“April is the cruelest month”, poeticised cat-lover T.S. Elliott in “The Waste Land”. For music fans, the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party award for “Cruelest Month in Music” goes to January - witness the fact that “for real” lifeless toilet-brush headed grinning pop muppet Ed Sheeran has reached number one with sales of two copies.
But - BUT! - the 2 Bears are here to save us and if you haven’t bought their new LP - which came out on Monday - you must do. And if you haven’t seen the amazing video for “Bear Hug” you ABSOLUTELY must do. Must.
Ex-Flickr engineer Nolan Caudill, on Yahoo’s breathtakingly bone-headed decision to lay off Flickr’s Customer Care (and anti-abuse) team yesterday:
After being a liaison between these two worlds long enough, you end up knowing more than anyone else on the team. When you have millions and millions of users that hit every button and link in combinations you would never dream of, then reporting the “interesting” outcomes of their explorations, these support agents become walking encyclopedias of the ins-and-outs of the site and with Flickr, there are odd edge cases waiting on every page. Having people on your team aware of everything the site does is huge. You literally can’t buy that or replace it or outsource it, though it appears that Yahoo thinks it can.
I started trying to write my own take on this, but it makes me tired and sad and Nolan said it so well that any further efforts are really redundant.
The one thing I’ll add is this: almost 100% of the expertise in identifying and removing abusive behaviour on Flickr was kicked out the door yesterday. In addition to their invaluable role keeping the community happy, these folks also kept it safe.
With them gone, there will likely be 2 opposite trends at once. Firstly, the number of mistaken deletions of content will rise (as the folks now tasked with the job are less aware of the subtle differences between, say, horsing around between friends and creepy sex jokes from strangers). Secondly, however, the amount of spam and abuse will almost certainly increase, because the people most adept at spotting the patterns and nipping them in the bud are no longer on the ground.
Yahoo’s made some dumb mistakes in its time but this really, truly, was the dumbest of them all.
"Cars spend just 5 percent of their lives in motion"
This is why car-clubs make sense.
|—||A diverting statistic from Between the Lines, a feature on parking in that city from Los Angeles magazine. (via blech)|
As Grace Dent put it on Twitter, “the strongest reason to have kids I’ve ever seen”. In noway is the not fantastically amazing.
Frankly, The Internet, you can close for the day, sit on the sofa and read the papers. This Wins The Interent.
Twitter made an important announcement this week regarding their ability to filter content across jurisdictions. The ensuing conspiracy theories and hand-wringing in certain corners of the internet were depressingly predictable, and as I tweeted this morning:
Nice seeing the donor campaign worked for Amit, and will hopefully work for a number of other people in the future.
Many of you have asked, so here’s what’s going on with me.
WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE
- 8/1979: Born. Grew up in CT, built a killer eraser collection, fell in love with computers.
- Left college to start a company. Fell hard. Fled to India for 3 months.
- Started 2nd company. Learned to be an adult. Fell in love with NYC.
- Moved to SF, discovered burritos & some of my fave people on Earth.
- 9/2011: Got diagnosed with Leukemia!
- Cried. Went through 3 cycles of chemo. Hurt. Thought hard about what I want out of life. Grew up a second time.
… After over 100 drives organized by friends, family, and strangers, celebrity call-outs, a bazillion reblogs (7000+!), tweets, and Facebook posts, press, fundraising and international drives organized by tireless friends, and a couple painful false starts, I’ve got a 10/10 matched donor!
You all literally helped save my life. (And the lives of many others.)
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
Tomorrow, I’ll be admitted to Dana Farber in Boston for 4-5 weeks.
First I’ll get a second Hickman line to allow direct access to my heart (for meds and for nutrients if I’m not able to eat). Over the next week, the docs blast my body with a stiff chemo cocktail to try and eradicate all traces of cancer cells. In the process, the immune system I was born with, and my body’s ability to make blood, are destroyed.
Next Friday, I get my donor’s stem cells by IV. I start on immunosuppressants to prevent my body from rejecting them (I’ll be on them for 12-18 months). For these weeks I’ve no immune system, so I’m severely vulnerable to viruses and bacteria. My hospital room and hallway become my world.
Meanwhile, the stem cells make their way to my bone marrow and, with some luck, start producing platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells. At this point, my blood type changes to the blood type of my donor. And my blood will now have my donor’s DNA, not my own.
This is science fiction stuff. I can hardly believe it’s even possible, and there’s lots of chances for things to go wrong. It’s frightening.
AFTER THE TRANSPLANT
Recovery to a new state of “normal” takes about a year, but there’s a few storm clouds hovering:
- My immune system is new, like a baby’s. I’m prone to getting sick.
- Just as with any organ transplant, there’s a chance of rejection. Except in this case, it’s my blood that’s the foreign body, and it touches every organ. They call it graft-vs-host-disease and it can cause health issues and organ complications for the rest of my life.
- Successful transplant or not, Leukemia can relapse. Stubborn mofo.
Overall, 75% of AML transplant patients survive year one, 50% make it through year five. My odds are a little better since I’m young.
THE GREAT NEWS
I’ve got a long road ahead. But I’ve got a donor & amazing family & friends. A few months ago I didn’t have many options. Today I have a plan.
I am alive. I start tomorrow. Wish me luck!