Joho the Blog » 2003 » December

December 25, 2003

Dean on the phone

Suppose Gov. Dean were to record a message like the following and make it available for download on the campaign Web site:

Hello. You’ve reached the home of ____[suitably long pause]_____. I’m Governor Howard Dean and these good folks are supporting our campaign to take back our country. That’s why I approved this phone answering message. Now, here’s the beep.

or

Hello. ____[suitably long pause]_____ have agreed to let me answer their phone. I’m Howard Dean and if you elect me president, I’ll answer your phone, too. Now, here’s the beep.

or

Hello. This is Howard Dean. ____[suitably long pause]_____ have agreed to let me answer their phone because they’re busy on the Internet making new friends and building a grassroots organization that will take back our country in 2004. If you’re not too embarrassed to still be using telephones, feel free to leave a message after the beep.

or

Hello. This is Howard Dean. ____[suitably long pause]_____ have agreed to let me answer their phone in order to try out an experiment in post-hypnotic suggestion. When you hear the beep, you will send $77 to my campaign and think I’m 6’2″. Your eyes are getting tired … so tired … [beep]

How many FEC regulations would this break? How about canons of taste?

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December 24, 2003

Wired’s take on Dean

Gary Wolf’s written a terrific article about the Nettiness of the Dean campaign. For example, he tells of a conversation with Joi Ito:

I contact him to ask if he thinks there’s a difference between an emergent leader and an old-fashioned political opportunist. What does it take to lead a smart mob? Ito emails back an odd metaphor: “You’re not a leader, you’re a place. You’re like a park or a garden. If it’s comfortable and cool, people are attracted. Deanspace is not really about Dean. It’s about us.”

You should probably pair this article with Ed Cone‘s. Gary’s is more concerned with the theoretical while Ed’s takes you right into the cubes in the Dean HQ. Add in the NY Times Magazine article on the ethos of the campaign, and you have a pretty damn good picture of what’s going on, what it feels like, and why it matters.

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Sopranos Spoilers

I just posted at BlogCritics.org my guesses about how The Sopranos ends, including speculation about which characters don’t make it out of the series alive.

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Two signs that SCO is desperate

As SCO widens its arguments, the whiff of desperation is becoming a full-fledged stank. So, now the Gnu Public License itself violates copyright law? According to CEO Darl McBride, the GPL removes the profit motive from software development and the profit motive “underpins the constitutionality of the (U.S.) Copyright Act.”

Here’s Linus’ reply:

“I’m a big believer in copyrights,” Torvalds wrote in an e-mail interview. “Of all the intellectual property (laws), copyright … is the only one that is expressly designed so that individual people can (and do) get them without having scads of lawyers on their side.”

“If Darl McBride was in charge, he’d probably make marriage unconstitutional too, since clearly it de-emphasizes the commercial nature of normal human interaction, and probably is a major impediment to the commercial growth of prostitution,” he wrote.

Another sign of desperation? When the CEO of SCO proudly says that hiring a famous lawyer — David Boies — raised the company’s stock price from $1 to $14. Oh yeah, that’s the type of sustainable competitive advantage you want to build your company on.

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December 23, 2003

It’s all about the docs

Jon Udell reports on the return of the document as the fundamental human unit of information.

Yeah, I’m paraphrasing wildly so don’t blame Jon for the way I’m twisting his words. But he’s right anyway.

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Wise Cory

I’m fond of these words of wisdom from Cory:

The last twenty years were about technology. The next twenty years are about policy…

I have a special request to the toolmakers of 2004: stop making tools that magnify and multilply awkward social situations

An important note for 2004: stop trying to build an Internet without malefactors, parasites, freeriders and inefficiency.

See you next year, Cory. Or, more accurately: If you’re Cory and you’re reading this, then it is net year.

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Mixed Seasons Greetings

Steve Himmer at One Pot [belly] Meal has an awesome greeting card on his site. Very Boston, even if it turns out not to have been snapped in Boston.

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Emergent Democracy Forum

O’Reilly has just announced its Emergent Democracy Forum, sorta kinda part of the Emerging Technology conference. Looks like it could be good. (Disclosure: I’m on the organizing committee.)

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Human Microsoft

The World Wide Media Exchange — a site collecting tens of thousands of amateur photos, arranged by location — sounds totally human. And it’s a Microsoft site! For example, take a look at the press page and compare it to just about every other press page you’ve ever seen.

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December 22, 2003

Bill Joy’s email address

Does anyone have Bill Joy’s email address? If so, could you please email it to me at self [A T] evident.com? I promise not to spam him. Thank you.

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