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Mike Glicksohn, fanwriter

A few minutes ago, I asked Google for links to "Mikecon" so I could include a pertinent one in a piece of email I'm writing.

In addition to finding Tommy Ferguson's MikeCon issue of Tommyworld, Google turned up the remembrance of Joni Stopa that Mike Glicksohn wrote for Mimosa. Like all of my favorite fanwriting, it tells as much about the writer as it does about the subject. Recommended.


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 21st, 2011 02:19 am (UTC)
Thanks for your links.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 21st, 2011 12:16 am (UTC)
Excellent article; thanks for the link.

Mar. 21st, 2011 02:56 am (UTC)
I actually included links to and an illo from, etc., that article you published, Mr. Lynch, sir, in my blog post, and also the this version, readable by all.

I've been updating both, though obviously not with everything written, given how many people are writing so much everywhere, but links to info on the memorial service, Murray Moore's planned zine, about the document Hania Wojtowicz is putting together compiling the gazillion posts on Facebook and LiveJournal (on FB, if you see something, you don't see the settings for privacy, so you don't know unless people label it, and most people, even in case such as this, don't, which can cause some confusion), and on and on.

Will keep adding links as seems reasonable, to both, as I can, though the need to do so manually makes for a certain degree of variation in content, formatting, and timing.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 22nd, 2011 10:01 pm (UTC)
Re: fwiw
Same here. Sometimes when people send me direct links to a Facebook page, I can read it it, but this Gary's link sends me to a login page and I choose not to have a Facebook account.

Yes, I'm a self-chosen luddite in that regard, and I normally don't complain about the natural consequences of my choice. But when someone comments on one of my open-to-the world LJ posts and provides a Facebook link stating it's readable by all, it darned well better be readable by all, not just by all Facebook members.
Mar. 23rd, 2011 12:03 am (UTC)
Re: fwiw
And, yes, you will be able to view it; apparently these words were unclear: "I actually included links to and an illo from, etc., that article you published, Mr. Lynch, sir, in my blog post, and also the this version, readable by all."

That's the "readable by all" part. Which I also said in my Amygdala post.

So, to be very clear: the privacy is set to Everyone, readable to all on the internet. Or I wouldn't bother going around the internet telling people to read something, unless they could read it. Because telling people to read something they couldn't read would be pointless. So I wouldn't do that. So you can read it. Honest.

But not if you don't want to. I merely thought you might be interested, Dick.

As it is, I wrote a whole long comment elsewhere on FB about Mike's article, that you can't read at the moment, which I may or may not later knock into more comprehensible shape, and post somewhere everyone can see it, but We'll See.

Meanwhile, if you wanted to sign onto FB, which I'm certainly not advocating, it takes all of 20 seconds to enter an email address and password, just as it takes a similar amount of time to sign up for LJ. One needn't do more, it's only an option, but, again, I'm not an advocate for any piece of software; I'm software-neutral, be it O/S, mail software, social networks, whatever: they're all tools, and people should do what they like, in my opinion. I merely mention that it's not a hardship to sign onto any of these systems for the most part, and do nothing else; the rest is all optional. Thus, I have an LJ account I use to comment with, and little more.

It was good to see you and Nicki in Raleigh, at the NASFiC, however briefly.
Mar. 23rd, 2011 12:11 am (UTC)
Re: fwiw
Hmm, hang on, let me check a few things. It SHOULD be readable by all, but logging out and checking, I see there may be a problem, after all. I'll get back to you shortly.

"But when someone comments on one of my open-to-the world LJ posts and provides a Facebook link stating it's readable by all, it darned well better be readable by all, not just by all Facebook members."

Of course. Not being an idiot, I wouldn't intentionally do otherwise. I also, however, don't write the software for LJ, Blogger, Typepad, Wordpress, FB, or any other site; I'll check on this and get back to you ASAP to see if or what the problem may be if I can figure it out. Meanwhile, my apologies for any misunderstanding on my part.
Mar. 23rd, 2011 12:13 am (UTC)
Re: fwiw
As a minor note, though, Geri, if you'd SAID the other day that you couldn't read it, I'd have looked THEN. This is the first I've heard that anyone has had a problem. So naturally I'm looking immediately. I can't actually mind-read that someone has a problem without their telling me. Back as soon as possible.
Mar. 23rd, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
Re: fwiw
Thank you, Gary. I've just deleted the response I posted to your comment to Dick before refreshing my screen and seeing your second response to him and first response to me.

