Monday, 30 April 2018

freixenet

This overview of medieval European microstates (micronations can be equally idiosyncratic but with severely limited recognition) that came into being either through omission, neglect or force, with nearly half still in existence, struck us a fascinating material and urged us to learn more. One favourite that we had not heard of was the outpost Fraxinet, a stronghold founded and held by Muslim pirates (a press-gang) sailing from Andalusia (al-Andalus) in the vicinity of Saint-Tropez in the late ninth century.
The settlement expanded and was as much a centre of trade and commerce as a place of piracy, if not more, and peace was negotiated among other Frankish ruling families in the area. The uneasy peace held for an astonishing eighty years with the Andalusis bringing all sorts of innovations to the indigenous people, including medical skills, tar, ceramics and the tambourine, but Fraxinet finally ended with the Battle of Tourtour when a group of nobles from Provence dispatched with the raiders, worried that they would seize control of an important Alpine pass nearby, conveniently spurred to action at the ransoming of an influential abbot.

bois de la brigade de marine

Though perhaps it might have something to do with valid fears of spreading aggressive, toxic caterpillars that are plaguing oak trees in the UK presently and I would hope that the matter would have been addressed publicly and handled with due decorum (but that’s probably too generous for these thugs), the sapling that Macron brought as a gift during his state visit and planted together on the lawn of the White House has gone missing.
Part of the lore of the US Marine Corps and its role in World War I, the oak sprouted at Belleau Wood, memorialiszed the site of a battle between the US Second and Third divisions along side French and British forces against Imperial Germany. Initially sustaining heavy casualties, Marine scouts surmised that the Germans were regrouping for a second thrust that would certainly take the field, if they failed to launch a counter-attack. Gunnery Sergeant Dan Daly led the assault on 6 June 1918 with the battle cry, “Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?” The protracted fight saw many fatalities but the Marines and allies eventually took the site (reflagged as the above), which became the namesake for decorations and naval vessels.

baby steps

One immediate outcome of the historic summit between the leadership of North and South Korea was to re-align Pyongyang’s and Seoul’s time-zones.
This disparity of half-an-hour having itself arose only three years ago under the direction of Kim Jong-un to mark the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of the peninsula from occupying Japan as a reassertion of independence from colonial rule. The synchronisation will occur this Saturday (5 May) but there’s no word if the North will keep its Juche calendar, which numbers its years on the birth of founder Kim Il-Sung in 1912, though its not unusual to record time in eras and reigns as a supplement to civil time in many cultures, and many societies tend to use even our modern time-keeping conventions (abolishing day-light savings time, having a single, broad time zone irrespective of the sun) to present a united, national front.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

serpentine

Croatian abstract artist and founding member of the avant garde collective known as the Gorgona Group of 1960s Yugoslavia, Julije Knifer (*1924 - †2004) had a signature topic of exploration throughout his work: the meander, a geometric motif based on the repetition and regularly turning of a continuous line—which as a decorative border is sometimes called a Greek fret or a Greek key. With the country not enforcing the official narrative of Socialist Realism and the romancing of life and conditions under Communism, Knifer was free to create and mediate on hundreds of variations of the abstract concept, a quiet refutation against utopian plans that rarely pan out and just tend to lead one along.

what a piece of work is man

On this day fifty years ago, the rock musical by lyricists Gerome Ragni and James Rado and composer Galt MacDermot Hair began its run on Broadway, with over seventeen hundred performances.
Reception, with some notable exceptions, was overwhelmingly positive and became the anthem for several movements of the counter-culture uprising of the early 1970s and beyond—including racial and tribal identities, pacifism and environmentalism, and religious orthodoxy versus the esoteric.
One year later, “Bob” McGrath (one of the human neighbours) performed the song “Good Morning Starshine” on Sesame Street and the score helped launched the careers of Meatloaf and Donna Summer and many others. A decade later, production started on a cinematic adaptation by Miloš Forman, reviving the revolutionary spirit that the original inspired and brought the story to a broader audience.

