Dave Winer - Scripting.com
Scripting News - 2020-08-05T02:38:04Z
I watched an NBA bubble game this evening between the Houston Rockets and the Portland Trailblazers. I didn't realize how much I missed live sports. It's good but I think they should get rid of the fake things. I’d like to hear what the sport is like with just the player sounds, no simulated fans. The screens with fans supposedly reacting to the play is pointless. I remember that high school and college basketball had charm, because the fans weren't so much a part of the action. Please put the player names on their uniforms. And.. When Melo scores the announcer has to say Carrrrrrrrrrmellllllllllllo Annnnnnnnthony. Please. Also Melo must wear a white headband. How else can I find him on the court?
We were inundated with rain from the hurricane with the funny name this afternoon and early evening. We were smack in the middle of the path. It was a pretty bad storm. Lights flickered a bit, the cable modem rebooted a few times, and the wind was freaky, but all's good now.
I'm reading the book about the 1918 pandemic. And it's amazing how much the 2020 pandemic is a replay. The president at the time, Woodrow Wilson, did nothing about the outbreak. Cities were on their own. People said Oh it's just the flu. Then they got it and died.
The founders obsessed on things the president could not do, but they didn't consider what we must require the president to do. He must defend the country against attacks. Trump is exploiting that loophole. Not defending the country against the virus. It's running wild. And without help from scientists the people don't understand it. If it were a fire burning in their neighborhood everyone would understand that it must be put out. No time to waste. But people can't feel that. Evolution didn't teach us to fear a virus at a primal level. So here we are. We have these great communication tools. What's next?
I like the way they talk about Trump on CNN. Everything he says is a lie and that's what they say. I think they should only run pictures of him that look like this. Only discorporate heads of Trump looking foolish and/or nauseated.
Today's song: Come and go blues.
I just signed up for Clubhouse. I'm @davew.
I’m watching Schitt’s Creek. It’s really funny. I was expecting it to be cringe-inducing, like Curb Your Enthusiasm, but it's not. Starring Catherine O'Hara who was in Beetlejuice, one of the best movies ever made. And the geeky guy from Groundhog Day, the other best movie ever made. Schitt's Creek, like its name, is both profane and wholesome.
John Naughton wrote a thought-provoking piece yesterday in his Memex 1.1 newsletter entitled Nostalgia isn't what it used to be. (Note to the Substack devs, there should be permalinks on sub-sections of the web versions of newsletters, so I can point directly to the bit I'm talking about. Might as well put them in the email versions too.) Naughton says there was a point in human evolution when we decided we were above nature, and that's when things started to go wrong. It's why we think we can return to some kind of normal once the pandemic is over. But every time we try, we hit a wall resulting in more suffering and death. I've observed something similar. Our troubles with the environment started some time in the last 100 years when, through technology, we were able to make our presence felt on the ecosystem to the point where human activity could melt the polar icecaps. So in a destructive sense, we are above nature, but it's not a good survival strategy. In fact, we live infinitesmally short lifespans on an insignificant speck of dust in space, with delusions of grandeur, when the best we can achieve, which is pretty good, is friendship, love and to a small extent, self-awareness. We're going to get smart now, and learn to be the humble mortals that we are. Or we're going to cease to exist. In other words, it's time for the human race to grow up.
BTW, a note to Google's search engine. Sometimes I put phrases into my writing that I know don't exist anywhere else on the web, so I can search for them, and enjoy the feeling of being a validated innovator. Yesterday I used a fictional name, "Hello HooHaw." When I searched for it Google said "It looks like there aren't any great matches for your search." What!?? The hell you say. There's a perfect match, way more than great. Everyone's a critic. BTW, now there are two instances of the phrase on the web. I wonder if Google will still complain.
When will it be too much for the American people to bear? We are after all a country that was founded in revolution. Did King George do anything even remotely comparable to what King Trump is doing to us? How long will we wait for someone else to fix it?
Ken Smith has been indulging me, commenting on stuff, blog-style, using LO2, even though LO2 is not (at this time) a proper blogging tool. Yesterday he commented on my process for archiving content on Scripting News. Here's a screen shot of Ken's post. I don't yet have a proper way to point to it. I know a lot about this. Future-safe archives. An organization has to have a strong and lasting commitment to creating a record, because there are so many ways to lose it. My backup to GitHub is actually an offline archive. In case GitHub survives and the web does not. I try to keep the URLs working on scripting.com, if not other domains I've created. My focus is on scripting.com. Even so, I've broken a fair number of links over the years. a big source was in the switch to S3. A very rational thing to do, no regrets, but their server is case-sensitive, and the server I had been using previously was not. It's too bad something like that was not mentioned in the founding documents of the web. I try to fix broken links when I find them. But keeping even one site unbroken is an impossible job. You do the best you can.
