It's even worse than it appears.
Poll: Sanders or Biden?#
I gave $100 to Biden's campaign.#
This is kind of a milestone. "HTTPS is great, but it isn’t for everything. It shouldn’t be for personal sites." There's a bigger picture. Google shouldn't try to take control of HTTP. As I say in my FAQ, Google is a guest on the web, as we all are. Guests don't make the rules. There are good reasons to keep HTTP simple. None of us have the right to change it. It is what it is. Scripting News will never be forced to do anything by Google, I don't recognize their authority to force anyone to do anything on the web. If HTTPS is such a great idea, there would be no reason to force anyone to do it, we'd do it because we want to. More here. #
2016: "The problem of requiring HTTPS: 1.Few benefits for blog-like sites, and 2. The costs are prohibitive."#
Also in 2016 from Miguel de Icaza: "Most newcomers are only learning, and before they know what a font is, they need to learn what a certificate authority is." #
Here's the full video of the Bloomberg town hall on Wednesday that impressed me so. #
Reagan famously asked Gorbachev if they could set aside their differences if the world was invaded by aliens. Gorbachev said hell yes. I wonder if the Repubs could be so kind and temporarily pause their war on the American people. #
Now would be a really good time to get in touch with our Senators and Reps and tell them the CDC and NIH have to be free to communicate with the public. This is unacceptable. Your constituents lives are at stake, all of them.#
We are now having an extended heckuva job Brownie moment, only this time it isn't just New Orleans, it's the entire world. #
President Bush learning that New Orleans had drowned.#
With politics so compelling these days I'm having a lot of trouble focusing on my development work. My next project is really interesting. I'm posting this here as a reminder to myself that forward motion is good, even if the world seems to be falling apart before our eyes. #
I was typing a reply to Miguel de Icaza on Twitter and went over the 280 char limit. Their thread editor doesn't work with replies, so I just kept typing, and at the end I posted a screen shot of what I wrote. Twitter please, the 280 char limit is bullshit. Let's go to infinite length tweets. Facebook manages to do this. It's time. Thanks. #
  • This came up in a Twitter conversation with Miguel de Icaza, earlier today, mentioned above. I said that Sanders and Warren freak me out. Warren is his candidate, so he asked why. I said I didn't want to discuss it on Twitter. After giving it a few hours thought I decided to try it on my blog, here, now. #
    • As a man when I see another man cornered, in public, on a #metoo issue, I know that he has very little room to respond. There isn't much you can say. And it is almost as uncomfortable for other men watching it. When men get together in a #metoo charged environment, we talk with each other about how scared we are that we will be wrongly accused, precisely because there is nothing you can do or say. The classic example is Al Franken. It came out later, as was pretty obvious to me at the time, that the woman he supposedly abused was part of the play. Franken is a genuinely good person, and if he can be taken down by this, so easily, without any process, anyone can. #
    • If you think about it, Warren and her team had a problem to solve after a previous debate where she was almost silent. She needed to make a splash in this debate. They probably had a list of options, probably even focus group tested them, to see which would get the most attention, and she almost certainly planned and rehearsed how she would do it, and how she would react to various Bloomberg responses. That's #metoo being used as a political tool. Very calculating. And it worked, how well it worked, we'll find out on Tuesday. #
    • But there's a third paragraph to this. It's true that men can't respond in public, but we can express our anger privately -- with our vote. I can vote for anyone I like. And in my gut I believe this is why Democrats do poorly with men. Democrats push this button too easily. Watching Bloomberg on stage, taking it, with no way to respond that preserves his dignity, that makes me angry. For me, it isn't enough to cause me to vote against the Democratic candidate, even if it was Warren. But I believe we lose because many men are justifiably angry at the Democrats and can't express that anger publicly. So they do it privately, by voting for Republicans.#
  • PS: Here's a Google search for Elizabeth Warren on my blog, so you can see how I've written about her in the past. #
I think it would be awesome if, out of a brokered convention, Nancy Pelosi leads us to victory in the fall.#
I wonder how much people outside of NYC understand how much power the unions have. The mayor comes and goes, but NYPD is a constant. That's how they look at it.#
If MSNBC is going to be all-in for Sanders the way Fox is for Trump, then I'm going to watch CNN. #
This song is rolling around in me this morning. Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world. #
  • Suppose the delegate count going into the convention is roughly as shown below. Sanders has a plurality, but not a majority. Most voters chose someone other than Sanders. No one can "steal" the nomination. He doesn't own it.#
  • The numbers with Sanders having a plurality.#
  • It seems Sanders will rule MSNBC the way Trump rules Fox; if so -- I'm going to CNN, which I did last night. It was a good choice because I got to see the Bloomberg town hall, which was excellent. If he's not really a sweet smart guy, then he's a great actor who plays one, and I don't think he's an actor. If you get a chance, watch it, if for no other reason to observe how bad the debate format is about informing our choices.#
  • He was a good mayor in NYC, I didn't imagine it. He actually got stuff done, where most NYC mayors tread water and are quickly hated. #
  • In the debates and the town hall, Bloomberg misses obvious opportunities most politicians wouldn't miss. When someone greets you with a smile, smile back and when their question is done, no matter how pointed, say "That's a really good question." Bloomberg doesn't. These are easy things to learn, and they go a long way toward being likable, trusted, and perceived as authentic. Yes, it matters that a leader know the niceties of meeting the public he leads.#
  • In the final question of the debate they asked a softball question that he muffed. What's the biggest misperception about you? A good answer: "I'm a liberal, and yes I'm very rich, but I put my money behind our ideas. I am dedicated to doing good. It's a luxury I have because I'm so rich, but I am trying to help, and it's working."#
  • On the other hand, in last night's town hall, he was open and vulnerable, explained himself, and I got the feeling over and over, this is my ideal of a president. I don't want someone who blows smoke and points fingers, I want someone who works at making things better, and protects us, listens and is open-minded. He has done all that both in his civic and private life, and he's made mistakes which have been pointed out, and unlike many leaders, esp the current president, and other candidates, he admits when he was wrong. #
  • PS: I haven't been able to find a video of the full town hall. If you find it, please send it to me on Twitter or via email.#
  • PPS: On February 28, we now have a video of the full town hall. #
Today's podcast is entitled We Are Deep In Fascist Shit. This is what no one wants to talk about. Even MSNBC is switching away from it. Our last chance imho is to create a new Democratic Party where the only thing we all have in common is we believe in the rule of law. Until we can reboot our democracy, create Marshall Plan for ourselves, and do it quickly, with every hand on deck, we're going to where India is now. We are probably the last hope. So no it doesn't matter what anyone said 10 years ago, it doesn't even matter what they said yesterday. What matters is that we create a big enough a movement now to be noticed when the government shuts it down. As I said earlier, things are so bad now that Trump might not even have to cheat to win. And then we are lost. Far more lost than we are now. We don't want to look at this, I get it, but we have to. We have to support each other, not fear each other. We might not have another chance, but if we're going to survive we can't keep going the way we're going. #
A couple of days after my father died in 2009, I was at the house in Flushing, we were all sitting around the kitchen table and there was a knock on the door. I answered it. It was a rep from Verizon wanting to know if we wanted FIOS. I said yes! Yes! We do! So I signed them up. Went back to the kitchen and we realized how weird it was, after many years of putting up with shitty DSL, just after he dies, all of a sudden there's the FIOS guy. We figured that it was probably the first thing Dad took care of when he got to the afterlife, order FIOS for the house. He would have loved it. My dad was a real internet activist. I often wonder what he would think of American politics of 2020. I know he would have hated Trump. But Sanders? I don't know. He really liked Hillary Clinton, and as far as he was concerned Israel could do no wrong. His first born son (me) did not agree with all of that, though he might have been surprised that I came around to HRC in 2016. #
I thought the best point made in the debate last night was from Buttigieg where he said what torture it would be to have to endure a campaign of Trump versus Sanders. Up to that point I hadn’t thought of it that way but it’s true, can’t imagine how exhausting that will be.#
Maybe Facebook, Twitter et al have better business models because they allow users to write on a level playing field with the pros. #
