Is ATypI elitist?

anonymous's picture

Did someone say something about anonymous posters being aggressive and unaccountable!?

Matha, I've no idea who or what you are, so you're as good as anonymous to me. My anonymity? See the Univers thread, forced upon me. But I don't think people would spend too long guessing my ID - I'm not hiding anything.

Perhaps you'll have the grace to call me a liar to my face some time, as I circumnavigate Mars?

hrant's picture

Are you Baron Munchausen?


cheshiredave's picture

I was going to ask whether CB was Charles Bronson, Charles Barkley, or Charlie Brown.

Oh, and I was also going to suggest that a couple of people here seriously need to take a time out.

matha_standun's picture

But then we'd have to get back to serial killing. And that wouldn't do at all, would it.

matha_standun's picture

I don't give a flying ••••

Try that

hrant's picture

No, I honestly have no real idea.
I've found that trying to guess such things is a waste of effort.

Anyway, if you want more civility, a real name is your easier avenue. Not that I'm itching to know - I've had too many run-ins with anonymouses to care enough. Plus this doesn't even qualify as a "run-in", not by a long shot.


johnbutler's picture

Breaker 1-9, you got any smokies with ears on?

CB is either my sister Carole, or he's the famous type designer Claude Baskerville.

Matha, your complaint seems to have been made over and over again, and if you're going to dwell on it further, I suggest you start with ideas on how to fix it now as you move forward, rather than how it "should have been" done.

John Hudson's picture

Come on, by the middle of Saturday you could have had a strong idea how many extra books you'd be left with...

Hrant, if you really think anyone was worrying about what to do with the stack of books or even looking at them on Saturday during the conference, you've obviously never worked in those kind of conditions. The conference team has to spend a huge amount of energy simply to stay on top of all the aspects of the conference that have been planned for, to keep everything running smoothly. They do not have time to come up with creative solutions to every unforseen circumstance, although they must handle many unexpected things; their priority must always be to concentrate on the steady operation of the conference as planned.

By the way, by Sunday morning a lot of people who had received tokens for the book had not picked up their copy yet, because they were waiting until the last minute so they would not have to carry it around. I doubt very much if anyone on the team was keeping a tally of the books: it wasn't a priority. As to giving the books away: it would have cost ATypI a lot of money to ship them back to England, and then what should have been done with them? They would still be sitting in Sharon Moncur's office, waiting for the additional expense of moving them somewhere from where they might be sold and some money might filter back to the association.

Finally (and I mean finally, because this is a bloody silly conversation), let me recount another circumstance of the conference. I produced 150 copies of a software CD to be distributed to attendees of the Font Technology Forum. I guessed we would have a max of 100 attendees, but I didn't want to run the risk of not having enough. I paid to have the CDs produced and to have them shipped to Rome. In the end, I had about 60 left over, which were handed back to me by the conference team on the Sunday afternoon. What did I do? I wandered around and handed them out to anyone who happened to be in the lobby. Now, I'm sure there are some people who would have liked a copy who didn't get one, and there are some people I would have liked to give one to whom I didn't see in the lobby at that time. If I'd thought about the CDs at any time after the Thursday afternoon, I would have realised that there were extra copies that could be handed out to 'deserving' people. Frankly, the CDs were the last thing on my mind.

If I had been one of the people who carried away an armful of books to save them from an ignominious fate, I would glady send a copy to anyone who did not receive one in Rome who was willing to pay postage. As it is, I only have one extra copy, but I'll send it to Matha if he shuts up about it.

matha_standun's picture

Thanks for the offer, John, but that wasn't my point

matha_standun's picture

bravo for the namedropping, CB. Makes you feel big and important does it?

cheshiredave's picture

Hrant, would more than one anonymous person be anonymice?

hrant's picture

> you've obviously never worked in those kind of conditions.

I have, which is why -like I said before- I understand.
But my annoyance should also be understandable - that's all.

> they were waiting until the last minute so they would not have to carry it around.

They were spending the nights at the conference venue? I think those who didn't pick it up quickly were simply people who didn't think they'd read the thing! Or at least not drool over it during those four days.

> I wandered around and handed them out to anyone who happened to be in the lobby.

Well, good for you! That's not as bad as what happened to the books.


> would more than one anonymous person be anonymice?

