I didn't think Bart was talking about morality at all. Look at the words used: On the one hand, technology and science. On the other, ignorance. Those are some really strange bedfellows: knowledge and a wilful, studied lack thereof.
I wracked my brains to find a way to say that which didn't come across as hassling Bart, which is not my intention.
I'd agree that it's dismaying that technology is used to do stupid, evil things, but that's pretty much half the story of technology, since we first picked up sticks to bash things with. In Iraq, I'd say that the lion's share of considerably higher technology than Twitter has been used to harm the Iraqi people for decades now. We've watched an entire generation of technologies get tested on them, from the early 90s right through until now. No destruction of humans has ever been so gloriously covered, in real time.
I had a similar disgusted feeling several years ago seeing a video of American soldiers hoovering up humans with remote drone strikes at the click of a mouse. They were playing with little white dots, and yelling "Bam!" every time. One particularly troublesome dot ran an erratic path, lasted a good 40 seconds, before they just overkilled, clicking in a circle around him/her, and the Bam Bam Bam, some unknown human incinerated in a huge halo of explosions. I had a sick horror at the incredible level of sophistication in all of the parts that had to be coordinated so that some bastard could kill unknown people like they're ants on a table.
(Tony Blair's one-way use of the internet to post his preposterous instructions for victory must surely convince even fewer. You're better off reading Giovanni's excellent Blair satire.),
I cast my mind back to Sectarian Bloodlust 1.0, during which a number of regressively minded individuals turned Afghanistan into a terrorist training camp and flew aeroplanes into the World Trade Centre. As I understand it, the goal was to kindle the kind of conflict that groups such as "Al Qaeda in Iraq" and Boko Haram are now progressing.
Who knows, maybe you'll actually get to do something about it all at some stage.
The idea that Teflon was developed for the atomic or space programme is a bit of a myth.
Says here it was developed by a chemist working on fluorinated refrigerants who set off an accidental polymerisation.
Yes, I actually know that. But it was further developed by DuPont for Nasa initially before finding a broader commercial application.
And hair-splitting about who invented what wasn't really the point of what I said. I won't say technology is "values-neutral", because there often is a specific intent - involving some underlying morality or set of values. It's just fine, for some, to develop nuclear bombs capable of killing millions. But there is nothing inherent in specific technologies to prevent their use by anyone with a completely different moral standard.
Principles used for creating nuclear bombs are also used for nuclear power plants, whatever you think of that. The intent of the latter is "cleaner" power, which can be sold commercially. Slaughtering millions would erode the customer base.
Again, that principle of technology itself as capable of being bent to the purposes of any morality holds true for most. Which is when I get surprised (certainly not trying to get AT anyone) when people seem to believe the positive intent (assuming there was one) of a technology's creation is sufficient unto itself.
I wracked my brains to find a way to say that which didn’t come across as hassling Bart, which is not my intention.
I’d agree that it’s dismaying that technology is used to do stupid, evil things, but that’s pretty much half the story of technology, since we first picked up sticks to bash things with.
Bart was simply highlighting the irony in that a group which believes people should live in ignorance is happily using Twitter (a product of science and technology that has been used to enlighten the public) to push their agenda. He wasn't commenting generally on the use of technology to do evil.
The view that societies will naturally evolve towards liberal democracy has been pretty widely discredited i thought? Just because thats what happened in western europe over several centuries, because of a variety of unique historical factors, doesn't necessarily mean the same thing will happen in very different circumstances elsewhere. The obvious example is China, which made the transition from a tribal to state-based society about 1,500 years before western europe, but still hasn't experienced anything resembling liberal democracy.
The obvious example is China, which made the transition from a tribal to state-based society about 1,500 years before western europe, but still hasn’t experienced anything resembling liberal democracy.
Except on Taiwan. Lucky little Republic of China.
Except on Taiwan. Lucky little Republic of China.
And, of course, Hong Kong. Even after reverting to Chinese jurisdiction it's still managed to maintain some semblance of British institutional structures. And Macau, well, it's still the Vegas of the East to a certain degree.
Meanwhile, when Chris Trotter isn't insisting he's with the Peoples' Front of Judea, he actually calls bollocks where it's needed.
Islamist militants in Iraq have occupied Saddam Hussein's former chemical weapons production facility, which contains a stockpile of old chemical weapon, the US government says.
So. "We" invaded. Why? Cos there were MWDs. "We" didn't find much. But it seems "we" might have missed the now found production plant.
Simple thought from a simple one: Why didn't "we" get rid of all the chemicals that might be able to be made into MWDs?
Ooooo...thats a hard one....
