Ben Langhinrichs

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October, 2004
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Fri 8 Oct 2004, 11:03 PM
I have to tell you the truth, political junkie that I am, I almost turned off the debate tonight.  Both President Bush and Senator Kerry were way too shrill, way too argumentative and way too combative for the first forty five minutes.

It might have been a draw, but Bush managed on the last question to completely lose the debate.  Asked to name three mistakes he has made out of the "thousands of decisions" he has had to make in the past four years, he couldn't come up with one.  He tried to deflect it all, then tried to say he "stood on his record", then he tried to say "history will judge", and he finally made a weak and cowardly comment about having made some bad appointments but did not want to hurt people's feelings.  He exposed the biggest single issue many people have with him, his total unwillingness, and possibly even inability, to admit that he ever has or ever could make a mistake.  I think this one will blow up, especially as the last question.  Who can't name three mistakes they have made in four years, much less a president who has presided over huge job losses, a war predicated on false justifications, a huge terrorist attack, etc. etc. etc.  It is like being in a job interview when they ask what your greatest weakness is.  Almost anybody can name something that will be both good and bad, but George Bush seems unable to even say the words, "I made a mistake".  It is like he really believes he was appointed by God.  

Again, I think Bush could have pulled it out, even though both were way off for the first half of the debate, but that question... and that non-answer.  Sheesh!

Copyright © 2004 Genii Software Ltd.

Fri 8 Oct 2004, 01:24 PM
I was talking to a couple of gentlemen recently and mentioned that I was in the Penumbra group with Andrew Pollack (I don't even remember the context), and they both started talking with great animation about his talk on the admin client at last year's Lotusphere.  One said, and the other agreed, "Whatever he is speaking on this year, I'll go hear it."

That makes me think about the "can't miss" speakers I have watched for at Lotuspheres past.  Mussie Shore and Bob Balaban are two that come to mind.  I would look at topics, but I'd go to topics that were well outside my area of interest if one of these two was the speaker.  

So, as a service to Ed Brill and Rocky Oliver and all the good people at Lotus making decisions about who should speak this year, who are your "can't miss" speakers?  Who would you go to listen to, practically no matter what they were presenting?  They don't have to be people who speak at Lotusphere, necessarily.  My wife tells me that Ed Hundert, president of Case Western Reserve University, is her "can't miss" speaker, but she has never been to Lotusphere anyway.  So, what is your "short list"?

Copyright © 2004 Genii Software Ltd.