The last few days there's been a change on MSNBC. The only show I regularly watch, Ari Melber, has opened the last two shows with a recital of the number of delegates each of the candidate has. I'm sure Sanders supporters hear that as good news, but I hear a lecture, get with the program dear MSNBC user, this is where we, and you, are going. I suppose after Super Tuesday this might be inevitable, but it isn't yet. Anyway, no matter, I'm not going along for the ride. I think we're deep in fascist shit in this country, and there's no sign of us digging out. I don't like Sanders. He yells slogans, and every attempt to get him to talk about his ideas in any detail just gets more slogans. I can't read his mind, but all evidence says he's as shallow as Trump. I wouldn't worry about death camps with Sanders (as I do with Trump), but I also think there's a very good chance we lose with him. Even with a perfect candidate it's a long shot because Trump is cheating. But with Sanders, he might not have to. So count me out, I'm not going along for this ride. I'll put my time between six and seven every night to better use. #
Change notes for Little Outliner v1.8.9. New Tools menu. Get my tweets command. Defends against multiple instances of LO2 open at the same time. #
Does RSS need a song? Maybe this one. #
How about a puppy playing with an ice cube?#
If your strategy is that young voters will take you to victory there's a problem with that because young voters don't actually vote.#
Why didn't the NYT when it started on the web in the 90s try to do what Wikipedia has done? I have to admit, I didn't think of it at the time either, to me the function of a news org was to start fresh once a day. But this was always part of the potential of the web, create a base of info at the same time as flowing the new stuff. That's actually where we went with LBBS in the 80s. Did you know I was doing BBS software then? I was. Today I wish we had software that made it easy to build an index as we go. It's always in the back of my mind. I remember when we were publishing books (also in the 80s) we learned how to do indexes of paper books. The same approach would work for blogs or news. #
Senator Kennedy, I am the actor they hired to play the DHS secretary. I say nice things about the president, and that's about it.#
Maybe when Coronavirus comes to our town we should all just get it, and take our chances. Get it over with quickly. If you die, you die. Then we can go back to committing suicide in all our other ways.#
A drum I keep beating: When a campaign wants to break through, start doing good now, don't wait until you're elected. Now there's a chance to do just that. Use your advertising, rallies, interviews and debates to sound the alarm for coronavirus. Demand that Trump protect the citizens. Explain what Trump has done to put us at greater risk. Explain how a real government functions for the benefit of its citizens. PS: Puerto Rico.#
Video demo of a feature coming soon in LO2, probably tomorrow. You can load in all your tweets for the day. Makes it easy to use Twitter as a place to record ideas that then flow through your outline.#
We’ve been working on news on the web for 25 years, and given the bandwidth of the network, the power and capacity of servers, and the incredible devices we carry with us, that news on the net is such a miserable experience. Clearly something is very wrong. #
I've long felt that the niche occupied by Heroku is under-explored. It looks like Glitch is going there. Good. #
Since socialism is going to be a big "issue" for the foreseeable future, let me offer two pieces I wrote on the subject. First, The world is socialist in 2011. "Ayn Rand's philosophy might have worked in an agrarian society when people lived far apart, and couldn't pool their resources. When there wasn't much technology, so there wasn't much point in trying to fight disease or keep the trains running, because there was no medicine or trains." And Health care is socialist in 2017. "We don't know who will get sick, or when. So rather than take a risk that you'll be the one who gets the expensive disease, we pool our resources to pay a share of what the treatment would cost each year." I put "issue" in quotes because it isn't a real issue. Everything is socialist, it has to be, there is no other way. So it's redundant to say someone is a socialist. We all are. #
Is it any wonder that the presidential nominating process has become a weekly reality show, in every way. #
Ladies and gentlemen, Rush Limbaugh!#
Maybe the NYT was always this stupid, and we were too young and stupid ourselves to notice?#
  • I bought a new 2019 Subaru Forester about a year ago. It works pretty well. There are things that could work better, but I like it. It's a good car for where I live, in the mountains north of NYC. But it's not perfect. About the half the time the driver seatbelt gets stuck in the door. It was a hassle until now, but all the buckle slamming has broken a sensor built into the door. The car's electronics thinks the door is always open even when it's closed. #
  • Now the battery runs down overnight and the car requires a jump start. And all the alarms are ringing when I'm driving. #
  • I took the car in for service. It's still under warranty, but Subaru wants me to pay for the repair. Estimate $500. #
  • I can't imagine what they think I'm doing. #
  • They say they can't reproduce the problem. #
  • Seems to me it's a design flaw. #
  • This is where we're stuck.#
I just finished Long Strange Trip, a documentary about the Grateful Dead. Beautifully done. I went to a lot of Dead shows, going back to the early 70s, on both coasts and in Madison, but never considered myself a Deadhead. I liked a lot of other bands. But I keep coming back to the Dead. Their songs are anthems for my life and work. I think we should play US Blues at baseball games and Fourth of July picnics. That's the America I come from. And of course the incredibly versatile slogan of this blog is from Touch of Grey. That one line is full of so much meaning, but yet so are many lines from many Dead songs. #
Maybe Twitter should offer the option of no-replies on a message by message basis. You can RT my post if you want, but I'm not interested in spam. #
!!Con 2020 -- The joy, excitement and surprise of computing. #
I watched the MSNBC segment where Chris Matthews and Joy Reid talked about the disaster that Sanders is as a candidate. I thought it was fine. I think they should do more of that. I want to hear what they think out in the open instead of between the lines. #
Also I'm not sure Anand Giridharadas is right. We've been through this before. Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, John Anderson, Barack Obama. All these candidates had Sanders-like pitches. I'm transformative, they said. When I am president, everything will change. Problem is if they actually believe it and are elected, they and we are fucked. They turn out most definitely not to be transformative. The United States is a huge ship and it takes a lot of compromise and time to get it to turn. Giridharadas points out that Sanders is the son of a Holocaust survivor, well, so am I, and I don't like Hail Mary passes unless that's the only option left. This is not a normal election, and Sanders is way too risky. We need to get solidly off the path we're on, bringing as many people as possible along with us. Then let's go for a Sanders-like candidate, maybe when AOC is old enough to run for president. #
Loyalty to Trump is, today, an issue for people who work in the US government. Soon it will be an issue for everyone who lives in the US. You will have to sign a loyalty oath. We're way past the time when anyone should be working just for themselves.#
Today I learned that Sanders will be the presumptive Democratic Party nominee in eleven days, unless something happens to shake that up. If you don't believe it, read this piece. #
This piece is so chock-full of smarts, it should be a Twitter thread.#
I just saw pictures of a friend's teenage sons in current passport pictures. I've been following their travels via Facebook for years. They were always boys, but now you can see the men. There's a gravitas in the outward view. Thought. These boys were raised to be men. What a great word, raised. I don't think I was actually raised myself. Maybe here and there. Fed. Sometimes cared for. Mostly left to figure it out for myself. #
I thought Sanders' speech was good tonight. I was surprised. I think this may be the first time I've heard him give a speech. Previously I'd only seen him in debates, where he's a prick. Sorry, that's what I see. Even so, he really never has had a negative campaign run against him, and it'll be too late for all of us when the Repubs do. I can't imagine his past is not filled with lots of really awful stuff. #
  • This came up in an email discussion. #
  • Doc said he doesn't really understand how Twitter threading works. I'm not sure I understand it either, and I've implemented it in two of my tools, first Electric Pork and now LO2. #
  • Here's how I do it.#
  • Suppose you have a sequence of four bits of text you want to turn into a Twitter thread.#
  • Label them A, B, C and D. #
  • When you post a tweet you can optionally specify which tweet it is in reply to.#
  • First I post A to Twitter, not a reply.#
    • Then I post B, in reply to A.#
      • Then C, in reply to B.#
        • And D, in reply to C.#
  • Twitter will display that as a thread. Like this. #
  • Could I have had them all in reply to A? Not sure. I haven't tried it. #
I buy too many domains. Latest: #
Doc posts a monster thread from LO2 to twitter. Here's the thread, and the outline. I just made a small change to the reader so that when you click on a tweet node, it opens the tweet in Twitter. #
Joe Trippi: "Here’s an idea. Why not hold House hearings on what every American should watch for and be on guard against in terms of how Russia or any other foreign actor tries to influence our election? Or maybe a network do a one hour special? No one knows what meddling means."#
Meddlers enhance divisions. Start with a crack, and grow it. Look at how Bloomberg is being invalidated. He's a powerful force in Democratic politics. In whose interest is it to undermine that? They have to be investing in that. The meddlers, whoever they are.#
  • Bloomberg was NYC mayor after 9/11, during and after the 2008 financial crisis and Hurricane Sandy. The city recovered from all, though we could discuss his mistakes during all.#
  • In the debate we should’ve talked about how we’re going to restore Congress, rule of law, the Constitution, courts in the aftermath of Trump, which will be like all three NYC disasters Bloomberg dealt with.#
