Thursday, April 26, 2012

"Doin' Right Ain't Got No End"

I've had a little ... situation ... in my life recently. This situation made me wonder why government pokes its fingers into our lives so much. Long story short, I found this web page after doing a little internet surfing recently. Consider it a variation on a theme, similar to C.S. Lewis' quote on tyranny (which I posted back in September 2010).

From UncleBob's Treehouse, back in 2007:
"The Outlaw Josey Wales: 'Doin' Right Ain't Got No End'" by Bob Wallace

"I consider movies to be modern-day myths, and like all great myths, they tell us great truths."

And one of those great truths comes from "The Outlaw Josey Wales": "Doin' Right Ain't Got No End"

Governments everywhere and for all time trample basic human rights. Even when they think they're trying to help us.  I'm just going to quote from Bob Wallace, and from the movie, here:
Josey: Governments don't live together. People live together. Governments don't give you a fair word or a fair fight. I've come here to give you either one. Or get either one from you... I'm saying that men can live together without butchering one another...

Ten Bears: It's sad that governments are chiefed by the double-tongues.

"Governments are chiefed by the double-tongues." A world of truth in seven words. They should be taught in kindergarten, engraved on stone tablets in town squares! They should be added to the Bible, taught in church!

Another scene that has stayed with me is the discussion between Fletcher and the mass-murdering leader of the Kansas Redlegs, Terrill, who is the Union officer who killed Wales' family -- even though neither Josey nor his family ever owned slaves. Both of them are hunting Josey, who, after his tragedy, turned Missouri Confederate (I suspect from the Ozarks, because I hang out in that area and know what it's like):

Fletcher: We get [kill] Josey Wales and it ends.

Terrill: Doin' right ain't got no end.

"Doin' right ain't got no end." That cold-blooded sentence is the motto of every tyrant -- indeed of most rulers -- in the world. That belief is ancient: both Jesus and Aesop noticed that tyrants always call themselves benefactors. As it is with rulers (who are the most prolific killers of all), it is with murderers: all must justify what they do, rationalize it to themselves. Murderers do their crimes for their own selves; rulers always claim it is for the greater good. "I'm from the government," goes the old but scarily true joke, "and I'm here to help you." You may think you are, but, no, you're not!

The story of The Outlaw Josey Wales is a simple but well-known one: a man who wishes to live peaceably with his family sees them slaughtered by agents of the government. So he seeks violent revenge. (By the way, does anyone in the government understand how that eternal truth applies to Iraq? Hello? Hello? Anyone?)
Well put, Bob.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Remember when the web was free?

Okay, it's still free now. But let's not look back on this time and wistfully remember when the web was free. Let's keep it free.

Consider the following statements by Sergey Brin, in The Guardian:
"Web freedom faces greatest threat ever, warns Google's Sergey Brin" by Ian Katz

"The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry's attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of "restrictive" walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms."

I particularly agree with Brin's comments on the entertainment industry.

"He reserved his harshest words for the entertainment industry, which he said was 'shooting itself in the foot, or maybe worse than in the foot' by lobbying for legislation to block sites offering pirate material."

"He said the Sopa and Pipa bills championed by the film and music industries would have led to the US using the same technology and approach it criticised China and Iran for using. The entertainment industry failed to appreciate people would continue to download pirated content as long as it was easier to acquire and use than legitimately obtained material, he said."

The comments after the article are also very interesting. Does Brin make good points or is he just whining, trying to make more money?

Going back a few years, how about a similar article by an internet pioneer? From Scientific American:
"Long Live the Web: A Call for Continued Open Standards and Neutrality" by Tim Berners-Lee

"The Web as we know it, however, is being threatened in different ways. Some of its most successful inhabitants have begun to chip away at its principles. Large social-networking sites are walling off information posted by their users from the rest of the Web. Wireless Internet providers are being tempted to slow traffic to sites with which they have not made deals. Governments—totalitarian and democratic alike—are monitoring people’s online habits, endangering important human rights."

"Why should you care? Because the Web is yours. It is a public resource on which you, your business, your community and your government depend. The Web is also vital to democracy, a communications channel that makes possible a continuous worldwide conversation. The Web is now more critical to free speech than any other medium."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Song of the Day: Only You - Alison Moyet, and Only You - Yazoo

Two beautiful versions of the same song today. Same singer, different times.

"Only You - Alison Moyet" (from 1996)

"Yazoo - Only You" (from 1982)

Monday, April 23, 2012

I think I need Glass!

No, not glasses, not yet anyway! But "Glass."

What, you don't know what Glass is? You need to watch the video, from Google:
"Project Glass: One day..."

You know, I have to remind my girls what "dialing" a phone means. Back when people even used phones, that is. There were no remote controls. People didn't have computers, much less cell phones that do more than any computer I had as a kid ever did. Technology sure moves fast. Anyway, I can't wait to see what the future holds for this project.

With that said, let's get on with the parodies, shall we? :)

Let's ease into the parodies, with a story from ABC News:
"Google Glasses: Will You Want Google Tracking Your Eyes?" by Joanna Stern

And the direct link to the parody in the above article:
"ADmented Reality - Google Glasses Remixed with Google Ads" by rebelliouspixels

"When I saw Google had somehow forgotten to include any ads in their Project Glass promotional video I just couldn't resist fixing that oversight for them."

"So here is my slightly more realistic version of Google's augmented reality glasses - now featuring contextual Google Ads!"

"Fun Fact: All of the AdWords used are actual Google ad returns found via Google searches based on the dialog, situation or setting in the original video. Yes 'Music, Stop!' does actually return an ad asking if you would like to listen to music."

"Google really can't be too annoyed at this remix because after all I'm just putting Google Ads overtop of a Google video on Google's owned video hosting service."

Now for something a bit more crude:
"Goggle - Project Dangerous Glasses" by HappyToaster

I also hear the Microsoft is working on a similar project. Here is their video:
"Windows Project Glass: One day too..." by Vlakkeland

Back to being serious again. You can follow Project Glass on Google Plus here, if you want more updates as this project progresses: