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The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

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My Knowledge Masters Award for Innovation
Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 01:48 PM EDT

I have just won an award for innovation from the Knowledge Trust and the Louis Round Wilson Academy. I'm telling you because as far as I'm concerned, you won it with me. Here's the wording in the announcement I received:
On behalf of Dr. Jose-Marie Griffiths, founder of the Knowledge Trust and the Louis Round Wilson Academy, it gives me great pleasure to inform you that the Louis Round Wilson Academy has unanimously named you to receive its Knowledge Masters Award for Innovation.

Your commitment and service to the highest principles of stewardship of the world's recorded knowledge are important to every citizen of the world. The innovative work of Groklaw is of indispensable value to those wishing to understand the twist and turns of copyright and intellectual property as related to open source software now and throughout time.

Your work and vision have provided leadership and guidance to others who share your ideals and wish to play a part in 21st century initiatives to secure the record of human achievement for future generations.

When I read it, I blushed. But in a good way. I just couldn't believe it. Somebody actually understood the real purpose of Groklaw, that we were trying to apply principles of open source to a new field, so as to make knowledge of the law more widely available. I called all my family and read that to them. I read it two times to one family member. I was so excited I forgot I had already told her.

The awards were given on September 17. Here are the categories. My category was this one:


The Innovation Award recognizes those who further the creative and innovative use of, and balanced access to, the world’s recorded knowledge.

Their website doesn't have this year's winners up yet, so here are all the winners this year in the other various categories:

  • Thomas S. Blanton, director, National Security Archive, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.;
  • Jeffrey Elkner, project leader, Open Book Project and teacher, Arlington County Public Schools, Arlington, VA;
  • John Hanke, director, Google Earth and Maps, Mountain View, CA;
  • Pamela Jones, founder and editor of Groklaw;
  • Brewster Kahle, digital librarian, director and co-founder, the Internet Archive, San Francisco, CA;
  • Ryan P. Allis, co-founder and chief executive officer, iContact, Durham, NC;
  • Thomas Barnett, graphic designer, writer and digital artist, Chapel Hill, NC; and
  • David P. Reed, information scientist, adjunct professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.

I know. Who am I, and what am I doing there with these people? The guy who came up with Google Earth? Brewster Kahle? The truth is, though, we did do something first.1 Not everyone on Planet Earth can say that, and it wouldn't have worked without you. Wasn't it fun to work together, doing something no one ever tried before? So, take a bow, and tell all your friends and relatives that you were part of something that will take its small place in history. Tell your grandchildren someday that you were there. As soon as I'm sure it's safe for you, we'll do an official credits page, so you can prove you were there.

It was a black tie affair, and for us females that means a long gown. I have never owned one, so I had to go shopping. As you know, I got royally sick, and so I couldn't be there in person, and my beautiful Cinderella dress I bought for the occasion is just hanging in my closet. But they told me to save it for next year, because those who win awards this year will be formally inducted into the Louis Round Wilson Academy at next year's ceremony.

Of course, once I'm an academician, I won't know youse guys any more. Joke. Joke. We won this award together. I know that the same as you do. If you saw the movie the Parent Trap, remember at the end when the little girls realize their plot to get their divorced parents back together again worked, and one squeals in delight as she slides down the wall behind the easy chair, "We did it! We actually did it!" Well, that's how I'm feeling.

The Knowledge Trust Honors Progarm was set up to do the following:

The escalating need for immediate routes to critical information we can trust is universal. Individual architects of these paths must be engaged in constant dialogue and renewal with informed elders and experts if they are to inspire and engender public trust. As in all eras of rapid revolutionary change, certain enterprises and individuals instinctively adapt to and excel in the new environment.

Individuals who thrive and succeed in the contemporary information environment will become models of excellence for the School, its faculty and the Knowledge Trust, and assist its faculty and founders to redefine and observe new standards for the preparation and discourse that will lead information and library science education in the 21st century.

To identify and encourage leading knowledge professionals, the Members of the Louis Round Wilson Academy has created an annual recognition program of global significance to seek out, recognize and archive the endeavors of Knowledge Masters in all sectors.