  • I don’t think Bloomberg had any possible response to Warren's attacks, any more than Al Franken could respond to the attacks that forced him to resign.#
  • We need all hands on deck to rebuild after the superstorm terrorist attack happening right now in the US. Bloomberg will be part of that, whether or not he's the candidate.#
  • The greed and selfishness on that stage was appalling. From Warren and Sanders, who I will vote against every chance I get (except if the other choice is trump of course). #
A new version of LO2, v1.8.8. This is the first one that can publish twitter threads. Also fixes to keystrokes. Here are the change notes.#
A short podcast explaining the new version of LO2.#
We need to view the government as a system, and unsentimentally fix the broken stuff, while preserving and enhancing the best core ideas that define America.#
After all the dust settles, the question Bloomberg asked about starting businesses, that's micro-targeted at me. Yes, I have started businesses. And I've built networks of software with millions of nodes.#
Manilapalooza, 3/25/2000.#
  • Watched the whole debate last night in despair, watching our last hopes evaporate. #
    • These debates are crazy.#
    • They do nothing to help us find good leaders. Probably the opposite. People who think and listen before speaking are penalized. Yet this is what we need from a leader.#
    • Has Bernie Sanders ever listened? To anyone? Ever?#
    • Biden is even more pitiful. Please if someone loves him tell him to quit. He lost.#
    • Amy doesn’t know when to shut up.#
    • I have no words for the disaster that is Warren.#
  • I were on the debate stage last night, I would have done what Bloomberg did. All these people yelling about crazy nonsense, a lot of it at me, should I join in the yelling? Fuck no.#
  • People say Bloomberg didn't respond to the accusations. I listened to what he said, this is what I heard.#
    • Yes, I made a lot of money, and I'm giving it all away.#
    • I made jokes about women and paid for my sins. #
    • A communist can't win in America.#
    • I'm a manager. I'm going to manage this. #
    • I'm sorry for my fuckups. #
  • What his critics really mean is that he declined to partake in the food fight. #
  • I was shocked when I realized that lots of people were going to vote for Trump. But that's nothing compared to the gobsmacking realization that enough people want Sanders that he might actually be the nominee.#
    • I guess the way to win people's hearts is to yell at them and over them, wave your hands in their face, and never listen to anyone.#
    • Sanders has a slogan for everything, except it's always the same slogan.#
    • I think Sanders would be great on Crossfire. As president. Oh god help us.#
    • Sanders is so awful he must be a Putin plant. When the oppo research comes out, obviously after he's nominated, I feel certain we're going to see pictures of him at dinner with Putin in Moscow with Jill Stein and Michael Flynn.#
  • I think everyone could stand to re-watch Jon Stewart on Crossfire.#
  • Felt sad when I realized Buttigieg is by far the youngest person on the stage, but Sanders is getting the support from young people.#
  • Bob Bierman: "Man. Dems are going to have to do better than spend the evening taking easy razzle-dazzle shots at a billionaire who lacks theatricality and defensiveness but is giving all his money away to progressive causes. Where were the redirects to core issues?"#
  • Brendan Greeley: "Bloomberg is an organization where journalists fly business class. I want to say that didn't matter but I also don't want to lie to you people."#
A thread I tweeted from a test version of LO2.#
Here's a screen shot of the outline the thread came from.#
Video demo of the Tweeted Threads feature, probably coming out tomorrow, 2/20/2020, a magical day. #
How journalism covers presidential politics. Gotcha, gotcha, horse race, gotcha, horse race, horse race, gotcha, gotcha, horse race, gotcha, gotcha, horse race, horse race, horse race.#
Every so often I hear of people who want to change RSS. There is a mechanism for that, it’s like amending the Constitution, but much easier. Create a namespace. Put your new or redefined tags there. I created a namespace for my additions, documented here.#
  • Put the cursor on a headline. #
  • Click on the tweet icon.#
  • We confirm you want to post X tweets. #
    • First we make sure none of them are too long.#
    • If so, we report that instead of confirming. We move the cursor to the offending headline. #
  • LO2 visits all the subs and tweets them, in a thread. All linked in a reply chain starting with the first one. #
    • We strip any markup from the text. So don't bother boldfacing items or linking. It'll all be gone as it's sent to Twitter. #
    • Ignore commented lines and their subs.#
  • How threading works#
    • The first item tweeted is in reply to nothing. #
    • The second is in reply to the first.#
    • The third in reply to the second.#
    • The Nth in reply to the (N-1)th.#
  • Will people use this? I don't know, but it's worth a try. Let's see what happens. #
  • Honestly, either Klobuchar or Warren are more attractive than the others. I would definitely go with Klobuchar, still.#
  • I don't want to say anything bad about the others.#
  • Choosing a candidate to me has nothing to do with judging the morals of the person. I have no insight into that. These "people" are images of people, not real.#
  • You're selling a mirror to voters. It's imperfect. But when they look in the mirror do they like what it says about themselves. #
  • I liked looking into the Obama mirror. It says to me "we've accomplished something in my lifetime."#
  • When I looked at HRC, I saw some level of competence, but mostly "NOT TRUMP."#
  • Why I like Klobuchar is what I see is "This is America." A compromise with the other half of the country. I think enough of us can agree that this is America, for now, that we might be able to restore the rule of law. #
  • I honestly don't think most people get how deep in the hole we are now. We'd make a better decision if we were. #
  • PS: I used this post to test my outline-tweeting code. #
For tomorrow night's debate. It's 2021, you're president, there's a vacancy on the Supreme Court. You appoint a qualified judge, the Senate refuses to confirm. They'll wait for a Repub president, says the majority leader. What do you do?#
Andrew Shell did a voicemailcast about his work with rssCloud, which plugs into RSS 2.0 feeds, and maintains backward compatibility with my implementation which I no longer maintain. He has to do really horrible things to run my software to be sure his stuff still works with it. His philosophy is mine. I really have very little influence on what other people do, sometimes they seem to not listen to prove they don't have to listen, and over time all our work gets erased. But Andrew definitely is a charter member of the soon-to-be-famous No Breakage Club. #
Update on Concord work. I've been trying to fit a more powerful keystroke capturer under Concord's keyboard handling code, but I'm not ready to debug the resulting code, which would basically be turned inside-out. The problem is that none of the JavaScript key handlers (that I've found so far) will decode an existing event, they have to actually capture the event itself and call back to the app. Maybe there's an exception. If such a toolkit exists, that would make the systematization of Concord's keystroke handling simple enough to attempt. The goal is to have all combinations of option, shift, cmd (or cntrl) be handleable by the outliner. #
MORE II refcard from the late 80s. We used to include these in our products, a quick summary of all the keystrokes the software responds to. I'm glad to have this online now.#
I updated the copy on the Is RSS Dead page. I still really dislike the concept of pairing RSS with that word. But this site gives me a chance to say concisely what RSS is. Things like RSS are useful forever. Live or die isn't even a question, it's a standard, an agreed-to way to make things that are compatible. It's gives users maximum power. It's kind of a miracle that it exists. I question the motives of anyone who promotes the idea that it doesn't. #
NYPD is political, kind of a terrorist organization. Even NYC mayors are terrorized by them sometimes. Not kidding about this.#
  • I have a test account for Scroll so I can figure out what it is.#
  • Scroll is interesting because it comes from Tony Haile. He's a real product guy, having created Chartbeat. For the last few years, as I understand, he's been going to various future-of-news conferences. I met him at the Newsgeist show a couple of years ago. He's been talking about collaborating with news orgs on a new distribution system, and that's Scroll. There's a page for Scroll on Crunchbase and they have a Twitter account. #
  • Once you're logged on you see a list of partners, and a section called reading activity. I wasn't paying attention the first few times I went there, but I assume they gave me a cookie, so that when I show up at their partner sites, it knows it's me, and they share the fact that I read that article with Scroll. I assume then that they give the publisher a micropayment from the monthly fee I pay them. The reading activity section shows me the partner stories I read. #
  • I guess the theory goes like this. Paywalls are a pain in the butt. Users hate them. But you can go to these sites, without subscribing, without caring about the paywall. Read the story, and the fee is deducted from your Scroll balance. #
  • This page has a list of their partners, not sure if you can read this without paying. #
  • If every pub adopted it, I could cancel my subscriptions to the Washington Post, NY Times and The Athletic. And I would be able to read as many articles on currently paywalled sites like New York, New Yorker, The Atlantic and a few others that I usually run out of free reads on before the end of a month. I would no longer have to ration my clicks, and I would feel free to share links to all sites, as I did before there were paywalls. #
  • So that's the trick. Tony has to get the paywalled sites that are in demand, the ones which people are on the edge of subscribing to but don't. He already has the sites without paywalls. But I don't see the ones I miss there. And until they are there, while I like Tony and expect great things from him, honestly, there's no reason for me to use Scroll.#
