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Older people get to me too

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 by Dave Winer.

A picture named timeLovesAHero.jpgJust read a wonderful post by Jackie Danicki, about how she chokes up in the presence of older people. Me too. I have tears streaming down my face as I read her piece, as I write this one, as I experience the memories it evokes for me.  Permalink to this paragraph

A few weeks ago I was walking in my neighborhood in Berkeley, a hot day, and I came up behind an old man, all bundled up, walking slowly. The sidewalk was narrow, so I walked around him, and as I passed I said, gently "Excuse me." He jumped, startled and said reflexively -- "I'm sorry." In an instant I felt protective and sorry I hadn't found some other way to handle this. I did the best I could, and said something like Oh no, smiled and continued my pace.  Permalink to this paragraph

He was skinny and fragile, exposed and vulnerable, and reminded me of my father, who will turn 80 this month. I felt protective for this man as I would if he were my own family. And was instantly reminded of something my father says often, that's worth remembering: Growing old isn't for sissies.  Permalink to this paragraph

No doubt. But we, whose bodies still work, more or less, as they were designed to, can easily overlook that in every old body is a person who remembers well what it was like to be young. We are at a disadvantage, we don't know their experience, we get little inklings of it when we get sick, but we expect we'll get better. At some point, you no longer have that to depend on, and the quality of life must change.  Permalink to this paragraph

Why do old people reach my heart this way? It could be their courage, or the inner strength it takes to compensate for the weak body. I don't know why they get to me this way. But they do. Permalink to this paragraph

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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.


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