It seems I’m a cheat, folks. I supposedly pretend to be a “veteran blogger” when I’m not. Or at least so says Rohan Pinto in this brilliant piece of investigative journalism. (Read it at http://blog.rohanpinto.com/archives/2005/08/blogging_or_che.html – I’m not giving my Google juice away.)
Mr. Pinto is shocked and outraged, as he well should be, that I have posts dated five years back. How on earth could this be possible when this darn domain was only registered in 2003? What’s worse, people are commenting on articles three years after they were written!
I think there is no doubt, ladies and gentlemen, that I have been cheating you all by pretending to have a blog for longer than I actually have. You would do well to totally disregard anything I write from now on, because the evidence for that is clear. There can be no other explanation at all.
Or might there be one?
Could there be something so bewildering, so mind-blowingly improbable, that the brilliant mind of Mr. Pinto couldn’t have considered? For instance, could it be possible that I had a blog without my own domain at http://madman.weblogs.com that actually goes back many years? Heck, it might even be possible that I moved to my own domain after a while. But wait, Mr. Pinto might point out that http://madman.weblogs.com doesn’t exist any more! (Even though it now redirects to this site.) Unless of course Dave Winer shut down his service. And maybe, just maybe my article on junking mission statements was – gasp! – actually written on March 25, 2001 (scroll down). Or my article on getting rid of income taxes perhaps? Or the one on principles of my company (scroll again)? How could it be possible that my article on useful 404 error pages gets comments many years later (Mr. Pinto should be rightfully aghast at that) when it is only #1 on a Google search for “useful 404 pages” and other similar searches? Not even having the article published on a major web development site can be convincing enough, I say. Bloody hell, that article dates back to the year 2000! How it could migrate to a domain registered only in 2003 remains a mystery on par with the origins of Dark Matter in the universe. Therefore, I do not blame Mr. Pinto one bit for concluding I’m a cheat. Argumentum ad ignorantiam is certainly a valid way to prove something.
Oh no! You mean it could actually be true that I wrote these in the same year that I actually claim to have written them? That I actually did start a blog in October 2000? But my domain was only registered in 2003, so how did these articles get there by magic, Mr. Pinto would demand to know. I’ll admit: I’ve been using this top secret experimental technology that hasn’t been approved for use by you regular folks. It’s tentatively called “copy and paste” until we can find a catchy name for it. (I’m pitching for “Windows Reproduze ™”.) I hope I don’t lose my research grant for leaking details about this technology that allows me to copy text from one file and paste it anywhere else I please. The patent royalties itself could run into millions of dollars.
Perhaps you think the evidence I’ve provided is feeble and Mr. Pinto is right in asking “Blogging or cheating?”. You should all punish me for the cheat I have been exposed to be. Google bomb the heck away. And after you’ve done that, please head on over to Mr. Pinto’s site and tell him you’ve done so. Justice must be served!
(Lastly, there is also the more puzzling mystery of whether I’m the chef or the owner of Shiok or just pretending to be either. How could one person be both, eh? That’s just not possible.)
I’ll end the way Mr. Pinto begins his piece – with a quote from my father: “It is better to shut your mouth and be considered a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.”
Years later, I found out my father actually got that quote from somewhere else. Darn it, being a fraud runs in my family. I can’t help it.