Exercising my right to walk away

further evidence

Dave Winer is a genius.

Seriously. Dave Winer is the person behind many of the technologies that shaped the web as we know it today – RSS, MetaWeblog API, XML-RPC, Podcasting. Even blogging.

Heck, Dave is one of the reasons I can write this post. His vision and technical leadership created true free speech and put the foundation for turning the web into a medium for conversation, and in the process helped shaped modern 21st century democracy.

Dave Winer is a person I’d rather not have a conversation with.

Here is a short collection from Dave’s recent posts to his Twitter:

What Israelis and many Americans have failed to understand that the children you are killing are just like your children

If you think that there is an argument you could make that would justify killing children, because there is no such argument

Israel can’t kill Palestinian civilians and pretend somehow they are right. What they’re doing is simply indefensible

And my favorite:

People ask what I would do if I were Israel. I don’t know. But: KILLING CHILDREN IS WRONG. If you don’t know that may god have mercy on you.

And so it goes on and on, with Dave composing short, bite-sized undeniable truths and hitting the post button.

I am not big on nationalism. I hate what’s happening right now. I hate the fact that the national group I am part of is inflicting pain, suffering and death on another group of people.

But being part of this group, and being also part of a larger group called Humanity, I know that when it comes to people (as opposed to, say, XML), simple black-and-white statements are more often than not wrong and serve nothing except adding fuel to the flames.

Simple black-and-white statements like this are often the weapon of tyrants or cult leaders, who feed on the perceived difference between the perceived black and the perceived white. They rarely if ever lead toward a solution.

Dave must have met a few Israelies in his life. It’d be impossible not to, given Israel’s contribution to tech (or science, arts, politics, finance, philosophy, free thinking, democracy, …) . And yet, from the safety of his living room, he feels compelled to educate the world in general and Israelis in particular that killing children is wrong.

In fact, Dave, that incredibly smart person, doesn’t seem to have the kind of smarts it takes to understand that not only Israelis know that killing children is wrong, but also killing children in the middle of a military operation which will succeed only if given enough time to remove certain grownups from the playing board is against Israel’s tactical interests.

Listening to Dave saying these things is frustrating for me. I could engage in a conversation with Dave and try to educate him back, but I have a feeling that this would be an equally frustrating experience and would not produce results. So instead, I am walking away from this conversation. I do not wish to participate in it even as a listener.

I am no longer following Dave on Twitter, FriendFeed, Flickr, etc. (If I missed a channel, feel free to let me know).

He was right about RPC-XML vs SOAP though :)