Monday, March 10, 2003 by Dave Winer.
General Douglas MacArthur, on losing the Philippines in World War II, said these prophetic words. "I shall return." And that he did, two years later leading an armada of Allied warships and marines to attack the Japanese, which led to a US victory.
These days the Japanese are our friends. Partners in economic misery. Moore's Law continues to rage, but somehow our economies are stuck. I think I know why, it's because intellectually we have gotten lazy. We look to big corporations for new ideas, and big corporations are not the hatchery of new ideas, in fact they annihilate them. Not their fault. By their nature, they have to hire average people who don't take risks. They are scared of people who do. So as the companies get larger, eventually the flow of new ideas is choked and our economies fall. The resurrection is always in our intellect. We have the power to rebuild. We just have to choose to.
Last Sunday there was a miraculous party in Silicon Valley. I had stopped going to most industry parties around 1999 or so, I just wasn't interested in the latest scheme to get rich by selling pet food on the Internet. I came to California for the technology, not retailing. Then came the crash, and the party scene was still there, tentative, unsure of itself, kind of humming in the background. Last week it came back with a roar. When there are good parties with good energy, there's hope.
Later today I will lock the door on my residence of eleven years, having sold out, I will get into my car and drive to Boston where I will start a new thread in my life. I wanted to return to the east coast after spending most of the end of last year helping care for my father whose health was failing. He survived, miraculously, and on Wednesday he's going home, with his mind and body intact. And today I'm heading east, and in many ways it feels like a return to home.
The Internet shrinks geographic distances. I will be doing weblogs at Harvard University and sharing what I learn. I will continue to develop and evangelize XML-RPC, SOAP, RSS, OPML, the MetaWeblog API; from a new context, academia. I will also be writing software and continue to write my own weblog at scripting.com.
Thanks to California for being my gracious host for twenty-three years. Personal Software, Apple Computer, Living Videotext, Symantec, Kleiner-Perkins, Wired, Netscape, Bucks Woodside, thanks to all my platforms.
I leave a richer man than when I came here so long ago.
And like MacArthur, I will return.
PS: Seeya in Boston!