A perspective on the Attack

I was going to post some this week about the status on Net Attitude and some other things but given the events of Tuesday I decided to wait on that. Instead I am taking the liberty to post something written by Leonard Pitts, Jr., a columnist for The Miami Herald. It was sent to me by a friend named David Hoffman. It captures a lot of things I feel and that I have read from others. I certainly could not do better in expressing the feelings I suspect that many of us have……

Hello colleagues,

I have been looking for something that speaks for me. I am sure that you all are, as well. Through a friend, I found a statement that says it best, at least for me. It may or may not say it for you, but I share it with you for my own release, nonetheless.

Love to you all,

David Hoffman


Written by Leonard Pitts, Jr., a columnist for The Miami Herald. Published Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Headline- We’ll go forward from this moment

It’s my job to have something to say. They pay me to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering. You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard. What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward’s attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed. Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause. Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve. Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together. Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social, political and class division, but a family nonetheless. We’re frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae — a singer’s revealing dress, a ball team’s misfortune, a cartoon mouse. We’re wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are fundamentally decent, though — peace-loving and compassionate. We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and loving God. Some people — you, perhaps — think that any or all of this makes us weak. You’re mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.

IN PAIN

Yes, we’re in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We’re still grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working to make ourselves understand that this isn’t a special effect from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn’t the plot development from a Tom Clancy novel. Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable final death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of terrorism in the history of the United States and, probably, the history of the world. You’ve bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before. But there’s a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice. I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread of the future. In the days to come, there will be recrimination and accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There will be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We’ll go forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably determined.

THE STEEL IN US

You see, the steel in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people who don’t know us well. On this day, the family’s bickering is put on hold. As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish. So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that’s the case, consider the message received. And take this message in exchange: You don’t know my people. You don’t know what we’re capable of. You don’t know what you just started. But you’re about to learn.

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Marketing of the book

The book was printed last week and should now be shipping to the various distributors and from there to the book retailers. Within three weeks I expect Net Attitude to be generally available. I have been thinking about how I can help the marketing efforts to maximize a successful book launch. The publisher is doing quite a bit to promote the book with the retailers and they are also arranging press interviews for me with radio stations, newspapers, and TV. A couple of early reviews are posted here on this site. Beyond those activities though, I think I can probably do a lot myself through email. My address book has over five thousand names of family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintenances. I don’t want to send anything that would be perceived as “spam” or in any way invade people’s inboxes so I am thinking a lot about how or even if to do this. Seems to me there must be a tactful way that I can inform people that they may appreciate. Any reactions or suggestions on this are more than welcome.

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Thanks for the endorsements

Net AttitudeI always wondered how the endorsements (called blurbs) that appear on the back of the dust jacket of a book came about. Actually, I have written a dozen or so blurbs for other peoples books over the years but now with my first book of my own the reciprocal relationship needs to happen. I sent invitations to do an endorsement to people who I am privileged to have known for a long time and whose opinions would be respected. They all wrote their own words. I am highly appreciative of what they had to say. “John Patrick is one of the Web’s most respected pioneers and thinkers. In Net Attitude he offers every business person a path to success on the Internet, and it all begins with attitude.”

–Lou Dobbs, Anchor and Editor, CNN’s Lou Dobbs MoneyLine


Net Attitude is a creative and useful mix about Internet technology, every day living, and a vision of the future. It covers the full spectrum of communications and information in a highly pragmatic and very readable way. The authors recurring theme that attitude is the ultimate differentiator between success and failure gives life to the technologies, ties them together, and makes the book a must read.

–James D. Robinson III, General Partner and co-Founder, RRE Ventures, Former Chairman and CEO, American Express Company


John Patrick remains enthusiastic about the Internet despite the recent burst of the dotcom bubble. This book is the antidote to any doubt about the potential of Internet. Read it and get the net attitude!

–Bob Metcalfe, Ethernet inventor


In Net Attitude John Patrick offers a sprightly tour of where we’ve been and where we could go. Old hands can read it for fun and to see what they want to debatenewcomers can rely on it as a tour guide to the Brave New World.

–Amy Wohl, Editor, Amy D. Wohl’s Opinions


“Intelligence is mostly point of view and the rest is attitude. John provides a charming and easy-to-read cultural primer and travel guide for citizens of the world of atoms who plan to visit or emigrate to the land of bits.”

–Nicholas Negroponte, Chairman and Co-founder of MIT Media Laboratory


Net Attitude is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the New Economy. John Patrick provides the recipe for how to be more effective in the new workplace. He shows you the language, the protocol, the tools, and the perspectives you need to get ahead in these changing economic times. His hands-on approach and global perspective will be an eye-opener to employees and managers alike!

–Mary Furlong, founder of ThirdAge.com and founder of SeniorNet.org

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Getting Net Attitude Into Print

I started writing the book in the summer of 2000 and submitted the manuscript to Perseus Publishing around the end of March 2001. Memorial Day weekend was spent going over the hardcopy manuscript that the publishers copy editor had marked up with grammatical fixes and suggested changes. Being an electrical engineer by original training I cant say that English has been one of my strengths but hopefully I have learned how to communicate effectively over the years. I really appreciated the copy editor enhancing the book by taking the time to catch every comma, semicolon, and misstated word. At this stage the book had been converted to some proprietary electronic format that I dont understand. The next version of the manuscript, which I received just before the fourth of July, had the pages marked up with the final page design including page numbers, titles, and shadowing of the Reflections. I read through the book as carefully as I could and caught a number of errors and minor things to clarify. As far as I know the book is totally out of my hands now. I believe the current schedule is for the book to be printed in late September and then begin to show up in retail channels in October.

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Welcome to the Net Attitude weblog

This weblog is an extension of Net Attitude. My plan is to use it as a way to communicate about the book as it makes its way toward general availability. I will also be using the weblog as a way to reflect on things that changed between the time I finished writing the book and when readers started reading it. Once the book was out of my hands and into the publishers (the manuscript was submitted around the end of March 2001), I began to make notes about things I had written about in Net Attitude that happened sooner or later or differently than I thought they would. There were also new developments that I had not anticipated. I will try to capture many of these changes and post them in the weblog here. I also hope that the weblog will help the book stay dynamic. There are various sidebars I call them Reflections — throughout the book. I am sure readers have reflections of their own and later on I plan to enable readers to share them or any comments with other readers of the book.

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