The land of the Mice, a bedtime story

goran at goran at
Fri Jun 29 17:51:20 UTC 2007

Let me tell you a story...

I was around... when King Dan ruled the Land of the Mice, his court the
"SqC" was strong and the stream was flowing smoothly. It was a glorious
and joyous time and I were there to see sir PWS, sir Comanche and
princess Swiki being born as children of Socket. The wizard Morphic was
still young and agile at that time...

Things were well, but not everyone were happy in the Land of the Mice -
the population grew quickly and only the fortunate ones to enter the
castle Image could have their fields fully prosper and not wither and
die in the harsh outbacks of the Internet.

During this era the (oh, so lonely) renegades of Stable Squeak rose and
fell. A noteworthy effort and something to learn from, they were
probably the first to wander outside of the monarchy trying to create
something on their own. But they tried to do everything on their own and
soon perished under lack of time. Together we are strong but in few
numbers we do not weigh that much.

I was around... at the Great Gathering (OOPSLA) when King Dan and his
court withdrew from power and left the land in the hands of the Guides,
a humble group that tried to guide, but did not manage to lead and
capture the hearts and dedication of mice as the formidable King had
been able to do before them.

Only a few brave souls during this era kept the state apparatus working
- wanderer Marcus and blacksmith Doug comes to mind, also being guides
at the time and doing a fearful amount of work to keep our stream
facilities working.

Though clearly undecisive, this era was still to be remembered as a
relatively good time - the time when a lot of new useful structures were
erected by brave dedicated citizens, like for example monastery
Monticello, the castle of SqueakSource and the holy library of
SqueakMap. And the new popular plaza - SqP - where citizens could post
their writings on walls for all to see. All in all, great
accomplishments - but still, an undecisive era becoming more and more
vague in direction and loosing momentum.

I was around... to see the revolution that begun the short third era -
the one year of benevolent dictatorship. A small group took a firmer
charge of the land, by force - with the aim to create a new
constitution. This was not looked upon as something good by all
citizens. It was also the rebirth of and the acquisition of
the electronical citadell - box2 - where all holy scrolls and resources
were kept.

During this year they started a process towards a democracy, strongly
believing that this was the only way forward for the land of the mice -
a stronger rule enabled by the display of trust from the citizens. This
group had many names but promised *one* thing, and that was to step down
after exactly one year. And when one year had passed this was also
fulfilled and they were replaced with a group elected directly by the

The land of the mice entered the fourth era - the era of The Board, a

During the second, third and fourth era, groups of fellow citizens moved
off in different directions and created new communities throughout the
land like the mysterious Croquet island, the infectious brotherhood of
Seaside, the true temple of the Spoon, the state bureau of Mantis and
lately even a modest but popular food court called SqueakDev, just to
mention a few. The land of the mice is fertile with more citicens than
ever, even though spread out in various parts of the continent.

We are now in the second year of the fourth era. Are the citizens happy?
Or is there confusion and paralysis spreading slowly across the land? Is
the bureacracy and constitution working as we hoped or is it slowly
eroding the hearts and souls of mice? the magic gone?

And if this is so.... what can we learn from history to do something
about it?

Can our land be yet again changed through a revolution? Would it be
wise? Or is it just a lack of strong builders creating new castles and
houses of wonder? Can the land sustain more than one castle? change the land of mice... or to raise the sails and find new land
across the sea?

And with those words my friends, it is time for you to sleep on it. Good


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