November 13, 2001
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Indy Day

Independents Day is releasing a pair of new essays on The Independent Web every few hours. My contribution is a story: Tom and Bequi: The Web Journal That Brought Down the Wall, the story of a senior field trip in which sparks fly and the sea moves.

The old-fashioned gaselectric takes them through the city. Here is the Great Penguin, just like in the movies. Monument Square, with the mystic icons of mschmidt and toke, the fray flammifer, the eastern gate, the list apart. Over there, a stone bridge built centuries ago and still in service: talk about underfunding maintenance!

What they wanted, I think, was a manifesto or an oracle; I gave them a fable. Talking points include: the great wall of encryption; open source is fundamentally at odds with systems engineering and the conflict between the two will not be swiftly or easily resolved; the US sellout to Microsoft may be long remembered; finding news is hard; meatspace matters most; keeping a Web log may become a religious obligation; robots don't read email; sleeping on floors is better with company; it's all about the audience; writing is life; more life.