Real interviews with real people. Unlike the rest of
BBspot there's nothing made up here. I know it's a difficult transition,
but I'm not fooling. We did e-mail these questions and these were
The interview continues...
BBspot (6): If you didn't have Slashdot, what
would you be doing right now?
Malda: Jokingly, I'd be pumping gas. Seriously I'd probably
be doing web programming somewhere and I'd probably hate it since
there's little "New" to be done with web programming these
days. I really enjoyed it in 1995 when it was still possible to do
exciting and interesting things in a few days hacking. These days
the really interesting stuff is large scale and requires a lot more
time investment. Plus the pay now probably sucks.
BBspot (7): A train leaves Pittsburgh travelling at 60 miles
an hour. At the same time, another train leaves Sheboygan going the
opposite direction at 70 miles an hour. In the last car of each train
there's an Ultimate Fighting Championship. In the Pittsburgh train
we have Superman vs. Neo. In the Sheboygan train we have Gandalf
vs. Darth Maul. When the two trains collide, who wins the Ultimate
Fighting Championship and why?
Malda: First off, Neo dies instantly because this is the
real world, and he is just a pussy in the real world. He doesn't
even get to wear black leather. Gandalf defeats Darth Maul since
Maul is primarily a hand to hand combat guy, and Gandalf has mega
power (Assuming we're
talking TTT Gandalf, post death).
Superman takes the final fight with Gandalf. Superman is pretty
much the all-powerful of the superheroes. And while it's been proven
that he's not impervious to magic, Magic takes a lot of time and
patience, and during that time, superman could beat the shit out
of Gandalf. Course he probably wouldn't. I mean, why? They're both
essentially good even if one is Lawful and the other is Chaotic.
BBspot (8): If you could alter one item in Slashdot's past
what would it be and why?
Malda: I made a few mistakes early on in the design of the
moderation system that really messed us up. The most critical was
making Karma a publicly viewable integer. Since users could see exactly
when it went up or down, they were able to easily game the system.
This made Karma in itself a game of sorts. Which it was obviously
never meant to be- it was intended to simply be a probability indicator
for picking safe moderators and long time positive contributors.
"Karma" was a hidden value for months. It wasn't until
I made it public that Karma Whoring really became an issue. This
caused moderation to become a game, and created incentive for people
to really try to screw with the system.
This is unfortunate because it's all fluff. The real point of the
Slashdot Moderation is not to accumulate karma, but to make large
discussions readable to people who want to read 5 comments, or a
BBspot (9): Do you think there will be a "turning of
the tide" event with regards to intellectual property and copyrights,
or will we slowly continue down the path of more corporate control
until we need a license just to draw a smiley face?
Malda: I'd like to believe that there will be a great reversal,
but it's not looking good. All I can do is keep Slashdot going and
try to point out the problems as they come up. Unless millions of
Americans do something about it, with their votes and with their
dollars, our children will have no rights. The public domain will
It'll be sad.
(10): Of the Slashdot traditions which one is your favorite?
Cowboy Neal poll options? Hot grits? First Posts? Something else
Malda: I still like the CowboyNeal poll option. Very few
of the comment posting running gags are funny after a few days. And
that's the part that I hate- running jokes into the ground. In the
old days there was real creativity. A joke would start, run for a
bit, and then we'd all move on. These days, it's the same old jokes
over and over again. The new memes are few and far between, and then
the truly funny ones are run so deeply into the ground that they
come out the other end.
BBspot (11): Will you reach a point where you need to break
away from Slashdot and do something else? And if you do, do you think
Slashdot could continue without you?
Malda: 3 years ago, I would have said Slashdot would die
without me. Today that's not true. I bet more than half our readers
don't even know who I am! There are several people working on Slashdot
every day that have the same passions and beliefs as me. As long
as people with that level of commitment are involved, Slashdot can
continue. That said, I really enjoy my job, and as long as I can
continue to work here, I will. It's not very many jobs that pay well,
but still let you try to change the world, even if it's only in your
tiny little way.
Part I of the interview where Rob tells us about all the
hate mail and Episode III.
Story to a Friend