jetzt sind wir voller energie

We enjoyed reading this bit of suspicious speculation on Angela Merkel’s good rapport with robots (something she shares with Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron, incidentally) and how that might indicate the Chancellor is better attuned to what’s in store, these encounters seeming especially meaningful contrasted with the abjectly awkward record that bad politicians have with machines, animals and other people.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

zwischenstopp: stockheim

On the old path in between Ostheim and Mellrichstadt lies the village of Stockheim, which was party to much the same intrigues and exchanges of ownership as other places in this region, but is particularly noted for its vernacular architecture.
The old, gabled and half-timbered Rathaus—the city hall whose administrative functions are now finding themselves displaced, is presently a restaurant and pension but was formerly known as an Amthaus, an administrative centre for a feudal bureaucracy and later as a Zehnthof, a repository of tithes, a tenth of one’s income or harvest rendered to the church. Formerly protected by a wall with watchtowers (Warte), one of these was also designated as a Darre or a Darrhaus, a place, usually silo-like where hops were dried as part of the beer-brewing process. The surviving tower is itself a source of tales told by people of Willmars (strangely enough) across the valley which include a kidnapping dwarf and a shoe-maker’s apprentice who did not succumb to hardship and give up once in the company of lumberjacks.

the matilda effect

As a corollary to the Bechdel test that poses three basic standards that the majority of film and entertain digest cannot pass fully or in part: at least two female characters, who hold a dialogue whose topic cannot include marriage or babies or the like, science journalist Christie Aschwanden, as Kottke informs, once suggested a similar gauge for gender-bias in the sciences.
The namesake of fellow science writer Ann Finkbeiner (the titular effect refers to academia’s general willingness to attribute accomplishment and discovery to a woman’s male colleagues rather than letting her have or share in the credit), who resolved to write a profile about an astronomer without calling attention to the fact she is a woman. The last being the first criteria, other subjects to avoid were her spouse’s profession, child care, her nurturing nature, how she was taken aback by the competitiveness in her field, how she’s a role model and how she’s superlative as a female. It would be nice if we as a society were more enlightened and that racial and sexist bias were an issue we’ve moved beyond.

Friday, 27 April 2018

inbetweening

As a follow on to the celebration of the career of artist and typographer Herb Lubalin, as Coudal Partners reports, day forty-one features animated titles he created in the early 1970s for the US Public Broadcasting System. A team of graphic designers and musicians at Cooper Union have recreated the lost opening sequences based on the archived keyframes that one can find at the project’s website and the link above, plus the chance to explore weeks’ worth of other tributes with more to come.

hot air

Coming to terms with how damaging that plastic debris is for the environment and considering how helium is becoming a scarce resource, we were surprised to learn that there’s a powerful balloon lobby, as Super Punch informs, that has successful blocked legislation in forty-nine of fifty states that would outlaw outdoor balloon releases that punctuate political victories, weddings and other celebrations. While the industry council, whose managed to buy off politicians of all ilks, does not actively encourage balloon releases, it fears that codifying a ban would stigmatise consumers and hurt small businesses.

head-over-heels

(More than) Just a Car Guy introduces us to an unusual model of bicycle called the Velocino designed in 1933 by Bolognesi engineer Ernesto Pettazzoni at the behest of Benito Mussolini, who wanted a compact urban vehicle that could be easily stored. The semi-recumbent assembly had a normal-sized rear wheel and tiny one in the front, with adjustable, opposing handle-bars that made under seat steering a possibility. I doubt I’d ever have the confidence to navigate such a set-up at speed.

panmunjom


nightingale floors

Amusing Planet introduces us to the ancient Japanese method for detecting intruders by fitting corridors with specialized flooring that squawked and chirped when trod across. Employed in select temples and palaces, these nightingale floors (鴬張り, uguisubari) were designed with special joints within the floorboards that move and rub against the clamps when pressure is applied. Learn more about where you can experience the cleverly crafted floors yourself and listen to them the warbling sound at the link above.

autozam

Writing for Ars Technica, Devin Holody gives us a nice, circumspect primer on the strange and stunning Japanese domestic automotive market that due to administrative embargoes and stringent inspection standards that have no mercy for vintage cars matriculate to the US market after a significant waiting period that lends new-arrivals this fantastic air of nostalgia.
Though used models filter in elsewhere around the world (we’ve encountered some twee and tiny Subarus), Japanese drivers giving up on their older cars earlier than most, motivated by those frequent check-ups, exports to America are subject to a twenty-five year wait due to a 1988 safety compliance act that blocks the importation of foreign cars that weren’t originally meant for American roads. The guide is full of glorious images of the latest class of quarter century-old cars that can now be acquired by people living in the US and has plenty of tips and resources to connect interested-parties.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