I know some of you worried about Groklaw disappearing someday. It never will now, no matter what happens to you or me.

Of course, next year I might feel it's time for a new dress, a red one. Did you know that there are women in this world that pay a thousand dollars for shoes? One pair? Well, I didn't, until I went looking for evening shoes. Look at the red shoes on this discount site, for example, marked down from $935 to $748. You save 20%. Hahahaha. Or for a real savings, spend only $429 for these Pradas on sale. No, of course I didn't. But they are pretty. Someone should do a knockoff. I'd buy that.

I view my principal contribution as being to try to make a hard subject fun to learn. If you listen to Dr. Randy Pausch's Last Lecture on Google video, you'll know what I mean and what I was trying for. Would you like to hear my speech? They were kind enough to have it read for me, because I couldn't be there. Here it is, from my heart:


I want you to know that this is the most meaningful and treasured of all the awards Groklaw has ever received. Thank you for understanding what I was trying to do with Groklaw. I regret that illness prevents me from being there in person to accept this award. I also wish you could see the beautiful Cinderella dress I bought for the occasion, and I surely wish I could put it on and somehow be there with you.

Please let me explain why this award is so meaningful to me, and then I'd like to briefly share another idea with you.

My dear grandmother, when she was alive, was a research librarian. For much of my childhood, she lived with us. If you ever saw the old Katharine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy movie, The Desk Set, my grandmother was the Katharine Hepburn character.

And a character she was. So, thanks to her, I had the advantage of believing from as far back as I can remember that knowledge is important and helping other people find it is a useful and important job. So important they made movies about you, and two men fought over who got to marry you, and the one who valued you for your brains won. That's an unbelievably rich inheritance for a little girl. By the time I grew up and found out that isn't exactly how the entire world works, it didn't matter, because I already had the confidence to try new things and to believe that I could do them.

It was she who taught me how to think, how to find things in a library, how to approach a research project. She had been an English teacher before switching careers in her middle years, and she taught me English too, how to parse sentences, with diagrams that illuminated for me why it matters how one expresses a thought and how to do it effectively.

So from a very early age, I was trained for what Groklaw became, and I know she would be so proud of me if she could see me accept this award. I can't tell you how much I wish she were alive for this moment.

Groklaw started with an idea back in 2003. I had read on Slashdot and other sites many discussions about legal cases in the news, and I saw that mostly people in the technical community had no idea how the legal system worked. And working with lawyers as a paralegal, I knew that most lawyers didn't understand the tech. My idea was to be a bridge between those two groups, so they could collaborate. That was an early idea, and we tried it out with the first case we worked on as a group, the SCO Group litigation against the Linux community, and while that task continues, Groklaw has grown and spread out in its interests and we now cover all legal news of interest to the Free and Open Source software community.

Recently Groklaw has, in fact, begun a new service. We offer to help lawyers understand technical matters that they may need to understand to properly depose an individual, for example. If they send me their question, I post it and the community provides their expertise. In at least one case so far, that help has been significant.

So the idea was that the two communities could really help one another if they only had a way, and that this would help courts ultimately reach better decisions, because everyone involved would be more knowledgeable. And we did it. I knew we could do it because I could see it in my mind. There were variables, but I knew if they played out right, we had the skills. I knew the idea could work, although no one had done it before. Bob Dylan spoke about that feeling once in an interview, and he said he felt that in the beginning. He just knew what he could do. And he said, don't tell people you know you can do something, because they'll try to kill your dream.

The Internet means there's no one to kill your dream. You can just do it. You don't have to persuade anyone or get credentialed or even think about what others think of your idea.

I mentioned my grandmother for a reason. I have another idea beyond Groklaw I'd like to briefly mention, in hopes someone out there is inclined to find a way to do it. I don't care who does it, but I see the idea so clearly and time is running out to implement it.

