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November 8, 2011

Warm Birthday Wishes to [your_name_here]

It used to be that on my birthday I’d get untouched-by-humans birthday wishes from my dentist’s firm and perhaps a local car company and real estate agent. Now I get them from sites I once age-verified for (gaming sites, not porn, fellas), a Prius forum, a diabetes forum, and — one level of abstraction up — from Xing itself.

If these groups are going to issue pro forma birthday wishes, I think they ought to be required to hire someone who has to sit there and actually think warmly about each person before pressing the “send” button.

And then, as a special birthday present, keep your stupid marketing messages to yourself.


June 3, 2011

Happy birthday, Larry!

One of the heroes of the Internet turns 50, and the people who love him (and there are a lot of us) thank him on this perfectly appropriate video:

Larry Lessig 50th Birthday Lip Sync Tribute from Daniel Jones on Vimeo.

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December 2, 2008

Pushing Fifty

From my friend JF Smith:

Pushing fifty cartoon

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November 8, 2008

Happy unmeant birthday to you

I had a birthday recently. I find the happy birthday greetings sent from computer lists — the Prius Chat Forums and from — to be merely inept marketing. But the jovial greeting from my dentist’s clinic sticks in my craw.

I have no personal relationship with the Prius or widget software, but the dentist is a guy who sticks his fingers in my mouth and asks me to spit in his presence. That’s intimate. So, getting a generic birthday greeting from his clinic’s computer is less than meaningless. If next time I’m in he wants to ask me how my birthday was, that’d be a reasonable topic of discussion. If he were to to call me up to wish me a happy birthday, I’d find that a little forced and weird. But having his computer set to send me wishes for a day that no human there observes, notes, or acts on, well, what type of fool does he take me for?

Of course, you don’t want to express that to someone who puts literal sticks in your craw, and who with a single tap can say, “Yup, that one’ll need to come out.”

I’m fine with telling you that I was born in 1950, but I don’t announce my birth date precisely so people won’t feel obliged to say “Happy birthday.” So, just skip it. I am, however, open to receiving presents. Year ’round. I’m a size should-lose-some-weight, who loves the works of artists-he-never-knew-he-liked.

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