  • There's another Democratic debate this week. Expect the usual questions, Medicare for All, climate change, electability, etc. The candidates have well-rehearsed answers for these, including zingers and comebacks. But I keep thinking of questions I'd like to ask a would-be Democratic president, based on the world as it likely will be in 2021 when they take office. One where health care and climate change are not the biggest most immediate issues. #
    • You've been elected president. It's Inauguration Day in 2021. The rule of law is broken. Congress is impotent. There are soldiers in the streets of DC. You're president now, and you can do anything you want. Your predecessor broke the Constitution, the Department of Justice runs a police state. We're in deep trouble. New wars, North Korea testing missiles over Japan. There's a rampant virus on the loose in world now, not just China, Trump supporters are threatening to revolt, there's talk of secession, not just in deep red states, but blue states too. So here's the question. Is your first priority to re-establish the rule of law or can that come later, after you put out all the big fires?#
    • Again, you're the new president and a member of the Supreme Court resigns, say RBG or Clarence Thomas. Suppose the Senate is still Republican, and McConnell is still the leader. First question: Who do you nominate? A liberal or a moderate? Does it depend on whose place they're taking? Second question: McConnell refuses to hold hearings, as he did with Merrick Garland. He's going to wait until a Republican is in the White House or there's a Democratic majority in the Senate. What do you do?#
  • Note that these don't have to be debate questions, they could be part of a written test or a job interview. I don't need them to think on their feet. They can consult with advisors. I want to know what they will do, what kind of president they'll be. And if they don't have an answer, that'll be apparent too.#
I've been chatting about breakage with Dave Gandy, the founder of Font Awesome. I recorded a 15-minute voicemailcast to Dave, with a very small slice of my experience with breakage in tech. Dave is now a member of the No Breakage Club. Up until now I thought I was the only one. They learned the hard way by shipping a version of their product that basically broke everyone. It broke me. Squared the complexity of using FA, which ideally would require zero thought, it should "just work" as it did when I first adopted it in 2013. Now they're putting the pieces back together, and I'm guessing it will work. It doesn't always, sometimes you're stuck forever supporting both versions. At least if you care about your users. Not sure where this will go, but it's nice to have a friend on the frontier. In the cast I talk about Python's breakage, it came with v3.0. #
BTW, as I mention in the cast, the new Concord, the one I just released, includes the latest version of Font Awesome. Since they're now a member of No Breakage Club, he's a friend, and it's worth helping him get the very latest stuff out there. #
The term No Breakage Club has four hits on Google before this piece was posted. #
A couple of LO2 user tips. 1. Keep your tab list neat. Close files. They're easy to re-open and 2. Change the title of files to make the tab display more esthetic and usable. #
Here's a screen shot of what my tab list looks like. This gives you an idea of what you can do. #
Yesterday I released a new version of Concord, the outliner core of LO2. This broke the then-current release, v1.8.6. After a report by Andy Sylvester, I quickly released v1.8.7, which works with the new Concord. The problem was that the name of the CSS file changed. The result is that the outlines looked pretty horrible. To get the latest version reload the page. If that doesn't get you 1.8.7, here are tips for getting the browser to do a full reload.#
In this election there are two sides. One side believes in the rule of law, the other doesn't. Everything else, to be settled later, once the rule-of-law is re-established.#
  • It's great that Bloomberg is spending huge money on good advertising that correctly positions the Dems vs Trump. But it's only half the job. The other half is organizing the electorate so we are always mobilized and ready for action#
  • My guess is they don't want to mobilize us because it isn't really about "us" -- it's about their power. An electorate that was organized could overthrow whoever it was that organized us.#
  • I don't blame them btw. I experienced this myself. In the early days of the net, I started an open mail list with my customers on it. So they could help each other, and ask questions of us. One of my competitors got the idea that they could join the list and market to our customers. Then they got the idea they could blow up the community by throwing huge flaming turds into the list. Since then I've struggled with how to create collaborative communities that don't have this vulnerability.#
  • But the fact that Obama didn't keep the organization going after he got elected meant that the Repubs could stonewall him, and he had no effective way to appeal to the electorate to stand by him, even though a lot of us would have done so happily. His humiliation was ours.#
I just released a new version of Concord, the first since 2013. This is the core outliner of LO2. Native file format is OPML. #
Podcast here. And there's an outline. #
When Jon Stewart went on CNN to plead that they give a shit. It's hard to watch because it was 2004, and it's gotten so much worse since then. Makes you realize that we wouldn't be in this mess if we had journalism instead of this garbage. Also fascinating that everyone thought he was joking, but everything he said was serious. The "news" was and is an emotional release.#
Someday you'll tune into Maddow and it'll be like this.#
It's great that Bloomberg is spending huge money on good advertising that correctly positions the Dems vs Trump. But it's only half the job. The other half is organizing the electorate so we are always mobilized and ready for action.#
Questions for all Democratic candidates, esp Bloomberg. Do you feel the president is above the law? If you are elected, will you use the new powers Trump has taken for himself? What will you do if Trump refuses to leave?#
I don’t miss Obama. When I see Obama I think of how we lost the war and he didn’t put up a fight. I think of how he let McConnell terrorize us without trying to organize us. I think history will judge him a failure. PS: This is btw why Biden has no chance.#
Something I learned a long time ago. Telling a nasty asshole bully troll what you really think of them might be satisfying, for a moment, but you end up with all the nasty shit in your heart and it doesn't go away. It's hard to hold back, but you must.#
  • Since writing the piece yesterday about Bloomberg's campaign I've done some more thinking and reading. The best piece I came across was this one in New York by Eric Levitz. It's a long piece, totally worth reading all the way through, but this was the paragraph that made me stop and think. #
    • "The same personal fortune that would free the Democratic Party from cash constraints this fall would also liberate a President Bloomberg from partisan constraints once in office. If the plutocratic president decides to find common ground with a Republican Senate on Social Security cuts, what leverage will the Democratic Party have over 'their' White House?"#
  • That's a really good question. #
  • I came up with a couple of solutions and a couple of conclusions.#
    • Insist that Bloomberg burn his bridges with the Republican Party. Go to Kentucky and campaign against Mitch McConnell, who is up for re-election this year. Campaign with Amy McGrath, his Democratic opponent. Help her with advertising and donate to her campaign. Do the same for all congressional Republicans, with an emphasis on the ones with the most tenure and visibility. #
    • Even better, Bloomberg steps back in favor of one of the current Democratic candidates. In other words fulfill the promise he made about funding the Democratic campaign against Trump even if he's not the nominee -- now. Take Bloomberg out of it. I think Klobuchar would be the best choice (more on that later). Now we can be sure the president will be a pure Democrat. #
    • The first conclusion -- who cares. The choice in 2020 is about the end of American rule of law. Who knows what the implications are of that. We've never had a lunatic autocrat or monarch with the economic and military power of the United States. In that context, who cares if it's the end of anything as long as we can vote him out of office in four years. (Also since he contributed to Democrats, he's going to have to work with a Democratic Congress, which as we know can be a good check on a legal presidency.)#
    • Another conclusion -- imagine a happy ending, and write the history of it, from 20-30 years out. Here's what I would write. 2020 was a pivotal election. The Democratic Party and the remnants of the Republican Party that still believed in the Constitution formed a bond, and elected a transitional president, Michael Bloomberg, a former Republican, technocrat, oligarch. This marginalized the extreme part of the Republican Party that was loyal to Trump. The Democrats won the presidency and Congress with huge margins, enough to codify the norms that Trump violated. After the election, the two groups went their own ways, forming two new parties, one liberal and one conservative, and the country evolved out of the insane partisanship of the 90s, 00s and 10s. #
There was a moment when I, not a member of the Dean campaign, could post directly to their home page on Iowa Caucus night in 2004. Not by hacking, but permission. It was quite a moment. #
  • Joan Walsh who I admire for being a listener, a rare thing among pundits, wants Bloomberg on the debate stage. She imagines that his opponents would tear him apart over things he said about racial profiling and red zoning in past decades. So many things to say about that.#
