It's even worse than it appears..
Friday May 31, 2024; 8:32 AM EDT
  • Once again we're at the beginning of a huge tech-induced transformation, and yet again the people who already occupy a high rung of the ladder of success, or imagine they do, are pissing all over it, without using it.#
  • I remember kvelling about Napster, about how the ability to program my own music had made it possible for me to explore my own life in new ways, because music is inexorably bound to memory. For me the big revelation came on Father's Day in 2000 when I heard Father and Son by Cat Stevens on the radio and desperately wanted to hear it again. #
  • I had tried Napster a few months earlier and found that it had none of my music. It was basically just a technology demo. I tried it again, and this time not only did it have the Cat Stevens song, but it had every song from my childhood that I hadn't heard since being a kid listening to WABC on the transistor radio my grandfather gave me for my birthday when I was five or six years old.#
  • I told this story at a Future of Music conference and was torn apart by the other people on stage, supposedly creative people, who cared not one bit about how people used the product they created, and the power of being able to program our own music. They were the bosses of music and my job was merely to give them money and admiration and stfu. They tried to get me off the stage (I was the moderator) but I stood my ground and of course never forgot.#
  • It happened again a few years later at the DNC in Boston, when the journalists mocked the bloggers because we had no experience as journalists, and they didn't like the way we dressed (they wrote articles about it, in the NYT even). 20+ years later they're still complaining, but they forget to blame us for their misery, now. Their misery is they forget the glory of their job, which is empowering us -- their users -- to change the world that so desperately needs changing. #
  • It's happening again with AI, which is opening up creative expression to people who can't draw, or aren't good writers, or people who want to be better programmers, or who knows -- this technology is the most powerful I've used in my long life in tech. #
  • The difference is -- you have to use something before your criticism makes any sense. That was the mistake the music industry made with Napster. What the journalists made regarding bloggers (we're they're sources, tried to say over and over but they don't listen they just like to talk and be admired and our job as usual is to give them money and stfu). #
  • My very good friend Doc Searls sees it the same way. He calls it People's AI. We're going to build this out the way we did it with blogging and podcasting a few years ago. It may be our last rodeo, we're getting on in years, but I'm so glad I lived to see this.#
  • (Sidebar: The people who run tech companies today have no idea how to build new technology markets, the categories they occupy were built by others, now gone. I finally figured that's our disconnect and why products lose important features when they are taken over by the inheritors, and why the leaders of Google et al have no idea where to put AI for users to build with it, or even that the users build the stuff they use in tech. Say what you want about Jack, Ev and Biz, but they understood this idea and they did let the users lead.)#
  • And btw, don't miss that it was twelve of us, twelve people, that finally said what the ladder-occupiers have failed to say for far too long about Trump -- he's a felon. We've known that, but when did Obama, Biden, Moscow Mitch or anyone else with a name or reputation to protect say the most obvious truth. They're all powerless and weak, and if we want to get out of this mess we're going to have to lead ourselves. Waiting for them, that didn't work. #
  • PS: Thanks to Twitter for increasing the character limit, so I can write my blog posts on my iPad before starting my day. Like this. ;-)#
  • PPS: BTW -- here's the song. Somehow the music industry survived my ability to share this song with you and my future self.#
  • PPPS: I write these pieces with specific people in mind but I rarely say who they are because it embarrasses them. But I write all my pieces the my regular readers, who keep me going, almost 30 years (on Oct 10 this year). I hope they build great things with these ideas, and they let me help them do it. #
  • PPPPS: Doc tends to write brilliant pieces that perfectly describe these points in time. Let's travel back to 1997, as Steve Jobs is returning to Apple, when Doc explained that while he loves me, Steve loves no one but Steve. 😄#
  • PPPPPS: The motto for the podcasting community as it was booting up in 2004 was "users and developers party together." That was the thing that Adam and I agreed on. Adam being the user, and I being the developer. Of course it was his trying to be a developer, and me trying to be a user that was the spark that created the boom. We both made it safe for amateurs to do what we do. That's why podcasting, unlike the music industry, never went to war with its users. 💥#

© copyright 1994-2024 Dave Winer.

Last update: Friday May 31, 2024; 1:19 PM EDT.

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