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Tinderbox Commentary

Tinderbox Commentary

The outpouring of Tinderbox comments at Cult Of Mac is extraordinary — not only for supportiveness, but also intelligence. Here’s Russ Lipton:

I have been using personal computer software since 1979; hypertext software nearly that long; Tinderbox since version 1.0.

It is the most interesting software product ever designed. It may be the only interesting software product ever designed. In a just world, Mark Bernstein would be on the cover of Wired magazine. Maybe even Rolling Stone.

Objectively, Tinderbox is probably worth $495. I wish Eastgate would sell it for $49.50 because I think it’s criminal that so few Mac users have given it a shot.

Alas, I think I could foresee the actual result.

Within a few months, 25,000 copies would be sold; more if Tinderbox were included in one of those bundling promotions. About 24,000 users would become so frustrated with Tinderbox’s originality that they would decide it was a terrible product and was CERTAINLY not worth spending fifty bucks on. The hit to Tinderbox’s reputation would be permanent.

Of the other 1,000, maybe 200 or 300 would stick with it long enough to be blown away.

Worse, it would be impossible for Eastgate ever to raise the price of Tinderbox again.

I’m kidding, but not by much.

And, no, I’m not implying for a second that Tinderbox users are especially bright (though it may fall out that this has been so) or that the ‘25,000′ would be flat-out wrong.

Rather, Tinderbox shatters the paradigm of software to-date, whether open source or proprietary. Vendors spoon-feed product to their ‘users’ (and here that word should be seen in all its ugliness) precisely so that the latter will not discover the unexpected, but only reinforce the automated execution of stuff they already understand.

Big surprise (not) that perfectly competent people in their fields view ‘computing’ as an exercise in being patronized and therefore judge anything that moves outside that metaphor to be ‘bad’ … and wisely in most cases.

When a product comes along that doesn’t patronize them, I hardly blame them for failing to recognize the possibility that Tinderbox might be the exception to the marketing lie about computers being our thinking tools.

So, I repeat: Tinderbox is the most interesting software product ever designed.

Tinderbox was great when it was version one, if pathetically immature relative to version 5.0. So how good is version 5.0?

Wicked good.

And yet …..

I’m going to be really irritated if Mark doesn’t continue evolving Tinderbox into his nineties. I hope to be marveling at version 15.0 in my nineties alongside him.

My maps will be very, very, very large visually then …. but I won’t care.

If you’ve never heard of Tinderbox, you owe it to yourself to read this. But don’t stop there…

Posted via web from SFKeydel’s posterous

Gallery – A final warning from the Arctic – New Scientist

A final warning from the Arctic

00:00 24 November 2009

The Greenland ice sheet is five kilometres thick and melting fast. The effect of adding all that water to the oceans may become terrifyingly apparent around the world in the coming decades, but the effects of climate warming are already clear in the Arctic itself. Here’s the evidence, in words and pictures by Alun Anderson, former editor-in-chief of New Scientist and author of After the Ice: Life, death and politics in the new Arctic (published this month by HarperCollins-Smithsonian in the US and Virgin Books in the UK).

Dismiss at all of our peril.

Posted via web from SFKeydel’s posterous

Mark Bernstein: Tinderbox 5

Tinderbox 5

Tinderbox 5

Tinderbox 5 is now available. It’s the biggest update we’ve ever done. Here is the overview. (And here is Mark Anderson’s invaluable aTbRef for Tinderbox 5.)

It’s a big step. Tinderbox 5 is fast. Maps, charts, and outlines all get a terrific boost. There are lots of developments: more than 150 release notes, and literally thousands of improvements you’ll enjoy but won’t see.

I’ll be talking a lot in the coming days about the many, many changes in Tinderbox 5. But, first, I really need some sleep.

Too many groundbreaking new features to mention. If you’ve been waiting to upgrade, wait no longer!

Posted via web from SFKeydel’s posterous

Boom! Hok! A Monkey Language Is Deciphered

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Article: The Origin of Big


Sent from my iPhone

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Huffington Post: Democrats Call GOPers Bluff On Public Option


Sent from my iPhone

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And man came from the worms of the decaying Pan Gu’s body

And man came from the worms of the
decaying Pan Gu’s body

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I still can’t fully wrap my brain around it

Studs Terkel dead

Doesn’t seem possible. Studs was/is a hero to me; I’ll have more to say later.

Stanley Fish explains the rope-a-dope

The Power of Positive Campaigning