Well, CB hasn't been nearly as nasty as some others, so I've excluded him from my usual term: anonyrats.


matha_standun's picture

Matha, your complaint seems to have been made over and over again...

Not a complaint, John, and not just me. I've just come back into the debate. I left it alone ages ago but it seems to be a sore point for a few people.

and if you're going to dwell on it further, I suggest you start with ideas on how to fix it now as you move forward, rather than how it "should have been" done.

How it "should have been done", for a conference that takes place once a year, is an idea about how to fix it. But I don't really care about the book itself. I don't even have enough room for it in my apartment.


hrant's picture

--this post editted by board moderators--

Personal attacks don't belong here, and they don't add to the topic at hand. You'd think that two posts by board moderators would have some effect... -jb

matha_standun's picture

Hold on, it was funny, wasn't it?


Ramiro Espinoza's picture

moderation = censorship

Ramiro Espinoza's picture

moderation = censorship

matha_standun's picture

I have to agree with you there Ramiro. And it's a bit silly too considering most of us saw the original message anyway.

What exactly does 'anything goes' mean, guys?

hrant's picture

I honestly was going more for a laugh than an attack, but in light of the explicit attempt at moderation just prior, I should apologize for that.

Everything has its uses, even censorship.


Ramiro Espinoza's picture

"Take away the right to say "phuck" and you take
away the right to say "phuck the government" (Lenny Bruce)

hrant's picture

> Someone offers me a case of books

1) A case was 6 books.
2) They weren't being offered, you had to go ask. And that was part of the problem. The other part is letting people who already had a copy have another half dozen.

Also, the book was a very high-profile -and expensive- item.


hrant's picture

Malice? When did I say that? Never even thought it.

> No one's thinking about books



John Hudson's picture

They weren't being offered, you had to go ask.

The books were being put out on the counter top, and anyone who walked by was invited to take some. The organisers were trying to get rid of them as quickly as possible, so they certainly were not holding them back waiting for people to come and ask. In addition to avoiding the cost of shipping, the organisers also needed to close down the conference and get all their stuff out of the venue that Sunday afternoon. You want to try organising shipment of all those books at short notice on a Sunday afternoon in Rome?

As I said, this is a silly conversation, about an unfortunate situation that arose because not enough people came to the conference. The organisers made a judgement call on getting rid of the surplus books as quickly as possible, and in the circumstances I find it hard to fault them for that.

Ramiro Espinoza's picture

Stephen: What I find funny is the "a priori" censorship of some words ("phuck", for example).

hrant's picture

> I don't really see what the problem is

I'm not so sure...

> it seems to me that you're accusing people of playing favourites

Never said -or meant- anything remotely like that.

> clearly there's no malice either.

Exactly. It was misguided to introduce "malice" into this.

> what is the issue?

The issue is obvious - I don't want to repeat myself.

> books that cost the org nothing



hrant's picture

(Exactly why are you still not using your real name?)

> .... due to a administrative error.

When did I say any of that? Keeping on making stuff up will backfire, I assure you.

> I'm not sure what your complaint constitutes.

While I'm sure you'll understand that I don't believe you.

> you can personally ensure that such an outrage never ocurrs again.

"Outrage" is a huge exageration.

I put more into ATypI than I get out of it.
But I'm still a sucker for being asked sincerely and nicely - just try it.

> Facts?

Just ask John, eh? :-)


hrant's picture

> What piece of the above is "made up"?

All of it, above and below, even essentially your very presence here.


Jared, great question. I'll ask on the ATypI list right now. One clarification please: would Typophile be willing to pay for the shipping? BTW, I think you should do a members-only contest for any copies you might get.


hrant's picture

OK, I just sent a message to the ATypI list, and will also alert the guy with 7 copies about it as well.


matha_standun's picture

Of course he knows who it is. But he's not going to tell you, Mr/Mrs anonymous, is he?

matha_standun's picture

But while we're on the subject, we might think about dropping this thread now. I think we've gotten to the bottom of it and the horse is well and truly dead and buried.


hrant's picture

> so you know who it is then?

Not only that, but I emailed him shortly after my message to ATypI,
implying that he should donate one of his half dozen! But no reply...

Anyway, Matha is right:
1) I'm not telling [you].
2) This is now officially boring.


matha_standun's picture

Nothing like an anonymous post to resurrect a dead horse though, is there.


hrant's picture

And just when prodding this horse was starting to border on bestial necrophilia...
A great victory.

