Way back in freshman psychology class or thereabouts, I remember being told about how children would often misbehave to get attention, because at a certain level any kind of attention was better than being ignored. Lately it seems like a lot of adults on the net have been exhibiting the same sort of behavior. Tired of obscurity and frustrated by lack of recognition for their obvious (to themselves) brilliance and creativity, they’ve apparently decided to settle for becoming well known as thieves, vandals, or all-around jerks…as long as they’re well known, it doesn’t seem to matter.

Not me. I’ve given up on being recognized as the Greatest Living Hacker, just as many years I gave up on being world chess champion. What I do and say and know has gained me a certain amount of recognition in certain circles, but in the overall scheme of things I’m pretty obscure. Maybe it would be nice if more people appreciated some of the things I’ve done. However, I feel no urge to respond to that by seeking other less savory forms of notoriety. I’m not going to walk around with a big metaphorical sign on my back saying “NOTICE ME”. It’s not the recognition that matters; it’s the achievement. My motivation is not to be recognized more but to achieve more, and if my achievements continue to go unrecognized then c’est la vie. Better that than to be the Pete Rose or Dennis Rodman of the programming world, with any recognition I do get poisoned by enduring infamy or rude snickering…or by my own conscience.

No, this isn’t about warchalking. It’s meant to be about something entirely different, though if various warchalking proponents find it applies to them I’m neither surprised nor apologetic.