Bradley M. Kuhn

Quick!: Go Tell Your Bosses That My Dog Has Bad Skin

Bradley M. Kuhn at

I've just received a second confirmation, which means I've got the proverbial "two sources", so I'm ready to say this publicly.

But, before I do, I should tell you about Alfie's skin. Alfie is one of my two beloved dogs; he's pictured here in this post. Alfie has had various skin problems. My wife and I changed his food a lot, since we suspected a food allergy. Now he's eating Merrick's grain-Free real duck wet food and Nutrisca Salmon and Chickpea dry food. This has worked well and we're pretty sure foods with other grains and potato, and possibly chicken, are bad for his skin.

Meanwhile, back on the other topic, I'm quite sure now that my political opponents have indeed switched over from the old StatusNet to, so they read what I'm here saying and go complain about it to their bosses (in some attempt to use it against me politically). More specifically, I suspect the bosses [0] have "their people" handle the mundane task of "reading things on the Intertubes and the MyTwitFace" and report back the juicy bits of what I say.

BTW, I think this is wonderful news for it's potentially as important (or well on it's way to being as important) — at last in the Free Software world — as Twitter. :) @evan, be proud (and, also, BTW, help me write that IMAP-based client ;).

The weird part, though, is after these two "game of telephone" complaints about what I've said here found their way back to me, both reports referenced "something read on Bradley's blog". Please, those who read this for your Bosses: at least get the darned facts right! Make it clear to them this is not my blog. For your reference, My blog can be found here: In fact, I've use specifically and (more or less) exclusively for my non-professional, off-the-cuff, mostly unedited (have you seen how many misspellings and grammar errors I have in these posts?) public remarks.

Of course, some of you might argue to me that: "A good politician doesn't make those kind of remarks, ever" and that I make a political mistake by putting them all here on — a convenient but truly distributed and decentralized place to find such remarks.

But, frankly, I just hate focus-grouped politics and refuse to participate in it. People just aren't people anymore when you do that; they're wooden Al-Gore- and John-Kerry-like stick figures. I would easily agree that if your job is USA Secretary of State, maybe you have to subject yourself (and your family) to focus-group-style perception shaping, where even trips to the grocery store are scripted to make a political point. One part about Free Software being (at best) on the "B list" of social justice causes (i.e., it's just not on the "A list" of urgent and grave problems like poverty, global climate change, war, etc.) is that I don't have to worry about life-and-death if I happen to get the politics wrong. (I know Karen Sandler feels differently about this because for her, proprietary software is a life and death issue due to her implanted medical device.) I fortunately have the luxury of still getting to be myself [1] in public.

BTW, Fab Scherschel is the first person who really pointed this out to me: I remember because he said (my paraphrase) he really liked that while I was a muckity-muck in Free Software (well, Fab probably said Open Source ;), he liked that I said what was on my mind even if it wasn't politically perfect and carefully scripted.

Context matters, of course; I don't say "whatever's on my mind" in public talks at conferences like I do here on Related to that, I actually regretted for a while when my personal blog started getting linked to heavily in news articles, etc, because for a while when I want to post a funny picture of my dogs or something like that, I had no place to do it since my blog was my (but of course, never my employer's) official professional opinions. As you know, due to my moral beliefs, I won't use Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus, etc., so my options are limited. The one major upside for me of going beyond the 140 character limit is I got back a place just to be myself, which my actual blog used to be and now isn't for political reasons.

Indeed, to be clear and honest: I admit that I politically script many things I write. My actual blog (which this isn't, again: please tell your Bosses that when you report this post to them) is admittedly so-scripted, but, my stream isn't.

I'm amused now, though, to realize that I can actually waste the time of my political opponents. Indeed, I am starting to wonder if I should start burying political comments in my posts about my dogs, or something like that (in a more subtle way, not the obvious way I did it here). Indeed, I really kinda like the idea of my political opponents having to skim through a paragraph about Alfie's skin problems just so they can find where the choice quote to take to their bosses to complain about is. :)

[0] I suspect the people in question aren't reading my feed themselves since the people involved are so-called "Big People" (— that's the phrase my old boss used to describe the wealthy and powerful with reverence — I of course use that phrase as a joke; in fact I used to ask my old boss when he said that if he was referring to some mythical giants he'd discovered). In fact, for years, many people have tried to convince me that I shouldn't be myself because "people that matter" might read it and use it against me. That meme of self-censorship is bad for a Free society, IMO. Plus, it just makes everything so damned boring.

[1] Some people I know have just never grokked that being myself in the online community was something I valued in life. As much of an old fart Net.luddite I am these days, I grew up on Usenet speaking my mind on every topic imaginable in public fora with my community. Discovering Usenet and the fact that I could discuss things with other people without feeling afraid all the time changed my life. Indeed, if you search hard, you can even find archived some goofy old Usenet posts I made in the early 1990s. Verbose public discussion on the Internet has been part of my personality since I was 18 years old; I'm not going to suddenly excise it from who I am now that I'm 40 — even if such is a political imperfection and because the wealthy and powerful don't like it.

qubit, Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Jason Self, Charles Stanhope and 3 others likes this.

Awwww:) Best. Cuteness. Attack. Ev-ar!!!!

Also, Alfie might enjoy a coconut oil massage (here's a vet showing how to do it)

aether at 2014-04-11T18:55:30Z

In fact, for years, many people have tried to convince me that I shouldn't be myself because "people that matter" might read it and use it against me.

I think you've said something similar to that to me once or twice.

That meme of self-censorship is bad for a Free society, IMO. Plus, it just makes everything so damned boring.


Richard Fontana at 2014-04-16T03:33:00Z