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

Xenophobic self-congratulation

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:8/20/2000; 5:00:11 PM
Topic:A History of "Open Source"
Msg #:19857 (In response to 19856)
Prev/Next:19856 / 19859

I'm reminded of the professor from Edinborough, who was on our panel in Amsterdam, who's probably no older than me, who lectured us on how he was doing all this stuff ages ago. Such attitudes make me want to barf. So focused on their own accomplishments, they can't see the obvious that's right before their eyes. "Hey there are smart people who I don't know."

And then you meet a guy like David Singer, who's so curious and doesn't care that we've never been there before and just soaks up the knowledge that's offered to him for free.

Ken, do you know that my worked forked off Unix in the mid-late 70s? I learned from reading the Unix source code. I connected with the authors. I stole the key idea from the Lisp editor.

I went to CP/M because I couldn't afford to buy a Unix machine for myself in 1978. Then went to the Apple II because it had a DMA screen, which as it turns out was needed to do expand-collapse and then dragging move.

All the while I wanted to reconnect with the networking culture from Unix, eventually HTTP came along, and our experience in IAC was essential to know how to get a simple networking layer and a syndication model that our friends from the Mac (the designers who we totally didn't understand when we first encountered them) could parse and build on.

The problem, repeatedly, with the Unix geek culture is the limit of their vision and their culture's self-contratulatory xenophobia. I want to try to pry open the minds, so we don't leave them behind as the Net morphs into yet another thing they don't understand. Or put another way, to unlock the minds that are willing to open, who look to leaders who are xenophobically self-congratulatory.

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