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Do Galaxies Dream?

Monday, May 12, 1997 by Dave Winer.

Kasparov versus Deep Blue Permalink to Kasparov versus Deep Blue

Check out the front page of your favorite news oriented website. Deep Blue versus Kasparov. The story raises deep questions of what it means to be human, or does it? Did a human lose to a computer? No, Kasparov lost to a great chess player who knew how to program a computer.

This should be no mystery to writers. If there were a competition for writers that was as objective as a chess match, would a person with a word processor produce better copy than someone who uses a pencil and paper? Remember, in chess, time is an issue. When you need a quick result, someone who knows how to use a computer can beat one without one, every time.

The Kasparov story became interesting to me because it so captivated the web. It raised a question about people that people find intriguing -- what does it mean to be human?

Dr. Weil Permalink to Dr. Weil

I've been reading Dr. Andrew Weil's website on HotWired and on the cover of Time. He's one of Time's 25 most influential Americans. Now he's going over to Pathfinder. Great growth for Dr. Weil, and for the rest of us who enjoy his writing. And what does he write about? Humans! Get a clue, after search engines, stocks, sports and erotica, the big topic on the web is going to be humanity.

Weil's approach works because he answers questions, for sure, but the reason it really works is that he *asks* questions. He gets you to think. He says controversial things. You're not sure if you agree. He gives you something to talk about, something to excercise your mind and your feelings. It's stimulating stuff, on a human level, because it takes us out of our normal lives, allows us to dream of others.

That's why Dr. Weil works, that's why he's cooool.

Rigidity Permalink to Rigidity

The software world is so locked in place, so rigid, moves so slowly.

They say that content and software are the same thing, but they wait for the content to come, and often the wait outlasts the software. Videotext, hypertext, OpenDoc, whatever. Much of the current content of the web is so self-referential. Such immature themes, such limited literature! Where's the depth?

If you slice and dice things the way the software world tries to, it should be impossible for someone to be expressive in both literature and in software. I wish people who reduce the web to technology would take two weeks off and write their personal life story and put it on the web. Cut the marketing hype, who are you as a person? Did you know your parents? How many brothers and sisters? Were you first born? What are your basic beliefs and values?

What's your favorite book, movie and ski area, and why? What religions do you belong to? Pet peeve? What turns you on? Do you believe in life in other galaxies? What do you dream of? Hey, what kind of computer do you use?

We could make five years of progress, content-wise, in a few weeks.

Do galaxies dream? Permalink to <a name=Do galaxies dream?">

I took a turn on May 2 in Proof that you Exist and subsequent pieces. After months of swirling around issues of Apple's decline and the ascendance of Java, I felt it was time to take a look at the universe, your existence, bodies and spirits, personal and galactic.

Now, in a more realistic context, who cares if Apple or Java wants to go it alone? Nothing is created in worlds without love. How many times do we have to learn this? They can go around the loop again, but do I have to go with them? No.

A friend asks if galaxies can love each other. There was a point to the question -- it's really happening here on earth, there's no need to look at the stars. My answer was a surprise. Yes, I believe galaxies can love each other. But first comes respect, and with respect, acknowledgement. So I do look to other galaxies... I can see, can't you? Both inside and out, it's such a big universe...

Let's go there!

Dave Winer

PS: We're already there.

© Copyright 1994-2004 Dave Winer. Last update: 2/5/07; 10:50:05 AM Pacific. "There's no time like now."