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You can't beat Murphy

Tuesday, March 13, 2001 by Dave Winer.

A mind bomb Permalink to A mind bomb

Yesterday I got an email from Charles Cook pointing me to this site.


Then I did an experiment, I sent a pointer to that page to a few industry pundits to share my glee in such open developer chutzpah. I said it was a Mind Bomb, but nothing more.

Eric S Raymond, the open source writer, asked for an in-context explanation. That's what I would have done if I didn't understand. Here's what I said to him.

"It's the hacker ethic at work. Interop is slow to come on the recommended path. So the Lone Hacker takes things into his own hands and links the Big Product to the indy network that had interop a year ago, painlessly, because the spec is so low-tech and easy."

Now only one reader in 50 is going to appreciate this. Remember the open bathtub analogy? It's as if a single developer, in frustration, unplugged the tub, which was supposed to always be open. It's as if the developers are saying resistance is futile. Open is open, and always will be simple.

One more thought. The magic of the Web, HTTP and HTML, its utter simplicity, is based on its willingness to acknowledge broken links. This is something the big companies can never accept. But low tech always rules, it always has, it's only been an illiusion that everything could work outside of Murphy's Law, and a new (proposed) corollary, "You can't beat Murphy, so stop trying."

Dave Winer

PS: A mind bomb is an idea that's so strange that when it enters your mind, it explodes.

PPS: A reminder to the gorillas. BOGU. Look it up.

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