We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Happy Birthday to…


smite control

Eleven years. Blimey. Many thanks to all the contributors for 14,148 articles and to the commentariat for just under a quarter of a million comments.

Hopefully before the end of the year we might (maybe, perhaps, possibly) have a new improved Samizdata (hi Alec!) with new red knobs and extra added fiddly bits.

42 comments to Happy Birthday to…

  • Congrats!

    You’ll be a nightmare when you get into you teens 😉

  • Alisa

    Mazal Tov:-)

  • Julie near Chicago

    NickM: :>)))!!!!

    To Samizdata: Happy Birthday!

    To young Mr. de Havilland, et al.: Mercy bowcup…many times over!

    One plaintive request regarding the site: PLEASE don’t fix what ain’t broke! Just for starters…simplicity equals short load times…lack of frustration in attempting to avoid unwanted ads and other junk…minimal distraction from content by all sorts of unimportant and impertinent side stuff (even HNN errs here)…ease of finding desired material within the page…having all the PERTINENT material ON the single page…and, for at least some of us, a webpage that truly is easy on the eyes.

    For at least 20 years now, all but perhaps the most hoity-toity of “serious” magazines (The Atlantic, perhaps Commentary?,…) have been so awash in ads and bits and pieces of unrelated articles splattered about the pages that you can’t look at one of them without coming down with a sick headache. (I believe Popular Mechanics was one of the earliest offenders in this manner, but maybe my memory’s at fault.)

    We don’t NEED “red knobs” and we CERTAINLY don’t need “fiddly bits”–our lives are already a screaming nightmare of trying to avoid all the “fiddly bits” that serve no purpose except to drive some of us screaming bonkers.

    I don’t want to be a wet blanket…it’s so fun coming up with new embellishments, and designing new things, and all…believe me, I know!…I don’t want to ruin Perry’s (and the others’) fun. It’s just that the Dissident Frogman got it SO right! Bless him…and bless Perry for guiding him, or following him, or both, in the right direction.

    I guess…Samizdata’s already a work of art Perfection is when any change would damage the whole (however much it might perk up one detail or one subsection).

    The upside of all that is that I obviously think Samizdata rocks! So again, thanks for the last eleven years and may there be ‘leventy-‘leven more forthcoming! :>)))

  • Jordan Keith

    Congratulations to our gracious hosts! Keep fighting the good fight.

  • lucklucky

    Congrats 🙂

  • veryretired

    Happy B-day!

    Thank you especially for all your courtesy towards a foolish, verbose old man. I appreciate this site, and the many thoughtful people who manage and comment at it.

  • I agree with Julie.

    Too many sites, for example, have switched to the Disqus commenting platform, which without fail causes my browser to freeze for quite some time no matter which site is loading the comments.

    The antisocial networking stuff like the Facepants like button or the Google Minus and Twatter links also have a tendency to slow down the browser.

  • Harry Dickjohn

    Yes, congrats to all, and here’s to the next eleven.

    But to echo the other commenters, please don’t “improve” the site.

    It’s quick to download, easy to read, and easy to leave comments.

    End of.

  • B

    Congrats. It’s the only thing keeping me somewhat sane.

  • We will not be going Disqus and we hope the site will be both faster and that ‘smiting’ will become a thing of the past for regular readers.

  • RainerK

    Happy Birthday Samizdata!

    How come everything and everybody gets old except Samizdata?
    Thanks to the Samizdata crew of bloggers. It is, after all, work to keep the posts coming at this high level.

    I second the previous Representatives of the Commentariat. I too can do quite well without buttons of any colour or fiddly bits of any kind.

  • Richard Thomas

    Happy b’day.

    I agree with the others, evolution not revolution. There are probably only three things wrong with the site and one of them’s me.

    Coincidently, it was Slashdot’s 15th this past week and that site’s become a bunch of bloated hogwash. Please don’t go that way.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Awright, Perry, that does it! No Smiting?


    Then what the heck is the point of leaving outré or otherwise questionable comments hereabouts! Don’t you know I LIVE to be Smited by Samizdata??!!!

    Heh…just for that I’ll tell you a secret. I bookmarked the Smite-Cats. Try to take away MY simple pleasures, will ya!

    Once again, Happy Birthday to Samizdata and thanks to our gracious host for providing it. :>))

  • jacqui

    Wow! My son was born 11 years ago today too!

    Happy Birthday!

  • the other rob

    Many Happy Returns!

  • Allan Ripley

    No Samizdata, no Allan the libertarian wing-nut. It’s All Your Fault! (I’ve mentioned this before.)

    Happy Birthday, you great folks.

