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Permanent link to archive for Friday, September 28, 2001. Friday, September 28, 2001

Good morning sports fans. And thank you to the world's terrorists for not blowing up anything overnight. 

Charles Deemer: An Open Letter to the Peace Movement. "I believe there is no middle ground here: You either fight or you don't fight, and doing nothing amounts to surrender." 

Sneak preview of a fun new feature coming soon for Manila. 

Henry Norr reviews Mac OS 10.1. 

Economist: Is globalisation doomed? 

News.Com: "Record labels have long sought technology to curb the practice of ripping, and they are on the verge of success with some new copy-protected releases." 

Dan Gillmor: Journalism 3.0

Doc Searls: Amateur Rules

Scoble: The Bay Area Weblogger User Group.  

Adobe is doing something new with XML, but it's hard to figure out what it is from the press release

Two years ago today I asked: "What if SOAP or XML-RPC connected Linux and Mac? You'd get PhotoShop connected to Zope. Dreamweaver and PHP. Quark and MySql. AppleScript and Apache. Don't forget Director, Illustrator, BBEdit and WebSTAR. Think different." 

Now that Apple has adopted XML-RPC and SOAP, maybe Adobe should just get with the program. 

Here's a sign of Silicon Valley getting back to its roots. Centralized productivity tools is a good first step for Yahoo. Then let's work to upgrade the user experience of writing for the public Web. Microsoft must protect Office, so this is a good zig to their zag. It's a sign of things straightening out. Two-party system. Good. Note to Yahoo, make sure it's easy for users to get a copy of all their data on their desktop computer.  

ToDo is a browser-based outliner. 

A time capsule 

Due to a DNS outage of some kind that just cleared I was not able to read Brent's site for a couple of weeks, and now as if by magic, I can.

Brent said quite a few things in the last couple of weeks that are worth quoting.

Like this. "Gandhi was fighting opression with civil disobedience, with peaceful means. But his enemy was the 20th century British. They could be shamed into being their better selves."

And this. "I heard that the passengers on the flight that crashed into the Pennsylvania cornfield voted on whether or not to try to overpower the hijackers. They voted! Americans to the last. Voting, it's like an instinct with us, even when the most horrible thing is going on, we stop to vote. You can't kill democracy, you can only kill people."

Check this out. "My kitten lives in what Sheila calls his 'safe happy kitty world.' He knows nothing. He just wants to play with his green yarn and curl up in the sun."

Life goes on, for now.

Let's do 

I was interviewed by a BigPub yestereday, at length, about the role that amateur journalism is now playing. I sense a real change in the professonal's view of amateurs. Please don't see us as a threat, see us as allies in getting ideas and information from people to people. The Seybold writeup of the session on Wednesday suggested that amateurs have less integrity than the pros. I think it's provable that this is not true. But let's not go there. That's fear. Let's find ways to get the information flowing to and from places where it doesn't. Let's draw an accurate picture of the world, and expose places where inaccurate pictures are being drawn. That should be our common goal -- amateurs and pros, working together.

She asked how the events of 9-11 changed us. I said it was pretty obvious. Go look at the archive for 9-10. I released a piece on open source in 2001 that I had spent a couple of weeks preparing. I even took a couple of extra days to work with Bryan Bell on a beautiful graphic rendering of my hand-drawn graphic. I fully expected that I would rewrite the piece in September 2002. Now things are moving so much more quickly. But again we're getting to work on technology and that's good. We've learned so much in the last couple of weeks as our systems have stretched on both ends, and there's a new can-do attitude in our community. That's what I've been waiting for. So let's do.

Corner turn in weblog-land 

Yesterday I reported on the coming corner-turn in the implementation of Weblogs.Com and the Updates page on UserLand.Com. Today I have the first result to show you.

Here's an XML file that's being maintained by of the participating Manila and Radio sites that updated in the last hour. As people update their software the list will become more inclusive. Today I'm going to rewrite the Updates page so that it displays data coming from this XML file. (Caveat: Do not write apps that depend on this file until it is documented. I can already see changes coming.)

This is a multi-step rollout. We will publish a spec that allows any blogging tool or CMS to particpate in this network. I'll probably start a mail list for this soon. There's already a website ready to take the place of One step at a time. We're signaling this corner-turn slowly, we want the transition to work for everyone, and to be able to increase the flow of news to the growing community of weblog-lovers.

Don't give an inch to racism 

Lots of email this morning. Notably one correspondent who requests anonymity says that Jorn Barger is not a racist. I must be missing something. In what other context is it necessary to say that the Deputy Secretary of Defense of the US is Jewish? Yesterday I pointed to a person I respect and wondered if it was necessary to say that he's Jewish. See how the poison spreads.

Then I remember how much shame I felt as a child growing up in post-war NY, having school bullies blame me for the death of their uncles and fathers in WWII. I was just a child, so I believed them. Their parents said it was the Jews' fault. I'm Jewish. OK, can't blame the kids either. As an adult I do not give one inch to racism. I never thought I would live this again. My grandfather warned me. I have zero tolerance for racism. I hope you do too.

The way I choose to fight this, now, is by finding and promoting positive visions of Jewish culture. Albert Einstein is a good example. You'll see more of those as time goes by.

Postscript: Amitai Schlair suggests that it's also racism to promote positive visions of Jewish-ness. My values are different. I posted a picture of Pakistani women saying no to terrorism and war. That they're women and Pakistani are relevant facts. That Einstein was Jewish is relevant too. He even went on the record about it. You can't be a survivor of racism, as Einstein was, without saying something about it.

Maybe another way of saying this is that Jews demand equal protection. We all seem to agree that being anti-Muslim is not smart or in any way supportable. Jews have a long history of being left to fend for themselves. Enough of that. As I said to Amy Wohl the other day (is she Jewish, probably) you can't love us without loving our home.

Perhaps that adequately explains why Israel exists, and why our country supports it, but that does not absolve us of the responsibility of being loving and careful of the Palestinians who also have a great culture and a long history of not being respected enough, and are searching for security in their homeland, which is something we all must understand now.


Last update: Friday, September 28, 2001 at 10:14 PM Eastern.

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