Charlie Stross on the British government not providing asylum to Iraqi interpreters who were working with British troops, post-withdrawal of troops.
Here’s my considered advice to the British government: if you think there’s even the remotest shadow of a chance that at some future time you’ll need to send troops overseas, let all 20,000 of your collaborators (and their families) in. Full right of residence and/or British citizenship, plus a golden handshake sufficient to buy a crappy little Barratt box in a new town somewhere in the midlands: nothing less will do. Because if you don’t, you’re going to find it a hell of a lot harder to buy quislings and spies eyes and ears on the ground the next time your Dear Leader decides to play Sancho Panza to some doomed quixotic adventure.
The Freedom in the World survey provides an annual evaluation of the state of global freedom as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom—the opportunity to act spontaneously in a variety of fields outside the control of the government and other centers of potential domination—according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties.
Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on Kiva.org, you can “sponsor a business” and help the world’s working poor make great strides towards economic independence.
One of the seasonal rhythms of the Usenet used to be the annual September influx of clueless newbies who, lacking any sense of netiquette, made a general nuisance of themselves. This coincided with people starting college, getting their first internet accounts, and plunging in without bothering to learn what was acceptable. These relatively small drafts of newbies could be assimilated within a few months.
The Global Power Barometer (GPB) provides a relative measure how well various nations, ideologies and political movements are exercising their power to move global opinion and events in the directions they desire.
Watching Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963) on DVD, for example, 21st century viewers realize that they are watching (optimally) a 35mm negative transferred to digital memory and then downloaded to a DVD for home use, and that the final image they watch “copies” the filmic nature of the original image, but at the same time gives only the “impression” of its original source material. But given this a priori assumption, 21st century viewers quickly move past this empirical certainty to embrace this newly digitised image as the simulacrum of a 20th century medium. There is no sadness in this and no betrayal of the maker’s original intent; it is merely a translation from one image capture medium to another.
Illuminating essay about the transforming shape of cinema. Link.
(Insanely detailed analysis/review of the lovely Kubrick film, complete with a catalogue of subliminal sexual imagery and detailed scene breakup. Via the fabulously time-consuming Kubrick link archive at Coudal. I might go on a posting hiatus while I chew threw the stuff there - have been at it for a few days now.)
Because the people whose job is to sell you stuff are really, really good at it. The average 25 year old is no match for companies that have spent years figuring out how to get you to spend money on stuff.
I have an analogous problem with virtual stuff(as must be evident), but the symptoms are the same. Link
He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.
He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”
"Don’t break the chain." He said again for emphasis.
I’m gonna get a huge calendar now. And find a place to hang it. And get a permanent marker to use. And decide whether I should mark it in the morning or in the evening, and if planned writing, or very detailed plans to write count. And then find something to write about. First thing tomorrow.
Gerald began—but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them “permanently” meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash—to pee.