  • Myno

    Always cogent. Always thoughtful. Occasionally frightful. And simply wonderful. Congrats!

  • Paul Marks

    Happy birthday.

    This blog has always understood the central truth – this being that liberty is based on private property.

    Envy and hatred of rich people is no basis for libertarianism.

    And (in case someone from the “libertarian” left turns up) – I am as poor as a church mouse, always have been and will be till I die.

  • Ray

    Congratulations. Keep fighting the good fight.

  • Something that amused me when I discovered it the other day, which I suppose can be related to the history of this blog.

    In 2006, I went to Seoul. I went looking for interesting neighbourhoods across the river, and found myself in Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam-gu, a sort of hip, arty area.

    I then blogged about its, er, style.

    I so totally rock.

  • How come everything and everybody gets old except Samizdata?

    Samizdata doesn’t age, but the picture of Samizdata hidden up in the attic sure does. You don’t want to see it. 🙂

  • Simon Jester

    Many happy returns!

  • RAB

    Happy Birthday Alma Mater. Without Samizdata there would be no Counting Cats in Zanzibar.

    For Wit, Wisdom, depth and Intelligence, as Wodehouse would say…

    You stand alone!

  • Saxon

    Happy Birthday, Samizdata, and many happy returns!

    to echo Julie near Chicago, wish you eleventy eleven more birthdays.

    Hope the Samizdatists crank up the output while maintaining the quality and costs 🙂

  • Sam Duncan

    Blimey indeed.

    Happy birthday to the second blog I ever read (I can’t even recall what the first was, but it linked to a Samizdata post and that was that). It’s still my archetype of what a group blog should be: simple, uncluttered, and intelligent. Ten years ago, I used to download the main page on dialup and read it offline in a browser that didn’t even handle CSS. I probably still could, if necessary. To echo Julie, please be careful with the changes. Presentation is important, but the content is what we’re here for.

    Anyway, here’s to at least another 11 years.

  • Happy Birthday

    Long Live the Blog !!!

  • Edward

    Happy birthday to the Samizdatistas; without you I mightn’t well know what a libertarian is and that I am one. I shall raise a glass to you tonight. Sláinte!

  • mdc

    It’s interesting to look at all the stuff in the borders of the site – links to dead blogs, references to half-forgotten events, etc. – built up over the life of the site. It makes me somewhat nostalgic.

  • Laird

    Congratulations, and many thanks to all responsible for this site. We don’t say that enough.

  • Laird

    Well, this is just perfect! Smited over a congratulatory post! (Perhaps for the last time?)

  • Alisa

    One would hope so, seeing as you are out of poems.

  • Laird

    Minds that are great and free
    Should not on fortune pause;
    ‘Tis crown enough to virtue still, her own applause.

  • Alisa

    Me and my big mouth.

  • llamas

    Happy birthday to the Blue Screen, and thanks as always to our generous hosts.

    As regards the smitage . . . .

    “And I heard, as it were, the sound of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, ‘Come, and see’,
    And I saw, and behold, a white horse . . . .

    There’s a man going around, taking names
    And he decides who to smite, and who to blame
    Everybody won’t be treated, all the same
    There’ll be a smitin’ hammer, reaching down
    When the Man comes around . . . .”

    John R. Cash, 2002.

    I don’t think Perry de Havilland uses a white horse, but you get the idea . . . . .

    Speaking of which, I am just now reading an absolutely fascinating book called ‘Knights of the Air’, a history of the formative years of the British aviation industry, in which his famous progenitor features prominently. You have to wonder whether the libertarian streak of the de Havillands stems from the awesome incompetences they viewed daily on the part of so many HMGs.



  • @Julie: thanks for the blessing.

    That said, and all content related considerations aside, I’d be the first to agree that after that many years, the Samizdata Perry and I once designed could use a bit of upgrade–perhaps not presentation-wise (beauty, beholder, etc) but definitely so in the engine department.

    Cheers to whoever inherited the task of sorting through my decade old HTML+CSS+JS code: it will feel like archeology at times, but don’t let that scare you.

  • Paul Marks

    If you a party on an early weekday (not a weekend) let me know.

  • We very much intend to keep the redoubtable Frogman’s look for Samizdata as we love it and his work has stood us in good stead for many years… but the MT engine is creaking and groaning under the bonnet and we really have no choice but to upgrade things really.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Oh very well. Points, plugs, new brakes, even a whole new tranny, so forth. A lot of work, so blessings on the doers.

    Just don’t mess with the paint job!


  • Laird

    “Points”, Julie? When was the last time you saw a car with points? (Does anyone under 50 even know what they were?) 🙂

  • Alisa

    I’m 52, and what are points?