on the negotiators, though, by turning around the injunction issue:
Before pushing the parties toward a settlement, the judge previewed a likely outcome of the preliminary injunction if a settlement is not reached. For a preliminary injunction to be granted, she said, the plaintiff must show that it is being done irreparable harm.
On the GPL issue, Saris told MySQL that “I haven’t seen the irreparable harm to you and I have seen it to Progress,” if its business were shut down.
So I’m having problems setting site prefs from my application. I was going to add a quick feature to allow managing editors to change the tagline of their site from within Manila Envelope, but I can’t get sitePref.set to work–it either complains about something not being a valid address or responds “true” without doing anything. I’ve put a detailed description on the XMLRPC discussion site.
I fell down when I posted this diagram. I should really have written a brief explanation. I’ll restrict myself to describing the main loops. Of course you can substitute whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing instead of blogging for “schoolwork effort” in the diagram:
- B1: “Oh crap” As schoolwork effort decreases, guilt increases, leading eventually to more schoolwork effort.
- B2: “Burnout” As schoolwork effort increases, boredom increases, which decreases schoolwork effort.
- B3: “Waste time” As boredom increases, web surfing increases, which leads to an increase in blogging effort, decreasing schoolwork effort.
- R1: “Show off” As schoolwork effort increases, intellectual curiosity increases, spawning original ideas and increasing blogging effort… this gets eyeballs and leads to more blogging. (This may be either a balancing or reinforcing loop, I’m not sure.)
- R2: “Addiction” This is the simplest closed loop. As you put more effort into your blog, you eventually get eyeballs. This feels like a reward and encourages you to put in more effort.
The last loop is the most vicious. It’s why I had to stop looking at my referer logs; I wasn’t doing much schoolwork any more, I was blogging so much.
Saw this on a wall outside the Big Dig this morning: “Torquemen: Fortitude, Guts, Persistence.” I don’t know what the hell it means, but “Fortitude, Guts, Persistence” just became my tagline.
So I think this causal loop diagram explains why people get sucked into blogging… and why eventually, even if their “real jobs” pull them back in, they come back to it.