BTW, I'm concerned that GitHub only archives projects that have a lot of followers. In my case I preserve stuff on GitHub without concern for followers, stuff I feel strongly should be archived. Maybe this is a service they can sell?
I watched a little CNN yesterday. Starting to prefer it to MSNBC, esp Wolf Blitzer. But they say platitudes that are wrong. Example: "There’s no-one-size-fits-all approach to the virus." Sounds nice but the opposite is true. The only way out is if we all do the same at the same time until,the infection dies. First thing CNN should do is review their dogma, offline, and get it right. And then publish the results.
Forcing schools to open in the midst of an uncontrolled pandemic is genocide. The virus is still growing. You have to think bigger picture. Opening schools is like pouring gasoline on a fire, when we want to be dousing it.
I also listened to a bit of On The Media this morning. They said something that really irked me: The police is the only public institution that isn't properly overseen (I'm paraphrasing). But journalism is even less overseen. I think the op-ed page in the major papers should be run by non-journalists and should be all about the failings of journalism. They say it so many times in so many ways. Democracy dies in darkness. Journalism has always been dark. Never examined. Considered to be above reproach by mortals. And that's garbage. It's just resulted in an arrogance that's had enormous consequences.
On July 12, I posted a plan for (not) re-opening schools. "It's out of the question. What may happen is they will try to open the schools in a few of the Republican states, and close them within a few days as the rate of infection goes even higher. Cause and effect. You do something stupid and a week later the infections go up, two weeks later the hospitalizations go up and two weeks after that, the death rate goes up." It goes on from there.
A minimally competent US president would, because of the pandemic: 1. Have an approval rating in the 80s. 2. Could lead the whole world in peace..
Every neighborhood has the crazy family. On our street the crazy family were the HooHaws (made up name). The mother of the family was the Big Crazy, her name was Hello (again, made up name). One day a few years ago I arrived to visit my mom, and she was in the street talking with Hello HooHaw, and it hit me, hard. We were the crazy family. In case the parallel isn't clear, the US is about as crazy as it gets on Planet Earth. But we were raised to believe it's the rest of the world that was off its rocker.
Today's song: Summer Breeze. A boomer fave.
The Freedom Cafe has the perfect policy for people who prefer not to wear masks. "We encourage employees to wash their hands after using the bathroom, but understand that some people may be allergic to certain soaps or may simply prefer not to wash their hands. It is not our place to tell them what to do." There's more. Must-read.
How bizarre that in 2020 the president is brokering a deal for Microsoft to buy TikTok? So many questions. What's his cut. Did Microsoft agree to limit criticism of Trump on the new TikTok. How does the US government control it vs China. How bizarre that the Great Firewall appears to be going up in the US? Will loyalty to Trump be part of the terms of service for a US-owned TikTok? I can't imagine China would object.
Rebecca MacKinnon, who I trust, said: "Microsoft’s President Brad Smith once called the NSA an “advanced persistent threat.” Microsoft is also in the Global Network Initiative, whose company members commit to push back against unlawful government demands. They’re not a pliant Trumptool."
Here's an idea. To qualify for president you have to pass a basic test in statistics. It's not enough to pass a test for dementia. Also, you can't pay someone else to take the test for you.
I just got confirmation from GitHub that my stuff is part of their Arctic Vault program. That's really cool. Thanks GitHub. 💥
Baseball is headed for a catastrophe like the nursing homes in March and April. A preview of what will happen as the schools open. It can't end well. And while kids may not get immediately sick, who knows what the virus does a year or two after you first get infected? Or thirty or forty years. These are kids, they'll be around to find out. We should be thinking long term for them. And the teachers. What will protect them?
Time for a new motto? This can't end well.
Every month I archive the OPML source for the previous month, including all the metadata, to a public GitHub repository, so you can see how the data flows. There are lots of conventions in the form of attributes on OPML
<outline> elements. This is the data that Old School uses to render the HTML you see on the web. At some point when the dust clears from my other projects, I'll hook up LO2 outlines to Old School in some fashion. They're already pretty close, kind of the way San Francisco and Marin County were almost connected before a bridge was added.