    • I heard former Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter, a contemporary of Bloomberg's as mayor of NYC, on NPR yesterday. He's black. They were trying to get him to say Bloomberg was wrong and bad or whatever, but he wouldn't. He said plainly that the violence problem in his city was with black and Hispanic young men, and it was probably the same in NYC. They were the ones walking around with guns. The cities were desperate to get those guns out of their hands. #
    • Joy Reid, on MSNBC on Tuesday night, who is also black, said that blacks have only ever felt passionately about one candidate, Obama. Otherwise they make pragmatic choices. They want to get rid of Trump. They'll choose Bloomberg if they think he's the best way to do that. That's how I vote too, I try to do it always, pick the candidates who would best do what should or must be done. #
    • OK so Bloomberg is on the debate stage. Each candidate, except perhaps Sanders, is thinking, if I'm the nominee, I'm going to need his support. They aren't likely to go for the jugular. Think of Bloomberg not just as a candidate, but also as a Democratic Koch or Adelson. If he isn't the nominee the Bloomberg PAC is going to play a big role in Democratic politics. #
    • If Bloomberg were just throwing money at this it wouldn't work. But it is working. He thinks creatively, is willing to risk not just his money but his reputation and legacy. He's doing the marketing that the Democrats have failed to do for generations. He is so smart, most billionaires want to hold on to their money, which is ridiculous, given how short life is and how old they are. He's using his money for good, now -- and that imho overshadows every past sin he has been accused of and is likely to be accused of. It doesn't eliminate them, but they have to be considered against the good he is doing, which imho is enormous. He's a gift horse and go ahead and look if you must, but he should keep going in the meantime. #
    • A creative idea. Bloomberg could offer say $50 million to any still-running candidate, to be used for advertising to position against Trump, now, no strings attached. #
  • Bloomberg is not just a candidate. He's doing the marketing, actually just starting to, that the Democrats have failed to do, ever. All the while the Republicans have mastered it. The Democrats are so unaware of this, they don't even see it. So when they look at Bloomberg they only see what they know to look for. A horse in a race. But he's a developer, working on defining media and politics for the world of 2020. He's going to test every assumption we have about how campaigns work, and that itself will be incredibly valuable. Let's pay close attention. #
  • He's also working in advance of Trump, who hasn't yet managed to shut off political advertising of his opponents. This door should be shoved wide open in the most captivating way possible so when and if he shuts it down, people will miss it. #
  • When Steve Jobs came along he looked at computers differently from the way IBM did. He looked for assumptions that could be broken and the result was the Apple II. When we got blogging and podcasting going, again we looked for assumptions of print journalism and radio that could be broken and it worked. We haven't yet done that for politics. Not just money-raising, that was solved in 2004 by Howard Dean and Joe Trippi. Actually doing politics effectively without being controlled by trolls using the networking technology of today. Bloomberg, a master of tech and media, is probably the best person in the world to try to do this right now. That's what journalism is, predictably, missing. #
  • There was Bartlet for America, which begat Dean for America, now we need to be more specific -- politics for the rest of us. ;-)#
  • Update: President Bloomberg, really a Democrat?#
We can remember Obama the way we remember FDR or JFK, he was dreamy, and he did the ACA, and dug us out of a depression, but in the end the US lost under Obama. We now know that for sure. Whoever leads us next, if we're lucky enough to have that be in 2021, that has to be someone who accepts the US as it is, not as it was. #
Even if Biden were 30 years younger, even if he were a great candidate who inspired love and trust, the fact that he came from the Obama presidency means he could not get elected. #
This is my new anthem when someone asks or tells me about what Trumpers think or believe.#
I think we've had just about enough of Lisa Murkowski.#
35.3% said Klobuchar would finish third in New Hampshire. Not bad. The number one answer was fourth or lower, at 45.4%.#
Braintrust query: I have a JavaScript app running in the browser. I want it to quit when another copy of the same app is opened in another tab. I used to do this with a localStorage value. Set it to a random string of 25 characters. Periodically compare the string in localStorage with the one I set at startup. If it's different I know another copy of the app is running, and I (used to) exit via window.close. This no longer works. There's an error from the browser, "Scripts may close only the windows that were opened by it." So is there no way for an app to quit on its own without a user interaction?#
  • It may be time to disengage from the daily news a la Maddow et al. #
  • I think they're plucking the strings when they're ready to, not when the news is happening.#
  • I don't think it's malice, but there are certainly things happening we can't see that they don't talk about publicly.#
  • I find I wish I could ask my grandparents what they did when their societies were going through this kind of transition. Stalin, Hitler, etc. #
  • Yup this is depressing, but while this is going on, it's still the same planet and climate, more or less, as it was last year this time. And I'm feeling good so that's something. #
  • Life is a challenge. It ain't over till it's over. Namaste y'all.#
  • I've read that former NYC mayor Bloomberg killed NYC's soul. As a son of New York, born and raised there, and who recently spent nine years living there, this is a perennial story, told many times every generation, and so far, it has never been true. #
  • They said it when my family came to the city in the 1940s. Refugees from Europe will destroy the soul of the city. I don't think so. We were just added to the melting pot. Before that it was the Irish, Italians, African Americans, Hispanics, every race, religion, you name it, they've all been accused of destroying the city.#
  • Now they're replacing the great delis, diners and bodegas with ATM farms, the soul of the city is being destroyed they say, I agree, but read on.#
  • I assume that Bloomberg did incentivize the obscene construction of residential skyscrapers in Manhattan, esp on the southern edge of Central Park, blocking out sunlight, to provide excellent views to Russian oligarchs and Saudi oil princes who are never there. But at the same time, Queens, the borough that raised me, that was a sleepy boring white bread place when I was growing up, has become the melting pot Manhattan used to be. People actually go to Flushing to eat the best Asian food in the city. If you had told me that when I was growing up there, I would have said it'll never happen. Flushing is an embarassment. It has a creek that smells like a sewer. And for crying out loud it's named Flushing. Geez. #
  • The city is complex, huge, impossible to control. It's possible that some things Bloomberg did to the city may have lasting negative consequences, but he also made some things better. My favorite Bloomberg accomplishment were the bike lanes. I must have ridden five thousand miles in the city in the last decade. It's an excellent city for biking, but who would have thought that? Not me. #
  • What's going on with the DoJ is serious, the news has captured that, but the reporting misses a few important things.#
    • Why we don't want justice to be partisan. The reports assume people understand, but I think a lot of people may not put two and two together. If justice is applied not based on evidence but on whether you're in favor with the president, the inverse will happen too, people are prosecuted because they're enemies of the president. Expect Comey to be arrested soon, and perhaps Schiff, Pelosi, Romney and others who have crossed Trump in more powerful ways that poor Colonel Vindman. You may say, oh well, the president is just one person, how much damage can he do, but he is the top person, and people below will look for signals and will inevitably try please him. You end up with justice being bought and paid for in favors to the top guy and his capos. A government not of laws, but of organized crime. However cynical you may be about justice in the US, the system we've lived with has rules that limit abuse, but those rules appear to be slipping away now. #
    • This isn't the first time "crony justice" has happened in the last few months, or even the biggest travesty. Recall that the DoJ refused to investigate the accusations of the Ukraine whistleblower that led to Trump's impeachment. So the House had to do its own investigating. The congressional Republicans made an issue of how the Democrats did the investigating, but the press for the most part overlooked that they shouldn't have had to do the investigating in the first place. That's why we have a DoJ. When the government is properly functioning it would have been routine, but Barr is acting as the president's attorney, not the US's attorney, therefore of course he didn't investigate.#
    • The various departments may report to the president but they work for Congress as much as they do the president. No longer true. That's why the second article of impeachment, the one Romney didn't vote for, was so important. #
    • Also while it's honorable for a DoJ lawyer to resign a case, or resign from the department, and something we should applaud (as opposed to standing by and accepting the malpractice), also note that it serves Barr's purposes to get rid of the ethical people who remain, and once gone they can no longer sound the alarm. #
This is weird. If you do a Google search for What makes a weblog a weblog? it links to a page on that's a Miley Cyrus fan blog. It was last updated in 2008. Anyway, the original piece, intended to last for a long time, is still present, even though Google doesn't know about it. Written in 2003, by yours truly, it was an attempt to put a marker down. This is what we were doing way back when. To the future, you know how it turned out. We had no idea.#
