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Permanent link to archive for Monday, September 24, 2001. Monday, September 24, 2001

Tony Kern: "Every American citizen was in the crosshairs of last Tuesday's attack, not just those that were unfortunate enough to be in the World Trade Center or Pentagon. The will of the American people will decide this war. If we are to win, it will be because we have what it takes to persevere through a few more hits, learn from our mistakes, improvise, and adapt. If we can do that, we will eventually prevail." 

MSNBC: WHO warns of biowarfare threat

On Slashdot, Philip Zimmerman, the developer of PGP, says that the Washington Post misrepresented him in their article about software used by the terrorists. "This misrepresentation is serious, because it implies that under the duress of terrorism I have changed my principles on the importance of cryptography for protecting privacy and civil liberties in the information age."  

Salon: "The day the twin towers disappeared, ex-spouses, former crushes and old lovers reappeared in many lives. As if a voice from on high granted an across-the-board reprieve, people began dialing telephones with scarcely a thought for the consequences." 

Infoworld reviews Jabber. "For companies not already using integrated collaborative environment solutions -- such as those provided by IBM Lotus and Microsoft, which already include embedded IM functions -- Jabber is clearly a solution to consider." 

Jason Kottke: "The Internet did not replace TV, newspapers, magazines, Sears, the US Postal Service, Barnes and Noble, or grocery stores in people's daily lives,.it augmented them." 

Standard: "Most of the assets of Standard Media International were sold at auction today for a combined $1.4 million, plus assumed subscription liabilities." 

Wired: Why Liberty Suffers in Wartime

NY Times: "Stocks rose sharply today after Wall Street's worst week in the markets since the Great Depression." 

SF Chronicle: "He was the California connection to Osama bin Laden's fearsome terrorist organization -- an architect of horrific acts of violence against his adopted country, even as he lived a quiet suburban lifestyle in Silicon Valley." 

SpaceRef.Com: "This morning at 1038 UT a powerful X2.6 solar flare erupted near the large sunspot 9632. A radiation storm (currently S2-class) is in progess and intensifying. The explosion also hurled a lopsided halo coronal mass ejection (CME) into space. The Earth-directed CME will sweep past our planet late Tuesday or Wednesday and probably trigger geomagnetic storms." 

Is this pic real or Photoshop? 

Stan Krute: "Photoshop. Clues: lighting, contrast, focus anomalies." 

Rahul Dave: "Photoshop, because the visitors platform didn't open till 11AM. Thank god for that, since 50K people used to visit the WTC every day. Photoshop, as the plane is too high compared to the building. Photoshop, as there is no way that camera could have survived." 

The RAWA site is off the air. RAWA stands for Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. Omar Javaid sends pointers to alternate RAWA sites. Thanks! 

NY Times: Travelers Warm Up to Teleconferencing

Bill Seitz: "There were rumors of a second attack in the city for this past Saturday. Nothing happened. But it made more tangible to me the likelihood of future attacks. Which made me more pissed." 

Mike Krus loves New York (and Paris). 

Carey Hackett loves New York. 

It's nice to see that our Australian friends haven't lost their sense of humor. And the Brits too. Here's a pic of Uncle Osama at age 14, on vacation in Sweden in 1971, with 22 of his brothers and sisters. Lookin groovy! 

News.Com: "With the emergence of the Nimda worm -- the latest in a long series to attack Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS) and other software -- Gartner believes it's time for businesses with Web applications to start investigating less vulnerable Web server products." 

Gary Stock: Twin Towers Tenant Lists

My philosophy 

OK, there's a lot of confusion. I shouldn't have to explain, but I want to be kind. First, I truly and desperately hope we don't have a nuclear war. But I also believe (as I've written) that there are loose nukes and I also believe that some are some already in US cities. What about that? Do you care more about Baghdad than Chicago? If so, you can't think of yourself as a friend of the US or depend on our help to defend you.

Now does any of this matter? I have no idea. But I like to keep my eyes open and think, and then say what I see and listen to what other people say in response. This is how I learn more quickly, and to me, that's very important to being alive. Now some links to stories that further explain my philosophy.

Carl Sagan: "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark."

5/7/97: "When a friend changes you can find the bond that's connecting you at a deeper level. The surface stuff isn't a good thing to depend on. Physical bodies change as they grow. So do emotional bodies and intellectual ones. Take a deep breath. People move, life is more like a wild dance than a ceremony. You just can't tell what's coming next."

4/24/95: "In baseball, like other things in life, eventually you have to choose sides. In baseball, someone has to lose. You can't have a win-win. That's just the way it is! You have to have an opinion. You Gotta Believe!"

5/6/98: "Over and over we learn the lesson that we're just little pups with grand visions, waiting to lead a revolution, wanting to be heard by someone, anyone, lest we die in anonymity. In the end we die, and who cares? Probably no one. It happens every day."

That's who we're up against. Not a terrible foe. Just a scared chihuahua who thinks his shit doesn't stink. He'll die, so will I, and the universe will probably go on. I believe in miracles, meaning I don't pretend to have any unique understanding of the purpose or intent of the universe. Live and let live. Do the best you can. Stand up when it's time to stand up.

Our friends will die 

Here's another assumption I've factored into my thinking, and it's time to say it publicly.

No matter what the US does, one or more of the leaders of friendly countries will be deposed and killed.

Here's a list: Egypt, Jordan, Saudia Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan, ???

They're under tremendous pressure. So when you hear them stand up for freedom, even in small ways, know that they're being incredibly courageous.

Yes, I know they're not democracies. There are all kinds of reasons to despise them. But in all likelihood you will live to see their death, and they must know it.

Morning rant 

This comment from yesterday got quite a strong reaction in my mailbox. So did this one.

Mostly, people are responding to things I didn't say. I didn't ask for us to drop a nuke on Baghdad, I said I wouldn't be surprised if we did. People are saying our strategy is stupid, but they don't know what our strategy is. Hello. Earth to Europe, get a clue. The US is not weak or stupid. We're scared, but we're not giving up.

That so many paint us with a single brush and a single color says they don't understand what the US is. You watch too much TV. Get on a plane and come have a look at the real US. We're the world's country. Where I grew up, and where I live now, you see people of every race, every religion, on the face of the earth. We're the most open and tolerant BigCountry on the planet. We have a great philosophy. And everyone, everywhere on the planet has a relative in the US.

Some of the pushback says the reason people read my site is that I think for myself. I do, except in time of war. This is a new thing for me. I think of ways I can help my country survive and win. I listen to the President and wonder if he's up to the challenge. But what choice do I have other than to support him? I don't see that I have a choice. And, get this, I don't think you have a choice either. Forgive me for loving my country. I wish you loved it more than you do.

Earlier this morning there was a press release from the head of the Taliban saying that if we kill him we'll pay for it. He blinked again. He doesn't want to be killed. Hah. Gotcha. See we have more in common than you might think. He's not such an awful enemy. He's a little guy with a troop of assholes that want to make everyone like them. Yeah, where have we seen that before?

If we survive this, we'll be stronger for it. We'll learn how to use technology to exchange information and points of view, and we'll learn how to listen to others and ourselves, and understand the difference. I'm finished avoiding saying things that might evoke other people's fear. I was never a big fan of that way of life, and now I'm finished with it once and for all. I invite you to join me. Say what you think and let's have fun, while we still can.


Last update: Monday, September 24, 2001 at 9:43 PM Eastern.

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