Housekeeping: Joe’s Reviews, Counting Cash, Popularity Contest

Here at Riverside Green, we’re always looking for ways to

0. Bring you exciting new “content”
1. Milk you for cash

Starting tomorrow, we will be liberally stealing syndicating short book reviews from venerable multi-topic blogger Joe Sherlock. Each review will feature an Amazon affiliate link. If you click it and buy the book, we could make anywhere from two cents to 500,000 dollars, assuming Joe is going to review a solid platinum book at some point.

Which reminds me: I think I promised some sort of vague accounting regarding our advertising program, as well as a general State Of The Site Address regarding traffic. Let’s get right to that!

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Housekeeping: When They Go Low, We Go High Edition

As of today, I’m enforcing HTTPS redirection to this site both on mobile and desktop. The purpose of this is to both to secure the login information of our contributors and to put a very mild brake on the DoS attacks. Since we outsource some of the image hosting to non-secure sources, you may see “orange” instead of “green” on the site information bar.

If this change affects your browsing experience in a negative way, please let me know. Thank you!

Housekeeping: Ain’t Gotta Lie To Kick It

This website has been compared to many other things — the forum at Rome, a collaborative replication of Hunter S. Thompson at his worst, the proverbial dumpster fire — but it’s really more like the Dutch city of Drachten. That’s where traffic engineer Hans Monderman pioneered the idea of “shared space”. In Drachten, there are no traffic lights, no traffic signs, and no road markings. The intersections are completely empty of any instructions for drivers, pedestrians, or cyclists. You might think that this would result in utter chaos and possibly a nontrivial quantity of blood in the streets, but you would be wrong. It turns out that most aggressive drivers actually believe that they have the law on their side. With no law to follow and no rules to obey, drivers begin operating in a cooperative and productive manner. Traffic accidents in Drachten went down after the signs went down — and travel times through the city actually decreased.

The Drachten experiment, successful though it may be, is highly dependent on some external factors. Northern European countries have core qualities of high social trust, high education level, low aggression, and homogenous ethnic makeup. Would you get the same results from this policy in, say, East Los Angeles? Probably not. It’s a small-town strategy, for small-town people. Incidentally, it’s also had some success in the UK, and there’s a nice video in the preceding link to show what happens when you remove traffic signs there.

When I took over as TTAC’s final Editor-In-Chief (for reasons of internal politics and prestige, my three successors were Managing Editors, with the E-I-C title assigned to a person behind the curtain) I adopted a Drachten-esque policy about censorship and moderation. I figured that TTAC’s relatively intelligent user community could be trusted to obey themselves as long as I did not set specific rules under which they would chafe. If you were around at the time, you will remember that my policy worked; the only users we banned were previous TTAC staffers commenting under aliases.

Here at Riverside Green, I continue to pursue the policy of “open spaces”. You can criticize me or Bark, you can express your politics without reservation. This site is big enough for commenters who have studied the Torah their whole lives and for commenters who non-ironically use the phrase “the Jew York Times”. We’ve had a couple of African-American contributors and we have people who are to the right of Richard Spencer. In general, everybody gets along — and I believe that’s because we have no explicit moderation which appears to favor any particular group or person over another.

Unnnnn-fortunately, I’m going to have to make a very specific exception to this policy.

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Housekeeping: The Horde Advances

Thanks for your patience while the site was down. It might happen again; we are currently being intermittently targeted by a lightweight denial-of-service attack. If it continues, I’ll have to put the site behind Cloudflare or something similar. It’s not uncommon for us to receive 150,000 fraudulent login attempts in the space of ten minutes, all launched simultaneously from sites across China and Eastern Europe.

In other words, somebody is paying good money for a botnet to knock the site down as often as possible. This is the sincerest form of flattery but it’s also sincerely annoying. Look at it this way: At least we’re managing to serve the current version of the site to non-logged-in users, something with which the poor fellows at TTAC are currently struggling!

