Dave Winer - Scripting.com
Scripting News - 2020-11-27T17:30:45Z
In a way it's a shame the vaccines are coming, because if they weren't, we would have to learn to trust and work together, all of us, without exception. The virus would be like AIDS, which transformed sexuality in the 80s and 90s. There wasn't much of a "safe sex" concept before AIDS. Back then, if we were as crazy as we are now, people would say "it's my right not to wear a condom. You're infringing on my civil liberties!" A condom to protect against STDs is fairly analogous to wearing a mask to protect against Covid. There is no vaccine for AIDS, roughly 40 years later. So we had to transform and learn new societal norms. We apparently will not have to do that for Covid-19. Shame. Because we really do need to learn how to work each other, for many other reasons. This is not the last crisis we're going to be facing collectively, and a new understanding of what our rights are is called for.
I'm going to get the vaccine as soon as I can. If I get vaccinated, now you aren't my problem, not personally. I might urge you to get the vaccine or wear a mask because I care about other people, but it's not about me anymore.
In the early days of the virus I said it would make us smarter because there's no way out that doesn't require us to be smarter. It was true, we did get smarter. But we didn't have to work together. We will be able to get out of this, individually, even if people are in it only for themselves and some immature misguided sense of what their rights are.
The lame duck had a eruption yesterday, a very rude one, where he said he was the president of the United States and you don't talk to the president of the United States that way. Then I thought, is he really the president of the United States? He plays golf and other than that probably not much more. Can you say you're president of the United States if you aren't doing the job?
For the Lincoln Project. Do you still live rent-free in Trump's head? I always wondered why campaigns stop entertaining us with videos when the election is over. That's when the fun starts, esp if you won. 💥
Something I wrote on Facebook in 2018. "I hear a lot of baby boomer blame tonight. I just have one thing to say to you younguns. NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON. There I let you in on the secret. Now go "run" the world. Hahah."
Today's song: Alice's Restaurant.
A wild turkey came to visit the other day! 🚀
Poll: Which company's products do you buy more than the others?
I am thankful for my car. It's really weird but since the pandemic started, I've had this huge appreciation for what a fine bit of engineering it is. For a relatively big car it handles really well, esp driving on muddy dirt roads, which I do every day. It has more headroom than any car I've owned, which is cool because my torso is huge. In most cars, designed for normal-size people, I hit my head getting in, and have to scrunch my body uncomfortably just to fit. I sail in and out of the Forester, and I can sit any way I want. You'd be amazed how important this is. It also has technological flourishes which while not as flashy as a Tesla, still blow my mind. For example, the car likes to stay in lane. You could have a collision if you really insist, but you would know you were doing it. Very rational design. But the biggest thing is this -- for a civilization that is tottering on the edge of oblivion in so many ways, if this is the pinnacle, the highest point we ever reach, I have to say, well done human species. Very nice work.
I'm thankful for the great food in Woodstock. For such a small town, there are an incredible number of great places to eat. Much of it is very affordable. I've lived in Berkeley, New Orleans and New York -- places known for great food -- and the food here is that good. And the farms are right here, so the food is often incredibly fresh. For a good bagel however, you still have to go to NYC.
A bunch of big shots, including yours truly, are pretending we work for Gruber, after we all admitted that we couldn't work for anyone. Here's my vignette. "Dave has been ordered to add a feature to the app, and asked to explain why it’ll take so long to do. Finally Gruber in a fit of frustration asks for the source so he can add it himself over the holiday weekend. Dave gives him the code and starts work on a fresh project."
I'm thankful to have survived the virus at least this far. Every day is a new day in this wonderful world. Of course I'm thankful Donald Trump is now a has-been, one-term, washed-up, lame-duck, impeached, loser. I have avoided listening to him and reading his tweets, all the time knowing they were possibly going to affect our lives, always in a bad way. At least for the time-being it feels like that is over.
