NationMaster and the Art of Zen Punditry

tdaxp and His Battle with the NationMaster: A Lesson in Networks,” by Mark Safranski, Zen Pundit, 7 November 2005,”.

Mark of ZenPundit was kind enough to look at ‘s recent extortion attempt from the perspective of networks:

Dan of tdaxp, long a blogfriend of Zenpundit is locked in a consumer complaint battle with an internet information company known as NationMaster. In the day of the dead tree media, there was a saying about the power of big city newspapers ” Don’t get in a pissing contest with somebody who buys ink by the barrel”. Today, an updated version might go like this ” Don’t get in a pissing contest with somebody who is part of a scale free network”

In addition to Dan’s most recent post he has previously posted here ( where you can read Nationmaster’s bullying, pseudo-legal email correspondence) and here ( the original post that ticked off Nationmaster’s executives, including one ” John Steinmetz”).

Though Mark comes perilously close to unmasking my true identity…

It is theoretically possible that Dan is a clever but psychotic con man posing as a grad student simply to bilk helpless corporations out of fairly earned dollars – but I kind of doubt it. It seems more likely that some arrogant a-hole in a corner office at NationMaster reacted dismissively when Dan asked for his money back and then decided that Dan ” could be rolled” by pressuring him with a frivolous lawsuit.

… one of his points is on the importance of “hubs” that “that [connect] otherwise unrelated bloggers.” That made me realize that I had no central, up-to-date list of blogs that mention Nation Master‘s attempted extortion. So now at the first part of the left-hand column of NationMaster Watch will be that list. As if now, it contains

Mark’s analysis is highly recommended. Please read it — and read his symposium on war and globalization while you’re at it.

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