Ian is dead for the same reason Lance and Jonathan and Aaron are: computing, as an industry, has no will to power. Computing is filled with nerds who want to focus on their own shit and think politics is stupid.
This is one aspect of a more general fondness for form-versus-content language jokes that shows up particularly in hackish writing. One correspondent reports that he consistently misspells ‘wrong’ as ‘worng’. Others have been known to criticize glitches in Jargon File drafts by observing (in the mode of Douglas Hofstadter) “This sentence no verb”, or “Too repetetetive”, or “Bad speling”, or “Incorrectspa cing.”
In fact, all the above are represented in this year’s lineup of speakers. I don’t want to overemphasize this, but even in our group of speakers, we have views that are diametrically opposed to one another, and which can make people feel very uncomfortable.
The email stood there for hours, just sitting there. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t make myself hit the send button.
Eventually, I Skyped to Matthew, the only other staff member online. “I’m too afraid to send it,” I said.