Suw Charman has written a good article about the Creative Commons movement, also about the resistance of individuals whose works and ideas may benefit from a CC-type license.
She cites how a free audiobook version of Lessig’s Free Culture took shape within 24 hours of the appearance an offhand question by AKMA in his blog. Now, one may argue that Lessig is not profiting by this, and that would be true in the strict sense of material profit. However, this has led to the dissemination of Lessig’s book, and much more importantly, his ideas, to a wider audience. In the works, already, are translations of the book to other languages.
The first impression is pure bling-bling: an urban montage of starburst images without a special lens. With a faceted exterior of glass and steel, this is a big rock candy mountain of a building, twinkling in the middle of office buildings.
You’re Great Expectations!
by Charles Dickens
Coming from humble beginnings, you have become pretty stuck-up in your
later years. While hard work and dedication were the path you first walked on, a sudden
fork brought you glory and fortune. Unfortunately, you have changed even more than your
bottom line. You really should turn back to your old friends and at least respect your
old life. Look out for haughty hotties.
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Well, this is what passes for blogging when I’m lazy.
I moved to my new digs (just a few blocks away) this past weekend. Room is nice, roomies are nice, traffic noise takes getting used to. Not all my stuff has been moved, though. This weekend, hopefully, all the rest will be moved.
At the new place, I’m having trouble with the wireless router (Linksys WRT54G) : every now and then, it drops me, and I can’t see it any more, and my stumbler can’t see it, either.
“A lot of people had to be in the know for this to happen. The very fact people felt confident enough to take pictures suggests that this was not something which was a secret,” says Ian Robbins, a consultant clinical psychologist at the traumatic stress service at St George’s Hospital in London, UK, who has treated both victims of torture and torturers.
I haven’t blogged much about the war in Iraq, but with the torture of prisoners by US troops coming to light, it’s hard to avoid… Mostly, I’ve been avoiding it because it’s much too stressful for me to hear the news, even from NPR, which is not the most leftist of news outlets. Anyway, this post at BoingBoing points to a sickening article at Salon: an Al-Jazeera journalist talks about being detained without trial for 74 days, and tortured.
Al Baz said that during his time at the base, soldiers came into his cell spitting on him and screaming in his ear to keep him awake. “I didn’t know if it was day or night. They tied my hands so tightly my wrists started bleeding, but at this stage I was still allowed to keep my clothes. This was a wonderful period compared to my time in Abu Ghraib.”
Al Baz says that he was taken from the base in Samarra to the airport in Baghdad, where his treatment took a sharp turn for the worse. “In there I heard some horrible noises, many people screaming. They told me to sit on the floor and I went numb from the cold. If I moved my head even a little bit, a soldier would grab my hood and slam my head into the wall. Sometimes they pretended to kill me by pulling the trigger of their rifles. I found out later that they were punishing other people there.” Al Baz says that he heard screams, men shouting “Good Bush, bad Saddam!” and crying out to God for help. “But it didn’t do anything to decrease the punishment they were going through.”
“I first knew that they were taking pictures when I saw that one of the computers had a picture of some prisoners as its desktop background. One of the prisoners had a black hood over his head and he was covered in cold water. I personally witnessed this event take place. The man was screaming, “I’m innocent!” until he got sick and his body got swollen from all the punishment,” al Baz said. Cold water, solitary confinement, swollen bodies and constant psychological abuse are recurring images for the Al-Jazeera cameraman.
Just so we are clear, here is the United Nations’ definition of torture, in the Convention Against Torture which the US has ratified:
For the purposes of this Convention, the term “torture” means any
act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is
intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or
a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a
third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or
intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on
discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at
the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or
other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or
suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions. (Part I, Art. 1, Item 1)
One of the scariest nightmares I've had in the past decade or so was about me being stuck in a Nethack dungeon. Everything was green on black (I'd been playing on a Facit VT100-clone) and in 7-bit ASCII. I distinctly remember being chased by a lower-case x, scared out of my wits and at the same time feeling ashamed of being such a wimp that a mere grid bug was a threat. — Calle Dybedahl
There was an 80’s party at our house on Friday, at Lisa’s instigation: her birthday was Wednesday. Anyway, I played DJ, and played tons of 80’s tunes, some of which I had almost forgotten about. All legal copies, of course.