Scripting News for 5/29/2007

Easy upgrade to Facebook 

When someone lists you as a “friend” on Facebook you get to confirm it. That’s good.

When you click on the “Confirm” button, you get a list of choices that almost never seems to have the right choice. Does that mean you don’t have a relationship with the person? No. It means that the list of possible choices hasn’t been updated since Facebook was opened to people outside the education system.

For example, Jeff Jarvis requested that I confirm that he is a friend. Of course I’m going to confirm that, because there is a relationship between Jeff and myself that should be part of my social network. In this case, Jeff is part of my blogging network, and I am part of his. We point to each other frequently. When we run into each other at a conference we have friendly words for each other. If you want me to introduce you to Jeff, I can probably do it, and vice versa. Also, Jeff has introduced me to a company I subsequently invested in (not something students usually do).

Jeremy Allaire is also in my queue, and is verified immediately. What’s the relationship? We were both early relatively successful web developers. We once, jointly, floated an interesting proposal for a tech standard that didn’t go anywhere. I’m a founder of and pundit in a field that Allaire has started a company in (and raised a prodigious amount of money). He probably reads my blog.

And there’s the “delighted by” checkbox for women I’ll never date (too young, live too far away, etc), but who nonetheless flatter me by requesting friendship.

Another checkbox — “fantasizes about.” 🙂

PS: For extra credit, relationship-defining should be part of Facebook’s open architecture.

Memorial Day postscript 

In Monday’s NY Times, I read a rousing op-ed piece by Paul Krugman, who quoted President Bush saying that Americans never go to war unless it is absolutely necessary to do so. Krugman said that no American president has ever had less right to say that.

Gives you goosebumps, until you realize it may not be true.

When I was writing my Memorial Day piece, I said that the war in Iraq is an insult to all other wars. I gave World War II as an example, but that is one of the few wars that the US has fought, except for the Revolution and World War I that you can say that about. If you stop and think about it, the US goes to war all the time for no good reason.

For example, who but the US could you blame for the Civil War? That counts as a war, doesn’t it? Lots of people died. It devastated huge parts of the country. You think 9-11 was bad, think again. The Civil War was much much worse. The clever part of the hype about 9-11 is that it disclaims that the attack came from outside the US. Well, that’s a distinction without a difference. If the terror comes from within is it any less terrible?

Krugman was right about many other things, but I think that those who hold the US up as a shining beacon of morals in war-going have been watching too many John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart movies. Maybe we should aspire to that.

A Berkeley prof with his hand out 

An over-covered story — the professional reporters will go away, which is bad news for you and me. Not saying it isn’t true, but how many times, and different ways have you read this story. But if Google were to fund the reporters, as the author suggests, what happens when Google’s fortunes decline? Tech is a cyclic industry. What goes up must come down. Count on it. And who will watch Google? That’s been the problem with the employees of big media companies, they never look at their funders. How do we know they’re really losing money? Maybe they’re controlled by politicians or business people who want to do nasty stuff without being observed?

I could make the same argument, persuasively, for basic computer research. Who’s doing it? Who’s funding it? But the money dried up there without many articles in the SF Chron decrying it. Big surprise? Nope, of course not. The reporters are selfish and narcisistic. Hey, if you want our attention, stop complaining, stop the open offers to sell out, and let’s get working on solving the problem. I want professional reporting to continue, but I also want to live forever, and that ain’t happening.

Arrived in Copenhagen 

At 2:17PM Central European Time, Tuesday.

Left Berkeley at 11:25AM Pacific, Monday.

Thomas just showed up, all is good, seeya after a bit.

Flickr: Having lunch at a coffee house in Copenhagen.

Paolo is coming to Copenhagen tomorrow. Who else?

From Jim Posner things to do in Copenhagen.

I want to take a train trip up the coast tomorrow.

Some kind of record 

I haven’t slept since 5AM Pacific Monday.

It’s now 6PM Central European.

Which is 9AM Pacific Tuesday.

So it’s 28 hours since I slept.

Tired, but I took a shower, so I’m not sleepy.

Makes sense to stay up as long as I can.

Took a melatonin though.

Should be nodding off soon.


I got 0 hours sleep on the plane, so now I’ve been up for 26 hours straight.

I just asked Thomas if David Weinberger has ever been to Reboot. He says yes.

I say then I feel like Small Pieces Loosely Joined. 🙂

I’m going to try to stay up for two more hours and then go back to the hotel and crash.

Can’t recall beeing this jetlagged.

Economist: Viagra and jet lag.

Internet perf in my hotel room 

8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anton2000 on May 29, 2007 at 5:11 am

    Hello Dave,

    and? how does it work, the blackberry?


  2. Posted by Tom on May 29, 2007 at 7:23 am

    Well Dave you are in the ‘happiest place on earth’ according to this BBC article Apparently the Danes are the worlds happiest people. However, according to my friend here in Portland who is Danish they are also unfriendly. Not sure how happy & unfriendly works exactly, but maybe you’ll find out. Enjoy Copenhagen I’ve heard it’s a great city.


  3. The Blackberry worked in Amsterdam, but does not work in Copenhagen.

    And the KLM 747 had power at the seats, but I didn’t bring my adapter. I did have three batteries, which provided enough juice for the whole trip.


  4. Posted by Fred Taub on May 29, 2007 at 10:28 am


    Denmark has an incredible museum of modern art. It is right on the North Sea, about a 30-minute train ride up the coast from Copenhagen. Don’t miss the the views across the sea to Sweden from the outdoor sculpture garden.

    Curiously, it is called the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.



  5. Posted by Anton2000 on May 29, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    Hello Dave,

    good to read that all went well with the journey. According to statistics the third day of jetlag is the most tiring, fatiguing. So take it easy and relax. Paris always travels in a very wide workout suit or jogging suit and sleeps all the way in the plane to europe. Enjoy your “séjour” in europe. Avoid the hamburgers and get some real european food 🙂


  6. Posted by Jeremy on May 29, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    >> If you stop and think about it, the US goes to war all the time for no good reason.

    Agreed. Emphasis on the word “good.” Certainly there are reasons behind the US’s various military interventions; these mainly relate to material interests. The Spanish-American-Cuban war is a particularly salient example, which is too often forgotten.


  7. RE: Facebook Relationship classification

    It’s perhaps interesting to note, that this feature (which was introduced alongside the “Relationship Timeline”) have not seen any significant user uptake among college facebook users.


  8. I can absolutely concur on the Louisiana Museum of Art. I will also encourage you to go to RizzRazz for lunch. Amazing and delicious and you can sit outside and watch the beautiful Danes wander past. Or even share a table with one or two or three or four of them. It’s a fantastic place for a meal. So yummy that I went back TWICE in the days I was in Copenhagen.

    Also, get yourself over to Christiana and just have a wander around. It is such an interesting place. I wanted to move there, of course.

    And…if you haven’t, hop in a boat for a tour. Really. It’s worth it. And is a really great way to enjoy all that Copenhagen has to offer.

    Gosh I love that city. It really is one of my favorites.


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