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America's greatness

18 February[ —]

I was riding the Long Island Railroad into Manhattan on Friday night listening to a quick podcast from NPR about the indictments announced earlier in the day, and I had a goosebumps feeling. It was easy to figure where it came from. Finally someone in charge in my country was fighting back against the Russians. The president wouldn't do it, the Republican-dominated Congress wouldn't. So a Republican Deputy Attorney General did. What Russia did was an act of war. We have their names. Now the government of the United States is going to fight back. I was proud of America in a way I had thought was gone. A few hours later Rachel Maddow described the same feeling. She was on her way out of town for the weekend, but turned around because she had something to say. Pride in America is what she wanted to say. Me too!

It happened again yesterday, watching the speeches of the high school students in Florida declaring war on the weapons that had killed their classmates and teachers earlier in the week. Such power and determination. They weren't saving anyone's pride. The adults are full of shit. We're not going to take it. We will be famous, not a footnote. This will be the last mass-killing in a school in the United States. Well it may not be, but what an idea. We can get there. Eventually there will be a last mass-killing, but first we have to get rid of the NRA. They are an infestation. Vermin. A disease. They must be eradicated.

We don't deserve these kids, but there they are anyway. The spirit of the USA is alive, though some of them had to die. This is where our greatness lives. Not too far under the surface. When enough is enough, out it comes.

So twice in one weekend the enraged spirit of America re-emerged and is kicking ass, from suprising places. Surprisingly, it ain't over yet! )


Sans titre

18 February[ —]
In 1992, my company, UserLand Software, shipped Frontier, a scripting environment and object database for the Mac. I came across a Frontier box the other day and took a picture of the front and back of the box, and saved it as a PDF. Hopefully we'll be able to find it in search engines in the future.

Sans titre

17 February[ —]
This talk by Bruce Sterling at the Reboot conference in 2009 has new relevance for me, given the big event at the beginning of the month. All of a sudden change seems very possible, as Sterling's theory predicts. It's remarkable to me how fixed-in-place you get until a big tree falls, and now there's new light shining on new life. Not surprising that I wrote that blog post a couple of weeks after Father's Day in 2009. And it's pretty cool that my mind took me back to it at this moment, the bookend for Father's Day (which for some reason I'm not calling Mother's Day, probably because that doesn't do it justice, no matter how influential fathers are, mothers are where we came from).

A little free mentoring

17 February[ —]

Check out this piece in Quartz, which is ostensibly about encouraging men to mentor women, even though we might be afraid to be alone with women. Like many stories about #metoo, it's condescending, threatening, disrespectful even humiliating to men.

This is one reason men are scared to be alone with women. I feel it, when I'm alone in an elevator with a woman I don't know. I move as far away as I can, and shrink my body to be as small as possible. I'm wary of making smalltalk with women I don't know. I have no idea how they'll interpret it. Or when I called the front desk of the hotel to ask for help with the TV and a woman shows up. You're trusting this person with your reputation, every time. Yes I know, you want me to experience it. You got it, I'm experiencing it. But the taunting? Taking about me masturbating and locking women in my office? That is exactly the problem. We're afraid you're giving every wrong deed done by all men to each of us, no matter how we, as individuals, actually relate to women. That's why it feels safer to follow Mike Pence's rule.

Humiliating us isn't going to make us more comfortable, and as long as we have a choice, many will choose to stay safe. I get how this is unfair to women, so let's work together to lower the tension and to make a safe environment for everyone. A win-win doesn't begin by deliberately disadvantaging one group of people.

So here's some free mentoring. The Golden Rule is a good place to start. You catch more flies with honey, is another good one. And a new one that might not have occurred to you -- men are people too, and we're not all that different from you. Treat us like people you care about and you might be surprised at the result.


BYTE piece on laptops

15 February[ —]

In 1984, I wrote an article for BYTE about "laptop" computers, and the software you'd want to use on such a machine. Note that laptops didn't exist yet, but they were about to, and btw, I knew. I was non-disclosed and had a prototype of the Data General One which was more or less the first.

I got credit in William Safire's NYT column for coining the term laptop, even though I didn't. It was already in use at the time. Friends said I shouldn't have been so honest, Safire's column on language was authoritative. But wtf, I have a hard time taking credit for other people's innovation. Go figure.

Also here's a scan of the cover of the magazine.

Update: They have a scan of the whole issue on archive.org, in PDF format.


Sans titre

15 February[ —]
A ThinkTank ad that ran full page in PC Week some time in 1985. There's no date on the ad, or on the article on the other side of the page. The ad looks a lot better than the scan. And the fine print didn't make it on the scan, so I did another scan with just that info. My signature, in 1985, had a lot of detail that's since been lost. Back then I did a lot more writing, so my handwriting was more important than it is now, where all my writing is done on a keyboard, and has been for decades. Also years of being a CEO and having to sign stacks of things did a number on my signature too.

Sans titre

15 February[ —]
BTW, I think of it as "my mom's house" but in fact it's the house I grew up in. Weird how perceptions change. Until 2009 it was "my parents' house" and until 1976 it was "my house."

Sans titre

15 February[ —]
I'm going through stuff from my mom's house. For example, here's an invitation to my parents' wedding on Christmas Day 1953 at the Park Lane Hotel in NYC. Interestingly it's not far from where I live today. Of course I wasn't even a twinkle in my father's eye at the time (I was born in 1955). By posting it here I hope to be able to find it in the future. BTW, my grandfather's name is listed on the invite as "Rubin" but no one called him that. He was Rudy and was the superstar celebrity of the family. My grandmother, Lucy, was the real power. I bought a domain to commemorate him, appropriately named rudykiesler.com.

Sans titre

15 February[ —]
Stop. It's not about specific gun laws. The problem is the NRA. Make it unacceptable for a politician to take money from the NRA. Then, and only then, can the political discussion of mass-killing guns start to become rational.

Sans titre

14 February[ —]
I'm not sure I ever knew this but the Library of Congress archived a bunch of blogs that covered 9/11, including Scripting News.

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