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A picture named daveTiny.jpgDave Winer, 56, is a visiting scholar at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and editor of the Scripting News weblog. He 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 New York City.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

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

"Dave was in a hurry. He had big ideas." -- Harvard.

"Dave Winer is one of the most important figures in the evolution of online media." -- Nieman Journalism Lab.

10 inventors of Internet technologies you may not have heard of. -- Royal Pingdom.

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.

8/2/11: Who I Am.

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April 2011

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FYI: You're soaking in it. :-)

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Dave Winer's weblog, started in April 1997, bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

Mel Gibson's career should be over Permalink.

I took the afternoon off to see Source Code. It was pretty good, not great. Don't rush out to the theater, I'd wait until it shows up at Netflix. But a nice way to spend a Monday afternoon.

What I didn't appreciate was a preview for a new movie starring unabashed anti-semite and misogynist Mel Gibson called The Beaver. Even worse is the theme of the movie. A man who is horribly depressed, hated by everyone including his family, finds a way to get undepressed and becomes lovable. They even tell you in the preview that he is redeemed and re-finds his humanity and everyone loves him, etc etc, blah blah.

A picture named hello.jpgThis is crazy. As far as I know Gibson hasn't explained or apologized for being the miscreant that he is. I guess he wants us to take him back. Without any explanation, the answer is no fucking way. I also mind that Hollywood is casting him in films, and I might even consider boycotting the movies until they explain what they had in mind, esp co-star Jodie Foster. But please, keep his previews out of the theaters. I don't want to have to walk out on a movie because of a preview. Next time I see one with Gibson, I will walk out.

Jodie Foster says Gibson is "the most loved actor I've ever worked with." Career suicide?

I don't want to hear any talk of redemption until we get an explanation and apology, and then I think he can stay out of the movies. And this movie should never appear in theaters. I don't know what they were thinking.

To the young brilliant minds Permalink.

I'm lucky to have a fair number of very brilliant young people who read this blog. They have high IQs, have already accomplished a lot, and are probably going to accomplish a lot more. Some of them are fantastically rich, some will be. Others are just well-off. And if experience is a guide, some of them will crash and burn. There are people of all kinds in my generation, and I expect it will be the same in the one that's coming up now.

A picture named thinkUsa.gifBut one thing young people of all generations have in common is a very abstract and incorrect idea of what aging is about. Sorry. It's just plain true. I know from my own experience, having made some serious mistakes about health insurance in my 20s and 30s. And living to pay for those mistakes in my 40s and 50s. Fact is, you have to understand how insurance works, because decisions you make now will effect what kind of health insurance you get when you're older. And health insurance is central, for most people, to living. I was going to say "living well" but decided that wasn't what actually was going on. For many people, having good health insurance is that important.

My story -- I needed heart surgery when I was 47. Partly it was due to lifestyle, and partly due to genes. No matter, I got the surgery, insurance paid for it, and I'm lucky -- I could have paid for it myself, but it would have hurt. The bill for my surgery and all other care was about $500K. The surgery made me healthy, relatively speaking. :-)

But if I hadn't had the surgery, I would have died in 2002. That's a fact.

Most people could not have paid the money. I don't know what they would have done. Maybe they would have just died. Some of my young friends say they would accept that outcome, but I don't believe them. I am sure they wouldn't accept it if it was happening to them, or to someone they cared deeply about.

Here's the thing -- it is going to happen to you.

How do I know? Because that's what happens as we age. Health declines, and most of us need help to survive. You can't plan on not needing it. It doesn't work that way.

I recently helped my father go through it. He had excellent insurance, in addition to Medicare. There was only one point in his ten-year decline when insurance started pushing us around. It didn't turn out to matter. But it was scary. He had been in the hospital too long, they wanted him to leave. Not sure if it was the best thing for him, but we put him in a different hospital, and negotiated with the insurance and hospital administrators. Believe me, this was the last thing we wanted to be doing at this point. You will feel the same way, if you have a heart, and if you love your parents.

I don't know why young people can't extrapolate. They won't be young forever. Your parents won't either, nor your siblings. And god forbid your one of your children should get sick. That happens too, sad to say.

Health is one of those things that no matter how much you prepare, you can never know what's going to happen. That's why you buy insurance.

But here's the punchline. "The most important thing about the individual market -- more important than the high prices and the lousy policies -- is that no one has to sell you a health insurance policy. If you have the wrong medical profile, you could be simply uninsurable. That's how a free market works." That quote is from a Baseline Scenario report on why you must care about Medicare.

That is so damned true. Tattoo it on your forehead so you can think about that every day as you're shaving or putting on your makeup.

To me, I can't believe it's come to this in the US. We are dismantling our country before our eyes. If you think health care is a small thing, you don't know how life works. And you owe it to yourself and your family to find out.

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:32:32 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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