Archive >  2007 >  July >  18 Previous / Next

Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

Why we fight Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Cindy Sheehan was on Hardball last night, and said the most reasonable thing I've heard on news TV in a very long time, maybe ever. She said that the reason we're occupying Iraq is that it makes money for the people who run the country. Chris Matthews acted incredulous, and pressed her on it, almost ridiculing her. "Come on, do you really believe that?" may not have been his exact words but they were the sentiment he communicated.

This made me wonder about Matthews. Could he not believe it? Is he so much a Washington insider that he doesn't see it? Then I wondered about the people who read my blog.

A picture named eisenhower.jpgNow that most of us are against the occupation, please, if you haven't already done so, watch the movie Why We Fight. Or if you've already seen it, do it again, and tell a friend. It's not very long, and it's certainly not biased. Most of the people they interview are Republicans, John McCain, for example. A former head of the CIA explains what blowback means. They interview the people who flew the first bombing mission over Iraq. A former analyst inside the Pentagon. They're not typical anti-war people, they're just telling the truth. You can tell because unlike all the crap you hear that passes for news and analysis, it has the ring of truth. It checks out, it makes sense.

We go to war because it's profitable.

But it doesn't make sense for most of us to support more war, because it may make us richer in the short term, in the long term (which is starting to be short term) it costs too much. It's against our interest.

I'm old enough to remember Vietnam, and after it was over, I was sure that we would not make the same mistake in my lifetime. Well, it seems we didn't learn the lesson well enough. It's too easy for us to go to war. We need to do something to end the Iraq occupation, to bring our forces home and regroup. And we have to, this time, learn not just the lesson of Iraq, but the lesson of having a government that's controlled by people who profit from war.

Chris Ceppi offers graphic evidence, Halliburton's 5-year stock graph.

It's not a war Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I find myself yelling at the TV when Bush talks about "the front" in "the war."

It's not a war and there is no front.

It's much worse. In a war with a front the troops who are not on the front lines are under much less pressure than the ones at the front. In most wars the front-line troops die in great numbers. They rotate troops in and out so that only a very small number are at such high risk at any time.

In Iraq, which is an occupation, not a war, all our troops are at equally high risk any time they are off-base.

This is a very subtle way our leaders lie. They use the logic of war. Most Americans probably aren't aware that it's a lie. That's why I edit my pieces so where ever I would say "war" I say "occupation." You should do it too.

Is Plaxo the open identity system we're waiting for? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named augustusCaesar.gifNick Gonzalez at TechCrunch explains that Plaxo is creating an open identity system with an API that others can build applications on.

He calls this "open source" -- but that's neither accurate nor does it explain why this is so significant.

If anyone at Plaxo is listening, I'd like to find out more about what you're doing so I can explain it in the context of other identity systems. It sounds like it might be the open identity system we're waiting for.

I am the real Fake Steve Jobs Permanent link to this item in the archive.

There you have it. End of all the suspense.

You can all go back to work now.

Not only am I the real Fake Steve Jobs, but I am the first real Fake Steve Jobs.

Wait, it's even worse.

I am the original first real Fake Steve Jobs.

I love Italia! Permanent link to this item in the archive.

According to Paolo, Il Corriere della Sera is one of the two most read Italian newspapers.

They have a great picture of an Italian American babe thinking about the history of something or other. It's all in Italian.

In her mind, in 1997, is a picture of me, a nutty one at that (taken by Joe Beda), with the caption: "Dave Winer creates a new type of web site, the 'weblog.'"

Italy is a great place!

OPML 2.0 as a namespace Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named parakeet.gifFirst, I want to be able to use elements of OPML 2.0 in my RSS feeds. I'm already doing it on an experimental basis, in the RSS 2.0 feed for TwitterGrams.

Note that it declares a "opml2" as a namespace at the head of the document, and it uses as the URI for the namespace, the OPML 2.0 spec. Apparently this breaks nothing, I've had no complaints about this feed. That doesn't mean there are no problems, however none have been reported.

The question is, can we put a namespace declaration at the head of an OPML file without breaking processors. When we tried to do this when RSS 2.0 was in its final shakeout (almost five years ago), it broke a bunch of apps and we had to back out of the idea.

It may be a problem with OPML as well. The point of this post is to ask for opinions of XML experts. Breakage of existing apps is not an option (see this post by Dare Obasanjo for an idea why).

Don Park weighs in.

New formats for conferences Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I don't go to many conferences these days, certainly not as many as I used to. Sitting in a dark hall, checking email, blogging, etc -- why go somewhere else to do what I do at home? The hallway conversations are good up to a point, but then I wonder why I can't read about the products people are pitching on their websites, where I can also try them out.