Not everyone is blessed with a grandmother like mine. Many children today are latchkey kids, and both parents work. So they are impoverished by not learning the many things families used to have time to teach the younger ones. I'd like to see a living history project done, before the current older generation is gone, videotaping the elderly, or rather making it easy for them to do so themselves, letting them talk about what they know. Why should all that knowledge go to waste, when we have the technology for the first time in history to preserve it? They could share life lessons and show how to do things too, like how to crochet or how to fix things around the house. But most importantly, they could tell about historic events they experienced. Wouldn't that be lovely to have? And the more who participated the more valuable such a life history would be. Thanks to the Internet, there need never be another historical event where only one person, like Josephus, is left to tell his one account. History is a group experience, and I see no reason it should not be told by everyone.

So, in closing, I truly thank the Wilson Trust for this recognition, and I accept it on behalf also of the some 12,000 volunteers who contribute to Groklaw and make it what it is by doing the research about the history of the technology and the law, transcribing of legal documents so the visually disabled can easily access the information with readers and so the information is readily searchable, running to the courthouse to get the legal filings, attending court hearings and reporting on legal events in their local areas. These volunteers are from all over the world, making it possible for the entire Free and Open Source community worldwide to work together, thanks to the Internet, no matter where they happen to live.

There is no time in the day, on any day, when Groklaw isn't being accessed by our readers. I know we filled a need, because our growth is all by word of mouth, because we restrict Google access almost completely. People really do want access to information that isn't processed. According to the most recent Netcraft figures I've seen, Groklaw is now number 765 on their list of the most visited web sites in the world, out of the many millions of sites surveyed. I believed people would value information they trust. And they do.

And I'd like to take this opportunity to also thank ibiblio for making it possible for Groklaw to not only spread its wings but to survive all the storms that ensued. Thank you, Wilson Trust, for this wonderful award. I will treasure it all my life, and I hope someday, I'll have a granddaughter I can tell about this award and all it means to me.

1 There was the earlier OpenLaw project, led by Wendy Selzter at Harvard's Berkman Center, which was an experiment in lawyers working together on mailing lists to collaborate in composing legal briefs in the Eldred and DeCSS cases. While not identical to Groklaw in purpose, form or reach, it was an earlier experiment in applying open source principles to the law, the first that I am aware of.


My Knowledge Masters Award for Innovation | 391 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 01:53 PM EDT
Well deserved - congratulations.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic here
Authored by: jplatt39 on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 01:58 PM EDT
Please make all links Clickable. To do that post in HTML
mode Read the Important stuff at the bottom of the Post a
comment page.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections Here
Authored by: jplatt39 on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 02:00 PM EDT
If any.

[ Reply to This | # ]

congratulations PJ
Authored by: Alan Bell on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 02:01 PM EDT
all the awards so far, and all those still to come are richly deserved.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Newspicks Here
Authored by: jplatt39 on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 02:02 PM EDT
Postings about the newspicks on the front page.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: achurch on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 02:10 PM EDT

I wouldn't dare claim any part in how Groklaw has turned out--I've taken and taken from it, and about all I've given back is a few corrections--but it truly is nice to see Groklaw understood and appreciated like this. Congratulations, PJ, on this well-deserved award!

[ Reply to This | # ]

My Knowledge Masters Award for Innovation
Authored by: bezz on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 02:59 PM EDT
Congratulations, you deserve the recognition on your own merits for providing a
civil discussion forum of a very uncivil suit.

[ Reply to This | # ]

All The Best PJ :)
Authored by: SilverWave on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 03:02 PM EDT

Georg Greve (FSFE):
A Screaming victory, I mean “Sometimes The Good Guys Do Win!”

Monday 17 Sept 2007 - STGGDW! ;-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

My Knowledge Masters Award for Innovation
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 03:13 PM EDT
Congratulations PJ! You have earned it.


[ Reply to This | # ]

My Knowledge Masters Award for Innovation
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 03:20 PM EDT
I knew Brewster Kahle back when we were both at Thinking Machines (when our goal
was to build a machine that would be proud of us). Seriously sharp and
innovative guy, and I guess he's in pretty good company with this award. Still,
I have real trouble imagining him in a tuxedo :-)

-- Robert Krawitz,

[ Reply to This | # ]

My Knowledge Masters Award for Innovation
Authored by: webster on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 03:28 PM EDT
Congratulations! It is well-deserved.


