Bravo, George and Pei! Welcome, Christopher!
From the IM logs:
Joyce: Boy, this is definitely the Year of Python
Joyce: Last year, people said “Python might be OK for prototyping Java”
Joyce: This year, it’s more like “Java is the new COBOL”
Murphy: python has been, if you’ll excuse the pun, creeping up on us for a while.
Murphy: it’s funny, because python has had some killer apps for a while, but they’ve been pretty invisible
Joyce: Like what?
Murphy: things like Mailman
Joyce: Oh, that’s Python?
Sigh. I was coming home last night from having dinner with some friends, when I stopped for gas. When I started up the car again, all of a sudden neither of the two “drive” gears worked. I limped home in low gear, and I can reverse fine… but something tells me a very expensive transmission repair is lurking in my immediate future. I’m not sure there’s ever a good time to have a major auto problem, but this is a particularly bad time.
A lot of people have asked me whether I intend to keep blogging, given the rather extreme consequences. Um, hell yes. Why wouldn’t I? In the state of California, I can be let go for any or no reason at all — as long as that reason is not itself illegal. As far as I know, there have been exactly two employers in the entire history of California — Dooce’s former employer and my own — who have ever fired anyone for blogging. Put those two pieces of info together, and honestly the chances of being fired for blogging again are way less than those of being abducted by a UFO. Someday, this will seem as bizarre as firing someone for talking about their job in public.
But if you’d like to help matters, do us both a favor: send mail to your HR department ASAP, asking for clear guidelines to be issued regarding all employee communications on the Interweb. It is always the responsibility of the employer to set policy on what constitutes a firing offense, especially a summary termination offense, especially for an activity that is perfectly legal and engaged in during what would normally be considered private time. This is actually beneficial to them too, since clearly defined areas of confidentiality and employment policy are more defensible in court. If your employer tells you not to blog about them, I strongly suggest you do not. If my former employer had ever mentioned it in the six months they were aware I had a blog before I wrote about them, or in the two months between the time I first mentioned them and my termination, you can believe I would have fallen into line.
One of my favorite comments about my situation was the one where someone called my posts “safe, sane, and boring” — and unless some employer tells me otherwise, in which case I will comply, I intend to go on being as dull as ever at about the same frequency as ever.