Digging in the Dirt



Patrick is a mid-40 year old geek with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master's degree in Information Systems. Nothing he says here has anything to do with the official position of his employer or any other institution.

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85 Responses

  1. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    OK, three quick things off the cuff…

    1. That you did this is AMAZING. (How the hell DID you do this? I can still barely manage to italicize things.)

    2. I commented here in 2009? Huh. I have no memory of having been here back then, and no memory of that comment.

    3. Koz’s 416 has got to be wrong, right?Report

    • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

      Eh, it’s possible. Koz doesn’t tend to get involved in the pure philosophy blogs as much as others do and he tends to only make three or four posts even on blogs where he does get involved. You’re not going to see him much in the multi-nested threads that some of us get overly involved in. 🙂

      Plus, he does a lot on responding to stuff on Elia’s subblog so that stuff wouldn’t count according to Patrick.

      So, while 416 still seems low considering he started back in ’09, it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility given the standards Patrick has listed.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      1) All things are possible with access to the Admin interface. Go to the Comments section and use the search box.

      2) You have mebbe a dozen comments in 2009? That one was in 23-Feb, but then you have a big dead zone until September.

      3) That still seems weird to me, too. I have to ask Erik if I can have a dump of the backend database; since the comments are reference by who they are in response to, I’d love to see if I can tease out who are the commenting pairs who are most likely to engage in back-n-forths…Report

      • Avatar wardsmith says:
        Patrick, I am jealous of the access to the database. Now can you do a select * from blah where foobar=fubar?
        Did the Google link I gave you on the other thread give you any ideas for coding (if possible) on the core engine?

        Does switching modes like this make my post look like a ransom note?

    • Avatar Koz says:

      Yeah, that’s a real surprise to me too, I would have thought I have quite a bit more. I don’t do a whole lot on the subblogs, and Elias only started his subblog six months or so ago.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

      Tod this is your comment:


      I think that you are confusing two separate issues with one. The first, with which you are of course right on the money, is that when you buy into a large corporation’s marketing message that you will be a true rebel by buying into their marketing message is by definition absurd. Though in a world of Nikes, overproduced “edgy” music, “cool” magazines owned by Time Warner, Volkswagens, and a gazzilion others, it seems a little unfair to single out only the Mac users that fall into this infantile advertisement-created tribalism.

      However, as a current user of both PCs and a Mac, I can tell you that the issue of quality is a separate issue altogether.

      My wife bought me a Powerbook to use with work, where I must also use a PC. (Some things I work on have security issues, and can only be worked on with a computer fully owned by my employer). My PC needs assistance from the IT guys to re-integrate into our PC network about once a month. My Mac, even though its going into a PC network, never has issues. In addition, doing anything complicated and memory intensive, such as creating workshop notebooks on Publisher, means at least one rebooting of my PC during a project to fix the screen freezing. And then there’s the issue of having to wait 10 minutes for my PC to fully start up in a way that won’t freeze up when I start working with it first thing in the morning. In fact, I can tell you that since I have started using my Mac, using my PC reminds me of the day, way back when, that my employer got its first internet DSL hook up. Using phone dial up at home, which had always felt just fine, suddenly was so annoying after being able to use the much faster system at work that I was eager to fork over an extra $50 a month to my cable provider.

      In short, these are not differences that one can chalk up to wanting to be the cool kid.

      The Mac just works better.


      That not you?Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      Yeah, man, this was like walking up to a Pac-Man machine back when I was a kid and saying, “I can beat the high score on this one, too” and seeing 3,333,360 with JYB as the top score.

      You’re the shizzle.Report

  2. Seriously awesome, Pat.

    A few names from the early days (one of whom still pokes her head around from time to time) that may have big numbers would be Katherine and Roque Nuevo.

    And I could have sworn that Michael Drew didn’t show up until around May/June of 09 (which would still make him an old-timer)!Report

  3. Avatar greginak says:

    Damn i thought i was closer to having enough posts to qualify for a free tote bag.Report

  4. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Can I also say that of all the first comments, Mike Schilling by far has the one that most dramatically screams “I HAVE ARRIVED, MOTHERFISHERS!”Report

  5. Avatar E.C. Gach says:

    Awesome list Patrick, really enjoying going through this, thanks!Report

  6. Avatar kenB says:

    I guess you can tell where you rate on this blog by seeing which update your name gets included in. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for inclusion in the “re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-edited” section.Report

  7. Avatar Kolohe says:

    I didn’t realize I started when I was still in Afghanistan, I thought it was later than that. (I also can’t remember if I ever used a fake email address in the early).

    I do think that I have spent a lot more time trolling^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H conducting constructive discussions on the sub-blogs.Report

  8. My first comment is EXTREMELY ironic considering the conversation that Will Truman, Michael Drew and myself have been having on Elias’s sub-blog. Everything is cyclical it seems.Report

  9. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    I originally came for the SSM, here, following Freddie deBoer. (717 comments total, since January 28, 2009, not counting this one.)