© 2007 Monopoly Corporation. ALL rights reserved. Yours included.

[ Reply to This | # ]

My Knowledge Masters Award for Innovation
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 03:31 PM EDT
I echo Peter's well chosen words. Well deserved, Pamela and all Groklaw

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Peter Baker on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 03:39 PM EDT
Hmm, we'll have to do something about that shoe situation :-).

There is much work left for all to do, but more and more cracks start showing,
and more and more desperation is evident in those that use dishonesty as a
business model.

I find that encouraging, and these events are strongly driven by what you
started, Pamela. That award is more than deserved, not just for the hard work
but also for the courage and clear demonstration of personal values.


= P =

[ Reply to This | # ]

You are too modest
Authored by: hawk on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 03:47 PM EDT

Dear PJ,

You often credit Linus for figuring out how to develop a large project over the Internet. I think it is only fair to credit you similarly for figuring out how to apply these principles to law.

The non-Linus kernel developers deserve credit too, but for something else. Likewise, let me say "Thank you all, people!" to the group for their contributions (I do not count myself here), but the glory here is yours.

So, a big congratulations. You deserve it!

[ Reply to This | # ]

My Knowledge Masters Award for Innovation
Authored by: funkyj on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 03:47 PM EDT
I'm sure the committee of IBM lawyers that is Pamela Jones is thrilled to
receive this recognition! (Thats a joke for you humor impaired).

Obviously the group handing out the award are a bunch partizan shills backed by
IBM and Novell...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 03:49 PM EDT
On this so richly deserved award.

The one issue that I will take exception to is the statement
<i>"Somebody actually understood the real purpose of Groklaw, that we
were trying to apply principles of open source to a new field, so as to make
knowledge of the law more widely available."</i>

I believe that many of those who read Groklaw see the purpose, meaning and
implications of your most noble experiment. Some respond with malevolent attacks
and vilification, because the truth that Groklaw represents a threat to the
shrouds of ignorance and prevarication with which they would cloak the world.

I also believe that Groklaw is ever so much more than a new application of open
source for the purpose of explaining the law, or to help defend the existence of
Linux, as worthy as those goals are. Groklaw, like some of the other wonderful
projects on the net, are creating new paradigms for the creation and
dissemination of knowledge. For processes to solve extremely complex problems
by bringing together disparate individuals in the application of
multidisciplinary approaches to the generation of knowldege, as well as its
application to specific issues at hand. This will be the true legacy of the net.
And you, PJ, are in the forefront of giving fire to mankind.

There is a great irony in the part of your contribution that directly involves
this case. A battle between those who would chain and sequester knowledge, and
those who understand that knowledge and understanding are not created in a
vacuum, but rather in an expanding universe shared and owned by all. Yes, the
creator should have temporary rights, but not without repayment of the debt owed
to those who have gone before.

Your courage and bravery, and more so, your stunning innovation, are worthy of
great admiration and gratitude.

Thank you,

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: xtifr on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 03:54 PM EDT
Ok, if there's anyone left who still believes that PJ is a team of IBM lawyers,
I think her research into shoe prices and fashions should drive the final stake
through the heart of that theory. I mean, I hate to focus on stereotypes, but
that's pretty girly. And I have a hard time believing that high-priced
corporate lawyers would blink, or even think of blinking, at a mere $400 price
tag for a pair of shoes. :)

Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for it makes them soggy and hard to

[ Reply to This | # ]

Congratulations yet again
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 04:07 PM EDT
And: just out of curiosity: Was this the award you
mentioned a few months ago? I remember you mentioning an
award, 'with no further info povided at this time' some
time ago....

[ Reply to This | # ]

This is Innovation
Authored by: sproggit on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 04:31 PM EDT
I particularly like the fact that this award stands, in part, to the recognition
of the innovation that Groklaw represents.

This is PJ's creation - and it is genuinely innovative.