FYI, Facebook has a long history of changing their settings in ways that cause problems like the one you've encountered. After you figure out the settings needed to truly make your post available to all on the internet, I respectfully suggest that you confirm that any future posts that you make available to all actually are before promoting them as such.
Mar. 23rd, 2011 01:07 am (UTC)
Re: fwiw
Well, I'm very sorry to say that I've now run through about all of the possibilities I can think of as to what might be causing the problem, having tried Chrome, a couple of variants of IE, and Firefox, switching https on and off, and going through a boring list of other technical variations, and the bottom line is: I can't figure out what the problem is.

I'm very sorry. All I can say at the moment is that according to the way things are supposed to work, that Note should be visible to all on the internet. But you're quite right: it isn't.

And I don't know why. And I can't seem to fix it at the moment. The best I can guess is that it's a temporary glitch. The next best guess is I Don't Know. Half-smiley.

I'm very sorry.

"I respectfully suggest that you confirm that any future posts that you make available to all actually are before promoting them as such."

I understand your concern, and it's a sound idea, but after making hundreds of things publically available, and never once having anyone had a problem, and this being the very first one ever, and you two being the only people to have mentioned it, I haven't had any reason before to think that there would be any problem, since there has never before been such a problem.

But software glitches on all software platforms do happen. Whether this is something that will last half an hour, a day, a week, a month: I haven't a clue, save that most FB glitches tend to be fixed pretty quickly, as in half an hour, or a day, but, of course, it just depends, since they have god knows how many tens of thousands of servers with something close to 700,000,000 people on them, or well over 600,000,000, in any case, and all software changes get rolled out over a period of time over the many servers, and there's simply no way for any of who aren't in exactly the right technical position to say, just as you can't know what might cause an LJ glitch, or I as a user of Yahoo or Google or Typepad or Blogger, etc., etc., can't say what might be causing a temporary glitch or when it will be fixed.

What I'll certainly do is update my Amygdala post to say that there's an ongoing glitch, and as time allows, I'll recheck the FB Note from a logged out platform, and when I see that it's fixed, I'll update my post, and try to remember to drop you an email or come back here, or whatever. I'd send a tweet, but... :-)

Slightly more seriously, or less seriously, or whatever mixture seems most appropriate, the interwebs sure are complicated these days with all these endless platforms, the either ever-ongoing software updates (problematic insofar as they require a learning curve, and sometimes cause conflicts -- I don't know if you've ever struggled with the variant RTF and HTML editors at, say, both Blogger and Typepad, but they're supposed to, internally, work together, and yet don't get me started on how they all quarrel with each other), or just as bad, software doesn't get updated, and then becomes incompatible with all sorts of other linked web software, or own's own software, the various O/S updates, security software updates, the ways everyone uses different mail readers and settings, and... teh internets: I wish we'd hurry up and get to the Singularity and get it over with, because sometimes if I weren't just so darn zen and patient, I might think about banging my head against the monitor.

[continued on next rock]
Mar. 23rd, 2011 01:10 am (UTC)
Re: fwiw

But being so saintly, such thoughts would never cross my mind. Meanwhile, my apologies again for the confusion, and I do assure you that I'd never intentionally cause such, and if anything similar occurs in any context in future, please, you, Geri, or Dick, or anyone who reads this, just drop me an email, or communicate by avian packet carrier, or whatever your preferred methodology that works -- I'll happily give you my cell phone number, if you prefer, but gary underscore farber at yahoo dot com seems pretty reliable even though I do tend to get a bit overwhelmed with the amount of email, and their software, too, is a bit glitchy -- maybe LJ is wonderfully stable, in which case, congrats -- but mostly my mail does get through and if not, there's farber dot amygdala at gmail.com and you could even use obsidianinfo at yahoo dot com, though I check that somewhat less frequently, usually more like somewhere between twice a day to sometimes less, depending on Life, The Universe, and Everything, and I will certainly do my best to respond as soon as I can. I live to serve, all you have to do is ask or let me know.

