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Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, July 17, 2002. Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Phillip J. Windley: "I believe that the 900 or so IT employees of the State of Utah would benefit from speaking and listening to each other more." Bravo! 

A picture named greenspan.gifThoughts about the stock market. I rarely make predictions, at least in public. Last November I had all my liquid assets in stocks, and I sold them, turning them into cash, in US dollars, locking in some substantial losses. At first, it was not a good decision, but in the last few weeks I've come to appreciate it. I saved a lot of money. Today I had a flash that the market is at or near its bottom now. I don't think it's going to go up very quickly, but I think the precipitous fall is over. We've factored in the lack of trust of management of companies. Greenspan's comments, referenced below, really made a difference to me. From this point we'll get much better information about how the companies are doing. Stock options are over. Salaries and benefits matter. Transparent management. Time to ride the Cluetrain, for real. Companies that make identifiable products for real people that they communicate with. And responsibility among shareholders and customers and journalists, as well.  

Somehow the information technology industry, which is still riding Moore's curve, should be able to make some lemonade out of this. We're learning about the pitiful information technology at the SEC and the FBI. They desperately need the combo of weblogs and search engines. Their legacy systems are horribly out of date. Off to the glue factory. Meanwhile the general stagnation in the software industry, which is the core the western economy now, is a huge problem, and people aren't even talking about it. We're stuck behind a horribly inefficient system for trying out new ideas. A Hollywood movie gets much more funding than a breakthrough software idea. That seems out of whack to me. The venture capital industry doesn't get money into the hands of the unemployed technologists in Silicon Valley. We could do so much better than we are doing. There are so many people who now would appreciate a good job with a nice steady salary and a health plan. OK, the VCs don't want to make that kind of investment. Who does?? 

Apparently my ghost has been haunting Brent Simmons. Sorry bout that. 

Sam Ruby: "As long as it is interoperable, I am happy." 

Russell Beattie: "Not one of my Spanish co-workers knew who Steve was."  

NY Times: "The man who gave us 'irrational exuberance' is back, with a phrase that sums up the late 1990's even better than that one did." 

I'm still getting the nicest emails. It's so weird, I did get really sick, but I survived. But for all the people who just know me through the Web, it was as if, in every sense, I died. Now it's cool for me (and I guess you too) that I didn't, but what's really strange is that I got to find out, in some sense, what people will say about me when I really die. ;-> Don't get me wrong, I'm not in any hurry, but I hope the good vibe lasts. It reminds me of a lesson I learned a couple of years ago when my teacher died, something he taught, and something I inferred from his teachings. Don't waste energy mourning the dead, if you can help it. They're gone. It's better to honor people while they're alive. That's something you can build on. It can be hard to say nice things about people who are alive, or to recognize their accomplishments, but it's almost meaningless after they're gone. Say and do the honorable things while life is here. 

Anoher thought in the same thread. Self-deprecation is good. Laugh at yourself. It's even worse than it appears. It's not like anyone gets out of this alive. 

I'd like to especially thank Jason Kottke for the very kind words he said about me on Jason Levine's discussion group. After Sept 11, I've tried reaching out; not just to Kottke, but to all the second-wave bloggers, to say bygones are bygones, and let's move on. For some reason, people have tried at times to write me out of stories I wrote. Kottke says clearly this was wrong, in his post. Thanks. No grudges held, even though Levine infers that they are. However, as long as self-proclaimed historians like Rebecca Blood tell the wrong story, I'm going to keep pushing back. I work openly and share my ideas. One of the risks of doing that is that people don't place a high value on your contribution. It should be the other way around, imho.  

Thanks to Boing Boing for the link to Amazon Light. A nice demo of the power of web services. A user interface for Amazon that's patterened after Google's. That's a good idea. 

Geek Culture: "We're all fuckheads sometimes." So true. 

Sippey is doing something really cool on his weblog. 

Interesting note on John Robb's weblog about Alan Greenspan's number crunching that routes around the noise added by corrupt management. "We do have a set of profits data which, for all practical purposes, are free of spin," says the Federal Reserve chief. 

MacInTouch and News.Com report from MacWorld Expo. 

xmlhack is "the editor of choice for hack 'n slashing your XML files."  

Mark Pilgrim did Python glue for the Amazon web services announced yesterday. A few comments. First, it's very good to see Amazon supporting SOAP and doing it in the same way that Google did. I've initiated a conversation with Amazon, I want them to present on Web Services Day at Seybold in Sept. (I'm also going to invite Google and Apple.) Now about the Frontier/Radio glue for Amazon. I'm not programming in July, probably not in August either, getting my health back, etc. So if we want glue for Amazon, it's got to come from the community. Please follow the example of A demo app like the Google boxes, and a brief tutorial for newbies. It doesn't have to take long. We have a good template. 

Simon Willison has Amazon glue for PHP, as is Jeff Barr. Here we go!  

From 7/17/97, a wonderful prank you can try in an elevator in your hometown. "A friend and I used to get on at different floors; when we were both on, one of us would say, 'Anyone want to trade shirts?' Then we'd exchange shirts and watch the reactions." 


Last update: Wednesday, July 17, 2002 at 9:18 PM Eastern.

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