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You Say You Want A Revolution

So the vision of Microsoft is pretty simple. It changed a couple years ago. For the first 25 years of the company, it was a personal computer on every desk and in every home. And it was a very good vision; very rare for a company to be able to stick with something like that for 25 years. The reason we changed it was simply that it became acceptable. It wasn’t wild. It wasn’t this big claim, where people would say, "Are you kidding?" You know, they would kind of say, "Of course. What’s next? Is it some other company that’s going to drive the next revolution here?"

    - William Henry Gates III, keynote address the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-2001)

Planning this kind of strategy was relatively easy. The hard part (for me, anyway) was accepting what my own role had to be.

One thing I understood from the beginning is that the press almost completely tunes out abstractions. They won't write about ideas without larger-than-life personalities fronting them. Everything has to be story, drama, conflict, sound bites. Otherwise most reporters will simply go to sleep--and if they don't, their editors will... We needed a firebrand, a spin doctor, a propagandist, an ambassador, an evangelist--somebody who could dance and sing and shout from the housetops and seduce reporters and huggermug with CEOs and bang the media machine until its contrary gears ground out the message: The revolution is here!

    - Eric S. Raymond, Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution (1999), edited by Chris DiBona, Sam Ockman, Mark Stone

The revolutionary war is a war of the masses; it can be waged only by mobilizing the masses and relying on them.

    - Mao Zedong (1893 - 1976), Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong (毛主席语录 Pinyin: Máo Zhǔxí Yǔlù), aka "The Little Red Book" (1966), Chapter 8: "The People's War"

What say you?

For context:

On a more humorous note: some of Gates's gaffes.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 17th, 2005 04:59 pm (UTC)
There should be more population control than there is.
Jul. 17th, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC)
Care to elaborate?
Interesting... but tell us more, please.

Jul. 17th, 2005 08:13 pm (UTC)
the only true revolution is the revolution of minds.
one does not need to change the worl, one only has to change one's mind and the world will follow ;)
Jul. 17th, 2005 08:21 pm (UTC)
Yes sir, Morpheus, sir
That's very profound, as I'd expect from de_profundiis. :-)

Jul. 17th, 2005 08:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Yes sir, Morpheus, sir
"as I'd expect from de_profundiis. :-)"


there's this portuguese song from "Gabriel o Pensador" (meaning Gabriel the thinker - a rap/hip hop artist from Brasil, even though the genre is not one of my favourites I do love to listen to this artist due to the content of his lyrics) that says something like:

"Muda que quando a gente muda o mundo muda com a gente
A gente muda o mundo na mudança da mente"

translated comes something like:

"Change, for when we change the world changes with us
We change the world with the change of our mind"

(of course in Portuguese it sounds better due to the rhyme of 'gente' (slang for 'people') and mente ('mind'))
Jul. 18th, 2005 07:20 am (UTC)
Gabriel o Pensador
Very good!

Say, were you going to suggest a potential Cool Word of the Month in Portugese?

Jul. 18th, 2005 08:01 pm (UTC)
Cool Word of the Month Nominees
Avassalador - ['A' as in 'a' (article) + 'vass' as in germaninc 'was' but with a deaf 'a' + 'alador' as in 'halladour' (wahtever that may be :) without the 'h']; overwhelming, overpowering

Devaneio - ['De' as in 'the' + 'van' as in 'vanguard' + 'eio' as in 'heyo' without the 'H']; reverie, daydream, illusion
Jul. 18th, 2005 03:52 am (UTC)
Obligatory Gandhi quote
We must become the change we want to see in the world.
- Mohandas Gandhi

IMHO, revolution is long lasting only if it's quiet - if we don't foist our agenda on others.

Jul. 18th, 2005 07:30 am (UTC)
Foisting is as foisting does
It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them.
    - Niccolo Machiavelli, Il Principe

Long-lasting, yes: but another definition of revolution is that it leads some segment of the population where it does not (necessarily) want to go.

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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