Need some fresh air

Where Are the Statesmen?

Where is statesmanship?

There is a nasty tendency in human relations today. It says, "never acknowledge or quote anything your opponent says." If you're a conservative, never quote a liberal. If you're a Democrat, never quote a Republican, except to argue with his or her point. If you and your peer are "competing" for the same promotion, acknowlegde nothing good about them, their work or their ideas.

Somehow this just seems all wrong. It's also boring. Some of the funniest stuff you'll hear comes from clever, bright people on the opposing side. None of this is limited to politics. It happens in the technology debates. It happens in social circles. Venemous and rancorous mudslinging is getting us nowhere.

There is a gridlock in so many places. No movement forward is evident. I'm not sure how we get back to bipartisan politics and civil discourse, but it is time. Now for an example of someone who would never be conciliatory in any way with any chaturbate member of the Republican party.

Okay, here goes. I cannot imagine myself being any more opposed to a candidate or having greater opposition to the views and approach of a candidate for office than I have with Al Sharpton. However, the way this rolled off the tongue, well you be the judge:

Tony Blair and George Bush had a meeting; acted as though it was a world summit - two guys in a phone booth, acting like the whole world had met.

When There Are No Secrets

Ask Yahoo wanted to track down the salaries of the governors of the fifty states. They weren't all that successful. I tried to track down the salaries of the CEO's or directors of state lotteries for those states that have lotteries. I got only partial information.

This sounds like an excellent job for a properly categorized weblog. It could capture the salary and fringe benefits of state and municipal employees. Remember, in many states, the highest paid person on the state's payroll is some football or basketball coach at one of the state universities!

Meaning Well, Saying It Incorrectly

Nancy Goering, posting at Glenn Fleishman's site, provides a link to an article that sounds like something I'd write about web standards or maybe even Wi-Fi. In other words, something written by someone who just didn't have the terminology straight or the concepts clearly pictured in their brains.

The question remains: what is the bill of materials that is required to connect 'x' number of users in a five square mile area with a wi-fi network? Clearly, the user needs a wi-fi card or wi-fi-ready PC. From there, I assume there's a conventional wireless access point. From there, what? 802.16? Something else? Fiber to the WAP?

She follows that article with another that hits closer to home. Cincinnati is planning a metropolitan Wi-Fi cloud. I'm not a fan of taxes to build these things, but I am a jasminelive fan of the notion that a strong WISP in a city might offer a serious alternative to the monopolistic attitudes of many cable companies and DSL providers. Small businesses and home owners would be the big beneficiaries.

The most important link and information in the entire article is this, "... said Esmie Vos, founder of, an Amsterdam-based Web site that tracks Wi-Fi projects worldwide." I glanced at the web site and I'm hopeful that it will connect me with someone who can describe for me what it takes to put wi-fi over a five square mile area. From there I can begin to understand the complexities of the "typical" municipal or campus wi-fi project.

References For Standards-Based Design

Web Design On A Shoestring by Carrie BicknerNow this sounds interesting. Jeffrey Zeldman has linked to Carrie Bickner and the fact that she's got a new book coming out. It is called Web Design On A Shoestring.

I wonder whether or not the principles covered in the book also apply to small business sites and weblogs. The concept is terrific. I spoke with a small business owner last week who had spent $200,000 for a web site that never became operational. He then spent $50,000 with another designer/developer who had the site operational in less than 60 days. Today, he believes everything he got could be built from concept to "go live" for $5,000.

I suspect he's right.

OK, Confession Time

Within the past week or two, I learned via a comment that I should be encoding certain types of punctuation when I write for this weblog. That ensures that the page validates properly.

My confession is that it is simply too much trouble right now. I use Movable Type's text entry box to type all of my entries. I also hand-code every blockquote, img, and a href tag. Remembering the precise number for an apostrophe (I think it was 8217) and opening and closing quotes is a nuisance. It is particularly annoying when, somehow, Movable Type or IE manages to figure out what I meant and renders the final page correctly for viewing.

Call me lazy. I'm sure someone out there is inconvenienced by my slothfulness. However, until I understand why the 8217 rendering of an apostrophe is identical to, better than or worse than the ' method, I'm just going to write.

Wait. That's not enough. I need to understand the difference AND I need to learn to write my entries in TopStyle with full validation and all the other fancy stuff PLUS I need those scripts and plugins that make everything look so good without having to think about every 8217, 8220 and 8221.

Asking With No Political Motive (At All)

With all sincerity and out of total ignorance, I set the backdrop for a few questions by quoting Dave Winer:

I'm very interested in RSS feeds. I'd love to know why some RSS feeds display graphics in FeedDemon, but others do not. I'd like to know how to set up RSS feeds for categories. I'd like to know how to set up RSS feeds that show:

the first part of an entry

an excerpt of an entry which I think relates to Movable Type's excerpt box below the text entry box

entries with comments

In other words, I need to understand more about RSS. What I'm curious about from Dave's entry is what makes the RSS feeds at George Bush's weblog a "mess?" Is it the fact that there are multiple RSS feeds? Is it the formatting of those feeds? I have no hidden agenda, nor do I have any viewpoint at all on the topic. I know there has been acrimonious debate about RSS feeds, but I don't know what makes one a "mess." Anything anyone can point me to that explains the background of Dave's statement would be greatly appreciated.