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

Photos of downtown Oakland Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Here's a set of photos I took yesterday in Oakland.

A picture named oakland.jpg

Overlooked in the McClellan coverage Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named mcLellan.jpgThe coverage of the McClellan tell-all book has focused on the White House spin, which amid all the bluster about surprise and how this isn't the Scott they all knew (come on, why should voters care that you're surprised), they aren't really contesting the assertions, or if they are, they're doing it weakly.

Probably some of them want to have jobs in the future, and lying right now wouldn't help them in the careers. Further I think almost everyone who has been paying attention knows that what McClellan says is true. Why didn't he speak out earlier? Why didn't a lot of people? Also consider the possibility that other people in the White House got scooped, the ones trashing McClellan and are jealous that his tell-all book got out before theirs, and others are likely to be tried and perhaps go to jail for their actions. In other words, they all have axes to grind here.

A picture named broom.gifThe other point being overlooked, and this is a real problem, is that he says that the press was complicit. This is the more important allegation, and unsurprisingly, it's being swept aside by the press. Had they done their job, and pressed for the truth, it would have been easier for insiders to tell them the truth. But corporate-owned media isn't interested in helping us make decisions as a country, they're only interested in ad revenue. That's why it's so important that we're creating new media that isn't so conflicted, and why the question of whether bloggers run ads or not is far from a trivial issue.

In court, if you have a conflict of interest, you're supposed to disclose it, and if it's serious enough, it disqualifies you. I've recommended many times that professional news media should have relationships with less conflicted bloggers for circumstances like this, so when they become the story, the public can have a discussion about them using the channels they own. They don't have much of a choice here, because the channels are going to develop with them or without them. We could all save a bunch of time if they didn't fight it, and welcomed amateurs into their midst.

Jury Duty, day 2 Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named justice.gifI have another day of jury duty. I haven't been selected, but the voir dire is going into a second day because we started so late yesterday. I am not allowed to talk about the specifics of the case as long as I might potentially be a juror, however I can say that I think it's not likely that I will be selected. And I can say is that it is, again, an inspiring process. A few comments follow.

Until I moved to the East Bay in 2006, I had never ridden on BART. It doesn't go down the peninsula to where I used to live, but it's a fixture of life on this side of the bay and in San Francisco. I like riding BART not only because it's usually faster than driving, but also because I get to see my fellow citizens without their cars. It's fascinating to see who my neighbors are. In NY and Boston, where public transit is much more a part of daily life, you get that experience all the time. Not so much on the west coast.

Well, jury duty is like riding BART, only more so. It's as if you were riding on BART, but each passenger, in turn, tells you what they do for a living, who they live with, where they came from, in some cases why they can't serve (always dramatic). What the judge says about jury duty is true, it's what makes America work. There are no professional jurors, just BART people. You just have to be registered to vote or have a driver's license for them to find you.

Which leads to a curious inexplicable fact. First, judging from the jury, the Bay Area is a remarkably diverse place. But if you went by the jury alone, you'd conclude that there are no blacks in Alameda County. The only black person of the 100 or so potential jurors was an African immigrant. However, if you go outside the courthouse in downtown Oakland, or ride BART, you'd see that there are lots of blacks. What happened? Maybe they don't vote or drive? I honestly don't know. It seems very improbable that a random drawing would be so skewed.

I was riveted listening to the stories people told. It was fascinating. I also had opinions of the lawyers, and the parties. But I can't talk about that yet. What I can say and will is that I was struck by the nobility of my fellow citizens. When asked to serve, they all rise to the occasion. People who doubt that there is cause for hope should sign up for jury duty and go through the process. It is something to behold.


Last update: Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 6:54 PM Pacific.

I'm a California voter for Obama.

A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, 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.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"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.

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On This Day In: 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997.

May 2008
Apr   Jun

Lijit Search
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?
25.Time to shake up conferences?
26.Bloggers working with journalists.

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."

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