Gnomedex: Robert Steele

In his introduction, Chris says Robert Steele is the “#1 reviewer for nonfiction.” Robert does call himself that, but Amazon has no such ranking – at best this is self-calculation.

I’ve decided that my first blog post should be kind, so I may not blog much about Robert’s talk. One thing I have learned, though – you seem meaningfully less crazy if you start by flying through your slides so quickly that nobody can read them. If you’re going to have dozens and dozens of character-packed slides in an hour, it’s a really clever way of setting the agenda. Plus, he’s funny, and that also covers the madness. Oh, let’s face it – he’s a crackpot. He’s a hop and a skip from tinfoil hats. About 20 mins in, I watched Chris Pirillo wince in pain in the back, after looking at the screen. I don’t know if these were connected topics, I’m just sayin’.

“ because we certainly shouldn’t have central banks.” When you toss out statements like this and just keep going, it’s just impossible for people who are listening to think clearly about what you’re saying.

“Lincoln and Kennedy were both about to print money.”

I’m not really going to summarize this talk. Jeff Barr says his key message is “Open Source Intelligence,” and there might be something interesting there if we could have some depth. Else it’s worth going to Robert’s PPT just to see what this was.

The quasi-supporters on IRC and such are saying things like “purposely confrontational” and “going to extremes to wake us up.” That’s pretty specious. I can go scream obscenities and get the same comments. He’s not Bill Hicks.

Robert left 30 minutes for questions – the highlight was when he shouted down someone actually trying to discuss and ask for his advice on an issue (the shutdown of Internet Radio), and then had the temerity to call his comments unworkable. It became clear that he was here to pontificate, not interact.

“Don’t waste your time on the federal government. It’s going away. There are 27 secessionist movements.”

“I posted an image of the Nazi flag hanging in front of the White House. It’s very popular. In Seattle.”

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