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Publishers on Push: Steven Champeon
Apr 26, 1997 :: Steven Champeon

There is no such thing as push, with the exception of UNIX-based sendmail. Even POP mail is a user-configurable "pull", so majordomo is no guarantee of "push". And I am not sure it is something I want to happen anyway. I'm happy with user-configurable pull. But I'm a professional, desktop user, and I use my computer(s) in both work and home environments.

Push would be nice to have in certain environments, such as production facilities or call centers, where interrupts are necessary and productive - where, in a sense, they are the purpose of the job. I can't see any other context in which interruptions of that sort make sense. We're being led astray by the folks who quite simply want to control the desktop and what it displays - advertising moguls and their ilk. Screw that. I stopped watching TV in high school because it was rotting my brain. I will do the same with my computer if my network connection starts to do the same thing.

Information's greater availability should allow us to obtain it at our leisure, not enslave us to the immediacy of its delivery. I can dial up my ISP and check the news and weather instead of walking down the street to buy a newspaper or waiting until 6pm for the TV.

The energy I expend in searching for, weeding out, and finding information on the Net, just as in a library, is proportional to the amount of useful information I find. Look harder (or smarter), find more and better stuff. I treasure the right to double-check information with other sources, to correct for spin and special interest. It takes energy, but I'm a bit better informed because of it.

The example I've used before is this:

"Imagine playing Doom. Now imagine that one of the largest software companies in the world, with infinite patience and deep pockets, decided that you'd be better off if you had to just watch the game instead of playing it."

Steven describes himself as "Gadfly." He also happens to run



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