New site: I saw a similar site for Ruby on Rails, and immediately wanted one for RSS. The first text on the page was rude because I think it's a rude question. The next answer was sarcastic. And now there is a polite answer. It's given me a lot of ideas. I think I might put a reverse chronologic list of news sites that have updated recently. The list of news orgs that support RSS is impressive. Any news syndication standard would be happy with such support. And maybe list some of the software devs who have invested in RSS, and who continue to do so. Standards aren't alive or dead, but as long as people persist in blaming RSS for their problems, we should probably accept the challenge. And thanks to the Rails folks for the idea. 💥 #
When I see the Nets won without the services of Kyrie or KD, I think of how depressed Knicks fans would be if they signed them.#
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.#
Poll: How will Amy Klobuchar do in New Hampshire? #
Charles Pierce, a columnist at Esquire, asks why suddenly James Carville is relevant (again). This my friends is exactly what's wrong with journalism and politics. Carville isn't any more or less relevant now. He did however do an interview on MSNBC where he said exactly what the Democrats are doing to lose the election, and correctly stated what the election is about and what the consequences would be of losing. It was a passionate wakeup call that apparently rippled out to Pierce's perch in the hierarchy of punditry, who hears it as the question he asks. Why is Carville relevant, he asks. Better question, why is Pierce such an idiot? It doesn't matter who sees the truth and yells it loud enough to pierce the fog of your self-importance, what matters is that it's the truth. We are, as Carville says, on our way to electing Trump to another term, when what we need to do is win so decisively that we have the power to undo the damage he did. We need to be very smart, focused and not worry about Pierce's pecking order. Yet our pundits and political leaders are mostly just worried about doing what they always do, being well paid and as Pierce puts it, relevant. #
I'm did some work on this afternoon.#
Doc's latest podcast is about outlines. What they taught you about outlining in school was dishonest. We cheated, we wrote the outline after writing the paper. But it's not like that on the computer: reorganizing is easy. The text is on rails. Doc understands structure and outlining, as you can hear in this podcast. The one common thing about all outliner users -- they think about how they think. Once you do that, it makes sense to look for tools to augment that. I'm going to let Doc tell you the rest. Here's his outline. #
There are two huge campaign organizations booting up now. One is Trump 2.0 and it’s a monster. The other is Bloomberg. He has more money than Trump, and he fights hard and smart. We’re lucky he’s doing it, none of the other Democratic candidates can do what he’s doing. #
The latest Bloomberg ad. #
There is a Moneyball idea lurking in the current politics.#
Women Republicans of Utah stand with Senator Romney. And I stand with them. This is how we heal as a country.#
Someone should write a piece about how much worse it's going to be with Trump than the press is willing to admit. This time he is going to have his political opponents prosecuted and jailed. He's not just going to get dirt on them, he's going to take them off the field.#
I did a small overhaul of the nightly email code yesterday. Screwing with that code is inherently dangerous, make a mistake and the wrong email goes out to all the subscribers. Or it doesn't go out at all. This kind of code is notoriously hard to test. Anyway it worked. Whew. And one of the side-effects is that the emails go out at 12:00 PM, not 12:02 PM. I know just a two-minute difference, but I'm a perfectionist, and the two minutes really bothered me. Also it's more reliable, which is the real reason I did the work. #
I wish New Hampshire voters would get behind this candidate. I think she'd be good. I don't think she'd take any shit from the Banana Republican Party.#
I want a cloud DVR. I remember how great TiVO was a very long time ago. Do I have to use Google TV to get one? I use Roku on Spectrum.#
Doc asked in passing what it means when a section of the outline has chevrons in place of the wedges. In this screen shot the red arrow points to a comment. It means the text is commented. You toggle the feature with Cmd-\. Like everything in an outline, it's hierarchic, so when you comment a headline, it and all its subs are commented. Okay so now what does it mean to be commented? It depends on who processes the outline. The idea originated in programming, when you want to explain a bit of code, you'd tell the code interpreter the writing by "commenting it out." Comments are like speaker notes for code. That was the long answer. The short one is that, for what you're doing now, it probably doesn't matter if some text is commented or not. It'll happen if you press Cmd-\ by accident. #
I turned off the Likes feature on Scripting News. Most people are reading the stuff through email and RSS. Likes predates the email distribution. The server is a bit of a hog. But the most important thing was that it wasn't being used. If it had gained traction I would have been ready to do the work to get it smoothed out. The code is still there, the server is still running, so I could turn it back on any time. #
Fixed a bunch of bugs in LO2 over the last few days. Still have a lot more to work on. It's great having people use it. It was hard to focus on it when I wasn't getting any feedback. I can't emphasize enough how important it is for me to have a connection with smart enthusiastic users. #
BTW, LO2 is just another name for Little Outliner. There was a previous version that was quite different. So when the second version was on the way, I called it LO2. Also because typing LITTLE OUTLINER was more work than LO2. Sorry for the confusion.#
It's a two voicemailcast Friday. The first one is from me, to kick it off, and a response from Doc will follow in the next item. I have an outline, but they were the notes I took before doing the podcast, I didn't clean them up, so you're seeing D2D (Dave-to-Dave) communication. I recorded this on Wednesday. And some of the items in the outline didn't make it into the cast. Still diggin. #
And here's Doc's cast. This is gold. The narrative of a user. I get so much out of this. #
As I say in my podcast, this series is a rambling disorganized and repetitive conversation between Doc and myself. I'm getting huge value out of it. We're not going to hire a writer to do transcripts, because after that we'd need an editor to make sense of it. Maybe someday, could be a book or something, but right now it's just a conversation between two old friends. And it's giving me amazing information for my software development work.#
Must-read interview with James Carville. #
Braintrust query: Here's an interesting piece of data. I said Hey Doc, create an AWS account. I didn't tell him how to do it. I wanted to see what happened. He didn't succeed. OK so this means to me that we need a piece of software. A rough idea of how it would work. The user signs on to their Amazon account, the one they use to buy socks, and then authorizes you to act on its behalf with AWS. Ideally that would feel, to the user, like giving access to an app to use their Twitter identity. From there, you create a pair of S3 buckets, one private and one public. Then you allow my software to access his bucket. I don't know what all these steps are. But it should draw on a user's ability to create accounts on other popular services. I imagine it's what Amazon itself would create if they wanted to provide a service to non-developers. I imagine at this time they consider it a "developer opportunity." I need this functionality as a go-between my users and my software. I don't want to store their stuff long-term, because I dont have a long-term. #
Trolling 101: "The press, he likely knew, wouldn’t be able to resist criticizing him. To criticize him, they would have to talk about him."#
I did a search on Google yesterday trying to find a US government website. The top hit took me to a site that looked like the site I was looking for. I started filling in my information, then I noticed the URL wasn't on a .gov domain. Looked closer and realized it was a hack. I don't want to publicize the search; just to say there's another attack vector I hadn't considered and should have. I assumed a hack wouldn't be a top hit for a government site on Google.#
Johkla is having trouble setting up Public Folder. Can you help?#
Candidates who aren't likable aren't usually elected. Like Mike Dukakis. The Repubs mocked him. On paper he was a better candidate than Bush. Bush won. Bush said cute shit like Big Mo. And ran racist ads about Willie Horton. The picture of Dukakis in the tank. He lost the election when asked would he favor the death penalty if someone murdered his wife Kitty. He gave a totally rational response. They said he was cold. It stuck. #
This video explains how the Repubs tore Michael Dukakis apart in 1988. Remember that when choosing a candidate to run against Trump, who is the great-great-grandchild heir to this slash-and-burn style of campaign. The Democratic Party in its current shape will not be able to help the nominee. That's why, even if you don't like oligarchs, it's so important that Bloomberg is building a campaign attack machine as fast as he can. #
Mike Dukakis in the tank.#
She is so talented. I can't believe we didn't use this talent more effectively in the past. Watching this, I think Bernie and Warren should sit down and let Pelosi lead the revolution.#
I want a network that works for organizing.#
Iolaire McFadden has created a sort of mutual fund for donations to all the Democratic candidates for Senate in the 2020 election. Your donations are divided between them. I just gave $100. It's a good idea, good for the country.#
