the problem is intractable, and perhaps insoluble

Bowerbird at Bowerbird at
Mon Nov 26 20:20:23 EST 2012

i'm not sure why i work so hard to be accurate and fair
when i'm discussing jim, when he in turn seems happy
to engage in innuendo and outright _lies_ to slime me.

some of the things he says are flat out 360-degree lies,
so he obviously cares not even a whit for his credibility.

which is why i feel no need any more to counter his crap.

because once you've cleared away his smoke-screen and
wiped off all of the mud he threw, it's transparently clear
that jim hasn't done the thought to have any real answers.

so it's a good thing nobody expects any answers from jim.


on the other hand, people _do_ expect (or at least _hope_)
that greg will have some real answers. alas, it seems not...

this latest "solution" won't work, because it doesn't address
the intractable nature of the problem that underlies all this.

let's use #76 to focus our thinking.

what we need to do to have any "success" here is to actively
discourage users from downloading #76 for _any_ reason...

ideally, we would like to drive its download-count to _zero_.

(in a perfect world, we would also issue an apology for #76,
alongside a promise that we would never fail so badly again;
but for the sake of this post, let's just settle for "ideally", ok?)

any kind of "note" on the download page will be meaningless,
for the most part, because few people will bother to read it...

so the download-count likely will not be appreciably changed.
and if that's what turns out to be the result, that was a failure.

but let's say the download-count _does_ decline, significantly.

in some sense, yes sir, that outcome would be "a success"...

but what it'll also do is engage david widger in a new battle.
(and by "david widger", i mean the whitewashers as a group.)

once the whitewashers got wind of greg's "experiment" at the
start of the year, they scrapped it, and slapped marcello down.

the outcome here would be the same, but even more extreme.

it's easy for us to sit on the sidelines and declare e-texts to be
"lacking in quality", but the whitewashers were the gatekeepers
who passed through every single one of them as "acceptable"...

meaning that the issue is not _just_ with those e-texts which
were digitized by a whitewasher, but every book in the library.

the whitewashers have the power of control when it comes to
deciding what _is_ and _is_not_ "acceptable" for a p.g. e-text.

and the whitewashers are long-accustomed to rejecting -- and
even ignoring totally -- all criticisms of their curatorial efforts.


so the crux of the issue revolves around the download-count.

either it stays up for #76, in which case it means that you have
_not_ solved the problem, or else it goes down, in which case
you've created a poisonous engagement vs. the whitewashers.

you might win that battle, but you'll lose the war when those
whitewashers walk away and you have to try to replace them.

and even the seemingly non-problemmatic course of action --
having david correct #76 -- isn't the panacea it promises to be.

first, it's not all that easy to fix a text, not in their current state
(namely, rewrapped, and rarely attached to a specific scan-set).
and i'm referring here to _everyone_, not just the whitewashers.
jim, for instance, has a hundred+ errors in his version of "huck".
karen lofstrum had several hundred errors in the book she did.
so even those rock-throwers have targets on their _own_ backs.

second, and perhaps more important, it would force david to
admit his work on "huck" -- which has stood for a _decade_ --
is substandard. he's gonna stonewall you on that contention.
because as long as he can resist you on an example that bad,
he knows he can resist you totally. he _also_ knows that once
he's defeated on worst-case, it's slippery-slope on all the rest.

and thus, the problem is intractable, perhaps even insoluble...

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