I don't, however, use the LJ account for more than comments, although the way things keep integrating, who knows, maybe at some point I'll use some software to cross-post to 47,000 different platforms and networks and blogs and journals, and be totally inescapable. Sometimes it feels like that, as it is, the way Yahoo's arms and Google's arms keep ever-expanding, and trying to draw one in like black holes, ever seducing with More Options to Save Time by spending More Time Setting Options.

Anyway: sorry about the confusion.

And speaking of software problems, LJ just said this comment was too long and is rejecting it. I guess I should take the hint, but in any case, I'll split this in two comments, and exit stage left for the moment.

Meanwhile, I lift my cup of coffee again to Mike, and trust he'll forgive that it's not-alcoholic, and wish him a smoooth transition, and a grand party with Bob Tucker, and LeeH, and all of our other friends we miss so much.

It seems like I can't turn around even a week without someone leaving, and it makes me terribly sad.

Mar. 23rd, 2011 01:18 am (UTC)
Re: fwiw
Hmm, speaking of unfamiliarity with different platforms, LJ is telling me that the rest of my comment, the second part, has to be "unscreened to reply," and it's got a dotted line surrounding it, and what this means, I dunno, and obviously I could find the Help and read it, but I've really gotta be going.

I was otherwise just going to throw in that also, for what it's worth, this feed has been up since sometime in late 2002 or so, I think, and on the sidebar of Amygdala, and so far as I can tell, only two people have ever used it, but that, too, might be something I don't know about LJ, and, after all, all of us can only master and keep up to date on so many systems.

Which is why I'm personally an agnostic, as I am about most things, and think everyone should use what tools they prefer, those that work best for them, and enjoy as they like.


Should I try reposting that "Unscreen to reply" comment separately? I don't get tons about LJ, I'm afraid: the threading drives me somewhat nuts, the way I can't tell who most people are is what really gets to me, but it's all a matter of simply taking the time to Learn Yet Another System, and, again, it's why I myself don't tout one system over another: they all have pros and cons, and comfortability with the familiar is a normal and useful human trait, and we all only have 24 hours in a day (and yet the world, and software universe, change constantly and unrelentingly and ruthlessly, and faster all the time.

And now I have a cat that demands attention, so: cheers.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 23rd, 2011 01:23 am (UTC)
Re: fwiw
Yeah, that seems to have been it. Well, it was just a trivial joke, and I'm guessing you have some kind of moderation set to do something to posts with links. Anyway, toodles, and here's to more cross-platform interoperability and mutual understanding.
Mar. 23rd, 2011 01:21 am (UTC)
Re: fwiw
"FYI, Facebook has a long history of changing their settings in ways that cause problems like the one you've encountered."

Er, I had no idea you kept up so well on FB's changes. I do keep up on them pretty well myself, and have a faint suspicion I may be more familiar with FB's history and usages than you may be, given that, after all, you've just explained that you don't use it,w hich I knew anyway, but thanks for your perspective and information.
Mar. 23rd, 2011 04:18 am (UTC)
Re: fwiw
I've unscreened the screened comment.

You are welcome to delete any of your replies here that are now unnecessarily repeated or that you otherwise might think show you in a light less favorable than you might wish to be seen in.

I don't keep up "so well" on FB's changes; I merely have the experience of regularly seeing multiple references to yet another set of privacy setting changes, both from people I know, in the overall arena of news on the net, and here and there in the blogosphere (another place where you are of course far more present and experienced than I am).

You are indeed fortunate that this was the first time Facebook ever behaved in a way other than you expected.
Mar. 23rd, 2011 04:55 am (UTC)
Peace on social networks, goodwill to all fen and users
"I merely have the experience of regularly seeing multiple references to yet another set of privacy setting changes, both from people I know, in the overall arena of news on the net, and here and there in the blogosphere"

Yes, and my experience is that one can directly read FB's privacy policy, read the FAQs, check all the info: Learn More (1/3)Privacy and PlacesLearn More (2/3)Places and TaggingLearn More (3/3)How Ads WorkSocial Plugins
Additional Privacy Resources:
Privacy PolicyPrivacy SettingsPrivacy FAQsSecurity PagePrivacy organizations and agenciesSafety CenterGeneral Safe Harbor Notice