By making this site a free and open community, it has been possible for
successive contributions to build, one on top of another. Each small piece of
knowledge or opinion shared is reviewed, considered - and perhaps most
importantly - cherished.

Albert Einstein once said that the most powerful force in the universe is
compound interest.

In the same way, the power of Groklaw is magnified and enhanced by the fact that
every time a reader makes a contribution (i.e. gives), then every other reader
gets something back in interest. (And usually something *interesting* back...)
Knowledgeable contributions are compounded, each one adding to it's predecessor.

There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of practicing lawyers and law
firms that have web sites that contain blogs and regular articles. We often see
links to them here. It's interesting to note that none of them are quite as
popular - or informative - as Groklaw.

Go back far enough in time, beyond legalised bribery - sorry, lobbying - and you
get to a time when the laws of the land (and it doesn't really matter which
nation we're talking about here) were something that lived and breathed and
existed for the everyday person. There was a two-way relationship: citizens
abided by the laws, but felt empowered to propose changes where needed. Over
time that two-way relationship has been lost, to the extent that for most
citizens of the world today, "the law" has become something that is
not fully understood but must be obeyed. In other words, the law started out as
"Open Source" but over time it was gradually "closed off" by
complexity and sheer volume, until it became this monstrous, complex and
proprietary thing that was no longer understood by the community at large.

PJ has managed, through Groklaw, to reverse that trend. With her infectious
enthusiasm, deep understanding and love of the law, plus very considerable
ability, she has managed to "give back" the law to a very wide and
varied readership. OK, so we might not [yet] feel empowered or able to go and
make changes to legislation that we don't agree with, but feel quite sure that
all regular readers will agree that our knowledge of and interest in the law has
grown thanks to Groklaw.

So it's really no great surprise to learn that PJ and Groklaw have been
recognized in this way. But it does feel really good, all the same.

[ Reply to This | # ]

About the shoes
Authored by: kozmcrae on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 04:41 PM EDT
Those fancy shoes almost cost as much as Vista Ultimate and Office 2007. At
least the shoes don't tell on you, make you ask for permission to walk in a
certain direction or suddenly stop you in mid-step for no reason.


Coming soon: Signature 2.0

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: schestowitz on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 04:53 PM EDT
Without leaders, there is no community. The award was won by *you*, but it's
kind of you to give credit to others.

Roy S. Schestowitz, Ph.D. Candidate in Medical Biophysics | GNU/Linux | PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E

[ Reply to This | # ]

My Knowledge Masters Award for Innovation
Authored by: brooker on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 05:09 PM EDT
Pj, I have goose bumps! This award is sooo beautiful and so perfect for you and

Warmest congratulations and a loud round of applause, applause, applause!!

As my grandson would say: Groklaw Rocks! :o)


[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: om1er on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 05:32 PM EDT
I learn something new on Groklaw all the time. I never knew about Knowledge
Trust and the Louis Round Wilson Academy, nor that such awards were given.

Furthermore, they must be brilliant people, because they certainly selected the
right recipient for the Innovation Award. Not one single person on the list of
recipients has affected my life to such a degree as you have, PJ. Day in, day
out, while under attack, and not feeling well, you have provided knowledge to
the world, with humor.

Stay humble, please, but I want you to know that they picked the right winner,
here. Excellent job (to you, and to them)!

August 10, 2007 - The FUD went thud.

[ Reply to This | # ]

My Knowledge Masters Award for Innovation
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 05:46 PM EDT
"and it wouldn't have worked without you"

Ms. Jones... lets be very clear about something. It would have worked without any one of the "you" referred to above. Probably without any half of us, for that matter.

