Applicable to Hillary Clinton

While I haven’t figured out who is my favorite historical figure, Antonella’s tagging of me seems especially relevant in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s run for the Presidency.

Make sure to read it if you haven’t: “Well-behaved women seldom make history”.

The more I think about it, the more I believe that while she did some self-inflicted damage to her own campaign, and her knocks to Obama made her seem hypocritical, much of the news media, in retrospect, was biased, and its behavior towards her couldn’t be considered anything else then sexist.

I hope history recognizes her as someone who broke down barriers for those that will follow.

What have we become is the wrong question

A great fellow Philly blogger, upon seeing that recent CNN video of a person ran over with no one helping posted a passionate piece questioning where our society is headed when a group of people can act so unconcerned about someone else’s welfare.

In his comments, I felt the need to remind him of Kitty Genovese.

Phil Ochs’s wrote a song about her in 1967, that, with its refrain, is all too painful.

The lyrics make me feel uncomfortable, and if they make you feel the same, then that says something about their ongoing relevancy.

“Outside Of A Small Circle Of Friends”:

Look outside the window, there’s a woman being grabbed
They’ve dragged her to the bushes and now she’s being stabbed
Maybe we should call the cops and try to stop the pain
But monopoly is so much fun, I’d hate to blow the game
And I’m sure it wouldn’t interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends.

Riding down the highway, yes, my back is getting stiff
Thirteen cars are piled up, they’re hanging on a cliff.
Maybe we should pull them back with our towing chain
But we gotta move and we might get sued and it looks like it’s gonna rain
And I’m sure it wouldn’t interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends.

Sweating in the ghetto with the (colored/panthers) and the poor
The rats have joined the babies who are sleeping on the floor
Now wouldn’t it be a riot if they really blew their tops?
But they got too much already and besides, we got the cops
And I’m sure it wouldn’t interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends.

Oh, there’s a dirty paper using sex to make a sale
The Supreme Court was so upset, they sent him off to jail.
Maybe we should help the fiend and take away his fine.
But we’re busy reading playboy and the Sunday New York Times
And I’m sure it wouldn’t interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

Smoking marijuana is more fun than drinking beer,
But a friend of ours was captured and they gave him thirty years
Maybe we should raise our voices, ask somebody why
But demonstrations are a drag, besides, we’re much too high
And I’m sure it wouldn’t interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

Oh, look outside the window, there’s a woman being grabbed
They’ve dragged her to the bushes and now she’s being stabbed
Maybe we should call the cops and try to stop the pain
But monopoly is so much fun, I’d hate to blow the game
And I’m sure it wouldn’t interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

Down in Santiago where they took away our mines
We cut off all their money, so they robbed the storehouse blind
Now maybe we should ask some questions, maybe shed a tear
But I bet you a copper penny, it cannot happen here
And I’m sure it wouldn’t interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

I tend to think that the human condition is made of sterner stuff than our culture can throw at it. For good or ill.

That’s why we need to shout from the rooftops the good wherever we may find it. It is out here. There are great stories to tell. Heroes who break the mold everyday.

I know I don’t talk about them enough myself.

But the question is – does anyone care outside our circle of friends?

Morning Exercise Video Watching

Douglas Adam’s Hyperland, via North Is Up. “The Machine that Changed the World

Must read history of the Internet

In Vanity Fair.

Flip Versus Canon PowerShot

For us, the Flip doesn’t make sense, because we use our Canon PowerShot 870SD IS for “of the moment” videos and it has been terrific. We have over a hundred short home videos, including landmarks like Emma walking for the first time, that would have been impossible to capture with a video camera. I compose these into DVD collections that we keep in keepsake albums. If we were okay with uploading to YouTube, we’d have quite an audience. In any case, I tend to agree with Michael Arrington that the hype around the Flip is a bit extreme. Simplicity rocks – I get that, believe me. But wow there is a lot of hype.

Building a DSL with Groovy and Spring

SpringSource: Spring Dynamic Language Support and a Groovy DSL.


Making time count

Each morning I do an exercise routine that takes 30 minutes to 45 minutes. Typically, I would do this in the living room watching TV. These past couple days I’ve been exercising in my office and orienting my monitor towards the floor so that I can watch video.

Led by a Dave Rogers post, I watched Jill Bolte Taylor’s talk at TED as my first video. I’m glad I did. Take a gander: “These are the we, inside of me”.

