Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Me and Jason Levine

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:2/19/2000; 5:44:33 PM
Msg #:15138 (In response to 15137)
Prev/Next:15137 / 15139

Obviously it's OK if other people use their servers and domains to whine about me, I'd prefer if they didn't, if everyone could be smart and happy not bitter, but that's just not the way the world is, so I accept that. But I have some answers.

Yesterday Jason Levine, whose site I read regularly, reamed me. This hurts for a bit, but then I thought about it. He's saying basically, to him, it appears as if I changed my mind. Now, in my family, which I suspect is a lot like Jason's, it was the worst thing in the world to change your mind. Once someone caught you doing it, everything you ever said was totally invalidated. So you fought like hell when someone said you changed your mind (actually the word that was used was "contradict").

Here's the problem. Of course I change my mind! I'm a human being. That's part of being human. So one day I lament the divisions in the weblog world (I say I care about it basically) and then a few days later I blast through the divisions. Different person? No. Flawed human being? If you're negative. If you're positive, you might say he's not stuck, he's flowing, he's not rigid. Whatever.

Changing your mind is a good thing. Having different moods and views is a good thing too. I even wrote about this, actually quite a few times. Here's my favorite:

Just when you think you know someone, they change. Sometimes the change can come out in a confusing way. The simplest assumption is just that something about the person changed, nothing more. It can feel like you're being abandoned or betrayed, and in a sense you are. Your old friend is leaving, and a new one is taking his or her place.

When a friend changes you can find the bond that's connecting you at a deeper level. The surface stuff isn't a good thing to depend on. Physical bodies change as they grow. So do emotional bodies and intellectual ones. Take a deep breath. People move, life is more like a wild dance than a ceremony. You just can't tell what's coming next.

That was basically my answer to my family. I will appear to change when I actually change. No more lies about that. No more need to argue about it. Now to Jason, that's a problem. He caught me. But he only caught me being human.

That's why I suspect his family is a lot like mine. New York Jews, we have high IQs, but we're really fucked up when it comes to appreciating and loving each other. And if you really appreciate someone you appreciate that they change.

If you're young you don't really know about change, imho. You will learn about change if you live to be middle-aged. Even men will learn this, although as a young man I didn't think I would. "We can make babies until we die," I thought. But everything changes as you get older. Everything. (Hint hint.)

I suspect that you really get the lesson about change if you're lucky enough to survive to old age. I was taking a walk a few years ago with my longtime friend Bernie De Koven, who is (I think) about ten years older than me. I tripped and twisted my ankle and it hurt for a bit. I said "It'll fix itself in a few minutes." To which Bernie said, "Spoken like a young man!" he said. It gave me the shudders.

Another interesting angle. I don't think young people want to listen to older people because they're afraid about becoming older themselves.

Anyway back to change. As you get older you have to get OK with change. I think it was three years ago when I started needing reading glasses. Nowadays I know what Bernie was talking about, maybe. I still have a few more years to go. Change is all around. It happens in the garden, in the creek, and most scarily, in my own body.


PS: I really miss the HTML editor over here on Nirvana. Maybe we should move this discussion to where we're running the latest software. I have a feeling that would work better.

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