Dream the dreams you can afford to dream, and your chances will always be better than 50%.

Now let's see if the TDC competition, the SoTA conference, and really anything else that's serious about being international will follow suite.


On the other hand, the ATypI ball is now firmly in South America. Let's see if you guys are as good as your soccer teams: considering the petition had over 70 signatories the last time I checked, anything less than about two dozen new ATypI memberships from down there would be as embarassing as it would be disappointing.

tamye's picture

Kudos to ATypI for adding this special membership level, and making it happen so quickly. We should all strive to make this a truly global community; I think we're making great strides.

Based on Hrant's post, which has a delightful air of challenge, I will point out that SOTA has a history of offering inexpensive membership fees and conference admission.

SOTA already offers a reduced membership fee of $35USD per year for all members residing outside North America. This membership level is deemed Global Professional, and carries the exact same benefits as the regular Professional membership level (which is $60USD).

The annual SOTA conference, TypeCon, is already priced so low that I don't know how it could go any lower, unless SOTA were awarded some outrageous endowment (not that we're not trying!). Registration is under $150USD for professionals, and less than $100USD for students. When we announce the exact admission fees for TypeCon2003 in a few weeks, I think people will be pleasantly surprised. SOTA members receive a 20% discount off conference admission. Speakers and volunteers get in free.

For the price of conference admission, TypeCon2003 includes 3 days of programming (accompanied by refreshments; ask Ray Larabie about the cookies), free admission to some very cool evening events, and more of the good things you expect from an event produced by our community.

If anyone wants to discuss SOTA and TypeCon further, let's move over to the SOTA SIG here at Typophile. This is ATypI's thread, and they should have it all to themselves. :-)

cheshiredave's picture

Would someone (i.e., Jared or Joe) please lock this topic down so that no more messages can be placed in it? I swear, my heart starts beating faster every time I see a new message from the topic pop up in my mailbox.

matha_standun's picture

I swear, my heart starts beating faster every time I see a new message from the topic pop up in my mailbox

Who needs drugs, eh!


hrant's picture

Sorry Cheshire...

A kirin rises from the ashes of the horse! ;-)
Click on the "list" link and you'll see a *three*-tier system in place since
September of 2001, although the reductions aren't as drastic as ATypI's.


matha_standun's picture

Where are we going to find friends, though?


anonymous's picture

John knows (my guess), Hrant knows (being amusing), Jean-Francois knows, probably a few who are reading and not posting know too.

At least Dave's trying. What's your excuse Matha?

Jared Benson's picture

Please folks, save your flames for email. Can we get back on topic, please?


Joe Pemberton's picture

Yeah, a time out or a cold shower.

I think / hope the folks at ATypI have heard your
disappointment, but pushing it beyond that just sounds
like whining. Let's keep this constructive.

Joe Pemberton's picture

Here's a thread about an organization
much more worthy of negative energy:
The Schoolyard Bullies Never Go Away
over at Typographica.

Jared Benson's picture

A few weeks ago the life of a member of our community was threatened. Although it seemed apparent that the poster was trying to be funny, we deleted the post outright, out of respect for the member.

If someone threatened your life on Typophile, would you want thousands of people to read it?

If someone publicly posted your home address and phone numbers, the names and vital information of your wife and children, wouldn't you ask us to delete it?

Look, we believe in open, honest, and even frank conversation. In the history of this board we've rarely had to moderate, and in the few cases we have, its' been largely due to member request or a blatant personal attack with disregard and disrespect for another member of the community. We've been running this board for three years now, and history is always a good teacher.

A community that feels censored or oppressed will not flourish, and that's certainly not the environment we've tried to create here. Feel free to speak your mind, even express controversial opinions. Post your ideas, your questionable theories or conspiracies. But if you engage in a personal attack against another, we'll probably step in and ask you to chill out. If it exacerbates, we might have to edit a post.

I'm starting a new thread - Please see the post entitled "Typophile Constitution" and help us draft it. When complete, we'll post it for all to read.

anonymous's picture

bravo for the namedropping, CB. Makes you feel big and important does it?

Matha, not really sure what your problem is, but mentioning people's names who've openly posted to the thread hardly seems like name dropping to me.

