Friday, May 26, 2006

Tom Armstrong (Blogmandu) on Zaadz

Tom, of Blogmandu fame, has apparently decided that Zaadz is an effort by the satanic Brian Johnson to brainwash thousands of people into some kind "yuppie in denial" trance state (Is Zaadz a Den of Rattlesnakes!?).

His argument seems to follow this somewhat strange flow:

1. Having bloggers segregate into interest groups is bad for the web and for blogging in general. This seems to disregard the fact that Buddhist blogs have their own insular niche, as do integral blogs. Both have metablogs, like Blogmandu, that seek to keep like-minded people in community with each other. Zaadz actaully breaks down some of that insularity by bringing diverse people together in small spaces to share differing views.

2. Because EST, The Hunger Project, and The Forum were bad, Zaadz must be bad, too. This is like saying that because George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Rick Santorum are asses, all middle age white male are asses. One cannot legitimately condemn an entire class (groups that want to create change) because some members of that class have been bad. It's faulty logic -- guilt by association.

3. Brian Johnson, founder and CEO of Zaadz, is bad because in the early days of Zaadz they experienced an influx of new members as a result of something that happened at Tribe that required him to purge the new members pending a slightly more formal application process. Many of the new members did not share Johnson's view for what Zaadz should become. So he took Zaadz back to a Beta version that requires an invitation to join. Zaadz was never meant to be another social networking site like MySpace (owned by Rupert Murdock). I think he had the right to protect his investment and his vision.

4. Those who were removed from Zaadz pending re-approval don't like Zaadz, so it must be bad. Again, poor logic. Of course they have issues, but Tom did not present any poinst of view from Zaadz members or leaders about what really happened from their side. If Tom wants us to take this seriously, and it deserves some consideration (as I had not heard of the purge), then he needs to present a balanced report, not hearsay.

5. The answers to "How are we going to change the world?" don't meet Tom's approval, so Zaadz must be bad. He argues that Buddha has the Zaadz people beat and that Buddha wouldn't be a Zaadster. I should hope that the Buddha is more enlightened than a bunch a regular people who want to see a better world. If he's not, I've chosen the wrong path. Zaadz isn't a path to enlightenment, it's a place for people to share ideas and experiences on how to make the world a better place.

6. Brian Johnson's signature is a B that looks like a 13, which freaks Tom out ("That freaks me."). That is just silly. How can we take him seriously after he says that?

So that's why Tom thinks Zaadz sucks and why I think Tom's arguments are ill-conceived and unfounded.

What say you?

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