Tony Haile, the founder of Scroll and Chartbeat, had a really good idea. When the Senate votes on something consequential, such as whether to remove the president, let's have a readout that shows the number of people the Yes votes represent, by state, and the number of people the No votes represent. It would measure how far our government is from being a democracy. I would love to see this as a website.#
Randall Neff did an Excel spreadsheet for the impeachment trial. It wasn't as lopsided as I imagined. Roughly 52% to convict, 48% to acquit. The reps of a majority of Americans thought he was guilty, but not nearly enough to convict him. Here's the spreadsheet in PDF.#
When I first reviewed Chartbeat it was called Firefly. I may have been the first user outside of Betaworks. I loved it, it was one of those "You can't really do this can you?" ideas. #
Amazon should remove the Bolton book from its website.#
Why is Trump's approval rating going up? This question came up on Brian Lehrer's fantastic WNYC radio show this morning. Here's my theory. During the trial, Trump wasn't controlling the public conversation. So we didn't always hear about Trump's latest outrage every minute of every day. If he were to tone it down permanently, only spoke when a president would normally speak, he might be more popular. #
Amy Klobuchar still meets my requirements for a good Democratic candidate for the plan I outlined yesterday. My only concern was her confidence, but she's really good in this interview. I would definitely vote and work for her, without reservations. #
It's been a while since we had an Occam's News report. Here's the latest. In the impeachment trial, if the jury could have been sure there would be no retribution for a vote of guilty, a lot more would have voted that way. A bunch of them would have voted to acquit even if there would be no retribution, because they think the US is going to privatize massive parts of the government, and they want to be in position to get some of that. Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz.#
This is a test of xref node types in Old School. Following the example from 7/13/2018, this node has an xref attribute whose value is this. When you expand this item you should see the contents of the post. It's a type of inclusion. Today I'm moving the folder on the server where the linkages exist as static objects. This post let me test to see if the move worked, when I did it. #
A new cast from Doc. There is an outline. I took notes, will share them when I post my response. Lots of good stuff! #
I saw James Carville on MSNBC last night. He speaks for me. The goal of this election is to get power. To do that we need to run a smart campaign as in 2018. He says the party needs a new chairman, who should it be -- he says Ask Nancy Pelosi. Beat the drum with talking points that rarely stray off health care, climate, education. Over and over. Take power and get the Repubs out of the way and then do what needs to be done. Pick a presidential candidate that fits this plan. Nothing more complex. We're not electing god, we're electing someone who can lead us out of the nightmare of a morass we are now in. Wake the fuck up people who think the election is about the candidates. It is not. Once we have a plan, the candidate will follow the plan. That's all. Think like someone in a smoke filled room. We wanted that power, now learn to use it. That's what Carville said last night. Really passionate and smart. #
The only criteria for a candidate: I want someone who, when a Republican who believes in the rule of law sees them, they think -- I could vote for them. Even better, I want to vote for them. In this election there are two sides, one side believes in the rule of law, the other doesn't. It isn't about any issue other than that. #
Yesterday I signed up for the Bloomberg campaign. I take him at his word, if he isn't the nominee, he will back the actual candidate with his money and organization. I hope he starts a political social network, the one I thought Obama was building, not to make money (eg FB, Twitter), rather to allow us to organize politically without interference from trolls. Someone has to do this, I hope Bloomberg will.#
Say what the voters say the way they say it. Over and over. #
I'm not a Cubs fan but I've always enjoyed their tradition of rejecting opposing teams' hits by throwing them back on the field. #
Clarification. LO2 is not a blogging tool. But you can write a blog post in it. That's what I meant in the top item of yesterday's edition.#
Outlines from Anton and Andy. #
  • I saw a tweet by Joe Biden just now where he asks if the government he was part of was a failure. When you ask the question like that, the answer is somewhat startling. Yes. The Obama government was a failure. In the same way the French government of 1940 was a failure. Sure, they passed some good laws, and the people of France were happy, but when the Germans marched into Paris in 1940, you would have to say that the existing government of France failed. #
  • We were attacked in 2016, and we lost. How do I know we lost? We're not mounting a defense. We didn't counter-attack. If we had, and we had won, Putin would be gone, and Russia would be establishing an American style government. Instead, Putin is fine, and we're installing, gradually, a Russian-style government. That's the only explanation for what's happening in the Senate this afternoon at 4PM Eastern.#
  • Biden, if he has any honor, will withdraw from the race. We lost. He was VP when we lost. We cannot under any circumstances go back to that approach. That would be certainly a loser. If there's any hope for us, we need a very radical departure from the previous path, and I do not mean Bernie Sanders. People who think that are as much in denial as Joe Biden was before he asked the question. Now that he has, if he has guts like he says he does, it's time to step aside. #
  • PS: Is there a reason Nancy Pelosi can't be the next president? If there is I don't know what it is. In fact, she is our leader. And a very good one at that.#
A 21-minute voicemailcast to Doc. The speech maker I was trying to think of was Ann Richards. One of the best political speeches of all time. Mr Schiff Goes to Washington. Three requests of LO2 fans. 1. Write a blog post in LO2, send me a link. 2. If you don't have an AWS account, please set one up. 3. Use the outliner as a file system. #
One thing people don't get about Bloomberg is that he is a tech entrepreneur and a media mogul in one package. As if Steve Jobs, instead of making Macs and iPhones, made magazines and terminals. Different characters, similar thought process.#
I don't know why people take the shortcut of saying other people are tone deaf. Obviously the person who they're saying it to doesn't agree. Do they really want to argue about that? What's the point. It's like The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, where Donald Sutherland is screaming and pointing at someone who is not yet possessed. Look I found a human, the accuser seems to be saying. It's not a good look.#
This is the story that should have been on MSNBC last night. They spent three years getting ready for it. And instead they tried to show a feel-good family hour of Americana. And it fell apart. It's a Heidi moment. #
The big lesson of all our lives is that we have to learn to work together or it doesn't work.#
  • Lots of takeaways from last night's meltdown of the vote-counting system in Iowa. #
    • Do not depend on your online systems. You must have a backup system that's tested as well as the primary system.#
    • There was another probably more important story last night, where real news had been made during the day. The obsession of the previous week -- impeachment. Since you didn't have anything going on in Iowa, why not provide coverage of what happened in Congress during the day when no one was watching. Might have had a positive impact for the country. #
    • On MSNBC there was a party atmosphere. As if finally we don't have to talk about doom and gloom, for a few minutes we can go back to the naivete of the 2016 election when we could laugh about Trump. Or who knows what they thought was so funny. The news, which ostensibly is their business, is as funny as a heart attack during a nuclear holocaust. Having a party on TV now would be like laughing as the world was mourning Kobe Bryant. Look, CNN and MSNBC should be news rooms. If you don't know what that means, either get out of the way, or learn. Your job is to always be asking yourself Is This Actually News? Last night they had nothing. And they acted like idiots. #
    • At one point Chris Hayes commented you know it's fun to actually not view voters in the aggregate. Yes Chris, we think, we have ideas, we see things you'll never see, and you could stop and figure out what's important about your new realization. That there are way more of us than you, and we're the real power in the country, not the politicians you fawn over, and the other journalists of course.#
    • I've said this many times. If you want to help yourselves and the country, move your newsroom to the midwest. Maybe you'll have to do all your interviews over the net. It's getting pretty good. But at least the moderators' perspective will be altered somewhat, will get out of that fetid putrid bubble you all live in. Important stuff is happening, and you're blowing it. It's time to shake things up in journalism. #
    • It's good that Iowa melted down. It'll wake everyone up. Even if the caucus is a total loss, it's a small price to pay to get people to pay attention to the way we're using online systems in politics and journalism. Especially in 2020 where our systems are undefended against terrorism, it's a certainty we will be replaying this, on a much larger scale, at some time during the process.#
    • Why is this process so freaking long! The horserace provides good TV, I guess, if what you want to do is play video games during the broadcast (that's what I do), but we've got other more pressing business than the minutia that people think of as news in this period. It's in the boredom of the interminably long election that Hillary's Emails were invented. We would never have had time for Hunter Biden and Burisma. The length of the process is something the Repubs have mastered for their mischief. Let's not give them such a tempting target. First primary is in July, say, and it's five huge swing states. Then the rest. That's it. Then a convention and Election Day. #
