Last night I wrote a long piece, and as often happens, as I wrote I did more thinking and as it settled in overnight and through the morning, the story distilled and the conclusion became clearer.
Katrina was more than a hurricane, it was a disaster, that happened in three stages:
2. Everyone goes to sleep, wakes up the next morning to find the levees had broken and the city was flooded.
3. National paralysis. Some of the needed resources had been deployed elsewhere. We became a nation of Brownies all doing a heckuva job. People were killed in the flood and on the streets as the New Orleans was looted, while we watched in horror, unable to help, as an American city died, right there on CNN.
Katrina never ended, three years later, it's still not over. New Orleans is still broken. Whole families were wiped out in the disaster, and while we don't spend much time on it in our national discourse, even as the election approaches, it's still there, reminding us of something. But we're not learning the lesson, and now our nation faces a Katrina-scale disaster, across the entire country, and like New Orleans on the first night of Katrina, it hasn't sunk in.
There will be no place to go if we wake up tomorrow to find the financial levees have broken and our nation is under water. People don't understand how much momentum there is to an economy, and when the wheels stop turning, they don't just start up again. It will take years if not decades to get them going again, as it will take that long to reboot New Orleans, if it ever happens.
A commenter asked what to do, which is a fair question -- and the answer is easy, as long as you accept that we're in a Katrina-scale disaster. Don't got to sleep, and if the levees break, and even if we act they're still pretty likely to break, don't accept Brownie-level incompetence. Require more of yourself (key point) and your leaders.
Imho, we are in another Katrina. It's easy to be fooled into believing that like New Orleans we may still dodge the bullet, the unthinkable is of course hard to think about. But after Katrina 1.0, it should not be hard to imagine the same thing happening to all of us, at one time. That's what's at stake.
Update: Cross-posted at Huffington.
The live chat for tomorrow's debate, which we will attempt to project at the Hillside Club...
See you there!
I buy too many domains -- I admit it.
I get an idea, see if it's taken, often it's not, and impulsively -- I grab. So I got an idea for a site that gathers election humor about McCain and Palin, and then thought of a name and it wasn't taken, and a few weeks later..
If you find a video or graphic, or a joke of any kind about the Republican nominee and his running mate, pass it along as a comment here.
Let's have fun!
Today Amazon announced that there would be a way to run Windows instances in EC2. For many of us, that's a big deal, it'll mean that I can deploy applications that run in the OPML Editor that use the sliding scalability of EC2. I can't wait to design apps for this environment.
This morning I sent an email to Werner Vogels at Amazon and Ray Ozzie at Microsoft, both readers of this blog, thanking them for making this happen. I assume Microsoft gave Amazon more flexible terms for Windows licensing, which makes it more competitive with Linux. Makes my day!
I asked for this specifically on Scripting News in April.
Dave 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.
My most recent trivia on Twitter.
© Copyright 1997-2008 Dave Winer.
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