It's even worse than it appears.
Saturday November 16, 2019; 10:39 AM EST
  • Everywhere I've lived people greet outsiders mostly generously but there are always some who don't. #
  • I've moved so much geographically and in what I do, over my 64 years, I have a lot of experience with it. #
  • Silicon Valley welcomed me in 1979. The people who lived there before the various booms were farmers. Lots or orchards. Small towns, it looked like the Central Valley in Calif today. My family drove through there when I was ten years old and I remember it. In the first 20 years I was there, I felt like I had come home. Everyone was into the same things I was, personal computers, software designed for humans, and it was all so new, so much potential, so much to explore. But it already looked like Long Island. And traffic like you wouldn't believe got worse every year. Was it ruined by newcomers? Hard to say. Maybe it achieved its destiny. I left in 2003 because I more or less hated what it had become. #
  • While I was there, I got involved peripherally with Napster when it was booming. I was fascinated. My blog was well-read in tech, so I got to know a lot of music people in that period, not always in a friendly way. Ultimately I think they would have done better if they listened and accepted that change was inevitable, and they could profit from it. People were actively interested in music in ways I had never seen. But the insiders desperately didn't want it to change. Is it better that now we can all program our own music? I feel very strongly -- yes. It's hard to imagine that when I grew up I was limited to what was played on the radio and what I could afford to buy. There was so much more music. And music is so personal. All that potential opened up as Napster broke the dam. It was incredible for the users. The people who make and sell music didn't appreciate that or respect that. #
  • My own family are immigrants. My parents and grandparents landed in Queens and Brooklyn as refugees during WWII, running for their lives from the Nazis. We were not universally welcomed. Lots of antisemitism. I grew up ashamed of my heritage, because I took on the attitudes people had about us. #
  • A funny thing happened, as my mother was getting old. The neighborhood she had lived in since the 1960s was turning from Irish, Italian with a little Jewish, to Asian -- Chinese and Korean. And my mom, born in Prague, an American newbie, was angry about the changes that were coming. I was amazed to see this, because she was a very inclusive sort of person, welcoming, and sought out different experiences. And of course she had herself benefited from a country that had its doors open to anyone. When she died, and it came time to sell the house, the neighbors next door begged us not to sell to an Asian family. They were also refugees. I said nothing but I thought it was both futile and hypocritical. #
  • I guess if I lived anywhere for long enough to resent newbies it would be on the net. I started using it as a grad student in the 70s. I've been through every iteration, and yes -- there's a point at which the area you've learned to call home becomes overrun with newbies. They have no idea about the culture you've developed, and they don't seem to care. They do the equivalent of leaving broken glass and dirty diapers at our pristine swimming holes. It sucks.#
  • Facebook is, to me, the Land of the Newbies, the way AOL was 30 years ago. But I love FB the community (I do not love FB the company, though I know a number of people who work there, some of whom I consider lifetime friends). I especially love the Woodstock group, because it's filled with love, and I've benefited so much from it. I'm not kidding. 99.99 percent of my interactions there over the last year or so have been lovely. And I've learned so much about the place I now call home, far more than I could have without the group. It's changed the way I think about local news. Friends who work in journalism don't understand the role FB groups play, and they're not listening any better than the music industry people did in Napster days. #
  • I have friends who remember the net before FB as I do who will not use FB. They say they got along fine without it before, and will be fine now. No doubt. But they're missing something huge and cultural, and eventually the software they make will be irrelevant because they failed to move where the culture was going. #
  • Humans dealing with change. A constant. We don't always do it well. God bless our pointy heads. #
  • PS: I cross-posted this on FB because it's so much about FB.#

© 1994-2019 Dave Winer.

Last update: Saturday November 23, 2019; 12:58 PM EST.

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