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Tuesday, 13 February 2024


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It is men of a certain age that don't know how to type. I am too young for that, but not by much.

When I went to college, I only knew one person to use a laptop during class. I usually had one in my bag, but during class? Never.

When I went to law school a decade later, everybody brought a laptop to class. Most would type furiously to collect the lecture as close to verbatim as possible. Once in practice, they'd meet actual court reporters, who could actually do that. But you go to different school to be a court reporter. I used my laptop to window shop for cameras and expensive road bikes. If I really wanted an A in a class, I brought a paper notebook instead.

Now what they don't teach is cursive.

Mike, let me suggest again (for the last time, I promise) that your moderation/comments policy is both self-defeating-- you don't get to the comments in time with predictably negative consequences-- and annoying-- after leaving comments a few times and never seeing them appear even long-standing members of the MJ Fan Club get a little frustrated, leading to fewer comments, less participation and eventual forgetfulness that MJ exists on the web.

You've always treated the patrons/subscribers/followers/readers of TOP on a spokes and wheel approach where you are the wheel. But you have a base of rational, interesting, experienced readers (and I assume a few weirdos and cranks) who would enjoy being able to participate in a real conversation with each other, and respond to each other, react to each other as well as you-- something that has never existed and can't exist under your policy. So you have created and maintained a system that really disincentivizes comments and disincentivizes sharing and disincentivizes even communication back to you. I'm sure there is a reason why you set it up like this all those years ago, but keeping out the cranks, checking for cuss words, or whatever reason you have for moderating before posting has become counter-productive.

Some vacation………………… ; )

That's why so many (of the handful of remaining) photo blogs no longer take comments- too much work and time to moderate comments. Unfortunately, it's also how one maintains a healthy and necessary level of connection and communication online. This is why TOP remains such a vital resource- sorry to add to the workload...

My lockdown project was to build a teaching darkroom just outside Oxford (UK). I couldn't decide on the best enlarger so now have more than 30. DeVere 504 is most used, Durst Micromat most interesting and Focomat IIc most beautiful. I also acquired a Leitz Vasex vintage 1936 and am informed the name made it a non-seller in post Hayes Code USA. As if it was unnecessarily arousing. But then google 'enlarger' now and see where that takes you (or perhaps not)

[How do you like the DeVere 203 Adrian? DeVere never had much presence here and I don't believe I've ever seen one. But they always sounded interesting. --Mike]

A little late but I just thought of this. I took typing in high school. I was never really that good at it. I use all my fingers but I have to look at the keys a lot. Works okay typing out of your head but not at all if you are trying to copy something. On the other hand, my older brother-in-law actually learned how to type and when he was drafted his typing skills landed him in Germany rather than Vietnam. Typing might have saved his life.

“ It took me eight solid hours of work today to untangle all the messed-up comment moderation from the past two weeks.”

Mike, you’re wasting too much time moderating. I hope the new ‘system’ you talked about installing recently will free you from this drudgery. Your writing is much more important than moderating.

I agree with DaveB, people come to your blog primarily for your words of wisdom. Not to see themselves "published" on the internet via comments or for that matter plow through all the other comments. I hope everyone ignores this comment too.

The post by Andrew Kochanowski above is spot on. Mike please read it and then….read it again……and THEN…read it once more. After how many years you have been doing this, you have to realize there are better options out there than this format for keeping your readers engaged with you and each other. Please for your sake and OURS!

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