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Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, August 01, 2006. Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Marshall Kirkpatrick has the scoop on a new RSS namespace proposed by Bloglines that would limit access by search engines to the contents of a feed. Seems a bit early to be saying it's a standard, better to let people look it over and comment, imho. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

New header graphic. BlogHers nerding out during Friday's keynote lunch. They're definitely prettier than we are, but when it comes to our laptops, and our attention, we're apparently not all that different.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

According to Amyloo, I'm taking heat for my comments here about BlogHer. While I haven't seen very many, it's not really a surprise. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Speaking of heat, the projected high in NYC today is 101. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named uncleCrackBerry.jpgThe first few days I hated my Blackberry and I just wanted my el cheapo Nokia back, but now I'm hooked. The big deal was getting it all wired into my email, now I can check mail while I'm in line at Andronico's. Not too bad to have the web right there too, but I haven't yet got that all set up. It takes a while to get the hang of the funky little keyboard, but every email comes with your excuse automatically inserted at the end. "Sent via BlackBerry from Cingular Wireless." And my mother loves me, even if you don't.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Outliners and hierarchic thinking Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Scott Rosenberg responds to a rant that outliners are considered harmful because they force hierarchic thinking.

I've spent most of my adult life thinking about this, at least part-time, and with all due respect, the people who are criticizing outliners have vastly over-simplified them.

Think of an outliner as text-on-rails. It does exactly the opposite from forcing you to live with a hierarchy. It allows you to edit the hierarchy.

The equivalent criticism of unstructured text would be to say word processors are harmful because printing forces a rigidity to thinking, but the power of a word processor is that it doesn't force your ideas on to paper, it makes revision easy, and that has led to many variants from email to blogs and wikis. All were descended from the word processor, which was originally designed (misguidedly imho) to put words on paper.

I am one of the major proponents of outlining, along with Doug Engelbart, and I never imagined an outliner that forced you into a hierarchic box. For me, the puzzle wasn't solved until the hierarchy was perfectly malleable. We reached that milestone, again imho, a long time ago, in the mid-late 80s, with MORE, and since then, text-on-rails has been a solved problem. Now the trick is to introduce the idea more broadly. That's still waiting to happen.

My entry in this cause is the OPML Editor, which is open source, GPL, and is also a powerful text programming environment and content management tool, following in the tradition of previous programmable text tools, like Emacs on Unix.

Measuring success Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Shelley Powers said recently that I would never point to her, while observing that I had pointed to her in the past almost as often as I had pointed to Scoble. I point to her when she says something worth thinking about, which is often, but only those that don't contain personal attacks.

Today, in a long piece about BlogHer, she said something that not only is worth thought, but which I wholeheartedly agree, and was wanting to say at the Politics panel, where they started the old tired male-bash that we don't point to women often enough and that's the cause of their suppression (which I don't buy and for the most part neither did they).

Here's what Shelley said. "If we, women and men both, follow a path where the only measure of success is the number of ads at our site, the links we have, the money we make, then the only power we're exercising is that of consumer-catered to, perhaps; but essentially meaningless."

Israel is wrong Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I know I'm going to catch hell for this, but it's time to say something. Israel is wrong. There aren't two sides to this anymore. I've heard all I want to hear from Israel. It's time to stop the attack on Hezbollah, withdraw back into Israel, stop firing bombs into Lebanon, and shut up for a while and let everyone else sort this out. It's not just Israel's problem. There are hundreds of millions of lives at stake in the Middle East, and this time not only has an Arab country, and that's what Hezbollah is, withstood Israel's attack, but they're also clearly justified in their response to the Israeli attack.

Hezbollah has every right to have defenses against Israel. If I'm not mistaken, Hezbollah didn't start firing rockets into Israel until they were attacked by Israel. Okay, they took two Israeli soldiers hostage. And now Israel has killed hundreds of Lebanese, destroyed large parts of the country and its infrastructure. It's enough already. Even a Jew like myself sees how wrong the Israeli position is.

Maybe there's a silver lining here, maybe Hezbollah, having won not only a military victory, but also a political victory, maybe they can see their weapons as defensive, if not now, maybe soon. Especially if the western powers help get Israel to stop attacking.

Look, I'm not a diplomat, I don't speak for a country, I'm just telling you what I think. I don't expect a thoughtful response, but enough is enough, it's time to say something.

Note: This post appeared last night, but shortly after posting it, the flames started and I decided to pull it. Then I got an email from an Israeli saying it was good I realized it was wrong and pulled it. So I put it back up. For me the turning point was listening to the Israeli ambassador to the UN blame the killing of 50 Lebanese civillians, many of them women and children, on Hezbollah, even though they were killed by an Israeli bomb. Had the tables been turned, had it been 50 Israelis, I can't imagine Israeli logic concluding that they themselves were to blame for the deaths. Israel is not just defending itself, we are defending Israel. Without our army, our arsenal, our economy, Israel would not exist. They have an impossible problem, true enough, but they're not the only ones anymore, and they're just 3 million people. I don't understand where they get their support. I'm an American Jew, first-generation, child of refugees. If anyone would support Israel, it would be me, but I don't. This war has to stop now.


Last update: Tuesday, August 01, 2006 at 11:48 PM Eastern.

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