Housekeeping: We Don’t Use The “California No” Here, Particularly With Regards To Contributors

In the past few weeks, I’ve been contacted by a couple of potential contributors who never heard back from me about what they sent. I also had a commenter note that he sent in a contribution for the #BikesOutForHarambe series but never saw it published. This would be a good time, therefore, to reiterate my personal policy on dealing with contributors, commenters, and pretty much everybody who contacts me.

I don’t use, and I don’t believe in, the so-called “California No” where somebody just avoids your question or refuses to return your emails on a subject. If you sent something to me and didn’t hear back, it means that I’ve accidentally deleted, lost, or mislabeled your communication. Please send it again and don’t feel bad about doing so.

It’s embarrassing to have to make this request of my contributors, but the fact of the matter is that I get a lot of email, along the lines of 50-100 legitimate non-commercial messages per day, so I do make mistakes. If you’ve sent me something that I cannot or will not use, I’m going to tell you. If you’ve haven’t been told that by me, please contact me again.

Which reminds me… Last year, I read an article in a major print magazine that set a standard for incompetent writing and incoherent thought. As I suffered through this blimped-out bozo’s tale of narcissistic navel-gazing cross-country shitcan-driving, I said to myself, “I bet that a high school junior could do a better job with this subject matter.” So I asked a high school junior to rewrite the piece. Which he did. And he manifestly improved that garbage article. I’m not putting it up here, because I’m trying to play nice with the dimmer lights in automotive journalism at the moment. If you’d like to read it and judge for yourself, comment below, using a valid email, and I’ll send you a link. If enough of you like it, I’m gonna pay the kid a kill fee, just for fun.

Housekeeping: It’s Getting Better (And This Site Is Getting More Popular) All The Time

It’s been a pretty good two weeks for my kid. He made his BMX main and took second despite the fact that he was the youngest kid on the gate by almost two years. He set fast time of the week at our local indoor kart track. His flag football team completed an undefeated season in which he made a major percentage of the points and plays. We took our first “long” road ride together on our mountain bikes, covering 13 miles in about an hour and ten minutes.

Compared to what’s going on with this blog, however, John’s accomplishments are, like, totally boring, man!

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Housekeeping: Boomers And Snake Oil

Should the commentariat here at Riverside Green have a cutesy name? Robert Farago christened TTAC’s readers as the “Best&Brightest” many years ago. Yes, he was being ironic. Vox Day calls his fans the “Dread Ilk”, which is a level of nerd-chic that I wasn’t able to reach even when I was nine years old and writing my own elementary-school newsletter about 8-bit programming on an old Olympia manual typewriter. Truthfully, I’d prefer just to call you all “the readers”. There are a couple of reasons for that. The first is that, according to the limited analytics we have on hand, you are a fairly elite group, earning well over $100k on the average and skewing heavily in the directions of male, educated, and professionally successful. Grown men who handle their own business shouldn’t have a cutesy nickname unless they are actively engaged in the performing arts, and most of you appear to be the former without dalliances in the latter.

The second reason is that the word “reader” has a certain prestige associated with it in an era where the vast majority of human beings are simply media consumers who are unable to comprehend anything more refined than an OW MY BALLS video on YouTube. I was recently informed that Riverside Green’s readers spend more than twice as much time on the site per visit than the average customer of the National Review does on that site. In other words, you’re applying a detailed and critical eye to the things you read here. Thank you for that. I’d rather have ten thousand dedicated, thoughtful readers than a million drooling subscribers on YouTube. Despite our lamentable and perpetually embarrassing sellout to the AdSense Borg, this site is still a money-loser for me. Which is fine. It’s worth it.

This past week, two articles appeared on the site that aroused the ire of The Readers to no small degree. I discussed the narcissism of the Baby Boomer generation at length in an article on Harry Chapin, then John Marks wrote a long and enthusiastic piece on a few pieces of audio equipment that, in the opinion of The Readers, amount to nothing but cynical attempts to bilk credulous morons into paying thousands of dollars for a closer look at the magical fabric used in the Emperor’s New Clothes. I think it’s probably worth taking a few moments to discuss why I published both of these contributions and what, if anything, I expect The Readers to take from them.

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