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Radio Lab

Friday, September 18, 2009 by Dave Winer.

Once in a while you come across a gem like the Radio Lab podcast. I listened in delight a few nights ago when an episode about death aired on KQED. An hour of philosophical and scientific stories about death, a subject we all must spend a fair amount of time thinking and dreaming about. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named vase.jpgA couple of examples. Permalink to this paragraph

The three stages of death: 1. Your body dies. 2. It's buried or cremated. 3. Your name is spoken for the last time. They postulate that your soul is in limbo until you reach stage 3. For most people that day is the day you're joined in death by your last loved one. And this makes the point that fame, which so many peope seek, may not be such a great thing. After you reach stage 2, you have no influence on how your name is used. The poor farmer whose property was turned into a college after he died, and was named after him, now must wait until the college closes. And that might not happen for quite a while. Permalink to this paragraph

The next idea is about a dead language, Latin. What does it sound like? No one knows, because the last native Latin speaker died centuries ago. But think about pottery. It's spun on a wheel while wet. Maybe, just maybe while it's being spun, the grooves faintly record people speaking around the potter. So a Roman vase might be an ancient phonograph record and contain echoes of long-dead Latin-speakers. Permalink to this paragraph

These ideas aren't useful but they touch something inside me that I like. Permalink to this paragraph

Bravo! A picture named sidesmiley.gif 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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