As far as being a liar goes, let's see, I've my bag, a PowerBook and a goodie bag to carry home with me. Someone offers me a case of books (what's that, 20 books at 1.5kg each? An extra 30kg to carry home). There's no way on Earth I'm going to take them - an extra 1, 2, perhaps even 5 if I can fit them in my luggage - but a case full? Dream on.

I'm glad that Johns at least posted an explanation of the "book incident" - it's clear to me, as someone who has worked in those sorts of environments, that no one is really paying attention to a pile of books. And lots of stuff, as John also indicates, is going to get thrown away (I've seen delegates basically trash their goodie bags, almost immediately upon receipt).

What's an anonyrat/mouse anyway?

anonymous's picture

Do you not think John's explanation was reasonable?

No one's thinking about books, suddenly they have a pile of books to do something with, rather than bin them they give them away. My Experience of Sunday afternoons at an ATypI conference are that half the people have already disappeared anyway.

If you think it's really a problem, and people were acting out of malice in any way, then you really should complain to the ATypI board. From my perspective it just seems like people making the best of a bad situation.

If they were "rationed" to "friends", then that's probably a problem. If the method of knowing about the issue was word of mouth, and people just went and asked, then I don't think it is.

Would I have taken six books...? They must be pretty heavy books to only be six in a box, I'll stand by what I already wrote - no.

Stephen Coles's picture

For those complaining about the moderation of this board:
Once you've proven you have been a successful admin of a
discussion group I'll consider you worthy of judging Jared's
actions. Until then, you simply cannot empathize with the
pressure such a duty endures.

His responsibility is to make sure the discussion stays on
topic and his excellent track record of 3 years speaks for
itself. If you have a problem with censorship of off-topic,
personal attacks then I submit that you are in the wrong forum.

anonymous's picture

I'm with John on this, I don't really see what the problem is in light of the facts which have been explained multiple times.

>Malice? When did I say that? Never even thought it.

You didn't say it, but it seems to me that you're accusing people of playing favourites over the distribution of the books - to me this indicative of an accusation of some form of malice.

If you're not saying there was some favouritism in the distribution, then clearly there's no malice either.

>>No one's thinking about books


What do you want them to do, think about books or deal with lost badges/general enquiries/take registrations/make sure the speakers are where they're supposed to be/make sure the food's where it's supposed to be...

There's a lot going on. A pile of books that's not shouting out "What about me, me, me?" is just a pile of books until it becomes a problem when packing up.

Someone solved the problem as best they could - what is the issue? That books that cost the org nothing were given away for nothing, rather than being binned?

anonymous's picture

>The issue is obvious - I don't want to repeat myself.

The issue, as you've explained is that someone got to take six books (or perhaps even seven) rather than one, due to a administrative error. The error being caused by fewer people turning up and someone not really paying attention to a pile of inert books in a corner.

As there's no accusation of malice or favouritism I'm not sure what your complaint constitutes. I'm sure the org is always happy to have volunteer organisers to sit at a desk all day, seeing nothing of the conference itself and having little time to socialise either.

Perhaps you could put yourself forward for Vancouver, I'm sure John would be happy to hear from you, and you can personally ensure that such an outrage never ocurrs again.



anonymous's picture

>(Exactly why are you still not using your real name?)

See the "Univers" thread. if you mean why am I not "registered", I plead "Groucho Marx".

Either way, what's not "real" about "CB"?

>When did I say any of that?

You wrote that you were "pissed" because someone walked away with a case of books. The reason for that person walking away with a case of books, as John explains, was due to an administrative error - no one was assigned to be book monitor.

I took it that you didn't dispute John's explanation so therefore believed that your complaint was that the administration of books should be completed to a higher standard?

Is that not correct? What piece of the above is "made up"?

If I've got it wrong please let me know - and please let me know what your complaint is, exactly.

>While I'm sure you'll understand that I don't believe you.

I'm sure you'll understand I find it difficult to follow your rationale. Perhaps someone less feeble brained than myself could explain it to me.

>"Outrage" is a huge exageration.

Certainly is, <big>huge</big>.

> just try it.

Seems somewhat contrary to having volunteered - and besides, I'm not doing the organising.

>Just ask John, eh?

I thought you knew.

Jared Benson's picture

So the question on my mind is: Who has extra books, and how can we talk them into donating one to Typophile?

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