If you get a chance, please listen to Adam Schiff's closing speech in the impeachment trial. I have a feeling a lot of people didn't hear this historic, passionate plea for America. The Repubs in Congress aren't listening, but we imho must. It's really right up there with JFK's inauguration speech in 1961. Thanks to Schiff and the House Democrats for standing up for America.#
And then there was Bernie walking to the tune of Stayin Alive. #
Complaining that Bloomberg is an oligarch in the age of Citizens United is like (I was trying to think of an analogy and failed) ridiculous. Of course he's an oligarch. And his ads are good Democratic values ads. He knows how to market. Kick back and thank god someone does. (This was the beginning of a long rant on Twitter. Enjoy!)#
I used to call for presidential candidates to try to work with Repubs, but that's changed since Friday's vote re evidence for impeachment. They are complicit, as corrupt as the president. There is no working with any Republican who is in Congress at this time. #
Over on Facebook Terry Heaton posted a screed in support of Jennifer Lopez in last night's SuperBowl halftime show. To me it was a big meh. I find those kinds of shows unimpressive, the music not interesting. I came to watch football, not dance. I'm not kidding. Even Prince, the Stones, Bruce, etc didn't get me off. I was in the kitchen during the wardrobe malfunction. But -- Terry's post is noteworthy because he ends it with this line: "America is facing the destruction of our democracy, and we're worried about this?" We should make a button out of that. Tatoo it on our forehead so we see it in the mirror. We need to be good to each other, find ways to combine our power, not minimize it. Let's go Mets! and thanks for listening. #
A question about how LO2 captures keystrokes. #
It turns out the source of the problem that a user was experiencing with the new version of Little Outliner was Privacy Badger from EFF. I gather it's something that a user can disable, so if you have LO2 and you're running Privacy Badger, you should disable their distrust of and then LO2 should work as it should. #
What's really sad is that the user doesn't get an error message that they can pass on to support so we can avoid having the user go to the JavaScript console (an unnatural act for most of our users) to find the error that's causing the app not to load. #
I have to say EFF has been a constant bummer and pain in the ass. For an organization that I should be able to support (and have, see below), they are always doing shit like this. When they sued the guy who claimed to have invented podcasting, they didn't respond to my emails or blog posts begging them not to take the approach they took. I felt it's important to get on the record how media types like podcasting come about. They didn't care. So much for being on the electronic frontier. It seems to me we should be on the same side in everything, and when we're not we should listen to each other. I gave the EFF $5K, which was then and is now a lot of money for me, when they were founded by Mitch Kapor, John Gilmor and John Perry Barlow, in 1990. I believe in the mission, but often do not believe in the implementation. Thanks for listening.#
My timeline of text-related work. Adding stuff as I remember.#
  • 1. Let Trump run wild but make sure the election still happens.#
  • 2. Democrat wins.#
  • 3. Disbands Congress and the Supreme Court.#
  • 4. Writes a new Constitution.#
  • 5. No more bullshit. The cities rule. Country folk can fuck off.#
  • End of story.#
The only football team I've ever been a fan of, the San Francisco 49ers, is in tonight's SuperBowl. I'm angry and frustrated that the NFL won't hire former Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick. I also remember the intellect, wisdom, character, professionalism, talent and luck of the Niners of the 80s and 90s. So just for tonight, I'll be a football fan again. Go Niners! 🏈#
New Little Outliner out yesterday. Report problems here. #
BTW, to tech-savvy users who are regulars here. Please pitch in and help test the new release of LO2. As you can see from the thread on GitHub, the problems tend to be technical, though the typical user of the outliner is not. If you've looked for a way to pitch in, this is where I need the most help. Keep an outline on LO2. When there's a new release try editing it. Do the changes stick when you reload the page? Try creating a new outline. Open an existing one. Log off and log on. Go through the menus and try all the commands. We're looking for breakage, something that used to work but because of changes doesn't work now. A lot of stuff changed in this release. But most of it isn't visible to users. Help me out. This is foundational work. I need LO2 to work for people, smoothly. Thanks.#
We have a lot more data on the problem. #
Trump is picking a fight with Michael Bloomberg, re his height. Gina Smith points out that Bloomberg is an inch taller than Putin. Heh. And then I read that Bloomberg's spokesperson, Julie Wood (a woman, this is important) said this: "The president is lying. He is a pathological liar who lies about everything: his fake hair, his obesity, and his spray-on tan." You know, this is the first time in four years Trump has been in presidential politics, talking about people's bodies and demeanor, that someone has come back at him with this line of attack, which is totally valid. When you're being bullied by someone so obviously vulnerable, give it back to him. It's even worse better when a woman says a man is a liar, bald, fat, and wears makeup. Trust me on that. 💥#
Bloomberg's campaign manager has a killer idea in this podcast starting at around 8:30. Here's the spoiler. The first Democratic primaries should be in Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin and Michigan. What an advantage that would be in November#
Lamar Alexander's story doesn't add up. If it's up to the voters, can we have the information we need to make a decision. Bolton's testimony is vital. As is the documentary evidence. I've served on a jury all the way to verdict, so I know how this works.#
I asked Alexa what time the Superbowl starts. 6:30PM kickoff.#
To Amazon. I'd like to be able to say "Alexa record a podcast." When I'm done I say "Alexa stop." She mails a link to the MP3 to me. Bing.#
For everyone who thinks Trump is stained forever by impeachment.#
  • Quick thoughts on the finale of Bojack. Spoilers follow. I think they planned the second-to-last episode as the actual final episode. Had they done that I would have said who ever thought a comedy like Bojack Horseman would try something so ambitious, and even better, pull it off. But they added one more plot twist, it's really hard to parse, and the rest of the final episode is weird and repetitive, and at the end punts the ending. Still a groundbreaking show that's often LOL funny. I wish all my friends would watch it so we can talk about it. Now I'll take some time and read the reviews.#
LO2 v1.8.5 is released. Here are the update notes for this version. Cmd-return and Cmd-backspace to split one item in two, and join adjacent paragraphs. New icon toggles HTML code between visible and invisible. Post any bug reports in this thread.#
It'd be interesting if they broke down the vote in the Senate.#
I'm reviewing docs and little issues re the LO2 release. Looking for an example of a status center, I found Dave's Dev Status. Forgot I had set this up. You can create one with LO2. #
I am gradually switching off Dropbox, and wrote a piece of software called Public Folder to sync with Amazon S3. Despite its name it works for private stuff too. I use it for all my docs and a few other projects. Works great. #
When I read an article about online "bernie bros" -- I wonder if the author remembers not to trust the intent of people who tweet at them. We learned this in 2016. Trolls try to divide us, they enflame both sides. I would never trust a "bernie bro" to be an actual person. #
The monthly ritual. The OPML for January 2020 is uploaded. #
Wow people really like the Dress Rehearsals for Election Day idea. Proves that there's a right time for an idea. I've been beating this drum for a long time!#
Voters support candidates who say the things they say the way they say them.#
  • I was wondering how the courts will incorporate the Senate's decision into their interpretation of the Constitution. #
  • Will they judge the executive as if the president is a monarch now?#
  • They can't overrule the Senate, that seems clear from the Constitution.#
  • Another question. What will the Repubs in the Senate do if/when Trump pushes the boundaries. For example, suppose he has a journalist killed. Lots of witnesses. He admits it. Assuming the House impeaches him, what does the Senate do? #
  • A less radical hypothetical. What if he arrests Hillary Clinton for interfering with his re-election. Seems likely that will go to court. Say the Supreme Court rules this is illegal or unconstitutional. Will Trump respect that even though the Senate appears to have said it's OK.#
  • I imagine the scholars and judges are thinking about this now. This has been a precedent-setting trial. If they actually do acquit him when no one contests the truth, it appears the only part of the government that objects is the House. It seems the question will be raised in the courts as well. It'll appear on Roberts' desk before too long. Is the president really a king?#

© 1994-2020 Dave Winer.

Last update: Saturday February 29, 2020; 10:29 PM EST.

You know those obnoxious sites that pop up dialogs when they think you're about to leave, asking you to subscribe to their email newsletter? Well that won't do for Scripting News readers who are a discerning lot, very loyal, but that wouldn't last long if I did rude stuff like that. So here I am at the bottom of the page quietly encouraging you to sign up for the nightly email. It's got everything from the previous day on Scripting, plus the contents of the linkblog and who knows what else we'll get in there. People really love it. I wish I had done it sooner. And every email has an unsub link so if you want to get out, you can, easily -- no questions asked, and no follow-ups. Go ahead and do it, you won't be sorry! :-)