Friday, May 25, 2012

Not Too Busy for a Short(ish) Post

I haven't been posting lately, because I've been busy.  I work 5 days a week and it is now baseball season.  I think that coaching Little League is a lot more beneficial to the world than writing here.  So, it's taking up most of my time.

I'm done 1984.  I find that the Internet, is much like the telescreens in Orwell's novel.  The millions of postings by people like me are like flags to anyone who would be interested in finding out who is asking the kind of questions that they might not like.  I do not think it is too paranoid to think that governments are scanning the comments and cataloging the activities of individuals.  Partly, it should be their job to identify people who might be planning something harmful.  But, I'm sure that there are government strategists wondering how to deal with non-conforming opinion writers. 

In Canada we have hate-speach legislation.  I believe that it may be a crime, in the near future, to link to a website that contains what someone considers hate speach.  If that is so, I could post a link to OneSTDV or GLPiggy or even the NY Times where someone posts a hateful comment (I'm not sure if it happens more at OneSTDV or at the NYT) and end up contravening the law.  I don't think the lawmakers understand how the Internet works.  New York wants to ban anonymous blogging (GLP)

One more thing about the job of Winston, in 1984.  Does the Internet make his job (re-writing publications to suit The Party's motives) easier or obsolete?  Now, one person could simply re-write every article in real-time rather than having to re-print thousands of issues.  OR, would Winston just become a contract mercenary blog-poster?

I find the transient nature of Internet frustrating when I link to an article, but, then it disappears.  I have a friend who actually scrapbooks with newspaper clippings.  I've always wished I could track the shifitng of public (published) opinions, but, I'll never, ever have the time for that.  I feel like Winston when the Party announces that chocolate rations are being reduced to 20 grams per person from 30 one day and then congratulates Big Brother for raising the ration to 20 grams the next.  I've often noticed much smaller, more nuanced changes in wording and in the standard narrative from MSM that seem to erase the old narrative without so much as a peep from competing politicos or anyone.

Now, I'm reading Steven Pinker's latest book, "The Better Angels of Our Nature".  So far, it is going over much of the ideas covered in The Blank Slate, but, focusing on the violence of past cultures comparitive to ours.  I remember reading an account of an English explorer going to live with native Canadians.  Travelling to hunting grounds, they came across a group of Inuit men fishing.  All of the Inuit Men were killed.  I always think of civilization, in its ever expanding powers, as a great bringer of peace, despite all of its problems.

Other News:
Montreal Students demand free crappy government education rather than the good subsidized education they can now get.  If you really believe that arts education is worthwhile, you should pay for it.

It is still dangerous to climb the world's tallest mountain.