fomo or the diderot effect

Our gratitude to Open Culture once again for enlightening and equipping us with a dual-pronged sociological term that was coined by anthropologist Grant McCracken to describe the phenomena of consumption spiraling out of control called the Diderot Effect.
Named after sixteenth century encyclopedist and philosopher Denis Diderot who first described the mechanism that’s similar to the notion of buyers’ remorse, he experienced personally upon regretting for having parted with his old dressing gown, not merely for having indulged in the purchase of fancy loungewear but how the new garment’s fineness clashed with the rest of his wardrobe and made everything else feel a bit tawdry. The only way to remedy this feeling of unease was to get more new clothes leading him to discount the rest of his possessions in a vicious cycle of upgrading that left him bankrupt—financially and morally. The compulsion for rampant and senseless consumption plus ostentatious brinksmanship of course negatively impact the environment and undermines the collective psychology, and it is bound to only be more out of control when people are more and more immersed in a platform designed to optimise the unease of missing out and make one feel inadequate.

嫦娥

Like its counterpart Apollo, the Chinese lunar exploration programme has a divine namesake and their space agency has presented an ambitious plan to turn a bit of lore into reality with its aim to construct a “palace” near the Moon’s south pole by 2030. The lunar base or rather tubular palace is in reference to the abode of the immortal Chang’e (嫦娥)—a rather reluctant goddess, who had divinity thrust upon her, estranging her from her mortal husband.
In the distant past, ten suns came to dominate the skies and threatened to scorch the Earth, but the heroic archer Yi shot down all but one, saving the planet. As reward, the gods gave Yi a single portion of the elixir of life, which would render the imbiber undying. Yi didn’t want to live forever if he could not be with his beloved wife Chang’e, so hid the potion. One of the archer’s apprentices, however, attacked Chang’e while her husband was out hunting and tried to force her to give him the elixir, and overpowered, Chang’e escaped by the only means she had—drinking the potion herself. Instead of allowing herself to ascend to the highest heaven in the company of the other gods, Chang’e settled on the Moon to be as close to her husband as possible. Inconsolable, her only companion for the past four millennia has been a white rabbit Yutu—which was the name of the rover vehicle that was delivered to the Moon’s surface by the mission Chang’e 3 when mankind returned to the satellite for the first time in nearly four decades in December of 2013. Read more about the programme at the link up top.

de la démocratie en amérique

Yesterday, before a joint session of Congress, the US legislature and executive got the address that it needs to heed but probably didn’t deserve in the parting words of French Prisent Emmanuel Macron, who laid bare a world-view in sharp contrast to what the disengaged, raging nationalist policies of the Trump regime, bromance aside.
There being no “Planet B,” Macron urged America to rejoin the Paris Accords and not to withdraw from the Iran nuclear settlement. The spread of fake news (fausses nouvelles) and the atmosphere of distrust it sews is also getting to be a bit much.  Macron’s speech happened to fall of the same day in 1960 when Général Charles de Gaulle had the opportunity to convey the same message of friendship and unity to the same audience, and of course follows quite a long tradition of French thinkers mediating on democracy in America—beginning with Alexis de Tocqueville’s travels in the newly-minted republic.

block party

Lukas Valiauga, designer of interactive installations and digital interfaces, pays a playful homage, we learn via Present /&/ Correct to the game of Tetris, but instead of the traditional tetrominoes, the geometric pieces are composed of the façades of Brutalist apartment towers. Players are invited to demolish or build up blocs as they see fit.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

6x6

the fable of the dragon-tyrant: a parable from philosopher Nick Bostrom—humans have many perched on the mountaintops

as was the fashion at the time: à la mode is one of the last remnants on American menus of a once rich Francophone culinary code, via Nag on the Lake

we are the laughing morticians of the present: Dangerous Minds takes a look at the short-lived satirical magazine Americana that lampooned geopolitics of the early 1930s

great glavin in a glass: Simpsons’ meme generator, the Frinkiac (previously), has a random-feature

patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel: Trump regime challenges dissenters to love their country more than they hate the leadership

stellar cartography: the European Space Agency’s on-going Gaia project updates its map of the Cosmos

