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Scripting News -- It's Even Worse Than It Appears.

About the author

A picture named daveTiny.jpgDave Winer, 56, is a software developer 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 and NYU, 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.

Contact me

scriptingnews2mail at gmail dot com.


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My 40 most-recent links, ranked by number of clicks.

My bike

People are always asking about my bike.

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Here's a picture.


March 2012

Feb   Apr


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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.

Scifi plot Permalink.

A picture named enterprise.gifA hyper-intense, short-lived solar storm is making its way to earth. It's much more powerful than anything that has ever hit earth. But it is also just a burst. It will hit earth and be done in five minutes. The side of the earth that's facing the sun will be wiped out and the side that's dark, will be completely unaffected. But it isn't moving at a constant rate, so scientists don't know where it will hit. Mass migrations take place but people don't know which way to go. As the storm gets closer to earth they can predict with more certainty where it will hit. The President of the United States doesn't want to tell everyone where it will be. He's hiding, presumably himself moving away from the part of the planet that will be destroyed. Everywhere scientists are sought out, first with respect, but quickly held as prisoners. Should they tell the truth or not? Families are split apart. Lovers are torn between saving themselves or spending their last moments with the people they love. Finally the storm hits, half the planet is hit, some of the stars survive. BTW, the storm only kills people. Trees and houses and cars and factories and movie theaters are unaffected. The human race gets a fresh start with almost half the population gone. And of course the United States is wiped out. So they don't have to deal with our arrogant asses anymore. So it has a happy ending. :-)

Update: Brent Simmons writes to say that there's a book with a plot very close to this. He says it's a "fun read." $7.99 for Kindle.

Obama's biggest mistake Permalink.

I read this article in today's NY Times about the Obama campaign wanting to reconnect with supporters of his 2008 candidacy. The mistake is that they never should have lost touch.

In fact, the level of contact should have gone up after he took office. That was when their connection with the electorate could do the most good. When it wasn't about getting elected, rather it was about implementing what it is they wanted to do that caused them to want to be elected.

These people say they understand the Internet, but they don't.

A picture named prez.gifIn the future, which could have been the last three years, the campaign will be a 365-days-a-year affair, and not just one year out of four, every year. Hopefully this is something the President now understands. You have no power in Washington if you aren't working with, moving and being moved by the people who voted you into office.

Further, the people have political business all the time too. We need leadership and we need to influence. The Internet is the most powerful tool for organizing we have today. If you're President you can't turn off your Internet connection. Hopefully he understands why that no longer works, if it ever did.

The President is a campaigner. And while he or she is in office, the campaign never stops.

The bug in our process Permalink.

A picture named nickel.jpgThe biggest bug in the structure of the US govt is the way we allocate Senators and the way we define states.

There are a lot of states in the west with tiny populations, but they all get two Senators, whether they're California or Wyoming. This means the small states have much greater power per capita than the large ones.

In the Senate, with its filibuster rules, forty percent of the votes can stop everything from happening. It's not that hard to put together forty percent of the votes in the Senate with much less than forty percent of the populace.

This is something the founders couldn't have anticipated. There were 13 states when the country was founded. Today there are 50.

This single fact is why our political system is so out of whack, why the extreme right has so much power, in proportion to their numbers.

Update: A crazy idea for the Occupy movement. Pick a low population state, occupy it, and send two Senators to Washington. It's a start.

Update: Here's a list of states ranked by population.

Death penalty and contraception Permalink.

A picture named dime.jpgFirst, I am not a member of the left or right. I don't like the labels. I vote based on my own process, and I don't do what any political party says. I have values that you might consider left and some you might consider right. But they aren't either -- they're mine.

That said, the left pundits and pols let the right walk all over them. For example in the latest ridiculous shitstorm about contraception. The basic argument of the Catholic Church is that they shouldn't have to pay for something that's against their values. The Republicans see a chance to fight with Democrats, so they grab it. They say it's a question of liberty. No one should have to pay for something they don't believe in.

But they obviously don't really believe this, even if the Catholic Church does.

A simple way to corner them would be to raise another issue that the Catholic Church has a moral objection to -- the death penalty. Why should members of the Catholic Church be required to pay for killing people when it's against their values? Why should any of us be forced to pay for it?

If the issue really is liberty, why does one group deserve liberty and the other must be enslaved? I'm a law-abiding tax-paying natural-born citizen of the United States of America. I hate the death penalty. If you want to kill people in the name of justice -- you pay for it. Count me out. I have a moral objection.

The Republicans are so much better than the Democrats at forcing their will on the rest of us. Remember all those cute slogans that allowed them to prolong the war in Iraq? Don't cut and run. Don't micro-manage. There were so many of them.

Democrats have to look for opportunities to pivot major debates to force the Republicans into corners they don't like. They are pure hypocrites when they talk about liberty. They don't care about liberty. They care about winning control of the government so they can pay off their backers and retire comfortably, on our dime.

Someone should talk to the Catholic bishops, and make sure they remember there are issues they side with liberals on too. They're not just working for the Republicans. I would be surprised if the Catholics didn't welcome an opportunity to express their independence.

PS: The Republicans always made a big deal about listening to the generals. As long as they were agreeing with them. Now that they want to start a war with Iran, who cares that the generals think it's a suicide. They see a chance to fight with the President, even humiliate him. Do they care if they're being traitors? Apparently they don't. Anything to get elected.

PPS: I am not a member of the left, or the Democratic Party. I voted for Ford, Reagan twice, Bush, Dole, Bush, then Kerry and Obama. But I am now an anti-Republican. I think the party should die. Let's start over.

© Copyright 1997-2012 Dave Winer. Last build: 3/8/2012; 7:59:21 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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