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

I now understand the financial crisis much better Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Back in September when the credit freeze was first becoming a matter of public discourse, I listened to a fantastic episode of This American Life that explained in layman's terms, what the crisis was about. This was followed up by a great FreshAir interview with NY Times financial reporter Gretchen Morgenson. Both highly recommended.

After those two shows I thought I understood, but the other day I had a flash of insight that brought it home in a much more personal way.

I'm lucky in many ways, one of those is that I have a good savings account that basically allowed me to retire at a very young age. Managing this nest egg is super important for me, it's what I live off. So in January I got the willies about the stock market and sold everything, moved it into cash. I did eventually start buying stocks again, slowly, but let's keep it simple and assume everything I own now is either in government bonds or the most conservative money market fund possible.

A picture named ron.gifTurns out I was early, I saved a lot of value by selling in January, because later in 2008 a lot of other people did the same, causing the market to crash. At that point I never once entertained the thought of buying bonds or stocks of any kind. Never mind the explanation of not knowing which banks had a dishonest balance sheet or toxic assets, I was basically keeping my assets in a shoebox under the bed. I was and still am totally risk averse. I won't lend my money to anyone, I'm keeping it all for myself. I don't care if I earn zero interest, or even negative interest. I want to hold, hold, hold. As close as possible. I'm scared, freaked out even by what I see in the financial world.

There you have it. I'm not lending money to anyone. Same with everyone else. That's exactly why the economy is stuck.

You want to go first? I don't. ;->

That smiley is there just so you know that there's still something worth laughing at in this crazy mess we call an economy.

BTW, what made me think of writing this up was an email I got from Citibank this morning offering unprecedented rates on a CD to which I said out loud "Fat chance buddy."

A special BMUG meeting on Thurs Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named mac.jpgIn the earliest days of the Mac, there were two big stops on every rollout tour, Boston and Berkeley. The two biggest international Mac users groups were in Boston and Berkeley. It made a lot of sense cause the two yearly Mac shows were in Boston and San Francisco and of course Berkeley is just across the bay from SF, and honestly it's even more Mac than SF is. ;->

It's been a long time since the Berkeley group met (the Boston group still appears to be meeting), as far as I know, but on Thursday in Berkeley Raines Cohen, one of the BMUG founders, is hosting a revival of BMUG at the Hillside Club of course, to celebrate 25 years of the Macintosh.

We'll take "A look back, a peek at some Mac history movies, conversation and insights," says Raines. $20 suggested donation, net proceeds benefit Alameda County Computer Resource Center. 6-9PM with a Chinese dinner after.


Last update: Monday, January 26, 2009 at 11:44 AM Pacific.

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.

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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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