By Andy Duncan
So what to say without spoiling the movie?
It is very, very good. However, it is also very, very long.
These things need to be long, however. So I’ll give it a pass on that front. When you’re dealing on the deepest Misesian levels of what it is to act, to dream, to remember, to love, to live, to die, to actually be human, and to act as a human, it’s impossible to knock it all out in eighty-seven minutes.
By David Chávez Salazar
The term Big Data refers to the collection and analysis of huge and complex datasets through advanced digital technology. This concept promises to substantially change the way we live, by converting data into tools for efficiency, productivity and innovation.
According to former Minister for Universities and Science, David Willets, the UK is well placed for taking on the task. On the one hand, the country has 25 of the world´s 500 most powerful computers; on the other, it has a comparative advantage in Information Technology thanks to two distinctive strengths: good skills in maths and computer science, and some of the world´s best data-sets in fields as diverse as demographics, agriculture, healthcare and meteorology. Continue reading
Imitating a Broken Record
(4th August 2016)
Since I last bothered to write something about terrorism on 12th June following the deaths of fifty gay men in Orlando, there have been a number of new atrocities. One of these was in Nice, one in the Alps, two in Munich, one in Reutlingen, one in Ansbach, and on the same day one in Rouen and one in Berlin. And then there was London, in the small hours of the morning of 4th August. These attacks are obviously sickening to any person of sound mind, and yet it is very easy to get bored – for want of a better word – of responding to them.
Even so, I am still of the opinion, which I express to my friends following every such incident when asked for comment, that these attacks are caused by bad politics and that we should not be scared, as libertarians, anarchists, nationalists, and conservatives, of ‘politicising’ them. The correct response is to properly mourn the loss of innocent Europeans, and then to have a proper think about how to avoid a repeat of the incident. What has actually happened every time is that we have seen countless people tweet their sadness or add a temporary overlay to the Facebook profile picture, and then wilfully forget about it. Furthermore, the words of the Prime Minister of France, that we should “learn to live with terrorism”, are entirely inappropriate since it is the duty of the State to protect its citizens. As I said, bad politics caused these attacks; good politics can prevent them. Continue reading
Bitcoin: The Fearmongers’ Dirty Little SecretThe bitcoin logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
European bureaucrats barely allowed the blood to dry on Paris’s cafe floors before calling a “crisis meeting” on November 19 to plot new ways of seizing power over the emerging digital economy. Their targets: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as well gift cards loaded with cash. Basically, any method of spending or receiving money without the state’s knowledge and permission.
Now, mind you, no evidence has emerged linking any of these things to the Paris attacks. The attacks weren’t the REASON for this new initiative; they were a PRETEXT for it. Bitcoin in particular and cryptocurrencies in general keep the political class lying awake at night. Terrorism is just an easy hook to publicly hang their fear on without revealing that fear’s real roots. When there’s no convenient blood on the floor to point to, they purse their lips and lecture us on fraud, identity theft and other nastiness they pretend to protect us from. Continue reading
Expressed in their simplest form, the ingredients for this atrocity can be expressed as follows:
mass migration + armed interference in Middle Eastern affairs + civilian disarmament = successful terrorist attacks in Western Europe.
The chances of this happening again could be much reduced by addressing even one of the elements on the left side of this equation. Unfortunately, given the vested interests involved, the chances of this happening must be nil. Continue reading
I have been wondering quietly to myself for a few days since Tuesday, and the news that a bloke deliberately locked his fellow Flying-Officer out of the cockpit and crashed the entire plane into a mountainside at the speed of an air-rifle bullet, about the strategic wisdom of measures taken by our supposed “leaders” in regard to what they call “The War On Terror”.
I will not make an anodyne speech about how “our thoughts are with the victims and their families” for
(a) they are anyway, and
(b) it’s anodyne corporate wallpaper when said in this way (you might just pray to God instead if it makes things better or at least less awful, and which you can) and
(c) all the Public-EnemyClass-GramscoFabiaNazis say this crap when they are trying to cover up something and they don’t mean it a toss anyway, being bad people a-priori; so they’ve devalued it. So I shan’t do it.
Now then, to The Main Business.
There can be no such thing as a “War On Terror”. How do you wage war against a tactic of war, or a “strategic objective”? You can only wage a war on the actual people that execute at least one of a range of different tactics or strategies.
It so far appears that the door to the cockpit of this sadly-doomed plane possessed locking devices strong enough to prevent breaching with an axe. In the wake of 9/11 this seems all very well, but doesn’t take account of probabilities far far higher than an armed hijack by pre-capitalist-barbarian nerds (you all know who there are) armed with stanley-knives. Such higher probabilities must, it seems, include pilots with mental problems serious enough to put their “fitness to fly” in question – regardless of the level of skills they have.
It appears that these locking devices could be commanded from inside the cockpit; and also then _not_ by a flight-deck officer outside it who could then not override them.
The obvious way round this problem, if our “masters” believe that armed air-hijacking is a real threat, and that there is actually what they call a “war on terror” (the need for such a war is indeed rather arguable doubtful) is to do one or else more of the following things, in light of the fact that it’s pretty hard to take, say a Bren Gun or other “medium machine gun” (or even a 0.5″ rifle) into the passenger compartment of an airliner:- Continue reading
by Erick Vasconcelos
The deplorable attack on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in which terrorists killed 12 and wounded 11, incited several reactions from the public, the sensitized media, and heads of state who hope to extract political gain from the matter. Amidst the generalized panic, Islamophobia has risen once again (due to the religious motivations of the attack) and Charlie Hebdo has been raised to icon status — contra the newspaper’s celebrated iconoclasm — with the #JeSuisCharlie campaign. Continue reading