mockbuster

After two years of restoration of the last known reel of the movie in existence and digital conversion, the atrociously campy cult film that’s better known by the moniker “Turkish Star Wars,” the 1982 Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (previously) or The Man Who Saved the World will be enjoying a limited theatre run in London and Glasgow later this summer (May the Fourth be with you).
The movie—hitherto only watchable on bootlegged video cassette copies—gained notoriety for its unauthorised use of footage from the actual Star Wars, with other science fiction films and space programme scenes spliced in, has quite an incoherent plot and was roundly panned by critics at the time. Despite its poor reception, a sequel was produced in 2006, Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam'ın Oğlu (The Son of the Man who Saved the World—otherwise “Turks in Space”) but audiences (never easily satisfied) were also critical of the second movie for having professional actors and special effects and was no longer true to the original. Visit the link above to see a video of a few scenes.  I think it’s fun that there’s a revival of such an unambiguously bad movie, but I also hope that the attention it garners directs more people to the finer side of Turkish cinema and film-making, as well.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

because i was not a trade-unionist

Contemptibly, the American people seem to have grown tolerant, inured to the reprehensible language that the dangerous and doltish Trump broadcasts and that his complicit and cowardly regime of apologists defend and excuses.
The latest hateful rant was a pointed attack on the defenders of “sanctuary cities,” municipal jurisdictions that limit cooperation with the national immigration authorities to enforce racist policies so that people residing there in contravention of the law (or perceived to be) are less fearful of deportation and are more civically engaged, characterising the programme as “crime infested” and a “breeding concept.” Modern day presidential. Aspirational allusions that take the tack towards fascism are of course alarmist and for good reason—the word have the terrifying echo of justifying marginalisation and murder by stripping others of their humanity.

Spoon & Tamago helps us step outside of our hardwired iconography with a trip to Shojuim Buddhist temple to contemplate the heart-shaped window of one of the guest quarters.
No less auspicious than true romance and with a longer attested provenance, this ideogram is the inome (猪目) meaning ‘boar’s eye’ and is often found adorning hunting implements and weapons in general, signifying unwavering resolve. In modern times, the symbol has softened its edge somewhat and is now treated as a talisman, like the evil eye, and a good luck charm. Be sure to visit the link up top to see more examples and to learn more about the inome sign and its further meanings.

the firemen’s ball

To celebrate the long career of the recently departed Czech screenwriter, director and professor Miloš Forman Coudal Partners refers us to a gallery of international movie posters promoting his earliest works.
Though perhaps better known for his later contributions of the award-winning One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Hair, Amadeus, The People vs Larry Flint and Man on the Moon (the Andy Kaufman biopic), Forman’s final 1967 film in his native Czechoslovakia before self-imposed exile portrays a series of disasters that befalls a small town with endemic corruption and the inadvertent outcomes of the best-intentioned plans. Recognised as a cutting satire of Eastern European politics, the film was banned in perpetuity after the Warsaw Pact invasion of the country (a countermeasure to the Prague Spring of reformist Alexander Dubček) in the night of 20 August 1968.

Monday, 23 April 2018

snowbirds

The always brilliant Nag on the Lake directs our attention to a rather fascinating annual ritual through the photo-essay by Alice Gregory and Dina Litovsky that documents the end of vacation season, running from after October’s harvest to spring planting in April when the fields are fallow, for the “Plain People”—that is communities of the Amish, Anabaptists and Mennonites from rural Pennsylvania and Ohio—who are bussed down to a neighbourhood in Sarasota, Florida to enjoy an extended vacation away from the farm and harsh winters and to spend time with other members of their groups that are outside of their immediate communities, in fact any outsiders. Being on holiday, some of the strictures that determine their code of conduct are relaxed a little and for people that consider hard-labour and self-sufficiency sacred virtues, momentary leisure is to be savoured.

1. outside

The ever excellent Everlasting Blört introduces us to the painting, portraiture and storyboard work of David Bowie through a curated gallery that captures the artist’s soulful legacy, highlighting the influence of contemporaries (many of whom whose works he patronised and collected as well) and the German Expressionism movement that Bowie and Iggy Pop immersed themselves in when they moved to Berlin in 1976. Artwork includes sketches that are studies in cosmetic and costume development, album covers, stage directions for performances and a few panels for an unmade film adaptation of a story called “Hunger City.”

