It's even worse than it appears.
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.#

© 1994-2020 Dave Winer.

Last update: Tuesday February 18, 2020; 9:39 AM EST.

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