I'm sure we've lost a lot in the last four years that we don't yet know about, especially in 2020. But the United States is still the United States. Journalism tends to make it appear worse than it is. In day to day life, at least where I live, things are much the same as before. The store shelves are still full. You can still buy a wonderful meal. Want to buy a car? You can. The roads are clear. Gas stations have gas. Supply chains work. The health care system is a mess, as before, but much worse right now. The laws for the most part are enforced (except for you know who and his friends). Western civilization created and tested three highly effective vaccines in record time. We did this. To Americans who hate elites, if you understand these sentences, you might want to think again about living in a country that values education, science and math enough to get these things done, pronto, when needed, to save your life. Yours. You. Now we're going to try to get our political system to work for us again. Maybe you can possibly not get in the way of that? I know that's a lot to hope for. :-)
Obviously Stacey Abrams should be the next chair of the Democratic Party. Just look at the electoral map. There's the great state of Georgia, a solid blue in a sea of red. Someone figured it out. Someone was determined it would work. Someone made it work. Another good candidate would be Pete Buttigieg. Because the Dems need to talk to white people. It may not be popular, but if they could steal ten percent of the Trump base from the Repubs, things would go a lot smoother.
Where did people get the idea that this holiday season could be like last year's holiday season? Andrew Cuomo says it's commercials, and I think he's right. Check out this Etsy commercial. A feel-good holiday dinner. No masks. People of all generations together, indoors, no social distancing. Where did they get the idea that this kind of ad was appropriate in 2020? I'm sure the question came up.
Political parties must become social nets. We're going through yet another Democratic transition where the voters are being forgotten as the insiders turn to governance. Our job is simply to give them money and vote. That's why it's working so poorly, why polling isn't able to read the electorate. Why as soon as 2022, the Dems could lose the House and then Biden will surely be impeached. We need to organize, so we can help -- using the best networking tools available.
Occam‘s News reports the only reasons Trump pardons: 1. He’s being paid $ to do it. 2. He’s being blackmailed.
The most frequently cited domains from my linkblog. BTW, this is the query that generated that table: select domain, count(domain) from links group by domain order by count(domain) desc limit 100;
There was a time, a few years ago, when the NYT went to war with Facebook, leading the rest of the journalism industry. Since then I've never seen the NYT say anything positive about Facebook, or even present an alternate point of view of something evil they reported about Facebook. Add their obvious conflict of interest, and you have exactly what Fox, Breitbart or Newsmax does, except with added arrogance and pretense. They aren't even trying to present the factual information so their readers can make up their own minds. This has a very strong effect, it keeps people who follow the NYT from using Facebook to organize. Even on simple totally non-controversial things like being a way for neighbors to communicate. News is too powerful to be this fucked up. That should be the new Washington Post slogan like the one about democracy (which btw, they haven't done a great job of preserving, just sayin). That said, guess which pub is #1 on my list of most frequently cited domains?
Today's song: My Wife.
I wrote a script that's loading all my linkblog links going back to 2010 into a MySQL database. I'm almost getting good at this. 💥
I listened to yesterday's Cuomo briefing. Highly recommend it. Here's the RSS feed. A story he tells: On TV companies are advertising Thanksgiving the normal way with people getting together for parties and big dinners. Lots of hugs. No masks or social distancing. This sends a message that we're back to normal. I know it's illogical, but with no one contradicting the message in as powerful a way (one or two news interviews with Dr Fauci isn't that powerful) people are relieved. But the density of virus now is very high. You might've gotten away with traveling in the summer when the virus was scarce, but now, it's everywhere, and the result is likely to be dramatic, awful, and the growth of the virus will make even more people get infected in December and January.
BTW, at the supermarket this morning I saw a guy wearing one of those plastic face shields. That's not protection for the virus. When you breathe, it goes around the shield and enters the environment with no filter. It's as if you weren't wearing a mask, because you're not.
We're in a period where people who understand math and science have a survival advantage over people who don't. It's not even high math, btw -- just the kind of stuff you would have learned in high school, if you were paying attention. ;-)
A flaw in the Constitution we're learning about now, the period between an incumbent losing a bid for re-election, and the inauguration of his successor is unnecessarily long. This is a period when the president, as we're finding out now, can do real damage to the country. I expect we're going to learn a lot about what's happening now when Trump leaves, or maybe runs. The smart thing to do would be to remove the president as soon as the election outcome is known. And pending investigation he should be put in jail, no bail. A nice one, of course, but still we need to check out what he did.
Season 4 of The Crown is good. About half way through, at the beginning of the Australia trip, I gave up. I felt it was unwatchable. But I gave it another try. It's quite a story. And the characters are more interesting than I gave them credit for, and the acting is good. The last scene of the last episode is the best. Ties it up in a ribbon. No spoilers. 💥
An idea for a New Year's resolution. At least once a day agree with someone. Not silently. Say "I agree with you." No qualification, not "I agree with you, but.." It's jarring at first, then liberating. And the responses will surprise you.
