I stumbled on an old DaveNet piece from 1994 on developers and platforms, which caused me to go back and reread a number of his classic e-mails. I forgot how interesting they were.
These were the good old days of the Internet, where you could write about Microsoft, and Bill Gates would write back telling you why you were an idiot. (Well, he didn’t actually use that word, but how would you describe: “Nothing I said… could have been misinterpreted to suggest [the idiotic thing you wrote].”)
My favorite piece (so far) is an e-mail that Esther Dyson sent to Dave, which includes these highly prescient lines:
The new wave is not value-added; it’s garbage-subtracted. The job of the future is pr guy, not journalist. I’m too busy reading, so why should I pay for more things to read? Anything anyone didn’t pay to send to me… I’m not going to read.
Yes, in a world full of content and advertising and pr, I still want to know what your friends and mine are thinking, but I want only what they think is so good that they’ll pay to have me read it — because they honestly believe it will raise their stature in my eyes.
If that isn’t foreseeing the downfall of newspapers and the rise of Facebook and Twitter statuses and Google AdWords, nothing is.
Popularity: 9% [?]
Inspired by watching the Julia & Julia, I not only cooked dinner from recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but I am now blogging about it.
I watched the movie at Japantown’s Kabuki Sundance Theater. The Kabuki has many positive virtues, such as the ability to pre-select your seat, drink alcohol in the theatre, and no commercials before the show. (They also have the highest ticket prices in town.) However, I chose it for two other reasons.
One: In 1974, Julia performed eight cooking demonstrations at the Kabuki Theater itself, an event covered by Calvin Thompkins in his fantastic 11,005 word profile published in The New Yorker. (Did you know that Julia wrote that she “would be perfectly happy w. only Chinese food…. Either French or Chinese. Could live w. only Chinese.”)
Two: The Kabuki uses real butter on their popcorn. Knowing Julia’s fondness for butter, it seemed disrespectful, and downright untasty, to eat artificially flavored popcorn during the show.
Popularity: 14% [?]
As a follow up to my earlier post, I’ve been seeing an increasing number of inline maps within Google search results.
I don’t know if they expanded the number of pages that trigger this feature, if they’ve rolled the code to a larger set of servers, or both.
Popularity: 31% [?]
My travel schedule this fall has been absolutely nuts.
In September, I was in Kansas City and Seattle; so far in October, I’ve been to Austin and Washington, DC, with a conference in San Francisco, thrown in for good measure in between.
On Monday, I leave DC for three days in Las Vegas, come back to speak at a show in San Jose, where we will be exhibiting, and then leave for a weekend in Orlando nine days later.
For reasons of sanity, I will not be going anywhere for Thanksgiving.
Popularity: 31% [?]