This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



November 2011

Twitter Updates from 2011-11-30 (UTC)

  • Reading – ‘The Pirate Bay Dancing’ Add-On Killls DNS and IP Blockades (Ernesto, TorrentFreak) #
  • Reading – Two Polls Show Newt Owning Florida GOP Race (Eric Kleefeld, TPM) #
  • Reading – McDonald's Jukes San Francisco's Toy Ban (Baylen Linnekin, Reason) #
  • This. “@wilw: Dear Media: When the police tell you to leave IS WHEN YOU STAY. You're supposed to be a check on this kind of power!” #
  • Reading – Pin Press Furniture (John Farrier, Neatorama) #
  • Reading – New Global Chokepoints Project Tracks Censorship Around the World (EFF) #
  • Reading – US judge orders hundreds of sites "de-indexed" from Google, Facebook (Nate Anderson, ArsTechnica) #
  • Awful result. “@SenJohnMcCain: Stmt on overwhelming bipartisan 61-37 vote supporting detainee provisions in #NDAA” #

Watching Occupy ( #occupyla #occupyphilly )

It seems like tonight coordinated actions are going on in Philly and LA. In Philly the occupiers peacefully left the park when the police asked them to leave, and instead started marching around the city. In LA things are tense, with tons and tons of police surrounding the areas where the protesters are. No idea what will end up happening. Expectation seems to be that something will happen after midnight Pacific time. We shall see. Maybe it will. Maybe it won’t.

I’m watching intently, mainly at these locations:

To reiterate what I’ve said a couple of times on the podcast my basic position is this: I generally don’t like protesters. I find them annoying. You will not find me at a protest. And Occupy in specific I believe has raised awareness of a few issues, but it isn’t as if there are any particular realistic actions that could be taken to make them happy. And Occupy has lived up to the annoyance level of most protests and more, and the 24 hour occupations really seem unnecessary and excessive to me. For the most part they are just making noise and being annoying.

However… I believe that this kind of expression, and the ability to do so whenever and wherever people want, and without restriction or unnecessary intervention by the government, is or should be one of the most important values of a democracy. I don’t care if these guys are Occupy, or the Klan, or the Tea Party or whoever, the government should stay the hell out, and let people express their political thoughts. Yes, in certain circumstances when health or safety are really in danger, some actions may be necessary. But we as a society should bend over backwards to help facilitate end encourage the free and varied expression of political thought, not spend resources to restrict, confine and repress it. And certainly we have not seen anything yet in this series of protests that would warrant any of the responses we have seen nationwide so far, let alone anything more.

Luckily, so far, none of these things have spiraled into a really violent situation (despite a handful of serious injuries), but each time we get an official response trying to remove these guys, we run that risk. And for no real reason. There is no compelling need to remove any of these protesters.

And does nobody remember that trying to repress movements often just makes them stronger and more radical than ever? Is that what is wanted here? Are all these mayors (and whatever national people are “helping” and “coordinating” between them) just absolutely nuts? Why? Just why? The best thing to do is just provide public safety support when needed, but let the protesters do their thing. If left alone, eventually they would get tired, declare victory and go home. Instead, on a regular basis we are risking violence and chaos as confrontations are forced by the police.

And that is before you even consider reports tonight of restrictions on media movement and what the media is “allowed” to report or show live. That is so beyond the pale for a democracy. Thank goodness we now live in a world where everybody with a smartphone can report live from the scene and you don’t actually need the local TV stations and newspapers to get a view of what is happening, as they seem to be willing to roll over and live with any restrictions the authorities ask for.

I look at the protesters and I shake my head and think they are nuts.

But I look at the government responses to the protesters and I weep for my country.

Reading – Man arrested at Larg…

Reading – Man arrested at Large Hadron Collider claims he’s from the future (Nick Hyde, CNet)

Reading – Sens. Paul, McCain c…

Reading – Sens. Paul, McCain clash over terrorist detainee amendment (Josiah Ryan, The Hill)

Reading – Newt’s Coup de Grace…

Reading – Newt’s Coup de Grace (Andrew Sullivan, Daily Beast)

Reading – With Building Blocks…

Reading – With Building Blocks, Educators Going Back to Basics (Kyle Spencer, NYT)

Reading – The Buyer’s Remors…

Reading – The Buyer’s Remorse Primary (Nate Silver, NYT)

Reading – Scientists ID ‘Mor…

Reading – Scientists ID ‘Morning Person’ Gene (Carrie Gann, ABC News)

Really? What year is it again…

Really? What year is it again? “@BreakingNews: Hardline Iranian students have broken into the British Embassy in Tehran – @AP”

Shadow of the Giant

Author: Orson Scott Card
Original Publication: 2005
Started: 2011 Jan 3
Finished: 2011 Jan 12
Format: Kindle
6136 locations / 10 days
614 locations/day

It really has been too long since I read this for me to say anything too much about it. Most of it has slipped from my mind. It is the continuation of the story of Bean, and in fact is the last of the Bean centric books in this series… so far anyway, I gather a couple more are planned.

This basically continues to follow the battle school kids (and Peter) as they are instrumental in global politics and wars, until the point where Bean finally leaves the planet.

This was an OK read, but just didn’t have the impact of the first few books in the series. My basic thought this far in (8 books) was that the first was of course the classic and best. Then as we did #2 through #4 each was not quite as good as the one before. Then #5 freshened it up by shifting to Bean and was probably somewhere between #2 and #3, then as we went through 6, 7 and 8 we once again were in the pattern of each being not quite as good as the one before.

Having said that, they were all enjoyable reads. The only “must reads” in the series up to this point are #1 and #2. But if you enjoy those, the others aren’t bad at all.