The one single person it would not have worked without is Pamela Jones.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Waiting for the world lecture tour
Authored by: lannet on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 05:58 PM EDT
Well done Pamela, but I was wondering how you would have tried to retain your

I'm just waiting for the time when you can safely reveal yourself and start the
world lecture tour so that those of us distanced from you can also absorb that

Remember, the dolphins at Monkey Mia await you :)

When you want a computer system that works, just choose Linux.
When you want a computer system that works, just, choose Microsoft.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 06:05 PM EDT
Congratulations from Belgium ;-)
As far as I can judge (not far at all) well deserved.
Thanks for keeping us all interested and bending scepticism with fact and
(sometimes) furor.
Koen van Hees

[ Reply to This | # ]

Well done lassie
Authored by: Pop69 on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 06:47 PM EDT
If you're ever passing through Edinburgh, let me know so that I can buy you a
drink (whisky obviously.......)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ironic...somebody knows what "innovation" really means
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 07:20 PM EDT
Because Microsoft has worked hard to try to debase *that* currency.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Dan Lyons Apology Thread Here
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 07:35 PM EDT

Congrats PJ.

Comments about Dan Lyons here...

[ Reply to This | # ]

My Knowledge Masters Award for Innovation
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 08:27 PM EDT
I have been reading Groklaw for four years now.

It became apparent very early on that Groklaw was one of the best internet sites
out there. The quality of the site dazzles with its brilliance.

Pamela Jones, whoever she is, may not do all of the work at Groklaw alone, but
her daily reports these last few years is a record so INSIGHTFUL and informative
that I don't think I've seen anything like it, ever.

I sure hope there are some material rewards for you on the horizon.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I think I speak for everyone here...
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 08:39 PM EDT
In saying "Congratulations for a job well done!"

PJ, I hope to one day be at an event where you are introduced. The thunderous
applause for you (and Groklaw) will surely go on for what feels like forever!

(From one of the millions of long-time readers who has never posted until now)

[ Reply to This | # ]

So - Does this mean....
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 08:56 PM EDT
That your photo will be taken?

Or will you remain incognito - to avoid being personally thanked by Darl and Co?
(And your avid fan base!)

Though there may very well be a cadre of people saying 'No, I'm PJ!' just to
confuse the issue....

[ Reply to This | # ]

Your idea for the Knowledge Trust
Authored by: artp on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 09:24 PM EDT

"I'd like to see a living history project done, before the current older generation is gone, videotaping the elderly, or rather making it easy for them to do so themselves, letting them talk about what they know. Why should all that knowledge go to waste, when we have the technology for the first time in history to preserve it? They could share life lessons and show how to do things too, like how to crochet or how to fix things around the house. But most importantly, they could tell about historic events they experienced. Wouldn't that be lovely to have? And the more who participated the more valuable such a life history would be."

You've mentioned this before, and I thought it was a good idea then, too.

One thing that I was really glad that I did was to videotape my Dad's bothers and sisters at what turned out to be their last reunion. They all talked about their grandparents, how they grew up, what they remembered. It was fascinating. I learned things that I never knew before, including some stuff from my Dad about the reaction of the labor unions when GIs started coming back from WWII.

I know that there are isolated, small scale actions in this area. But the potential for learning is huge, now more than ever in history.

Even in the 54 years that I've been around, change has accelerated beyond the imagination of the generations before us.

I remember when my Dad sold the draft horses, aand started relying on tractor power entirely. I remember butchering sessions, where my grandparents would come out, and we'd hang a hog from a tree branch, and process the whole thing, right down to sausage, bacon and ham. I remember threshing parties and baling hay the hard way, picking corn by hand, raising chickens, pigs, cattle, fishing and hunting, gathering wild fruit, canning galore, big gardens....

My Dad used to work the sawmill around the corner once in a while. He helped saw ice off the Lily Pond a few miles away to stock the icehouse.

One of my earliest memories is when the whole extended family helped tear down a barn. I was with my aunt, who was straightening nails to reuse. Everything was recycled back then. When you have more time than money, it's easy to recycle.

Today, money is more important than people or time. But that's not sustainable in the long run. It will not last. Eventually, the oil will run out, or the pollution will catch up with us, or climate change will come, or SOMETHING will happen to upset man's carefully crafted plans. If nothing else, the current methods will finally be seen to be economically unfeasible despite the false assumptions that made them feasible.

Then we will need some more primitive skills. When I picked corn by hand, it wasn't because we wanted to. We had run out of corn by September, and we picked a few wagonloads of corn by hand to keep the hogs happy until we could get the corn picker into the wet fields. Similar situations arise daily, but the primitive skills aren't there to use today.