The Web is not an OS

Tim Bray: Not an OS:

…I: It’s About People Not Technology
…II: It’s About Information Not Technology
…III: It’s About Business Not Technology
…IV: Nobody Uses the OS Anyhow
…V: It’s Platforms That Matter
…VI: And Anyhow, It’s Not Like an OS

And previously Jeremy Zawodny: There is no Web Operating System (or WebOS):

…Computers need operating systems but networks don’t (not at the OSI layers I’m interested in, at least). A Web Operating System is a myth propagated by people who either don’t understand the Web, don’t understand operating systems, or both.

…The web is a marketplace of services, just like the “real world” is. Everyone is free to choose from all the available services when building or doing whatever it is they do. The web just happens to be a far more efficient marketplace than the real world for many things. And it happens to run on computers that each need an operating system.

…The web is open and decentralized. Everything is one click away. Remember that.

Mashups are not toys. They’re a good illustration of this point… a hint of the future.

Read both.

Congratulations America

I haven’t been commenting on this year’s political race. For the most part, because I have been happy with the thought of either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama becoming our president.

The reason why I supported Mr. Obama (I voted for him in the primary) is that I feel he represents an urge on the part of Gen-Xers and Millennials to move past politics of division. That we’ve had enough of 60s “long haired hippies are bad/conservatives are bad/religious types are bad/whites are bad/blacks are bad/women are bad/men are bad” winning through division arguments.

The irony is that there is evidence that won’t be enough.

It is time for everyone to realize that whichever the candidate was going to be – Clinton or Obama – that overcoming fear and ignorance would be the biggest obstacles to be overcome.

Fact: People are hugely misinformed even with the vast amounts of media available to us all on the Web, on Radio, on Cable, and elsewhere.

Prediction: This race will be closer than people expect.

A John McCain win is very possible and instead of pointing to his worthiness as a candidate, most likely, it would be blamed on ignorance or racism, and while there might be some credence, I believe it is simpler than that….

We believe in untruths and have media choices that reinforce our predispositions and prejudices. Across every income, education and political group.

There are those among us, who think the act of getting informed is something that each needs to take up as a self-discipline – “if they don’t get it – they don’t get it”, instead of a social practice where each of us has a responsibility to the rest of us.

As Doc Searls once said:

Information, we observed, is derived from the verb inform, which is related to the verb form. To inform is not to “deliver information”, but rather to form the other party. If you tell me something I didn’t know before, I am changed by that. If I believe you, and value what you say, I have granted you authority. Meaning, I have given you the right to author what I know. Therefore, we are all authors of each other. This is a profoundly human condition in any case, but it is an especially important aspect of the open source value system. By forming each other, as we also form useful software, we are making the world. Not merely changing it.

That’s a powerful idea and ideal. It is one that we are not living up to. And one that will have reverberations in this campaign.

But for now, congratulations America. We’ve come a long way. The blood of so many led us to today. So onward with tomorrow.

Update: Upon further consideration – If you consider how the press has covered Hillary Clinton’s run – and our response to it – it’s pretty clear we still have a long, long way to go.


Deborah Leavy: Obama’s next challenge: The Misinformed

Will Bunch: People died so tonight could happen

Metafilter: A moment in history; Obama Wins Presidential Nomination.

Associated Press: Analysis: McCain, Obama polar opposites:

…At this point, Obama appears to have a tougher barrier to break through on race than McCain does on age.

An AP-Yahoo News study comparing November figures to April figures found that McCain has won over many people initially worried about age, while Obama has made little headway so far among people who are most uncomfortable about race.

Roughly 13 percent of those who said in November they would be very uncomfortable voting for a black candidate now say they would vote for Obama, while 51 percent of them would vote for McCain. And 31 percent of those who said they were very uncomfortable with the idea of voting for someone over age 70 would now vote for McCain, while 40 percent would vote for Obama.

And, for now at least, it’s unclear whether experience or change matters more to voters.

The same study found that people who favor a Washington outsider who will change the way things are done split about evenly between McCain and Obama, while those who favor someone with Washington experience slightly favor McCain.

However, those who are optimistic that things actually can be changed in Washington favor Obama over McCain by a large margin, 43 percent to 31 percent. Those who are pessimistic about whether Washington can change favor McCain over Obama by an even wider margin, 43 percent to 23 percent.

Each candidate has five months to make his case.