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Permanent link to archive for Saturday, August 18, 2001. Saturday, August 18, 2001

DaveNet: Google upgrades the Web.

Lawrence Lee: "I first noticed this earlier this week when I did a search for a phrase mentioned on Joel Spolsky's article and noticed it was one of the top hits and it was just published two days earlier."

Apparently the Code Red worm is causing various ISPs to turn off access to port 80 for their users.

I started work on XML-RPC handlers that emulate Blogger's scripting interface for news-item-oriented Manila sites. I thought it could be done in a couple of sessions, but it became clear that it'll have to wait until I get back from JabberCon to be released.

Two years ago today: What is Scripting News?

Thirty-four years ago: My sixth grade class pic. (I'm in the middle of the top row.)

A picture of David Szetela, me (with no beard) and Jean Louis-Gassee, probably from 1993 or 1994.

Standard & Be 

I am surprised to see all the ink over the demise of the Industry Standard. For example, it's the top item on the editorial page of today's NY Times. I didn't think it was that important a publication. In the era of electronic publishing, when networking came to the masses, what sense did it make to launch a new paper magazine to cover the network?

I only went to one Standard "roof party" and thought it was interesting, but not interesting enough to go back. Lots of MBA carpetbaggers with eyes glazed over about their business models, newly minted mega-millionaires (been there done that) -- there was no soul there.

I thought the coincident demise of Be is more portentous of what's-to-come. The Standard was a magazine. Yeah it was thick. IDG thought it was a loser so they shut it down.

Double-click on "more portentous of what's-to-come." When the software industry goes into a tailspin, huge amounts of technology gets flushed. The software industry was in terrible shape before the Web happened. Yes, the Web is wonderful, but.. We flushed a lot of user interface know-how in the move to the Web. My fear is that the same will happen again.

Preserving technology now is a high priority. When the industry comes back (Murphy-willing) there will be a new twist, patents. If we don't at least archive what we know, it will be a lawyer-dominated wasteland, even more lunatic than the dotcom boom. Without good archives we'll be defenseless.

I wonder if the owners of the Standard would allow their website to be archived and the domain mapped to another server? When MacWEEK shut down we lost a lot of data as all the links went bad. Maybe it seems insensitive to worry about that now, but it would be a final act of kindness to the Web to keep the URLs live even after the magazine has ceased to publish.

Exploring the blues 

Mental health tip. If you ever get the blues, try getting your car washed. Just getting out of the house sometimes makes it better. And what's not to like about a clean car!

12/2/96: "Here's a recipe for curing the blues, or at least giving them a chance to recede."

So then I followed the pointer to The Little Bird piece. I wrote it before there were weblogs, when the only kind of feedback I got was through email. When I wrote pieces like that some people would share their personal stories and I liked that a lot. These days there are more young people around so I mostly stick to technology, thinking stuff, because that's what younger people seem to like, they often seem threatened by "personal" stuff even if it isn't really personal. Today, most people in the weblog world probably would think "Oh there goes Dave again." OK, coool, here I go again!

Here's a story. There's this huge gap, starting at the age of five or eight when people have this illusion that they've grown up. Many people never wake up from the illusion. But get this -- no one here is grown up. Like the ogre in Shrek, we're layered like onions, we're every age we've ever been every moment. Inside our bodies we swoosh through time, through all our experiences, applying the patterns we learned, against what our senses say is happening right now. Then we live the memory not the moment. Guess what I'm dreaming now, and guess what, so are you. None of what you think is happening is actually happening. Same here. (That's the problem with thinking so much.)

Now some people wake up to this around age forty or so. I have a theory why the wakeup happens at forty, based on an old wives tale of sorts that says for every year in a relationship you have to spend a year on the other side healing from it. So if you're in a three year relationship, you'll be over it three years after its over.

Now most people leave their parents' home at around 18 or so, give or take. And of course all your adult relationships are merely replays of the primary relations that formed your strategies in life, the ones with your parents (or adult caregiver), brothers, sisters -- whoever was around when you were an infant.

So about 18 years after you break up with them you'll be ready to live your life for real, assuming you didn't just hop from one mess into another that's just like it. It's kind of depressing to think that you spend your childhood developing these horrible dependencies, and then it takes another childhood-span of time to get over it. But it seems to match my experience, and others. Around forty, esp if there's been some kind of disruption, a breakup, an illness or death of someone close to you, some kind of failure -- the bottom drops out, reality starts showing up (just a little), and like a child waking from a nightmare all you want is to back to sleep.

And most of the time that's what life is -- a dream, sweet, or bad or otherwise.

So here's why the algorithm for getting out of a funky mood works. The blues are your inner four year old feeling unloved and in danger of being abandoned by The Other (your adult caregiver, the person who, if they abandoned you, would cause your death). Doing something nice for yourself tricks the child into thinking that The Other loves you and is caring for you. The inner child has no idea who got the car washed, or even what a car is. It just knows that it feels cared for. And that's all he or she wants, that's all it needs -- the feeling that death is not imminent. (And by the way you're not really fooling the child, by doing something nice for yourself you are actually showing that you care for yourself.)

And one more thing, don't dis the child. While it is primitive and helpless, it also drives your life. Your conscious will is like one of those scooters the kids like these days. Your subconscious, the inner child, is an 18-wheel semi-trailer going 120 miles per hour down a one-lane road. You gotta work with it if you want to stay on the road.


Last update: Tuesday, August 21, 2001 at 10:00 AM Eastern.

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