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Lessons of 9-11

Friday, September 6, 2002 by Dave Winer.

Happy New Year Permalink to Happy New Year

For people of the Jewish faith, mazel tov, welcome to 5763, etc.

I'm still a no smoker. Today is the 12th week of No Smoking Dave. Feels good. I miss it less and less. Don't believe it's hard to quit. Just another commercial message from the tobacco industry. If I can do it, so can you.

Earlier this week the BBC announced that they are providing RSS feeds that can be used with Radio UserLand's news aggregator. They join the New York Times and other leading publications, and thousands of personal weblogs, in supporting the network of news sites we envisioned three years ago in partnership with Netscape, and opposite Vignette. It's gratifying to see the model we bet on then take root so well now.

Yesterday I dashed off some thoughts about Sept 11 on Scripting News, my weblog, and have been getting lots of email on the piece. So I'm running it through the email channel. Let me know what you think.

Lessons of 9-11 Permalink to Lessons of 9-11

A week from yesterday is the one year anniversary of you know what. That day I'll be speaking at Seybold in Moscone Center in San Francisco, about Web Services and Publishing with people from Amazon, Apple, Google and my colleague Jake Savin from UserLand.

I was going to try to watch no TV related to the one year anniversary, but last night I saw there was a Frontline special on the spirituality of the event, and given that Frontline is so excellent, I had to give it a chance. It was very stimulating, both emotionally and intellectually. Well worth a watch.

A common theme -- what kind of God lets this happen? I answer that with another question. What kind of a country is so selfish that it doesn't see that 9-11 was tiniest big tragedy viewed from a global perspective. What about famine in Africa? What about AIDS?

They wonder at the spiritual vision of a person who jumps from the World Trade Center to certain death, but don't wonder about the millions of people who do the same thing with tobacco? It's out of balance. We're out of balance.

9-11 was, imho, a small upheaval in getting to some kind of equilibrium in how the US participates in the world, both from the US perspective, and the world's perspective. That we got so much sympathy says how big the human heart is. That there wasn't more celebrating in the streets of world capitals says that they forgive us for our selfish attitude, which is back in force as if 9-11 never happened.

So what were the lessons of 9-11 that the US has failed to learn? I think it's that God doesn't think we're as important as we do.

The concept of national security is obsolete. We can't close our borders. We live on this planet with everyone else. Global warming, AIDs, terrorism, all penetrate all borders. New York is a world city.

The last gasps of isolationism will be snuffed out by more humiliation, until we get the truth, we aren't above the rest of the world, but we are part of it.

Dave Winer

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