This is why I don’t trust reviews from journos who Apple chooses to review their products. They overlook the flaws that make the machine unusable. And all the gushing over what? A new CPU? Please. I can't tell what CPU any machine is running, and neither can you, unless you open the system About box. My main concern about the new Macs with the new CPU is if VMWare runs on them, and if I can run Frontier in there. Otherwise forget it. I'll stick with my Intel iMac Pro I bought in 2017.
The Cuomo podcast is updating again.
Increased air travel for the holiday is a form of national suicide. But on CNN they give a lame version of the story. Trying to find normalcy flying to a big family dinner on Thursday is crazy.
A friend told me the other day that outliners are not good for planning software development work because they are "linear." I have no idea what that means. For me, the function of an outliner is to let me record ideas and events to flow to different places over time. Flow is the big word. It's the fluidity of the outliner that makes the difference. I think of it as text on rails. Paper and whiteboards are not so flexible because of limited space. Outlines have unlimited space. I can always add a note and the software automatically makes room. And I can move something without erasing it (a weakness of paper). Fluidity. Are outlines linear? Not in any obvious way, to me at least. A linear tool would force everything to be on one line, at one level. The point of an outline is that you can go infinitely deep. The work has structure. A line is unstructured.
As far as I know, no columnist or editorial board has called for the House and Senate to remove Trump before he can do more damage. There is a provision for it in the Constitution. Here's the checklist.
I'm about to give up on the holiday cards. All the sites are impossible to use. I want to put a picture on the front. A two-word message in front of the picture. Open the card, it says something like Happy Holidays, with my name, and enough room for me to write something. On the back it should not have an ad for the company. It should be just as simple as I've said here. I shouldn't have to figure anything out. Four questions, click Submit to preview. Bing.
A vivid picture of how ideas flow in our political world: "He spent most of his career as a bit of an outsider to Washington’s social world, his face pressed against the glass. The cool kids, including President Barack Obama, occasionally mocked him behind his back for his cornball earnestness." They're talking about Joe Biden, who is about to become our president. So maybe the idea of people inside and outside isn't serving us so well. I can't believe how long it takes our stupid political system to neutralize a troll. If journalism weren't so walled-off from those of us with our faces "pressed against the glass" we might have avoided a lot of the still-unknown
damage carnage of the Trump years. Two consecutive uncool presidents. Maybe it's time to air things out a bit, open the window.
Very quietly Medium is no longer the online place-of-record, which is good, because as a money-losing tech startup they have no obligation to maintain a record. The bad news is that the new incumbent is yet another tech startup. If we want the net to work, we need some institutions that are not-for-profit. archive.org is a good backstop. But the web imho deserves more.
Must-read article on the stupid coup that's happening right now in the US. The author makes a good point. There is a coup built into the Constitution in the delay between the election and inauguration. Too much time for a president who has been voted out to do damage. Previous presidents have limited the damage because they were goodfellas, and wanted to be seen by history as such. But now we have a mad king who doesn't give a shit what you think.
Has anyone considered that the Trumps want to delay the transition because the Bidens will then find out that they’ve gutted our government. And that there’s actually no plan for distributing the vaccine. In other words it's a coverup. Hoping some catastrophe comes along that makes it unnecessary to do a transition. Think about how long Trump has stalled the release of his tax returns.
Trump is like a programmer you're getting ready to fire, who gets wind of it, and starts destroying your servers and backups. I've seen this actually happen. Do you wait for all the I's to get dotted and T's to get crossed, or do you delete his credentials immediately?
Today's song: Ironic.
Sidney Powell is Trolling 2.0.
As Thanksgiving is almost here, this is what I'm most thankful for. The functional parts of the American government held back the corrupt parts. We had a perfect national election. Squeaky clean. The Trumps are proving that. The courts, even judges appointed by Trump, are sticking to and enforcing the rule of law. Is that enough to keep the system going for a while longer? We don't know for sure, but right now, it looks like it is. And think of all the things that didn't hold. And the corruption that made that possible
A graph I'd like to see. 1. Make a list of all the most influential journalists. 2. Put their names on a map. 3. If journo A reads journo B, then draw an arc with a pointer going from A to B. That's it. I'd just like to see who influences who.