Category Archives: Uncategorized

Drips 27 March 2010

More promising avenues for reflection have opened up. Continue to expect little on this channel.

  • When America isn’t there, the conversation flows, reports Anthony Barnett: “I found this made it all the more challenging. How can I put this diplomatically? For the first time I found myself at an international seminar without an American participant. I love the States, its rhythms and preoccupations are part of my imaginative make up (as is its current preoccupation with what Obama faces). But Americans assume, naturally, that the crises of their democracy matters to everyone. They pose their problems as the centre of the debate. Without this presumption another, more interesting one filled the room: what is the future of Indian democracy as a world example?”
  • A PhD scholarship in surveillance studies with the Open University sounds peachy.
  • And a picture I liked:

better than the seeming goodness

I’ve always enjoyed the writings of Kahlil Gibran. I was browsing through Gibran’s Wanderer a few days ago and this caught my eye:

Two men were walking in the valley and one man pointed with his finger toward the mountain side, and said, “See you that hermitage? There lives a man who has long divorced the world. He seeks but after God and naught else upon this earth.”

And the other man said, “He shall not find God until he leaves his hermitage, and the aloneness of his hermitage, and returns to our world, to share our joy and pain, to dance with our dancers at the wedding-feast, and to weep with those who weep around the coffins of our dead.”

And the other man was convinced in his heart, though in spite of his conviction he answered, “I agree with all that you say, yet I believe the hermit is a good man. And may it not well be that one good man by his absence does better than the seeming goodness of these many men?”

A paraphrase of Do No Harm, or something different? At what point in the flow of a tragedy like the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake is it best to take no action, do nothing, and be comfortable with that?

Drippity Drip 21 December 2009

  1. A Rannygazoo ” is … a statement of news out of all proportion and almost out of relation to the facts, and yet having a certain origin and shadowy foundation. … In the classification of the Washington newspaper men there are fakes, reinikaboos, and real news. [Chicago Daily Tribune, 9 Jan. 1898.]”. Not as easily slipped into conversation as granfalloon, “a group of people whose cohesive purpose has little or no real meaning, yet whose members feel superior in some way.”  Via Word Wide Words and ChangingMinds.
  2. Human Rights Watch has accused the Cambodian government of forcing citizens to participate in trials of experimental drugs: “Since December 11, 2009, police have arrested at least 17 people and detained them in the government-run Orgkas Khnom drug detention center on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. With no indication of voluntary consent, they were administered a seven-day course of an herbal formula called “Bong Sen.”” More from the Phnom Pen post, with a statement from Licadho: “To say that these people were willing to go is absurd … We’ve had so many reports of these street sweeps when these people are often violently taken out of the street into the centre. It’s not enough for them to say that there is a piece of paper they sign when they are at the centre. It’s quite easy to make people sign anything under duress.”
  3. At some point last week, Twitter.com lost control of its DNS creds, allowing someone with a grudge to take down the service and deface the site. Praetorianprefect has a solemn rundown of this  disgraceful assurance lapse and the hysterical press coverage about Iran’s cyberwar designs that followed. For anyone struggling to understand why and how someone would bother attacking Twitter, I suggest reading this Wired article called Assclown Offensive and the Project Gray Goose phase 1 report.

Done. For now.

Drip, drip.

Thanks Warren: “Twitter: The Grease Trap Of The Human Meat Computer”. We should all get our own mental driptray; this is mine.