Scripting News for 6/1/2008

We’re angry, uneducated and unhealthy. Now what? 

Jeff Jarvis said something that got my fur up: Only Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan had an irrefutable point. ‘We’ve got a totally irrational system of nominating our president,’ he said.

It’s refutable. Obama looked at how the nominating process was laid out and then built an organization and strategy to win on the terms of the system, rather than close his eyes and try to hit the target and then blame the game for his loss as Clinton and her supporters are doing.

Which kind of President would you rather have — one who accepts the world as it is and then maps out a way to win, or one that grouses at how irrational it is.

Yeah it’s irrational that all the oil is in the Middle East. Now what?

Yeah it’s irrational that Bush started a crazy war and that the country’s education and health care systems are inadequate to compete in a global economy. Now what?

Our infrastructure is crumbling, our products aren’t competitive, we’re uneducated, unhealthy, angry and to make matters worse our houses aren’t worth shit. Now what?

I want a President who welcomes the chaos and then figures out how we can be smart about the hand we’ve been dealt. Not one that whines and complains about how irrational the world is.

I can’t wait until the Clinton Democrats accept that their time has passed and the world their way worked in has passed too, and let’s get on with it.

Update: This piece, cross-posted at Huffington.

Cousin Mikey is taking an interest in Twitter 

Mike Arringtoh wrote a post yesterday about architecture issues in Twitter which was mostly pretty good, though his last question is very lawyerly and off the wall, no way one person is responsible for the problems with Twitter, and if there were one person, it would be the CEO not a programmer.

I sent an email to Mike and even tried to call him, but he’s not answering, so I’ll just get him the info here on Scripting. If you know Mike and he reads your email, please send him a pointer to this piece and say hi for me! :-)

Here’s the message: It’s pretty likely you can buy or license off-the-shelf software that does more or less what Twitter does. (Probably more.) The problem of reliably sending massive numbers of notifications quickly was solved a long time ago in the financial services industry, apparently. Think about it — the stock markets and banks have to do this, and if they drop out like Twitter does, billions of dollars would be lost, maybe the whole economy! There would be a lot of good reasons to throw lots of money at this problem.

The pointers came up during an extensive discussion about decentralizing Twitter’s architecture here in January.

It made sense to me — I encountered these kinds of people when I worked in NYC as a programmer after graduating college in the mid-70s. That the software has been commodified since then is not surprising.

I’ve tried to suggest to the Twitter management that they take this route, but haven’t gotten through.

Maybe someone should look into the idea of just adapting technology the enterprise guys are using?

Just a thought.

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