Jim Warren

After being the founding editor of DDJ, I fomented further confusion in the industry by founding:
  • the West Coast Computer Faires and later, the IBM PC Faires;
  • the Silicon Gulch Gazette(a freebie worth every penny you paid for it);
  • the Journal of Intelligent Machines (JIM) a.k.a. the Intelligent Machines Journal (IMJ is "Jim" in pig-latin) which became InfoWorld - and successful - only after I sold it to IDG/ComputerWorld's Pat McGovern;
  • DataCast magazine, which provided in-depth tutorials about popular software - and proved that it was possible to get rid of large amounts of cash without effort;
  • Video Initiative, which produced several several self-paced videotape tutorials about computer topics - and proved that video production was, by far, the most efficient way to unload hundreds of thousands of dollars without significant profit.

After selling the Computer Faires for more'n this ex-teacher-creature ever dreamed of havin', I've had the financial freedom to write about realizible fantasies and tech-related public policy issues for low-paying magazines, use the net to help open the coats of coy politicians to effective public access to public records, and generally infuriate politicians (always a worthy activity).

The two most noteworthy parts of those efforts were:

  • founding and chairing the First Conference on Computers, Freedom & Privacy in 1991; and,
  • showing Californica Assembly Member Debra Bowen how public access to state legislative records could be accomplished via the Internet at low cost and high benefit to the public, and leading the online grassroots citizen effort that helped Bowen push her legislation through, making CA the first state in the nation to do such a thing.

Thereafter, I have had numerous failures in:

  • opposing the obscenely censor-prone Communications Decency Act that made it a federal felony to conduct any "indecent" communication using *any* telecommunications device (enacted, but later overturned by the Supreme Court in a First Amendment challenge; having been censored by my BoardWatch Editor when I wrote obscenely about it, I was one of the 8-10 named plaintiffs in the free-speech challenge);
  • opposing the federal government's endless zeal for forcing tech-based ever-expanding covert surveillance and tracking of Amerikans and similar victims in other nations (opposed the requirement to make the nation's phone system wiretap-ready, the government's steadfast blocking of cellphone security, etc etc etc.)
    • I digressed therefrom in 1984-1985 to oppose special-interest efforts to impose draconian regulations on my local rural community (resulting in Grand Jury recommendations that the Planning Director resign or be fired, the Chief Building Official be replaced with a competent professional, and an Ombudsman board be created to resolve disputes - that was actually composed of residents of the communities impacted; all of which transpired).

      And in 1997, I purchased a 47-foot long, 28-foot wide ocean-sailing catamaran, in order to discover that I really didn't like to cruise the ocean (that kept moving up and down), much less live sandwiched with folks who were competent to do so, and I most of all didn't like being disconnected from the net, the nation and world and their complexities, nor be distant from my beloved Skyline-area redwoods where I live overlooking the Pacific.

      Comingled with such ventures and misadventures, I've:

      • conducted my portions of the three-hour PBS TV special, "Triumph of the Nerds," stark naked with the interviewer, in my mountaintop ho'tub (I mean, after all, we Californians *do* have our reputations to maintain!);
      • been honored to become good friends with a covey of delightful, bright, and innovative erotic dancers;
      • edited a novel that will appear this Spring, about modern China just before and culminating in Tiananmen Square (written by a woman who was there, as a teen-ager);
      • gotten older (so what?!), fatter (groan), and more ornery (that's nice); and ...
      After approximately a dozen "careers," I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up (that's nice too).

      When I was a young teacher, some straight-laced elders from time to time in Texass (that's just truth-in-spelling) used to say, "Warren, why don't you grow up?!" And I'd look around at the "adults" around me ... and blurt out, "Geez, WHY?!"

      My unpublished (and unwritten) autobiography is draft-titled, Nimatte! - which is an old indian word that means, "Nothing in moderation; all things to extreme!" Seems like a nice motto - and accurate, too.

CONTACT Jim Warren
Last Modified: Tue May 15 15:16:43 2001