    As I recall, other places kept coming back here, including Sullivan, Will Truman’s blog, and a bunch of other people bemoaning the collapse of Culture11. I lurked for a while, and realized that this had become the place to be. I found writers here linking back to my blogspot blog, got a mutual-link-admiration society going as I kept on coming back, recognizing kindred spirits looking for intelligence, context, analysis, and something better than partisan bickering.

    It’s a pleasure to be here still.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      How did I miss Burt?Report

    • Quite well put, Burt. I’ve been going back through the database and thinking about what to say in the comments about this, but I see you’ve said what I wanted to say better than I could have.

      I came here from Sullivan as well to share my ideas and absorb the ideas of others, and I found that rare combination of charity and due criticism which I think is most characteristic of the League.Report

  10. Avatar James Hanley says:

    Slow day at work, Pat? 😉

    I’m pleased to see that in my first post I managed to take a shot at both liberals and Woodrow Wilson. In hindsight, that pretty neatly sums up my contributions here (other than my gratuitous but personally amusing trolling of a certain conservative poster).Report

  11. Avatar Jeff says:

    I should have used a more unique user-name. Finding the posts from “Jeff” while weeding out any posts about a “Jeff” (Bezos, Davis, et al) would not be easy.

    I’ve used the same e-mail address, so a “core dump” could count my posts, I reckon (under 50, I’m sure — possibly under 20).Report

  12. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    Haha, I love my first comment.Report

  13. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    Huh. I’m supposed to see an “edit” button, but I’m not seeing it.

    [EDIT BY BURT LIKKO] I see it, Erik.Report

  14. Avatar wardsmith says:

    Kewl! Except that the font I type my comment in is about 6 point. A little tough on these old eyeballs.

    Here’s trying an img src placement (yes was saving for occupy thread):




  15. Avatar b-psycho says:

    Some sites have conversations that go by pretty fast, so once in awhile I’ll search sites I’ve commented on to see if I missed a reply. Google gives 157 results (including this one) for here, but it double-counts mentions in the sidebars.Report

  16. Avatar Plinko says:

    Wow. I totally remember that Atlanta comment, too, I had no idea it came first or that it was so long ago.

    I’m in awe, Patrick.Report

  17. Avatar wardsmith says:


    Are Kim, Kimmi, Kimsie and others beginning with K not named Koz all the same person?

    There’s another Google trick we could do. When you type in the site:ordinary-gentlemen.com [userid] in the lower left (off frame) there’s a link that says, “more search tools”. When you click on /that/ there’s a choice called “Reading level”. I find it refreshing that most of the ordinary gentleperson’s (even Kimmi!_) show up as intermediate.

    Of course I like Kimmi much better after her guest post on mindless diversions.Report

  18. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    I’m sort of overwhelmed by this post & thread & combox & whatnot.  All I can say is that I think I’d be mortified for people to see the majority of my early comments (not nthat they’re not public record, but I’m doubting anyone will go find them for the heck of it), and that I’m glad my first wasn’t the one I thought it was going to be.

    Anyways, this is all awesome and amazing, Pat.  Tip O’ The Hat!Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck says:

      There’s a reason I don’t use “DensityDuck” as an ID anywhere that I’m required to register with an actual email.Report

  19. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    You got a nice blog here.  I’d hate to see anything happen to it.Report

  20. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    Ahem! I’ve got 3,255 comments dating back to November, 2009. Apparently, I introduced myself by complaining about Family Guy and its hacky writing.Report

  21. Avatar Roger says:

    Nice job Patrick,

    BTW, can someone please tell me how to change my avatar? I’m sure it must be something simple that I just overlooked.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      I think you have to register with something or other. I used to have an elegant little fractal pattern. My new monster logo is making me seriously consider registering too.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        I mean seriously, is that some kind of boa? I am kindof stoked with the three eyes… serious 360 degree vision potential is awsome but a boa? I couldn’t be seen in public with such a thing. Also my legs are in far better shape than those sticks.

        … I could probably work the blue tan tho.Report

        • Avatar Plinko says:

          Problem with Gravatar is that it may conflict with the username you already have, since the League’s WordPress allows us to use whatever but Gravatar requires a unique one. North, for example, probably would need a new username, I do, too.Report

          • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

            Gravatar, IIRC, links your gravatar to your email address, not to your “username”. You might have to have a different gravatar username than you use here, but the image is pulled based upon the email address you use when you post.

            At least, when I post to other blogs that have gravatar plugins enabled, my gravatar shows up no matter what I use as a username at those blogs, as long as I use my gravatar-registered email address to post the comment.Report

            • Avatar Roger says:

              Thanks all. This answers both my question and my concern when I went to Gravitar’s site and they rejected all my names. To clarify though… I can sign up for Gravitar, get my desired avitar AND continue to use my real name on this forum?Report

  22. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    Incidentally, what do BlaiseP’s stats look like? I know he doesn’t post here anymore but I remember him being very active.Report