Saturday, April 13, 2002

Friday, April 12, 2002

about an hour ago someone threatened to kill me. about fifteen minutes ago i was exchanging names and a handshake with him.

i've been sitting in front of my student cafeteria every day this week during the lunch hour trying to draw some attention to what is happening in palestine right now. i've been posting news articles that are clearly opposed to what israel is doing - both because i mostly agree with such perspectives, and also because i have found no major news source with a strong pro-israel perspective.

a student came up today and starting tearing down what i'd posted up on the walls. he then proceeded to tell me that if i put it up again he would "break my face" and i would have to "go to the hospital." i tried to talk to him, but he left. so i put them back up. he came back and my quick-thinking friend said "i put those back up." i'm guessing he then realized the social stigma involved in breaking a female face. we managed to get him talking before he left again.

by the end of a long conversation we had agreed on a few basic issues: american policy toward israel and palestine is encouraging rather than discouraging the violence, he will email some more information about his perspective so that i can present more balanced information to people, and i will continue to express my opinion without fear of him "breaking my face."
international criminal court is finally established: "The court will assume jurisdiction over charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed after July 1 of this year. Washington fears that a country as powerful as the United States, with its unchallenged military might and troops around the world, would be uniquely vulnerable to prosecutions...Mr. Annan tried to calm American fears today. 'The court will prosecute in situations where the country concerned is either unable or unwilling to prosecute,' he said. 'Countries with good judicial systems who apply the rule of law and prosecute criminals and do it promptly and fairly need not fear.'" this is a much-needed acknowledgement that a functional international system requires international law. i read a quote yesterday: "if you don't ride the horse in the direction it's going, it will run away without you." here is the international horse again running away without america.

Thursday, April 11, 2002

to clarify what i said yesterday about dave winer, today he says of microsoft: "they just have to give up on the concept of control. It's just an illusion anyway, they don't actually have any control." the same is true of userland regarding the new york times. what they have now is the illusion of controlling the content. but anyone can still go to nyt.com and get the content. so why not open the easy access up to everyone and "give up on the concept of control"? the answer, i suspect, is that dave believes control of the nyt feed will make him more money.

i'm not saying profit is a bad motive (though i think it certainly needs to be checked against other priorities). i'm just saying dave winer is in no place to criticize the profit motive of microsoft when he is clearly engaging in similar behavior. the only difference is that few care what userland is doing.
"Today, maybe it's time to burn our tax returns."

i've been talking to a lot of people over the past few about what israel is doing in palestine, and how our tax money is funding such indiscriminate killing. (i've been suggesting that "genocide" is perhaps an applicable term.) several people have responded with "yeah, that's terrible, but what am i going to do, stop paying taxes?" perhaps it's not such a crazy idea. of course, most college students don't have that option, as they don't have any taxes to pay in the first place.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

i've (mis?)spent the last hour or so playing with wikipedia. it's an open-content encyclopedia. it's a little sparse yet, but i haven't come across any malicious entries, which is what i would expect the largest problem to be. instead, the largest problem seems to be that it's getting too big too fast. it's pretty slow, and as it expands, it's going to become unmanagable to host. it's basically just an internet where anyone can edit anything.
dave winer finally shows his cards.

dave is always talking about open standards and sharing information, about how big companies have to make room for the little guys. but as soon as the new york times comes knocking, he's willing to accept a closed system of distributing big company news. as brian carnel has suggested, this clearly serves only to benefit userland at the expense of the rest of the internet. so much for the internet revolution.
"In New York on Saturday, hundreds of people marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall carrying signs that read 'Sharon = Hitler'...there was a counter-demonstration, with thousands of people staging a rally in support of Israel. One sign read 'Arafat = Osama = Terror'." now if only more could make the last connection here: Arafat = Osama = Terror = Hitler = Sharon.

more loudly than any political message, both sides are promoting the same mistaken idea that violence is an acceptable means of achieving a political goal. and this despite the obvious conclusion that after 35 years, both sides are worse off than when they started.

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Monday, April 08, 2002

"Israeli forces have launched a missile strike on a Palestinian refugee camp." israel has gone far beyond anything that could reasonably be called "defense" and is quickly approaching something that could reasonably be called "genocide."

Sunday, April 07, 2002

i've been wondering what the big deal is with Oddpost since i first heard about it. the big deal is this: oddpost is hardly distinguishable from outlook express, only it runs in your browser. and it seems like such a great thing until "there was a problem connecting to the server." this is something that happens with my desktop email client occassionally, but i can at least read the email i've already checked when this happens. oddpost needs the option of saving email on the local desktop and accessing it there when a netword connection is unavailable. of course to do that, they need a desktop web server. i suspect dave winer has already thought of this.
What the American Flag Stands For: "Charlotte Aldebron, 12, wrote this essay for a competition in her 6th grade English class." did she win?