I wrote this a year ago in a comment on an article published in The Spectator. The article’s author [apparently a convicted felon] was “arguing” for the abolition of cash money as “Such measures are there for all our safety”.
Here was my response (slightly edited for readability/typo’s):
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” — Ben Franklin
While a Guppy may not understand that our free society is based on the free pursuit of prosperity and happiness; i.e. materially and emotionally; it is NOT based on the consumption of more and more of a diminishing resource. It is based on quasi-anarchic — empowered by the Enlightenment — pursuit of what is better. Most people recognize that more is not necessarily better. Absent constraints of what may be produced or sold, economies adapt rapidly to changes in demand and supply. Changes stimulate economic and technical innovation.
The Enlightened live our lives by the Rule of Law, where the Law is established by what “most” consider to be reasonable. In theory, anyway. And that is what civilization strives towards; because the alternatives are tyranny, oppression and servitude.
Our personal beliefs, values and our morals are guided by society; some societies codify beliefs into religions where compliance with the moral code is rewarded metaphysically. Belief in such things is often sufficient reward.
The Enlightenment did not dethrone God or religion. The Enlightenment provided for a rational mechanism to deal with the challenges of the real, physical world; without appeal to imagined metaphysical entities to set things “right” when things don’t happen as we would like. The Enlightenment drew the lines between physical and metaphysical; between science and beliefs based on nothing more than wishful thinking.
Further, the Enlightenment made us conscious of OUR RESPONSIBILITY for what happens in the real world. Kings etc would rule over Earthly realms; Church and State would separate. It became irrational to blame events on metaphysical things; on factors that could not be explained by the physical laws of science; nor independently observed. Superstitions persist; but not as a foundation of our [previously stable Western] societies.
That rational mechanism wasn’t money. Money existed WAY before The Enlightenment. Money was simply a portable way of compensating others for the goods and services provided. Remember it said that it is THE LOVE OF MONEY, that is the root of all evil. In reality, it is the passionate pursuit of a single purpose without regard for others. Money is just one thing that some people worship.
Since the Enlightenment, we have built a prosperous world with unprecedented LOW levels of world poverty. Our individual self interests have fuelled innovations that would be indistinguishable from witchcraft in the ages before Enlightenment. More than 7000-million human souls currently enrich the planet. We have developed technologies, without resort to metaphysical powers, that produce enough food to feed all those people. We live in “inhumane’ places thanks to technology.
Our only failures have been in failing to share the experience of the Enlightenment globally; and the tendency for people to become lazy and gullible; falling once again under the influence of belief systems that promise things which aren’t deliverable in the physical world.
“It’s Communist thinking”, responded a subsequent non-reader.
Translated without permission from the original in German at Die Achse des Guten
By Hamed Abdel-Samad.
Honourable Federal Chancelloress,
Honourable Minister of the Interior!
Time’s up. Calendar quotes and the continual warning of the AfD are no longer sufficient to preserve the inner peace of the land. Of course, we must not allow ourselves to be paralyzed by fear, and yes, we must not follow the logic of the terrorists. But what have you, as the responsible politicians, done since Paris, Brussels and Nice, so that the logic and tragedy of terror do not strike us? Continue reading
Rudyard Kipling wrote this piece:
It was not part of their blood,
It came to them very late,
With long arrears to make good,
When the Saxon began to hate.
They were not easily moved,
They were icy — willing to wait
Till every count should be proved,
Ere the Saxon began to hate.
Their voices were even and low.
Their eyes were level and straight.
There was neither sign nor show
When the Saxon began to hate.
It was not preached to the crowd.
It was not taught by the state.
No man spoke it aloud
When the Saxon began to hate.
It was not suddenly bred.
It will not swiftly abate.
Through the chilled years ahead,
When Time shall count from the date
That the Saxon began to hate.
ISIS should read more widely.
Once upon a time,there was an isolated beach, lapped by waves and flushed by gently tides and bathing under a pleasant sun.
Little fish noticed that there were quite a few morsels upon which to feed and because there were many different types of morsel, eventually many different types of small fish thrived. Continue reading
I trust that you’ve been enjoying the Internet.
And the relative security of knowing that e.g. Facebook.com is really Facebook.
Perhaps more important for many; that their bank’s Internet presence is their bank and not just somebody pretending to be the bank; and that the sites that people access for software patches contain software patches to fix things and not trojans to spy on activity and to steal data.
And, let’s not forget, that email to your friends will be delivered to them.
Less important for many is the knowledge that accessing a government web site is accessing that government web site and not some other government (or crime syndicate) web site pretending to be that government web site.
Well, if US Congress doesn’t block the transfer of ICANN from the umbrella of the US government to the United Nations (UN) body; notionally the ITU (International Telecommunications Union).
Which sounds good until you scratch the surface and recognize that the UN e.g. elects Saudi Arabia — the place where women have to wear tents; homosexuals get tossed off roofs; and free speech that the hierarchy don’t like is like a suicide vest — to the Human Rights Commission; and that UN “peace keeping” means that soldiers wearing blue helmets cannot step in to prevent a genocide before their eyes. Yes, that UN: The one that combines ultimate authority and lack of responsibility with extreme fecklessness.
While only US citizens can technically do something about it by voicing their concerns with their Congress-critter, everybody needs to know that the physical foundations of the Internet are being transferred to an authority that doesn’t answer to the people.
There is no more time to procrastinate. The transfer of ICANN (and IANA) to the UN will almost certainly be for the worse of the Internet, the free speech that the Internet promotes and the audience that the Internet provides.
This is the last day for action to stop the transfer. If you don’t like the idea of the US government wielding some control over ICANN, then why throw it to the tyrannical dogs of the UN where there is not even democratic control or responsibility to the people?
- ACLJ: Dangerous Transfer: The President’s ICANN Internet Problem
- How do you give away Internet freedom?
- Who Controls the Future of the Internet?
- ICANN stewardship transfer looms amid doubts over deadline
… to rely on the wind is to rely on Satan’s mercy!
— in The Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner (1843)
All of South Australia (SA) was cast into chilling darkness after a storm struck, apparently taking out a connector to Victoria from where SA was drawing its only source of reliable power. It’s unclear if the failure was structural or electrical. Structural failure is less likely as the structures are supposed to be able to cope with the wind speeds reported. Maybe there was a micro-cell of more intense winds.
Kenneth Richard writes at NoTricksZone: (follow the link for the full article)
Beginning in 2003, software engineer William Connolley quietly removed the highly inconvenient references to the global cooling scare of the 1970s from Wikipedia, the world’s most influential and accessed informational source.
It had to be done. Too many skeptics were (correctly) pointing out that the scientific “consensus” during the 1960s and 1970s was that the Earth had been cooling for decades, and that nascent theorizing regarding the potential for a CO2-induced global warming were still questionable and uncertain.