Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

Speaking of the vote in the European Parliament yesterday, he writes:

Today, in a vote that split almost every major EU party, Members of the European Parliament adopted every terrible proposal in the new Copyright Directive and rejected every good one, setting the stage for mass, automated surveillance and arbitrary censorship of the internet: text messages like tweets and Facebook updates; photos; videos; audio; software code — any and all media that can be copyrighted.

Luckily, we’re talking “proposal” here; the fight for better copyright legislation continues (and Cory can tell you when and how ;-).


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I wrote about the need to press the European Parliament to disapprove Article 13 of the proposed EU Copyright Directive; the vote will be taken on September 12th, 2018. So it’s not too late let your MEP know how you stand on the matter!

The #SaveYourInternet website will make it easy for you to start: just pick any country, fill in your email address and press a button to mail a standard message to a selection of MEPs. If you want to, you can edit the message sent, so feel free to add your own argumentation (just remember that this fight won’t be won with slurs, insults and threats).

Not convinced? Here’s a message from the Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation, explaining why copyright is no longer a subject for large-scale publishers and for-profit corporations:

Much of the conversation surrounding EU copyright reform has been dominated by the market relationships between large rights holders and for-profit internet platforms. But this small minority does not reflect the breadth of websites and users on the internet today. Wikipedians are motivated by a passion for information and a sense of community. We are entirely nonprofit, independent, and volunteer-driven. We urge MEPs to consider the needs of this silent majority online when designing copyright policies that work for the entire internet.

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Perhaps there is not enough fiction in it… Just read it, I insist, even if you’re not an SF fan: “Noon in the antilibrary“.

Thank you, MIT Technology Review!

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August 17th is #Deactiday on Twitter:

Also interesting (not just for today, by the way) is the information in this Twitter thread by Shannon Coulter. I do hope someone collected all that info and turned into a document or page on a platform other than Twitter and Facebook – a blog, for example, would be nice ;-)

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Remember The Past

Here’s an important message form Seamus Bellamy, as written in “Update: Faces of Auschwitz website is now live” on the BoingBoing website:

Read the stories of KL Auschwitz’s prisoners. Share them with your friends and family, if it feels right to do so.

Above all, remember the dead as they give warning to the living.

Wouldn’t it be great if this kind of message was no longer needed? Indeed. But as Mr. Bellamy writes:

At a time when the politics of hate have once again found sway on the world stage and concentration camps have sprung into being at an alarming speed, we need to talk about how hate, bigotry and fear of the other can lead to tragedy on an unimaginable scale. It’s my opinion that one of the best ways to do this is to cite examples from the past.

So head over to the Faces of Auschwitz website. The stories are short and instructive about the Nazi procedures in general, and not just the individuals portrayed. One of them is Seweryna Szmaglewska, who managed to survive the camps, wrote a book about it, and served as a witness at the International Tribunal in Nuremberg in 1946.

(c) Kazerne Dossin. Contact Kazerne Dossin Documentation Centre: archives@kazernedossin.eu

Not far from where I live are two important museums relating to the same subject: Fort Breendonk and Kazerne Dossin. That last museum has an extensive archive about (Belgian) people deported to the Nazi camps, and part of that archive is also available online. Thousands of pictures and documents were digitized into a collection called “Give Them a Face” – that is no coincidence, I’m sure. Perhaps ‘Faces of Auschwitz‘ and ‘Kazerne Dossin‘ can collaborate in the much needed research of the history of WW2 ?

In the words of George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

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Visit the “Free Zehra Doğan • Zehra Doğan’a özgürlük” website for more info on this courageous young woman and here treatment by a dictatorial regime.

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Wanna Guess Who [He] Is?

From Politico:

[He] himself gave a public admission of his own tactics last week […], when he told reporters […] that he could well be wrong […]  but that, if so, he’s unlikely ever to cop to it. “I don’t know that I’ll ever admit it,” he said. “I’ll find some kind of an excuse.”

Psychologists have a word to describe such an attitude…

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