So we experiment with new formats, to try to give us what we want. Which of course raises the question -- what do we want? At breakfast a few weeks ago here in Berkeley, with a group of friends, I posited an opinion -- what we want when we meet with other people is to explain who we are, and explore our issues, and learn who other people are, and what their issues are. We put all kinds of symbols in the way of the pure experience, but at the core that's what's actually going on.

One of my table-mates, a psychiatrist, agreed and added an eye-opening idea. She said that medicine and technology have one thing in common, most of the people you meet never grew up. She explained that in medicine they didn't have to, because everyone looks up to them as having godlike insight into the meaning of existence, and the people in the profession tend to believe the hype. Having been in tech for many years, and having been treated by many doctors in recent years, I saw the pattern too.

A picture named scales.gifWhy grow up when the world confirms what we all tend to believe anyway, that we have special insight into meaning. This certainly is an idea that is reinforced in the tech business. And it's why our conferences have become so boring -- because despite all the odds against it, we actually are growing up. There is a difference between tech and medicine. We have bubbles and they burst, and when that happens, we're left to figure out what went wrong. It's these crises that force us to confront the reality that there are other people here, that it's not all about us. And that of course is on the path to becoming an adult. There's more to this, of course, but this is a blog post, not a book.

So, if we're ready for more, if we've grown beyond just wanting to put the big kids on a soapbox and admire them, what's next? I may have stumbled across an idea a few weeks ago when I invited some experts in mobile technology to my house for dinner, and asked them questions to bring me up to speed on some of the issues. It turned into a conversation, with six very alive, very informed people that lasted three hours or so. We didn't record it. No one took notes. We agreed not to blog the details. It was a memorable evening, something I will repeat, and others can do it too. And it's something that may make sense at an industry conference.

Imagine an evening event where, at random, groups of six were put together in a room with food and drink, perhaps an inspiring view, and a topic to discuss. As with our evening confab, it would be off the record, just a discussion that might or might not lead somewhere. You have to get beyond the usual surface-level stuff because you have three hours to fill. Who knows what might happen?

Blogs I'm reading Permanent link to this item in the archive.

These are not new blogs, but ones I started reading recently.

Michael Miller was the innovative editor-in-chief of InfoWorld and PC Mag, and now he's got a blog. I've always valued his opinion of software and technology.

I bought a car almost two weeks ago after a couple of months shopping. I bought a car that this blog, The Truth About Cars, hated. But I love the blog, it's irreverent and has reminded me of something important, if you want credibility with readers you have to regularly take shots at the vendors in the industry you cover (if you cover an industry). Clearly TTAC is not in bed with any of the manufacturers, that's why I, as a user, trust their advice, even if I don't follow it.

Which leads me to Uncov, a site that takes cheap shots, regularly, at the icons of the tech blogging world. No, I wouldn't like it if they said these kinds of things about me, and I'm sure I will get my turn, but these guys remind me of the kind of incisive writing that used to come from Spy, or the National Lampoon or even Suck, in their heyday. They're great writers (even though they deny it), and provide a valuable alternative to the knee-grabbing footsy-playing party-goers of the Bay Area.


Last update: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 at 9:07 PM Pacific.

Dave Winer, 52, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

Dave Winer Mailto icon

My most recent trivia on Twitter.

Comment on today's
Scripting News

On This Day In: 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997.

July 2007
Jun   Aug

Things to revisit:

1.Microsoft patent acid test.
2.What is a weblog?
3.Advertising R.I.P.
4.How to embrace & extend.
5.Bubble Burst 2.0.
6.This I Believe.
7.Most RSS readers are wrong.
8.Who is Phil Jones?
9.Send them away.
10.Negotiate with users.
11.Preserving ideas.
12.Empire of the Air.
13.NPR speech.
14.Russo & Hale.
15.Trouble at the Chronicle.
15.RSS 2.0.
16.Checkbox News.
17.Spreadsheet calls over the Internet.
18.Twitter as coral reef.
19.Mobs of the blogosphere.
20.Advice for Campaigns.
21.Social Cameras.
22.The Next Big Thing.
23.It's time to open up networking, again.
24.Am I competing?

Teller: "To discover is not merely to encounter, but to comprehend and reveal, to apprehend something new and true and deliver it to the world."

Click here to see a list of recently updated OPML weblogs.

Click here to read blogs commenting on today's Scripting News.

Morning Coffee Notes, an occasional podcast by Scripting News Editor, Dave Winer.

KitchenCam 1.0

Click here to see an XML representation of the content of this weblog.

Click here to view the OPML version of Scripting News.

© Copyright 1997-2007 Dave Winer.

Previous / Next