You gotta believe!
Tuesday, October 19, 1999 by Dave Winer.
Busy busy it's been busy here. Shipping a new version of Frontier. This one is the Manila release, the one that delivers the Edit This Page vision I wrote about on May 24. Easy easy easy is the motto. Content management for the rest of us. A website within a web browser. Edit this Page everywhere. Click click click, there goes Dave, doing his website thing. You gotta believe!
I almost broke my work flow as the SlashDot folks discovered SOAP over the weekend. I thought it might be worth a comment because they played the usual tune, more fear of Microsoft. I just want to shake the Linux community until they hear me. You don't lead a revolution with fear. It's OK to be scared, but if you want to win you have to go thru it.
They may be the last group to figure out that the world no longer revolves around Microsoft. Microsoft gets it. That's why they did SOAP. But Microsoft losing dominance doesn't mean that Linux rules the world. The vast majority of people don't use Linux. As one of several non-dominant OSes, it's in Linux's favor if other OSes are open to it. That's what SOAP is about. It's an invitation, an open door, but the Linux voices only see a threat.
An old friend of mine said "Too bad, so sad." That's what I would have said, but it's so well-rehearsed, instead I stayed with my own revolution, and didn't break out and write a separate piece about it.
But the Mets, that's a whole other story. I have to stop programming and write about what I'm experiencing. The Mets are doing it again! Those charmed boys of Flushing, down and almost out, they're digging deep into a huge resevoir of love, and against all odds they're doing what the Linux boys aren't -- they're winning. *This* is worth pausing for.
Casey Stengel knew it when he called them The Amazins. Yes, they're the team from NY, but in a larger sense, they are the team from God!
Did you watch the game on Sunday? Oh man. Fifteen innings. Sitting on the edge of my chair for the last six. The Mets are the home team. In any at bat, a single swing could have put the Braves away.
Two rookies on the mound. In the top of the fifteenth the Braves score. Down 3-2 in a best of seven series, if they lose this game, they're out. Now the Mets *must* score to stay alive.
They manufacture a run to tie the game.
And then with the bases loaded, a home run!
What is it about the Mets? What is it?
In our discussion group, Jacob Levy, an engineer at Sun who was born and raised in Israel, asks where the American fascination with baseball comes from.
To Jacob it looks like fascination. For me, an American thru and thru, it goes deeper. I thought I could stop being a Mets fan. I thought it was in my past. What do these strange young people have in common with Ed Kranepool, Cleon Jones, Ed Charles, Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Jerry Koosman, Tug McGraw, Bud Harrelson, Jerry Grote, Art Shamsky and Tommy Agee? These were the heroes of my youth, the people I looked up to as a child for a clue about being a man.
When I was a kid, baseball was about looking forward. Now as a middle-aged man, baseball is about looking back. Today's players are all much younger than I am. Can they teach me anything? I found out that they can, in a very profound way. What they teach me is the same thing the old old Mets did so many years ago, they allow me to tap into my own sense of amazement.
So to Jacob, I like baseball because of the metaphysics, synchronicity and improbability of it. It's a puzzle. How does it work? God speaks to me thru baseball, at least *my* god does. I grew up in walking distance of Shea Stadium so I could properly attend my religion. I went to Shea when I was nine years old. I thought they had built the stadium just for me. I'm not kidding! It just made sense to me that it would be that way.
That little boy is still alive, and he's still amazed by the Mets. And what's great about baseball is that, especially with a heart-centered team like the Mets, *all* our little boys are still alive. So Jacob I think that's it for me, and I've heard others say it too. Baseball is about continuity. We're a very young country, and baseball works as a link to our past and something we share across all generations, but most importantly, with ourselves.
I remember how my father got crazy watching the Mets beat the Red Sox in 1986. My dad doesn't let go very often. I'll never forget how he rolled around on the floor in utter amazement at Mookie's antics that won the 86 series. Rolling around on the floor, while an undistinguished thing to do, is the totally appropriate response to a vision of God! How else could the Mets have won? Not thru talent, that's for sure. ;->
The Cubs have their stadium and beer and whatever else they do. The Red Sox have The Green Monster. The Yankees have stature and tradition (say this with an impressed voice). Who cares about these teams? But the Mets, it's like that Harry Nilsson song where he says God must live in NYC. Close. God lives in the Mets.
You gotta believe!
PS: To women baseball fans, as with women Linux people, I send my respect. I write as a man sometimes. I don't think enough men do this. There are a lot of women writing about what it means to be a woman. There are even women who write about what it means to be a man! So from time to time I drop gender neutrality, knowing that this is exclusionary, but I have a purpose, to be an example for myself and other men. There's nothing wrong with expressing a male point of view. Thanks for listening.