All posts for the month January, 2012

Just a list of headings from Alain de Botton’s TED talk.

  • Religious vs atheist – some confusion of gods and religions?
  • “There is no god” is just the start of the story.
  • Ritual, moral, communal aspects – cherry-picking “the good bits”
  • Shakespeare, Plato, Austen (etc) – cultural sources of morality tales.
  • Universities have forgotten to teach “how should we live” – as if we don’t need help, we don’t want to be treated “like children” – whereas most of us are barely holding it together.
  • Repetition of old truths (nothing new, etc.) rather than valuing novelty for its own sake.
  • Religious calender to ensure ideas cross our paths regularly.
  • Looking at the moon – a ritual
  • Oratory – rhetorical skills for communication. Praise be to Shakespeare. Plato, Austen
  • Associating the physical with the moral lessons – to cement / anchor.
  • Art – no such thing as art for art’s sake, always a message / lesson / reason for art. (Explanatory labelling in art galleries.)
  • Love, fear, hate and death in religious art. Reinforcing (propagandising) old truths. Art organized according to their didactic message.
  • Branding of massive common institutions. Not just individual books by individuals – they can’t change the world, without scale and repetition.
  • Travel as pilgrimage.
  • You may not agree with the ideas, but you have to admire the processes.
  • Politeness is a much overlooked virtue.

I did quite a few jobs at The Coryton Refinery over the years in the Mobil, then briefly BP, days before it was sold to Petroplus. Interesting that it is the Swiss parent company that is actually going bust – wonder where the losses actually are? And I wonder what their ownership is  – oil majors, or more general investors? (They also own one of the Teeside oil depots.)

Would there be any value in BP buying the concern back – I don’t believe they actually own and operate any UK refineries directly these days since Grangemouth was also sold to Ineos. Are old refineries just not viable in Europe/UK? What were Petroplus expectations when they originally bought Coryton, not really all that long ago?

(Pretty sure shortages is a non-issue other than distribution logistics adjustment.)

All my posts go to twitter, and selected one’s are filtered by to facebook and linkedin (and a few other targetted channels).

I’ve only recently – last 2 or 3 months – started actually following anything (#) or anyone (@) on twitter. (Since for me it was just a channel to other discussion spaces I never really saw the point of watching a twitter feed, and I’m trying to understand who does actually use twitter as their primary user interface.)

None of the people with big followings seem to watch responses to their own general feed, except from people they are already following or have addressed explicitly – not even “replies”. They are just one-way “look at me” feeds.

@GeorgeGalloway is predictable, but a good source of contentious political stories that don’t break in the mainstream media, oh and “me, me, me” posts about is own media appointments – mercifully few.

@AlanSugar and @PiersMorgan are like eight-year-olds – all “me, me, me” promotion of follower numbers and slaves to inane re-tweet requests, and yobbish partisan footie comments. (Stopped following both … pity ‘cos I had a a lot of time for Sugar’s business sense.)

@RichardBranson is interesting and intelligent, both earnest and fun. Most of his tweets are fed from one or other of his other blogging / publishing channels – always related to Branson & Virgin initiatives – but not specifically self-promoting.

@RickyGervais – you already know whether you love or hate his comedic style – and his tweets don’t disappoint – they seem honest. All about him, his media output and I suspect testing out his comedy ideas (as well as his atheist agenda). Cruelly merciless in mocking the “twonks” who don’t always get it – as you’d expect. Making heavy use of “phones smarter than the twonks who own them” at the moment.

Since someone asked – where does IP fit with the MoQ ?

First – IP is about (legal / contractual) rights to use copyright – not about property ownership per se. (See previous SOPA / PIPA threads especially the Kinsella reference.)

In a world where democratic mixed-economy is already the evolved norm, then contracts are clearly very common social level patterns, and could hold true whether the considerations were financial or in-kind / deferred / social-contract terms.

As one social pattern amongst a massive complex of trading and commerce patterns, there are clearly also many level-crossing patterns involved too. Socio-intellectual patterns in establishing and adjusting fair terms for such contracts, particularly in cases near or moving boundaries of existing legislation – where terms are not already established social patterns – (though of course in an evolved society the processes of debate and intellectual freedom are themselves regulated by established social patterns and institutions of governance). And there obviously socio-bio-physical patterns where cases of enforcement arise.

If we’re not in a world of democratic mixed economies, then we have a different starting point. We’re in another possible world, but we’d need to address questions of where trading and commerce (or their equivalent) fit as patterns.  That’s a different question, that would require a great deal of intellectual debate, not to mention social (even biological) evolution before we could start (would even need) to address IP.

Seems pretty straightforward ?

[Post Note : Oh, and another example of illegal internet uses
and more from Megaupload – see previous

Excellent Edinburgh TED talk from Alain deBotton. Good on so many fronts, will need to comment more later. Even made BBC R4 Today programme this morning. Atheism2.0

I’ve always resisted identifying with the term “atheist” preferring non-theist or new-humanist, or maybe Spinozan pan-theist,  if I must choose a religious label. Mainly because atheism really has become an extreme anti-theist religion, that misses or debases the spiritual experience dimension of life, and is profoundly “anti” … devoid of love and respect … both words Alain is happy to use. The placing of scientific rationality on a pedestal to the exclusion  all others – scientism – is itself a religion based on misplaced idolatry.

Anyway, enough about me. It’s a must watch.

Thanks to Horse for this Register link “SOPA is dead, are you happy now ?

I’m for fair IP Copyright licensing. Fair is a tough question – but I’m for answering it.

I’m against bad legislation – Duh, who isn’t, that’s what bad means, let’s improve it.

There is already legal enforcement of copyright in most democratic mixed economies, what new arrangements need to cover is how it’s enforceable when it crosses national boundaries via intermediary services. If people don’t make fair effort to comply, and knowingly encourage and enable others to break IP terms, then I can’t see any defence.

Half the rants seem to be anti-authoritarian – against mis-application of the legal powers of enforcement – ulterior motives of the establishment to use the cover of such legislation to trample unfairly over otherwise legal but inconvenient uses of internet communications – see fair.

The other half of the rants seem to be anti-capitalist – against any tendencies to make “loadsa” money (or even any money at all ?) out of selling fair use of copyrighted content – see fair.

Fair ? In a mixed-economy democracy ? These are the clues.

Previous threads

Former Mozilla CEO John Lilly argues:

What’s extremely discouraging to me right now is that I don’t really see how we [the tech  world and the US Congress] can have a nuanced, technically-informed, respectful discussion/debate/conversation/working relationship.

Instead all we get is the media industries engaging in back room lobbying to get bad bills passed while the tech world shotguns abuse until Congress capitulates. Talk about a dysfunctional relationship.

[Ha – Megaupload were not averse to a little illegal capitalism then, magic.]