November 25, 2009
People disagree about the cause, effects and existence of global warming. Some say it is an undeniable truth that man causes the atmospheric temperature to increase. Others deny the existence of global warming, believing it to be part of a conspiracy. While the mass media are clearly backing the first group, recently the second one got backing by a supposed revelation of an organized lie regarding climate change, including e-mails of meteorologists attempting to cover up a general decrease in earth’s temperature.
But who is right? This is largely unknown. Both sides appear to be fighting some kind of holy war, generally denying the other position as propaganda by a lobby supporting the interests of whatever group might profit from fear of the climate change or lack of it. Personally, I consider the climate change a myth: There is some basic truth behind it, but a large part of what we get to know about it is of dubious veracity.
What provoked me to dig out the blog to write about this is a newspaper article I read today, which appeared to be stuck somewhere between opining and informing. It took one of these “holy war” stances for the existence of climate change, dismissing the info as lies and propaganda without it being either verified or denied yet. This suggests that there is some desire in the media to quench any doubt about what is supposed to be passed of as truth. And that is something I fear far more than possible changes in the global climate.
The issue of climate change always comes with the question for a future-proof energy source. Fossil fuel is guaranteed not to last. No matter if the climate change is a real threat to us or not, the scarcity of natural resources will force us to reconsider soon. Our main alternatives to fossil fuel are the obvious. Renewable energy and nuclear power.
While renewable energy is a desirable power source, it will take time until they are developed to a point when they will be able to replace fossil fuel. For this development, we need nuclear fission as a bridge system. Until solar, wind and tide forces will be efficient enough, we can not give up nuclear fission. And who knows, maybe by then nuclear fusion will already have become usable. And this is something I am looking forward to.
April 17, 2009
The Pirate Bay lost the “spectrial” in Sweden. Some mourn, some rejoice. But one thing is certain: Their fight is not over. And the struggle against “intellectual property” laws never will. The fight between pirates and the industries dependant on IP recognition and enforcement, mainly the record, motion picture and software industries, pulls us into a dilemma. For on the one hand, we need to support the freedom of information. On the other hand, an entire branch of the modern economy, probably one of the most important in modern western economies, depends on just that being supressed. Read the rest of this entry »
March 25, 2009
Part one of the “Give me Liberty” series: A collection of thematically unrelated posts about stuff involving the word “liberty”.
“Give me liberty, or give me death!” – a famous quotation from America’s struggle for independence, spoken by Patrick Henry in 1775. In that age, Benjamin Franklin formulated the principle that “those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”, which, in the modern day, unfortunately does not hold true anymore.
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February 18, 2009
It is me again. Sorry for the long wait for updates, but I have not really found the time and inspiration for another rant. Fear not my friends, the wait is over, and this time, it is a series. No promise that I will update it frequently though.
To start, I do not really like the word dystopia by itself, as it implies that the word utopia is based on “eu-topos” – a good place, instead of “ou-topos” – non-place. Of course, the pun was intended by Thomas More, but still, a dystopia – or bad utopia – is still a utopia. I have nevertheless used that word, mainly aiming at distinguishability. Utopia carries the connotation of Eutopia far too dominantly to use it for a future of suffering if the audience is not guaranteed to know the ethymologic background.
Also, I want to clarify that this series is not about a dystopian fiction by myself, rather than that, it is intended as an analysis of modern development towards the uncomfortable future as described in the dystopia of many a piece of utopian literature, ranging from Huxley to Barry. Of course, I realize that the nature of a dystopia is always an exaggeration, which would make literal comparison a joke. So of course one has to consider principles, not implementations. Starting with the reason why video game companies such as Nintendo have all reason to hate the homebrew scene – beyond the mere issue of “piracy” arising from it.
As I have alluded to in the introduction, a dystopian author that comes to my mind is noone else than Aldous Huxley. Having been forced to sit through his Brave New World in high school* English class (Yes, I am a high school* student, so what?), it became evident where the “problem” with homebrew in general lies: Consumption. Read the rest of this entry »