Etc, and that so far as I know, FB has for quite a while had the tightest privacy controls on the net outside of a bank, although, of course, I'm no expert, and I'm sure there are other places better that aren't banks, but, for instance, it's https -- which LJ is not -- and that privacy is configurable down to readable only to one's self -- I'm not sure how much more private one can get than that -- that everything, just about is individually configurable, be it a photo, a Note, an Album, a set of any, any sets of anything, almost, down to one person, two people, any set of people, any set of Friends lists, any groups, these can all be combined in just about any combination imaginable, and that generally speaking, most people who don't actually read up on this seem to be working off scare articles from bad journalism from years ago, or many months ago, or the movie "The Social Network," and on the internet, those are far worse than dog years, particularly since, as we've noted, FB changes rapidly, and tends to improve their software -- not always, sometimes there are annoying steps backwards, and judgements about such things are subjective, of course, and goodness knows I find varying aspects quite annoying, and I have quite a long list of complaints, myself -- but unless one is keeping up to date on the last month, the last week, the past day, and so on, one is apt to be out of date.

And it's probably hard to keep up to date without either using the service, although one could simply go directly to the Help and the policies, such as I've linked, without signing up, rather than relying on vague rumors.

I do tend to note that sometimes folks who use various online services tend to, well, be oddly hostile to other services, and curiously judgmental, although a lot of that tends to be, in my observation, simply the usual human trait we all share of finding the unfamiliar some work to learn, and no one wants to do work one sees as unnecessary, and, after all, why bother learning about a service one isn't using, if one isn't a professional reviewer, or otherwise either taking a professional interest, or some sort of keen interest in techie phenomenona, or sociology, or for some other specific reason.

One sees O/S wars all the time, over whether one version or another of Windows versus Mac versus Linux, etc., is superior or to be deprecated, and the same as regards browsers, and the same as regards deprecating Microsoft products or perhaps Yahoo or Google or Typepad, or Blogger, or Wordpress, or LJ, or more in the past, AOL or Genie or Compuserve, and on and on.

[whoops, there's that character limit, and other stuff I don't know about -- kinda meta, oopsie. :-)]
Mar. 23rd, 2011 04:56 am (UTC)
Re: Peace on social networks, goodwill to all fen and users

There are always valid criticisms to be made of the pros and cons of all these things, but often times a lot of emotion tends to be bound up, by some, to one degree or another, in identifying and feeling defensive about the particular software/service/OS/whatever, one likes/uses/is-most-familiar/comfy with -- which is, again, a perfectly understandable and normal trait, and then we all tend to be prone towards being resistant to anyone who seems to proselytize, particularly for something we see some reason to, or think we have some reason to, object to, however accurately or inaccurately.

My own reaction is, as I've said, to try to be as nonjudgmental as possible, while, of course, not claiming to be inhumanly perfect about this -- I'm known to make snarky remarks about some of this stuff at times, when sufficiently tired or in a bad or stupid mood -- but I usually feel a bit silly and regretful later, unless I've made a fairly careful and specific remark about a specific bad policy/aspect/practice, and know I'm being reasonable accurate.

Or, put another way, I tend to see this sort of thing as falling under my own general policy of living and let live, and letting people enjoy what they're comfortable with, and trying not to pick on other people's choices.

But I try not to proselytize about this. :-)

Sometimes unsuccessfully. :-)

I really think a lot of it simply has to do with learning the ins and outs of any of these things, and becoming comfortable with them. But I'm perfectly willing to be told I'm wrong. I'm certainly greatly simplifying, but, then you don't want an article here on this topic, either. :-)

On FB itself, honestly, I'm kinda sick to death of the topic -- this isn't directed at YOU, at all, Geri -- I see it as a product of the huge growth of FB, the fact that some 60% and climbing of all U.S. online users are at least technically signed on, so there's a lot of social pressure from all over to if not sign up, to at least constantly hear about it, read about it, and so on, and so there's a lot of natural resentment of that sort of pressure, whether perceived consciously or not. As a result, I've been finding that wherever I go, in person or online, people seem to constantly throw it up as a topic of conversation, and as a result of that, I'm just worn out on hearing about it, so I'll leave this as the last time I said anything substantive, and otherwise go back to: I think software are tools, and people should use that which they like, and that I haven't the faintest interest in persuading anyone to do anything at all with FB. I'm agnostic. People should do what they like.

