Pick up the phone

From another site everyone should read, even if they don’t think they’re geeks: Round 2: Dial Tone:

You can regard the history of the computer industry as pushing “dial tone” further and further up the stack. As Crichton noted, the rotary dial telephone was the first computer that allowed direct interaction between humans and computers. The personal computer pushed customer self service up the stack to programming, data processing, and eventually applications such as word processing and spreadsheets.

New applications often start out requiring operators, but eventually move towards dial-tone. For example, you can look at blogging as the “dial tone” equivalent of creating a web site. For ordinary folks (not most of my readers, but non-technical folks), creating a web site was something that required an operator. You went to a web design shop or an ISP and had them do it for you. The blogging revolution, the wiki revolution, the MySpace revolution, the CyWorld revolution, are really about providing a kind of self-service dial-tone for creating a web presence and community.

You can apply this to running, too. Fitness used to be something the rich did, as they were the only ones with leisure time. Then, it was the folks with athletic talent and access to limited facilities and training.

With the internet, we’ve all got access to the motivation and techniques of the greats. Want to run a marathon? Google it, pick a training plan, and plug into a support group.

DIY fitness. Nothing better.

Big Maggy Speaks

So, you read Pez Cycling News, right?

Today, they’ve got Magnus Backstedt’s regular bit covering the Tour of Denmark, and also a couple of paragraphs on the tiny problem Cycling’s been having. I dug these; the rest is extremely interesting.

I hear that there are a lot of people are wondering why many riders don’t speak up about the doping issue!

I think I know why, and it is all based on the media. You can say something to a journalist and the next day he has twisted it around and published it in a way that pleases him to sell more copies of his newspaper or magazine. This is never fun even when it concerns less delicate issues than doping. So as you can probably understand there is a fear of being quoted saying something that you haven’t said! So if there was some more respect being shown from journalists in this matter I think the riders might feel a bit more confident in talking. In saying this I want to add that this doesn’t go for all journalists, but you can never be sure who is the good one and who is the bad one. A bit like the doping I guess!

I can’t say that I disagree – why speak out if it makes you a target?

In happier news, last week’s Prairie Home Companion (a rerun) was amazing. Mark Knopfler … Absolutely perfect for sitting on the porch in the chill of impending Autumn, with the crickets providing percussion.