March: How to ask for help with software.#

NYT: Edward Snowden Talks to Brian Williams of NBC.#

Michael Kinsley reviews No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald.#

NYT: Celebrating New Pier While Debating Park’s Uses.#

People get so sanctimonious about Kinsley being corrupt or stupid or clueless, but don't they see he has a point? The government does have secrets that must remain private. The launch codes for the missiles, for example. The passwords that allow you to upload viruses to Air Force One. Someone has to decide. Do I feel better that Glenn Greenwald seems to be that person? No! He's a jackass. I mean seriously. This guy stonewalls straight questions in ways that would make Dick Cheney blush. If this is what it's come to, that we're dependent on the judgement of a guy like that, yes it does deserve a piece in the NYT. Maybe people should find out who Greenwald is before they get so huffy. #

Jon Glick calls it platishing. A mashup of platform and publishing.#

Jason Pontin says it's okay if you like what Forbes did. (I don't.)#

Conde Nast is changing Traveler to become a platform. #

I've been urging news organizations to do this since 2000.#

Read this excellent Mike Arrington rant from 2012. A few minutes after I read it, something dawned on me. You know that idea if you can't find the product then you're the product? That's optimistic. You're not the product. Your writing, your photographs, your relationships, that's the product. You're as important as yeast in the beer-making process. Completely fungible. One yeast is as good as the next. What the tech industry is thriving on is your output. The stuff that you think is so valuable, your vacation pictures, pictures of your cat, your kid's graduation, to them that's the gold. #

The yeast metaphor comes from a Kurt Vonnegut book, Breakfast of Champions.#

“Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne.” #

So there's a whole spectrum of platishes possible. At one extreme, the Sulzbergers have a great one that's served them for a long time. The writers are glorified, they're the best at what they do. Smartest. Best connected. Well-paid. It's exclusive. Medium is closer to the writer-as-yeast model. Inclusive. Anyone can post. Yet still it has the aura of quality.#

These are fluid times. All of a sudden people who can research and write are in demand. Use that new power to create a system that works for writers. Don't settle for being mere yeast.#

Joseph Talamantez writes, via email: "What was your thinking using UDRL for moving headlines? It seems like the arrows would make more sense, no?"#

I really believe in continuity in software, and if people have learned how to do something one way, it's best if future versions do it the same way. In this case, the reason is entirely historic. If outliners were new today, we'd probably do all the keyboard-based reorganizing commands with the arrow keys, as Joseph suggests.#

Here's the history. The first version of my outliner that was visual, i.e. not built around a command-line user interface, was on the early Apple II. It only had two arrow keys, left and right. We needed to provide for four directions, move to previous sibling, next sibling, out one level, and in one level. So the arrow keys were out. Therefore U, D, R and L.#

The Apple III that came out shortly there after had four arrow keys. But it was too late. All of our users had learned the UDRL keystrokes. I had learned them. So that was the way it worked.#

We did support the full set of arrow keys in the IBM PC version. And then Apple played more mischief with keyboards on the first Mac, which we developed for. It had no cursor keys at all! An oversight (ahem) that was fixed with the Mac Plus in 1986.#

I can't change it now, it's deeply imprinted on my personal ROM. I hit those four keys instinctively, without any thought at all. #

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The best part is where Katy Perry does this really sexy thing with her shoulders and eyes. It's hard to describe, it's very hot. But the whole commercial is very attractive and interesting. #

A picture named daveEveBoo.jpg#

A #throwbackthursday picture, me, on the left with the freaked-out look, mom, Eve Winer and newborn brother, Peter Winer sometime in late 1958 or early 1959. Caption: First-born child not altogether pleased with no longer being an only child.#

Last night's season finale of The Americans was great. #

If you're looking for a show to binge-watch, this is a good one. #

© 1994-2014 Dave Winer.
Last update: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 at 10:53 PM.
You should never argue with a crazy man.