There is a field of engineering that has been around for at least 30 years called appropriate technology. My favorite example of this has been Journey to Forever.

On the agricultural side, there are many Web sites and unlinked projects that are addressing the skills that are no longer "economical" in the modern wworld. Of course, some of these techniques might become economical if full employment were a goal, but that's not the topic today.

If I had to, I could get out the butchering tools, start up my grandfather's forge, rebuild some buildings that were useful in another day, and start out on a more sustainable life. I don't have to learn the sawmill job, as a second cousin still has that running as a going business.

If this became a trend, there would be a reduction in energy usage [no more need to ship commodity grain halfway around the world], better employment, more ecological diversity [fencerows are cool], better health [more physical exercise, more exposure and resultant resistance to dirt and microbes], and a better table and lifestyle. I especially favor the better table.

Have you ever looked at how many people actually cook in their kitchen ? A newspaper article last year claimed that some new homes don't have a full kitchen any more. Again, that's another story.

Thanks for the work and leadership that led to the award. Thanks for seeding new ideas out there, and God willing and the creek don't rise, we'll all get there eventually.

I better hand the platform back to you now, as this is your blog, and not mine. I've typed long enouogh already.

Thanks, PJ!

Userfriendly on WGA server outage:
When you're chained to an oar you don't think you should go down when the galley sinks ?

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WOW! Your Grandmother was Katherine Hepburn
Authored by: LionKuntz on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 09:27 PM EDT
and a librarian too.

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Authored by: skuggi on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 10:08 PM EDT
Congratulations P.J. Another feather added to your hat.


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Authored by: sumzero on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 10:13 PM EDT
a reward well deserved.

48. The best book on programming for the layman is "alice in wonderland"; but
that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.

alan j perlis

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My Knowledge Masters Award for Innovation
Authored by: tbogart on Saturday, September 22 2007 @ 10:48 PM EDT
Many well thought and well said forms of congratulations here. I hope to be
forgiven for adding my attempt to the string.

I have made maybe two contributions here over the years. One itsy bitsy
technical point, and once that PJ said I made her laugh. (You get one guess
which I am more proud of!).

So, it is both politically correct and technically correct I have contributed.
However, I wish (as others have done so well) to point out that I am in no way
confused about who is carrying the brunt of the load here. PJ and a goodly
number of folks do an absolutely awesome combination of quantity and quality
here. Even when I have had some time to try and jump in when help is requested,
there are usually several in front of me, doing better than I could. I mean, my
goodness, some of these folks must be actually _organized_. Almost frightening.
You all richly deserve to share with PJ in the award.

That said, PJ deserves the titles of instigator, innovator, champion, focal
point, fulcrum and chief cook and bottle washer. Just as Linus deserves his
kudos to marshaling the Linux project in ways that have made it more successful
than other kernel/OS projects, so PJ deserves to stand out as one who can,
seemingly, actually herd cats.

So, PJ, please consider this as at least a partial answer for the 'who am I'
question. Someone to whom we are all grateful for your part in making this
whole endeavor such a rich experience.

"Your commitment and service to the highest principles of stewardship of
the world's recorded knowledge are important to every citizen of the

Oh yes. My my. Spot on, I would say. Can anyone else imagine a line of folks
forming on the steps to any particular SCOg courtroom, all facing away from the
path of the SCOg team, wearing T shirts with this on the back?


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My Knowledge Masters Award for Innovation
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 23 2007 @ 02:39 AM EDT
Congratulations Pamela, you fully deserve this award. You're doing a mighty job!
Thank you.

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Congratulations from a Jones to a Jones
Authored by: PJJones on Sunday, September 23 2007 @ 04:35 AM EDT
I've been here off and on since the first month of Groklaw, and I can't believe
it took me this long to get a proper login.

It is always nice to read about PJ, Groklaw and all the Groklaw contributors
getting the praise and attention they deserve. I wish nothing but the best for
the next four years of PJ, Groklaw and the Groklaw community.

As my eight your old nephew, who is a bit too fascinated with Klingons, might

You bring honor to our name.

