April 24, 2024

Dave Winer, Geek Equivalent of Babs Streisand?

I’ve been reading Scripting News for a good while now because Dave Winer, best known as an evangelist for RSS, is a techno-dilletante extraordinaire and seems to be leading the life every geek (like me) longs for.

But that’s not what’s interesting at the moment; DW’s recent political coming out is. Witness this piece, this one, this one, this one, and this one. “I’m also trying to do what I can to make “Republican” a dirty word,” Winer states.

Obviously I don’t have a problem with using one’s blog as a political soap box. What I’m thinking about is the fact that DW’s soap box is a regular bully pulpit compared with the ragged crate of the Moore Dynasty. He’s out of the Technorati 100 for the moment, but that’s the kind of readership we’re talking about.

Is that influence justified in the context of politics? No. In sharp contrast with his status in the world of technology, Winer’s grasp of global affairs is that of a mere mortal. He’s the tech equivalent of the movie stars who use fame to create unearned influence for their agendas. Hopefully people realize he’s just one voice.

On the other hand, at least someone’s saying some things that need to be said out loud. Re the recent torture bill debacle brought to us by Washington D.C., DW says:

I seriously think my country has lost its mind. We’re getting the best wakeup call possible with the torture bill. We’re getting the warning, if we re-elect the Republican Congress, we deserve what we get.

However, it’s not up to me, it’s up to the Republicans. That’s the basic truth. If you love the Constitution, if you love this country, how can you support what Congress just did.

Winer’s celebrity gives him a prominence that is deserved in the technology field and completely unearned in that of politics. The truth is that I resent his influence in that arena because it’s undeserved and because I disagree with him most of the time.

But in this case I have to say, “Thanks Dave, for doing something, even if you’re usually wrong.”


Marc is a software developer, writer, and part-time political know-it-all who currently resides in Texas in the good ol' U.S.A.

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One thought on “Dave Winer, Geek Equivalent of Babs Streisand?

  1. He has as much credibility on politics as Alec Baldwin.

    Then again, he has as much credibility on politics as I do.

    Ahh the beauty of a free society. Its a good thing that Woodrow Wilson is not President…Winer would be shut down and perhaps imprisoned.

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