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Innocence or ignorance (29/09/16 18:57:05) Reply
    In The Sot-Weed Factor there is a conversation between Ebenezer Cooke and Henry Burlingame III about the distinction between ignorance and innocence. Ebenezer claims to be innocent, but Henry - at last convincingly - ascribes a sense of innocence to be merely founded in ignorance.

    These days we have some perspective on the internet. When Fravia was with us (woooh, it's more than seven years since we lost him), I think we were still innocent and ignorant about the consequences of opening the internet to the general public and to governments. Did we in any way imagine the power of Google, or such phenomena as Facebook, Tinder or Snapchat - or the shitstorms and censorships that powers that be, or activists, or pressure groups, could and would and have release(d) on critics or dissidents? Has it or hasn't it shaken our belief in democracy and equal opportunities?

    We will have to get used to the thoughts of Trump and Le Pen as presidents, or Brexit. But, in fairness, the rise of populist movements did not come out of thin air. It comes because, to many people, the alternatives seem worse.

    We don't need innocent politicians. We cannot afford ignorance on the commanding heights.

Re: Innocence or ignorance (02/10/16 02:59:59) Reply
    "I think we were still innocent and ignorant about the consequences of opening the internet to the general public and to governments"

    I see it a tidbit differently. There were/still are many of us, who were suppressed and were, otherwise, hiding in dark, largely self-imposed, closets for the last 40+ years or so of the progressivist-liberal intellectual tyranny. Internet allowed _us_ to recognize, that: we are not freaks, we are not weirdos, that we are not fascists. Egalitarianism actually IS a revolt against nature, literally. And the Nature is coming to take its toll, eventually.

    Liberal baby-boomer's generation will have to face the consequences of their life- and political decisions in 1960-1980-s - as venerated silver-haired "Prophets" (if things resolve peacefully), or as humiliated and scapegoated losers, crawling towards the ditches of History (if things end up in major, possibly thermonuclear, collapse).

    " We cannot afford ignorance on the commanding heights. "

    Every nation gets the government it deserves.

Re: Re: Innocence or ignorance (03/10/16 03:39:41) Reply
    Every nation gets the government it deserves.

    Yes. But there's more. Hadn't we agreed to preserve the net? The freedom of the net? Well... Except from keeping a message board alive, we didn't do anything.

    None of us did, at least not here.

Re: Innocence or ignorance (03/10/16 03:33:26) Reply
    Did we in any way imagine the power of blah, blub, ...

    Yes, we did. We even talked about it. We tried to find measures against it.
    Ok, we didn't know *how* mighty they'd be nowadays, but we knew the were
    mighty and we knew we needed to fight them. And we invented weapons - first weapons against them. Some of them work, even today.


Re: Re: Innocence or ignorance (10/10/16 09:35:28) Reply
    I think using war rhetoric is dangerous to those who use it and that it makes a lot of collateral damage (on innocents more than on targets). I think it misleads well-meaning people into us-or-them / all-or-none / win-or-lose dichotomies.

    There is no way that you or I, alone or with all of our friends and their friends - can dissipate the powers that be - whether they are highly evil, moderately evil or just greedy. My suggestion is that those who can, make their politics which are truly necessary to keep up pressure and awareness and dissent. Most people have already surrendered, and there is little to be done about. And some must keep the small flame burning. We must live with it without accepting it as the best solution.

    Leibniz and Voltaire, anyone?

Re: Re: Re: Innocence or ignorance (11/10/16 19:21:22) Reply
    So there is room for a fight - not about the existence of Facebook or NSA or Microsoft, but about the minds of those who are willing and able to think differently. Politics for sure is important, and they/you need our support (and comfort, if necessary). But there is also a need for a silent minority. Some must do the work - lay the cables, erect the towers, plan the next meals and teach the children. Still for a while there is no majority rule within the family walls everywhere - but we see far too much of it today in religious communities, and we have seen far too much of it in history.

And then back to really old-fashioned politics (14/10/16 17:47:19) Reply
    TheRegister tells us about the toxic atmosphere at Samsung with a leader caste running the business with the attitudes of slave owners. Dieselgate tells us about the internal culture of VW. Union busting is even going on in peaceful ,no - in the public health sector. Bureaucracy is increasing, controls are increasing, surveillance is increasing. Trump, UKIP, AfD, Greece, France, Turkey, Hungary, Sweden, Finland - anyone can extend the list. It's time to reverse the poisonous policies of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, who gave legitimacy (I had to search for the word) to the policy of giving more money to the rich.

    I am not happy about independent trade unions and the free press as we see them - but the alternative is tyranny. We see a lot of that.

Revolutions eating their childen: the changing faces (15/10/16 07:40:02) Reply
    It doesn't fit, but in a way it does.

    (I don't see how the references above fit with the text below, but I loved those references.)

    The Chinese and Russian dictatorships are now mocking the western democracies for the foolish decisions made in the electorate. The Trump, the brexit - and there are more. Religious fanaticism as a political tool, the imbalance of the press, the vindictiveness and envy of the masses are all destructive towards the possibility of running long-range and well-reflected policies. On the other side those dictatorships are sitting on crumbling foundations of infrastructure mismanagement or bubbles and bombs of reckless borrowing.

    It seems that the circus has become too expensive by allowing too much busywork, too much hypocrisy and too many lies, and the permission to sell the harvest before anything has been sown.

Which authors should be drawn back into the spotlight? (15/10/16 09:38:57) Reply
    Robert Allen Zimmerman was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature this year - mainly, as I understand, because of his influence on popular music. So it's his early lyrics. 'nuff said.

    But there are more or less forgotten authors whose works are profoundly important and should be read by new generations and reread by the old. Let my two cents be Mark Twain: Huckleberry Finn and Pudd'nhead Wilson.

The next ones (16/10/16 09:21:52) Reply
    Who else could it be than George Orwell? "Nineteen eighty-four" is mandatory: The dictatorial surveiiance state. "Animal Farm" could be added for good measure.

    And while we're at it: Franz Kafka's "Der Prozess"

    And while we are in the Czech sphere: Karel ńĆapek and his books "Krakatit" and "War of the Newts".

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