this is a hack!

Blog 2018

2018-07-05 EU Copyright law voted down

Good!

While I am a staunch supporter of a European Union, I am also for reasonable laws.  The proposed regulation was clearly flawed.  Much of it is acceptable:  people should not be allowed to upload copies of copyrighted content; I do understand the worries of the artists who were in favour of the regulation.

However, the details were wrong.  So, back to the drawing board to design something more reasonable.

I remain convinced that the ultimate solution lies in direct payments to the authors, something that is sorely lacking.  Micropayment systems can be implemented.

2018-07-05 Facebook algorithms classify parts of the US Declaration of Independency as hate speech

Well, yes and it is!  The problem is not in (quote from https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44722728) "It looks like we made a mistake and removed something you posted on Facebook that didn't go against our community standards,".

The problem is that the passage was not sufficiently marked as a quote, and/or the algorithms do not recognise quotes well enough.

The phrase "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, …" is also no longer acceptable.  First because it leaves out women, and second because it is simply not true:  people differ in intellectual and physical capacities.

But somehow most of us seem to know what the spirit of that sentence is:  one person should not dominate another forcefully; and all should be given similar upportunities.

2018-07-04 Macron on Migrants

Macron says migrant centres in Africa will not work unless led by the countries themselves, and also that the fundamental problem is Africa's unplanned population growth.

He is right on both points.  Population growth is highest in Africa, the result of continued traditionalist behaviour after improved health care.  There is however also climate change and resource depletion, though still much less of an influence.  Africa's cultures have to change in the face of better administering of medical technologies.

African countries have had many decades of time to introduce better education, better technologies and better politics.  Instead they have exacerbated local strife, made wars along ancient divides, and largely stuck to traditionalist and tribalist organisation of societies.

These countries should try to keep their best people rather than let them emigrate.  But they should also settle their differences, to the point of redrawing frontiers:  sticking to the colonial ones is worse than colonial rhetoric.  it is short-sighed idiocy.

And yes, last but not least, Europe and the rich world should help:  financially, politically, technologically.

2018-07-04 EU Regulation on Copyright

What is this now?  Wikipedia closes in protest against possibly new regulation on making links.  Links are the heart of civilisation:  they existed since one person could refer another to a third one for more information on a subject they did not entirely know themselves.  That was before writing, hence prehistoric.

2018-06-19 Spreading Responsibility

Justice usually assigns all blame for an incident on a single individual.  I propose a more spread responsibility.

Take the recent separating of children from their parents in the case of illegal immigrant families.  If a parent knows the attempt is illegal and there is a risk of getting caught, but still brings their unsuspecting children with them, then they are in part responsible for what happens to the children.

I am not condoning the way these cases are handled, but there are more aspects than the cruel saparation:

2018-05-08 Iran

Trump messes things up again.  And why can we not just ignore him?  A non-US company doing trade with Iran would be sanctioned by the US?  How?  Bullying?  Why do we tolerate this?

2018-04-25 North Korea

Kim jong-un is probably extremely astute:  first he provokes by developing nuclear weapons, but all the while having the intention to "lose" a war which he is not even going to fight.  He manoeuvers himself into a position where he is seen as a serious threat, i.e. has to be taken seriously.  Then he gets all the spotlight for agreeing to talks, then gets even more credit for being seen as a magnanimous leader who always worked for peace anyway and is the architect of the reunification of Korea.

Brexit vote now too tampered with.  Let's re-vote!

2018-03-31 Visa into US

BBC news: "US may require visa applicants to disclose details of their social media accounts." What if I don't have any? Quote in the NYT: “We want to get on their social media, with passwords,” Mr. Kelly told members of the House Homeland Security Committee. “If they don’t want to cooperate, then you don’t come in.”

So if I say "I don't have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, etc., I don't even own a mobile phone", then I don't come in? Or, if I say that my e-mail address is on my personal domain name and server, then what?

It's like asking for the key to my house.

2018-03-04 Brexit

If all the effort that now goes into Brexit had gone into constructively working on the EU while they were in, things would have been better for all of us

2018-02-19 Circumcision

Iceland law on circumcision & rights of the child (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43111800).

Totally agree. Parents have a duty to care for their children, they do not have the right to any mutilation. When children get to be of age, they can decide themselves what they want to do, but not before. Raises of course the question when a child becomes of age, but many countries have some definition of that and it depends on the area of decision making. Different ages are used to decide whether you can drive a car, vote in an election, get married, consent to sex, buy an assault rifle, buy alcohol. There should be no exception for inflicting irreversible mutilations to your body. In addition any religion that has not explicitly rescinded the death penalty on apostasy should be banned. That includes Judaism, Islam and Christianity, but probably a load more.

There may be freedom of religion, but there cannot be freedom of rituals.