Why We Nuke

Perhaps some of you have spent a bit of time browsing at a magazine rack or bookstore. Thousands of titles stand upon the shelves, vying for your attention and hard earned cash. As an organizer of a literary science fiction convention I've met a few editors and publishers. They tell you that most people buy a book or magazine because they’ve liked something by the same author in the past. Next because a friend they liked recommended it. Perhaps they’ve read or heard a review from someone they trust.

But at the end of the day there are thousands of titles and nowhere near that much money in the wallet. People have to choose. For a book they’ll look at the front and back covers, perhaps the first inset page, the first and last page of the book. That quick first impression is the big difference between a book taken home and a book left on the shelf for remaindering.

A lot of good books get remaindered. How many of you have heard of Ron Sarti or J.R. Dunn?

Of course this is the net and many things on the net are free. Sometimes the price is hidden spyware or an endless string of pop-ups, but you don’t have to pay. Everything 2 is also free, at least for its users and readers. But why should you spend your time here when there are millions of blog sites out there, full of people expressing themselves. You can look something up on Wikipedia or do a Google search. What in the world gets a person to spend time here polishing nodes when they could easily get a blog and avoid the hassle of html and there wouldn't be a single editor or god hanging over their shoulder.

The answer is quality.

Here you get to read Iceowl , Braunbeck and AudieMcCall, for free. Borgo will regale you with tales of ordinary yet wonderful people. Lucy-S brought Linux-powered badgers to e2 long before Slashdot caught on. Halspal wrote a wonderful book out of nodes that appeared here first. Witchiepoo brings a terrible, passionate insight to her prose. The contributors of recipe have turned e2 to a virtual cookbook, and a darned good one. Who here does not want to visit Sydney just to enjoy dinner at sneff’s? I learned much of what I know about trains from morven. JudyT has brought us music, singers and pulp postcards. And while many new noders call jessicapierce names I expect they have not read her. Her simple tales of children and life are so warm and compassionate that I wish I was fifteen years younger so I could propose.

We stay here because there is stuff worth reading, because our up and downvotes prove we’ve been read by people we respect, people whose words reach for the universal. There are a billion bulletin boards where people get to complain about lost love and teen angst and how much they hate George Bush or Hillary Clinton. There are lots of places for obscure jokes and personal references. You can do that here of course, but here we expect you to do it well enough to hold the attention of people who don’t know you.

That's why we nuke. We nuke because we want people to take us seriously when they come visit. We nuke not out of contempt but as a challenge to lift your work above the mundane. We nuke so that when your work lives here, it will not live in a cesspool. Every one of those magazines or the books on your shelf had an editor who was there to make sure that they put out a quality product, and that the writer’s work was as good as it could be. So that when the reader picked up their work, they had every reason to take it home. And while we may get fewer writers, we’ll get better writers because quality attracts quality. We nuke so this will be a place where a noder can say with pride. ”I write for everything2”. We nuke because we want people to take us seriously.

Everything2 is not really free. The server wasn't free, the development took a lot of time, and a lot of people spend good time keeping it running. Internet connections aren't free. E2 is nate's gift to us. Shouldn't we honor his gift by doing our best in return?

Many thanks to Lometa, Cletus the Foetus, rootbeer277, and JohnnyGoodyear for their contributions.

There's been much ado of late regarding the supposed anonymity regarding nukes proffered by the staff here at E2. In response to such, I've begun keeping track of everything I'm taking down to the shiny happy place. Hopefully this, if nothing else, will keep the doomsayers in check. Until the headers of nuked writeups say (marked for destruction by wordnerd), this will be my accountability to you, the users. So, without further ado, I present my August (incomplete) nuke list.

An idea: Perhaps you can use this list, as I create it, as a springboard into new writing. I tend to find agéd or contentless things to put my mark on. By the time you find them here, they may have become nodeshells. Perhaps you can fill these nodeshells with quality content! Imagine the possibilities!

(Above paragraph added 12 August)

As a rule, I don’t often refer to other writeups in anything I write. It’s good E2 practice; should the referenced writeup be removed, for whatever reason, the reference then becomes meaningless. Writeups should be able to stand on their own.

Nonetheless, as a coda to my remarks on nuking writeups in Editor Log, Transitional Man’s Why We Nuke in this month’s logs puts the case far better than I could. Please read it again.

It’s been another slow month here; summer seems to produce in me a lethargy that’s frequently hard to shake. As the colder months approach, you can definitely expect me to be on heightened alert!


  • hard hat by futsie – superseded by new writeup.
  • Kintetsu Buffaloes by woodrackets – a question, not a writeup. Noder directed to the FAQ.
  • If all the Chinese jumped at once, would cataclysm result? by andyanime – off-topic to the node.


  • Karina Lombard by sesi – a writeup in need of formatting, suggested same to noder.

Node Audits:

The lovely and talented C-Dawg asks, "You don't refer to other writeups in your writing? No linking for you? :) Well, yes, but you know what I mean!

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