-Paul James Jones
. . . I don't think I'm related to PJ.

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My Knowledge Masters Award for Innovation
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 23 2007 @ 10:44 AM EDT

Do they give you a new car and three iPhones for your trouble?

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congrats Pamela ..
Authored by: emacsuser on Sunday, September 23 2007 @ 11:18 AM EDT
I sent you a little personal msg .. :)

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My Knowledge Masters Award for Innovation
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 23 2007 @ 02:03 PM EDT
I'd like to add my congratulations too.

Not just to PJ, but to Groklaw as a whole. There are many names whose replies I
ALWAYS read, they have kind of become persons of trust for me.

I won't name any, because I'll surely forget some, and that's not fair.

Either way, I'd like to thank groklaw for educating people like me. I am an
avid reader of Groklaw and have become a bit more vocal about the benefits of
FOSS and associated topics in my free time and my work. I feel empowered by the
information supplied by us (I'm not sure I've ever posted a factually
interesting post, but I'll just use the collective anyway.....)

Whenever I see Groklaw being mentioned in a (serious) IT report, I kinda feel
proud. Just because I know about it already. I know I'm just along for the
ride, and far from anything like a major contributor, but I just think it's
important to say that even those of us who don't have a great factual input are
proud of what groklaw is and has become.

Congratulations everyone (most of all PJ).

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You inspire people to be good
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 23 2007 @ 03:54 PM EDT
PJ, what I love about your work is that it inspires a man to be a better man in
so many ways; thank you and congratulations for an award you really deserve

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Authored by: 351-4V on Sunday, September 23 2007 @ 06:28 PM EDT
It's good to see you get the recognition you deserve. Good going!

Though there many things that make Groklaw unique, one trait that I especially admire is your compassion. This compassion shows in everything you write P.J. I'm certain you could post anonymously on SlashDot or any similar site and I would recognize your style immediately.

That compassion spills over to others. There was a great example of this recently where the poster took the time to introduce himself to Mr. McBride at a hearing and then sadly noted the emotional toll all this has had on Mr. McBride and his family.

It's great to see that good girls and guys really do finish first sometimes.

Thank you P.J. for all you have done.


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Absolutely Well Deserved
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 23 2007 @ 11:53 PM EDT
Congrats PJ

little more to add :)

Doug Marker (DSM)

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Congratulations - well deserved, PJ!
Authored by: ka1axy on Monday, September 24 2007 @ 08:51 AM EDT
You have definitely earned it!

And I'll back up what you said about reference librarians. And librarians, in
general. They're right up there with teachers in my hierarchy of people I
respect. They're always ready to help you out, it's like a challenge to them,
and they're not satisfied until they get the details for you.

Good on you!

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My Knowledge Masters Award for Innovation
Authored by: BassSinger on Monday, September 24 2007 @ 01:57 PM EDT

Your comment about Bob Dylan saying

"... don't tell people you know you can do something, because they'll try to kill your dream."

prompted me to send you a reference.

We have come to value a book/video of "The Art of Possibility" by Benjamin & Rosamund Stone Zander. It is a very exciting and informative instruction in thinking outside the box and performing without limitations. You might enjoy it, but you are already living it.


"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
-- Albert Einstein

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Not an ordinary person - My Knowledge Masters Award for Innovation
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 25 2007 @ 10:42 AM EDT
Dear PJ,

You once commented you were just an ordinary person trying to learn how to
use a blogging tool.

I believe the Louis Round Wilson Academy recognizes otherwise. You claim
that you couldn't have done it without the help of all the other Groklawers, and
that may be true. However the key to the award you so well deserve I believe is
the phrase "leadership and guidance to others".

Some lead by decree, others lead by example. While you have used
"decree" a few times, removing inappropriate material, I believe the
majority of it has been leadership by example. By scruplously documenting
everything you post, being as fair as you can, in spite of your feelings about
some posters, you demonstrate what a good blog serving the public good should

Congratulations and well done!

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  • On leadership - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, September 26 2007 @ 06:25 PM EDT
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