I’d rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far; for a might have-been has never been, but a has was once an are. — Milton Berle
Before I became software developer, in my youth, I had an early career as a musician. I sang and played guitar and keyboard in a rock band. We performed just about every weekend and enjoyed some modest success, including a few TV and Radio appearances (this was before MTV got big) and performing in front of crowds of thousands.
(As an aside, that was the background when I recently commented on /r/rust: “You gotta start somewhere. I was a rock star before I became a developer.”)
From that time I still have a cut out newspaper article with the headline “14 year old rock star wants to get a PhD in CS” (I didn’t completely follow through after realizing that a PhD would have bought me nothing unless I stayed in academia, but that’s another story).
The most important thing I learned from that time is that it’s not about me. It’s about the music – or the words you read on this blog. I try to stay humble (a daunting task for a person with an ego the size of mine 😜). Fame is a fickle mistress anyway.
So I noticed with some mild amusement when my pseudonym appeared in the list of “Famous Rustacean Bloggers” at rust-learning.
The Rust community is still young and small, so being “famous” there amounts to little. Also, despite me being a moderately capable writer (at least when I wrote a book my editor commended my style), the only thing I did to earn this “fame” was writing stuff for free on the intarwebs. Not exactly curing cancer, but a nice change from normal work, and it gave me a few very nice interactions I would have missed if not for it.
However, a recent development made me think again. A friendly Rustacean, Vincent Esche found that someone had plagiarized my Java-Rust comparison. My first thought was “Funny, I’m famous enough again to be plagiarized.”
Note: I won’t link to the incident here. If you really want, you can find the details on rust-users by searching for my article.
Applying my learnings, I don’t care about being plagiarized. This is not about me, it’s about the writing, the knowledge contained within. It’s not like I’m making money with this. If a writer is so incapable of creating original stuff that they have to cheat and take it from my blog, they should perhaps think about pursuing a different career, but that’s their (and possibly their employer’s) problem, not mine.
Still it would have been nice to hear of this not by Vincent’s awesome detective work (thanks, Vincent!), which unfortunately resulted in the takedown of the rip-off (yes, I consider it unfortunate, because it would have added a new vector for the knowledge to spread), but from the writer themselves. Not only that, they removed the post and lied about having copied instead of taking responsibility for their actions. I think a “former senior journalist” should know and act better, but perhaps at least this lesson has now been learned.
The incident also brought to my notice that I failed so far to license my blog. Shame on me. I hereby donate the content on this blog to the public domain (this only applies to the words contained, not the stylesheet or fonts, etc.). Veedrac gave me permission to include his writing on the Rust Faster post in the donation.
But perhaps I can do one better: If you are an author seeking guidance or help writing about Rust or if you are a publisher wanting something exclusively written on Rust, I hereby invite you to contact me (I am @llogiq on twitter and /u/llogiq on reddit). As long as my schedule permits, I’ll agree to write about Rust with or for you, as long as you pay it forward by donating a modest amount of money to some cause of our mutual choosing.