8x8

everything zen: images from this weekend’s European Stone Stacking and Balancing Competition in Scotland are tranquil (rather than precarious) and oddly fulfilling, via Super Punch

soiree: ahead of the fete for Macron’s state visit, the Atlantic reviews White House state dinners of the past decades

boilerplate: discontent over handling of user data may signal the end of perpetuating meaningless fine-print and illusory choice in contracts

bird’s eye view: cameras carried aloft by trained pigeons deliver turn of the century aerial photography (previously)

convolutional neural network: using deep learning and augmented reality, programmes can aid physicians in detecting cancer and other diseases in real-time, via Slashdot

crassus became the richest man in rome by owning the fire department: privatising emergency services will insulate the wealthy from the worst consequences of climate change while making the poor pay

2008 tc3: meteorite found in Nubian desert is one of the last remains of an ancient, doomed proto-planet

rest in grease: a fast-food chain’s release of a mixtape prompts us to question the boundary between music and marketing and what constitutes a brand versus a band

Sunday, 22 April 2018

zwischenstopp: willmars

We’ve previously wrote a little bit about the village of Willmars when we went exploring some ruins and contemplated hunting for mushrooms but the side of town one spies from the road is also pretty picturesque and compact—everything that makes a proper village all right together. The bakery/general store is co-located now with the fire department removed a bit from the main street but everything else is right there.
The settlement was originally in the hands of a cadet-branch of the Franconian dukes of Henneberg, controlling the lands with imperial immediacy from the forests of Thüringen to the banks of the Main, from the early thirteenth century onwards.
Once the line died out with no legitimate heirs in 1583, Willmars and its neighbours reverted ownership to the Duchy of Saxony.
With the major re-distri-bution of sovereignty within the Holy Roman Empire of 1803 (der Reichsdeputationshauptschluss), the villages once again traded hands and came into possession of the Free and Imperial Knights von Stein zu Nord- and Ostheim—more or less for keeps and more on this venerable family to come.

spaceship earth

Sponsored by the partnership of a senator and environmental activist in response to a devastating oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, Earth Day was first observed in 1970 on this date. The movement has grown exponentially since and in 1990 spread internationally, set aside by nearly two hundred countries as time to focus on ecological challenges and solutions.
Despite growing support and awareness of the importance of our being better stewards of the environment and that Nature is not ours to dominate, the movement is facing regressive forces, not the least being narratives that global-warming is a myth. Originally celebrated about a month earlier on the Spring Equinox, the 22 April date was chosen so to make the day truly universal and not tied to a particular hemisphere and as the April date would fall within most colleges’ Spring Breaks and allow the chance for students to organize rallies. Unfortunately, as like contemporary conspiracy theorists—the date chosen was a bit inauspicious as 22 April 1870 was the birthday of Vladimir Lenin (unbeknownst to the event’s organisers, especially considering the need to translate it from the Old Style calendar to the Gregorian) and some harboured suspicions in the US particularly at the time (and through to this day) that that signaled a Communist inculcation and was reminiscent of the coerced “voluntary” Saturday (Subbotnik) spent in community service, to include the sorting and recycling of trash. Fortunately, Earth Day’s message has transcended those arguing that we’re separate and outside of the natural world.

consent of the governed

Intrigued as we were by the characterisation of a former CIA director of Trump’s regime as a kakistocracy, JF Ptak did some further spelunking into forms of government that fail the governed beyond khakistocracy. There’s a link to a quite exhaustive list at the source but just as a sample, some of our favourites, new to us, were: an adhocracy—a government whose deliberations are impromptu and without planning or bureaucracy, a mediocracy—rule by the average, the mediocre, and a ptochcracy—a government constituted of the solicitous poor

Saturday, 21 April 2018

zwischenstopp: neustädtles

One of my new low-stakes but hopefully rewarding projects is to document all the scenic but not at first blush distinct places that I pass through when going from home to work on what’s been several years of a long weekly commute. I’d like to stop for a moment in each place with one of the first villages that I go through to being one of a population of about two hundred called Neustädtles (little new town).
Documented for the first time in the 1420s when the village was sold to the Knights of Tann, the territory on the mountainous border of Bavaria and Thüringen exchanged hands several times until finally coming under the ownership of Julius von Soden, count of Ansbach (the previous owner a casualty of the French Revolution).
Charged with managing the surrounding forest he established the manor with several apartments and offices en suite to issue fishing and hunting permits in the early eighteenth century. Though broader events informed the village’s allegiances in the following centuries, its character is essentially unchanged.  Stay tuned to see where we’ll pause next time.

