Williams: Jakob Lodwick Is A Jerk

SAI contributor Hank Williams weighs in on the new web site Norbum.org launched by Vimeo founder Jakob Lodwick (one of our Silicon Alley 100) and Tumblr’s David Karp. (UPDATE: David says he has nothing to do with the site; so does Jakob) A New York-based entrepreneur, Hank recently launched a new blog: Why Does Everything Suck? Exploring the tech marketplace from 10,000 feet.Ok, so on CenterNetworks the other day, Allen Stern discovers that someone Jakob Lodwick (formerly vimeo) and David Karp (tumblr) is engaged is some elaborate “humour” based around the “hilarity” of homeless fashion. The idea is that they are creating a site called norbum.org which is where they chronicle the most fashionable homeless people. Its crowd sourced, and so the “idea” is that people submit pictures of homeless people.

Ok, yes, I get it is a joke.

I am sure Lodwick thinks he is “cool” enough to make this joke. After all, he’s “famous”, at least according to his own blog. (Yes I get the famous thing is probably some inside joke – it just isn’t sufficiently “ironic”). Ok, just to be clear, Jakob and David are *not* cool enough to make fun of the homeless. (UPDATE: David says he has nothing to do with the site.)

To put this in context, today from an article In the New York Times about Chris Rock, a quote from Chris Rock. Its about the new (well not so new) rules of comedy for those of you too dumb to figure it out.

During his discussion of Mr. Imus, he laid out some guidelines: White people aren’t allowed to mock black people; rich people aren’t allowed to mock poor people; skinny people aren’t allowed to mock fat people; and so on. The more stuff you have, the less stuff you’re allowed to say.


Is the tech community so out of touch that this is not obvious? Or is it just Jakob and David that don’t get this and they were dumb enough to think that the tech community would not be offended? Or are they just going for the Michael Richards style stuff that is just designed to “shock”. Or perhaps they are going for a more Loren Feldman/Technigga style effect.

Perhaps I am overly sensitive as one of maybe only two or three black guys that regularly show up at the NY tech meetup. I know the community is kinda insular (tech has never exactly been a bastion of diversity), but I wouldn’t think you’d have to be black (or homeless, or poor) to realise that this is offensive.

Yeah Allen, I agree… WTF.

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