But I kinda wish they wouldn't proselytize to me about it, either, though, naturally, we all should state our opinion, and if not on our own journals, blogs, etc., then where else? :-)

Or put one last way: can't we all just get along? :-) :-) :-)

And I'd not like risk killing the effect/my point entirely if I noted that for years I was indeed unable to leave comments on LJ other than as "anonymous," which got very tiresome, so I finally signed up on LJ -- which, after all, took no longer than it does to get an FB account, all of the number of seconds it takes to enter an email address and a password -- but that, again, all software services, all social networks, evolve their software, none are perfect, and they all have their annoyances. I see lots of fine things about LJ, and I know I'd like it better if I took the time to find out more about its workings.

And maybe sometime I will. Ditto Dreamwidth, and all the spin-offs/alternatives, and on and on. I think community-making is good, as you might recall.


Oh, drat, now it's telling me there's a length limit again, and I wasn't sure how to preview, but now it's criticizing my spelling? Yes, it's just a matter of knowing the ins and outs of a given set of software practices. Okay, breaking this comment up and trying again. Please forgive my lack of familiarity with LJ software and practices, if you'd be so kind? Thanks, if so.
Mar. 23rd, 2011 05:39 am (UTC)
Re: Peace on social networks, goodwill to all fen and users
I am reminded of the times I've begged the indulgence of my readers: “Please forgive me for writing such a long letter, I didn’t have time to write a short one.” And I see that John Hertz credits it all the way back to Cicero.

Speaking of social networks, I deliberately joined Twitter to build experience saying things (preferably of interest and substance) within 160 characters. I don't post there often, but between Tweets and finally adding text services to my cell phone, I'm gaining useful practice in saying things more succinctly than is my usual habit.

I apologize for any proselytizing I've done vis a vis Facebook. I'm not against it; I'm a self-chosen luddite regarding it. My request at this point is that you (and anyone else) who posts any Facebook links here on my LiveJournal saying they are readable to all confirms that first. Thank you.
Mar. 23rd, 2011 05:03 am (UTC)
Re: fwiw
"You are indeed fortunate that this was the first time Facebook ever behaved in a way other than you expected."

That's not what I said, and it isn't. Any software that's online software which gets regularly updated by the creators sometimes behaves in ways I don't expect. FB does it all the time, and so does Yahoo, and Google's innumerable arms, and Typepad, and Blogger, and so on.

What I wrote was that "...ut after making hundreds of things publically available, and never once having anyone had a problem, and this being the very first one ever, and you two being the only people to have mentioned it, I haven't had any reason before to think that there would be any problem, since there has never before been such a problem" and that's true. Specifically, there's never been a problem before in my experience with the readable-by "Everyone" setting.

I'm wondering if it might not in fact be due to the https aspect, although I've tried turning that on and off, but I don't want to get into the weeds here, when we've already gone vastly off-topic when what I'd much rather do is bring you more word of all the grief and outpouring of wonderful sentiments and thoughts about Mike that you've not been able to read, but you'll get to see at least some of that in Hanna's compilation, and I'd like to close on, once again, thoughts of how much Mike Glicksohn will be missed by all of us. Hat, snake, poker, friendliness, kindness, gentleness, humor: all the things that made him such a great guy.

That's what I've been writing about for days, and it's a heck of a lot more important than trivia over what software does what. I'm sure we can agree on that.
Mar. 20th, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
Oh. I remember meeting Tommy at that Mikecon.
I have a unique . . . 'anecdote' isn't quite the word, and 'connection' is a little too distant, with losing Joni.
You recall that I had an annual birthday and verify my address book. Joni's funeral was the same day as that year's party. I panicked for a couple of moments, and then realized first, that having sent out 600 invitations I really had no freedom of action, and second, the last thing Joni would have wanted would be to be the reason to call off a party.
And in fact, there was a trickle of arrivals from the memorial. And the last to arrive . . . brought the leftovers of the deli trays. The closing party passed its leftovers to the party which would be going later. It was so poignantly, perfectly appropriate for Joni, that I felt that I could hardly have been more connected if I'd been there.
Mar. 21st, 2011 12:19 am (UTC)
Oh, that's perfect! Totally, absolutely perfect. You were indeed connected, far more so than if you'd been there, to my eyes, anyway.
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