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

Maybe this is the big slowdown? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named ronaldMcDonald.jpgIt's been a lazy few days, in the aftermath of OAuth, which disrupted my flow of development. It was probably a good thing, cause it's giving me some time to reflect, veg out, watch some movies and documentaries.

One of the movies I watched was the 2008 remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. I knew in advance it would be awful, which made it not so awful. After reading the NY Times review, I decided what the hell, it's Keanu Reeves with small roles for John Cleese and Kathy Bates, it's about the end of the world, why not? Exactly. It's about at the "why not" level. Reeves after all is Neo, and I sat through the last two installments of The Matrix, twice, even though they sucked too.

Glad I watched it cause it got me thinking about the end of our civilization.

The end of our civilization. If you believe in global climate change and Al Gore, which I do (both) then as much as Gore doesn't want to say it because it would be counter-productive for him to, our civilization is on the path to self-extinction.

Why should we fight to get our economy growing again? Isn't growth the whole problem? Shouldn't we see the economic downturn as not only inevitable, but as our last hope for salvation? These are fair questions imho.

The inescapable truth that no one wants to speak out loud is that we have too many people, and we're adding more people at too fast a clip. The planet can't sustain what we have now without destroying the climate, yet we haven't done anything to limit growth.

So maybe this isn't the biggest downturn since The Great Depression? Maybe it's bigger than that. Maybe this is a corner-turn for the human race, maybe last September was when it finally occurred to us, collectively, that we couldn't keep going as we were going, and we hit the brakes in the way the Invisible Hand does. Maybe the efforts to "jump start" the economy won't work, and maybe that's as it should be, and maybe that's a good thing?

BSG races toward a breathtaking conclusion? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I was a skeptic at the beginning of the second half of the last season of Battlestar Galactica, one of my favorite shows of all-time, and a signature favorite of geeks everywhere.

The first couple of shows in the run were depressing, who knew where we were going, certainly not anywhere remotely like we thought we were. That's okay, it turns out because where we were actually going is very science fictiony, which is good because that's what BSG is.

A picture named evolved.jpg

Now what does it all mean? I don't have a clue. But that's the way I like it. I had to watch Friday's episode twice, just so I could hear what the characters were actually saying, because in the first pass all I could absorb was the wonderful weirdness of the arc the story was taking.

Having listened, I'm still really really confused. And that's just fine!! Frack me. Gods damn it. So say we all. ;->

How to avoid getting run down by drivers Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named flag.gifI love walking around Berkeley -- it's one of the reasons I moved here from Palo Alto. You can get around on foot instead of having to drive everywhere. But Berkeley drivers are not much better than anywhere else, it seems. Put a nice socially conscious person behind a steering wheel of a 2 ton hunk of metal and they forget everything they learned in Driver's Ed -- like what a crosswalk means.

A lot of them break the law, almost no one comes to a full stop when a pedestrian (one of those people without a 2 ton hunk of metal around them) is in a crosswalk, and a shocking number just don't want to slow down at all. Every time this happens I wonder how much it would hurt as the 2 tons of metal crushed my poor unprotected bod. There are some streets with so much fast-moving traffic that there's just no safe way to cross them.

However, I've learned that most drivers will slow down enough for you to cross if you hold your arm out with all five fingers extended, the universal symbol for STOP. And yesterday quite by accident I discovered another way, when even that doesn't work. It's been cold so I've been wearing gloves, but after an hour walking up and down the hills I have to take them off to let the heat out. Standing just off the curb in a crosswalk, I was holding the gloves as a sedan sped toward me, ignoring my outstretched hand. So I threw the gloves down in the street in his path with a grand gesture like a football referee throwing a penalty flag. He stopped! Not just a slow-down stop but a full wheels-not-turning stop. Amazing. I picked up the gloves and crossed the street.

The psychology of drivers. Stop to save a $10 pair of used gloves, but play a dangerous game of chicken with a human. Hey I'm a driver too, I know it's a whole other world, but the people walking across the street are just like you except they're even more fragile than a cheap old pair of gloves.

I think I've found the slution -- carry a real bright yellow penalty flag with me, and call every offense. Only $8 at Amazon. :-)


Last update: Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 5:01 PM 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.

"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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