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Permanent link to archive for Friday, August 31, 2001. Friday, August 31, 2001

DaveNet: Microsoft's Scripting Strategy.

Responses to today's essay from Sylvia Paull, Barry Cohen.

Josh Lucas: "It's really tough to put into words how I feel because part of me understands why this had to be done. I mean if the company I work for doesn't have any assets then we won't be in business very long. On the other hand, watching code go from open to 'gated' leaves a bad taste in my mouth." Josh works at CollabNet.

Lennon Day-Reynolds: "After reading the docs on, I was all fired up to give it a shot and then I tried to compile the server daemon on OS-X."

A funny story about Bill Gates and Satan from 1997. I didn't write it and I didn't remember it. But it was quite prescient.

How aging works, for the benefit of young and old alike. When you're young, "the future" translates mostly to "my future." As you get older, the future gains independence. You start thinking about things you won't participate in. As you get older you can think in larger chunks of time. Not sure why this is so, experience may have something to do with it.

BTW, older people talking about aging is another of the taboo topics of our day.

More taboo-talk. Say this to a 20-something. "I've learned a lot since I was your age." The idea doesn't go in easily. Try another tack. "Remember when you were 14. How much have you learned since then?" Oh they can go on and on about that. "OK, cool, do you think learning stops at 23?" It's like hitting a brick wall. Now I think they think I'm saying something like Respect your elders (maybe I am) with all the connotations of subservience that come with that (I am not doing that). Hey I wish I had the body I had in my 20s (I should dig up a picture). But I have learned a lot since then.

I read an interview with Kirk Douglas who's in his 80s now. They ran his picture and it made me shiver with fear to see how old he had become. My fear, not his. He said "It seems as if only now I really know who I am. My strengths, my weaknesses, my jealousies it's as if all of it has been boiling in a pot for all these years, and as it boils, it evaporates into steam, and all that's left in the pot in the end is your essence, the stuff you started out with in the very beginning."

I listened to an interview with Katherine Graham where she talked about turning 80. I found a lot I could relate to, but then again, there's the fear. She said she could never visualize herself as an old woman, but she realized that she was now exactly that. At some level it never occurred to her that she would get old. (BTW, Graham was a total taboo-buster. She took over the Washington Post when her husband commited suicide in 1963.)

Maybe there's a point in life where you start really listening to people who are much older. I don't think I've quite reached that point yet, but I'm getting there. I think how much better my life would have been if I had sought out a roadmap of what was ahead. Somehow I couldn't imagine that any of it applied to me. But I'm learning as I go that it all applies. We create all these segments and labels, young, old, male, female, geek, PHB, etc, and think we're all so different from each other, but in the end, I think we're remarkably alike inside.

Back to what Kirk Douglas was saying. When you're in your 80s every moment counts, you don't have much future at all, and if you're paying attention you know that. Now if some of that can go back to younger people (like me!) well, what an incredible gift. That's why it's worth listening. (That's all respect means to me, let people speak for themselves, it's harder to do, to really do, that it might seem it should be.)

Now you might ask, why do I keep busting taboos instead of being a good boy. I do it because I want to meet other people who like busting taboos. Those are the people I can work with. People of all genders, all ages, all whatever. It's an algorithm, a filter.

Survey: Are you a taboo-buster?

Zeldman shoots the Moose. They're both right, we absolutely need designers. They're just working too hard.

I'd love to get Zeldman and Bryan Bell together for a demo. It would be worth flying to NY for.

My little experiment in Google worked. Scripting News is now the top entry when you search for blognosing. The little things that entertain my little mind.

John Anderson: "You're probably hear this from about a million people, but the BSD in FreeBSD stands for Berkeley Standard Distribution."

Uhhh apparently it actually stands for Berkeley Software Distribution.

Four years ago today Princess Diana died.


Last update: Saturday, September 01, 2001 at 6:01 AM Eastern.

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