MARK L. BAKKE'S
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From 1990-1993 I was the Sysop of a moderately-successful BBS called "Night Owl" (no relation or connection to the shareware distributed under the same name). My BBS name came from the fact that I tended to stay up until all hours of the night. That's also why my web site is named "Night Owl Mk. II".
One of the featured attractions of my BBS was a current events and general debate/discussion message base entitled "HOTOPIC". What made HOTOPIC unique was that it never degenerated into the flame wars that are so common on most other similar message bases and newsgroups. HOTOPIC concentrated on intelligent and rational discussion of any and all topics that would move somebody to voice an opinion.
It was my job, as Moderator, to keep the discussions going and to introduce new topics from time to time to keep the level of interest and participation high. Since I generally had something to say about a whole range of issues, this wasn't too difficult. My own views would likely be classified as moderate, independent, non-religious, intellectual, and occasionally rational. This made me, as Moderator, a perfect foil for the legions of bleeding-h eart liberals, redneck conservatives, Bible-thumpers, and raving lunatics that like to vent their spleens on-line (while hiding behind aliases, of course).

HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO SPEAK YOUR PIECE!
To the left of this introduction are links to some personal commentary on many of the issues that were aired out in HOTOPIC over the years of its run and some which are current events at present. I invite you to read, enjoy/get angry, and reply via E-mail to me, if so inclined. I will add the best of any replies received to the appropriate page for the enjoyment or comment of others. If any listed subject is not selectable, that means that it is currently being written or revised. Check back later or E-mail me to request a notification when new material is available here for your consumption!

KUDOS AND FLAMES
This site is increasingly in popularity (if I may properly judge from the escalating number of replies I've been getting) and all replies have been greatly appreciated. While most replies are specific to a particular topic, I also receive some general comments either pro or con about what appears here. Many of these make interesting reading and I have decided to make them available here for your entertainment. "Kudos" are general comments expressing agreement with what I've said. "Flames" take the opposite viewpoint. I invite you to read them all and enjoy. Please feel free to E-mail me to add your own voice to the others!

[Read the "Kudos"] [Read the "Flames"]

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in the various essays listed above are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, or official policies of anybody I work for, work with, or just happen to run into on the street.


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