This week, Internet Pioneer and the founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), John Perry Barlow passed away quietly in his sleep at the age of 70.
Forty years ago, John Perry Barlow wrote 25 points that he aspired to live up to:
- Be patient. No matter what.
- Don't badmouth: Assign responsibility, not blame. Say nothing of another you wouldn't say to him.
- Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.
- Expand your sense of the possible.
- Don't trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change.
- Don't ask more of others than you can deliver yourself.
- Tolerate ambiguity.
- Laugh at yourself frequently.
- Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.
- Try not to forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong.
- Give up blood sports.
- Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Don't risk it frivolously.
- Never lie to anyone for any reason. (Lies of omission are sometimes exempt.)
- Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.
- Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that.
- Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun.
- Praise at least as often as you disparage.
- Admit your errors freely and quickly.
- Become less suspicious of joy.
- Understand humility.
- Remember that love forgives everything.
- Foster dignity.
- Live memorably.
- Love yourself.
(click here to read his AMA on Reddit from four years ago where he reposted these)
Cindy Cohn, Executive Director of EFF wrote a post making the announcement, saying:
"Barlow was sometimes held up as a straw man for a kind of naive techno-utopianism that believed that the Internet could solve all of humanity's problems without causing any more. As someone who spent the past 27 years working with him at EFF, I can say that nothing could be further from the truth. Barlow knew that new technology could create and empower evil as much as it could create and empower good. He made a conscious decision to focus on the latter: "I knew it’s also true that a good way to invent the future is to predict it. So I predicted Utopia, hoping to give Liberty a running start before the laws of Moore and Metcalfe delivered up what Ed Snowden now correctly calls 'turn-key totalitarianism.'”"
What are your principals for adult behavior? And how can we resurrect the meaning of the word to be something more like "fully grown or developed" than something "not suitable for kids" (be it a drink or a behavior)?
husband & father; cyclist; former senior advisor in obama white house;
senior strategists for csforall; nomcon lead; owner of initial velocity...
Cover image credit: https://www.eff.org/cyberspace-independence