moratoria

The announcement that Kim Jong-un will immediately cease nuclear and ballistics tests and dismantle at least one testing range (because North Korea is confident that it has perfected its tactical capabilities) is of course welcome news that we’ll even tolerate the gloating and the smug smog of trumpster fires taking credit for it in exchange for what looks to be at least one less thing to agonise about in this dystopian world.
Perhaps going a notch counter-clockwise with the whole countdown to Doomsday.  One cannot call it progress, however, when a crisis escalated by one’s own stubborn, sabre-rattling remedied itself without and in spite of the other party, restoring the uneasy status quo after much posteuring. North Korea retains its arsenal, whose size one can only guess and whose disarmament was the stated goal of the US, but pledges not to proliferate its nuclear technologies to others and the people of the country will possibly benefit and afforded the chance to prosper with less resources diverted to maintain the testing-programme seem like positive developments.

Friday, 20 April 2018

high crimes and misdemeanors


თბილისი

A committed flâneur myself, I appreciated the invitation from Calvert Journal correspondent Daryl Mersom to take a wander through the different quarters of Tbilisi to marvel at the contrasting and complementary styles of the city’s cultural influences, with the conviction that architecture is not best experienced with an itinerary or by a windshield tour but rather by walking.
From the Old Georgian for a “warm place,” the city was founded in the fourth century BC around a sulphurous thermal spring, an area referred to as Abanotubani, and the settlement has since been at the crossroads of successive civilisations, often in competition over the territory due to its strategic location, and these waves of influence have let their marks and have informed a rather vibrant cosmopolitan capital.
The iconic Wedding Palace designed by Victor Djorbenadze in 1984, purpose built as a matrimonial venue but now a private residence that can be rented out for special events and the 1975 Ministry of Transportation (now the headquarters of the national bank) by Zurab Jalaghania and George Chakhava were not directly included on the meandering path but are alluded to as component parts of the city’s architectural character.  One encounters a rich mixture of Byzantine, Soviet Modern, Beaux-Arts and Neoclassical styles and there’s a certain allure to this panorama that we would like to see in person.

8x8

revamp: the classic Vespa (previously) reincarnated as an electric vehicle whose dash console is one’s mobile phone, via the always splendid Nag on the Lake

white noise: a multimedia appreciation of the pioneering electronic composer and sound archivist Delia Derbyshire, who also created the opening theme music for Doctor Who

peafowl: an Australian community is divided over whether the urbanised birds are a nuisance or nice to have around

electroconvulsive shock: a FOIA filing includes an unexpected manual on the use of “psycho-electronic weapons,” via Boing Boing

exonym: in order to disburden itself of its past as a British colony—and possibly reduce confusion with Switzerland—Swaziland will return to its precolonial identity of eSwatini 

flóttamaður: still at large, the suspected ring leader behind the mass theft of computers for bitcoin mining in Iceland escapes prison and flees to Sweden on the same flight that carried the Prime Minister

a state in new england: making the Massachusetts oath of office more concise and assorted other constitutional conventions

subliminal education: an educational material publishing house (previously) conducted a massive experiment in classrooms across the US to test the efficacy of its new material without disclosing the “interventions” (previously) to any of the unwitting students and teachers, via Marginal Revolution

walled garden

Prior to learning about this breaking development thanks to Super Punch, I was mulling the notion of reinstating part of PfRC’s and my personal media presence once the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation went into effect, but the company’s surprise decision to repatriate its Ireland-based international operations means that the new law will have magnitudes fewer beneficiaries.
The four hundred million or so EU-area residents that are creators and consumers of digital content will be covered, and had the headquarters remained in Ireland and under EU jurisdiction so would the rest of the global population of over a billion and a half users whose activities are banked there, with the exception of North American records which are stored in California. With only Europe cordoned-off, all other data from accounts around the world will migrate to servers in the US and the company will have far greater latitude in what it does with people’s history and demographics. What do you think? Though we are glad to be afforded at least a measure of protection and control (maybe, hopefully a meaningful one), it seems like a real jerk move on the company’s part to deprive the rest of the world by centralising its clearinghouses and now I don’t think in good conscience reanimate my account. What we let this company get away with informs how all other stewards of privacy and truth behave going forward.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

frühling in wiesbaden

The weather today was splendid and enjoyed the vast park between the Bahnhof and the newly remodeled Rhein-Main Conference Centre (Congress-Zentrum) across from the city’s venerable art and natural history museum.