However, US officials told the Journal that had they known Iraq would become so destabilised after the 2011 pullout of US troop, they would not have left the stockpiles in place.
Analysts must have been from another planet.
Why didn’t “we” get rid of all the chemicals that might be able to be made into MWDs?
They do claim in that story that...
The weapons at Muthanna had been found by UN inspectors but were dismantled with chemical stocks militarily useless and closed off in bunkers.
And any way, such chemistry didn't exist in the days of the prophet, so therefore must be shunned by the faithful...
The rhetoric at the time always played fast and loose with what a WMD actually is. Chemical weapons aren't really very effective except against unsuspecting civilians (and ALL weapons are good for that purpose). They talked up that there were actual nukular weapons, because of intel (which the agent involved subsequent went public on, pointing out that it was all total bs).
So I think the spin will now be that chemical weapons aren't much of a concern anyway. Unless we want to blow something up, then of course chemical weapons are back at the top of the Most Evil And Scary Things list.
The rhetoric at the time always played fast and loose with what a WMD actually is.
Driven primarily by the US, where a pressure cooker filled with black powder and nails is a WMD, by law.
I’ve online gamed alongside King89Solomon for almost 3 years now. When we first met his English was barely intelligible, but in the interim he has made significant progress. I’d never asked where he was from though I observed earlier this year that he speaks Arabic, and at some point following that he mentioned that he is an Iraqi. Although I was curious to know more of his experience and perspective I thought it best not to bring the topic up, but today I received an unsolicited message on the topic (please note – his link is not for the squeamish):
Im busy writing my research I hope that I completed in two months
I want to return to the home since more than a year and did not visit my family
I am sad because we are being killed
more than 60 allied countries to kill us
there is no real media no truthful media
they just keep say we are terrorism
now any one defending their lands called a terrorist
and that assaults us and steals resources called champion came with freedom
they keeps marching aircraft to kill children and women
on the battlefield are losing big losses
but they are taking revenge by killing children and womens
just see what are doing aircraft usa and allied countries
this simple sample which happens every day in Iraq and Syria
On receiving this I felt that it’s worth sharing on this platform as his voice would not ordinarily be heard here, I asked him for permission and he followed up with three further messages:
you good friend and you are respected I trust you
yes what I am saying is not people
yes of course most do not want it
what Im saying because of Governments
we are in a world full of lies
yes I just wanted to give you a small part of the truth
you are also of course you give part of the truth to people who do not know anything
they keep steal our money steal our wealth in the name of freedom and defeat terrorism
now many of the allied nations to kill us led by USAand Britain and France
Iran represented by Shiites
imagine a Muslim Arab countries as well as
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates Jordan and Qatar
more than 60 countries
we want to live in peace have to take our rights
since more than 60 years and USA and the West of Europe
kill and occupy Muslim countries
here are all the people ask
are Muslims killed millions of Indians or they
you know that we are not talking about a weak us
we win because God has promised that fighting for a great religion and for humans
but they distort our image in the media….
what we want is to live in peace and the region in peace
what Muslims want is Caliphate this is achieved of course just be patient
people in your countries many of them known that the Caliphate as something terrifying they will kill us they will occupy our lands
but the Caliphate is the empire of Muslims gathered in peace and justice respect countries and live with them in peace
but they do not want people to live in peace
they continue to murder and carrying out Israel’s plans
look at history
why Muslims did not respect European countries not all ?
because European they have since that time continue to kill and enslave human beings
why Muslims defeated European countries for many years
and why Muslims did not fight Asian countries such as the empires of China Japan and other
why Muslims did not fight Latin American countries
Because they are good and live in peace and respect and the rest of them were good relations
only the history of the West and Muslim countries is full of blood and reason unknown
For my own, I found this article We Built Their Death Squads: ISIS’s Bizarre Origin Story and it’s links paint a far fuller picture than the local media has presented us with.
what I want to give is a small part of the truth shameful
believe me that Muslims are good people and welcome all people
and respect and help others
but when it comes down to these crimes they become crazy and take revenge at any price
because this is justice
what Muslims want now especially Arab countries
It is to get rid of traitorous governments that kill people
yes you should know the truth and are looking for tell people I am and what Im saying is some of the history facts
finally I want to give you a simple example look at these pictures
father holds the body of his daughter there with no head
because of blow aircraft
what do you want to do of course he will take revenge
of course he will fight
of course he will blow himself up in enemy
do not be surprised or to blow himself up in your country
Perhaps Murray McCully could be using his time more wisely.
Meanwhile the SIS working environment has become so toxic that they’ve had to resort to front page PR pieces on MSM sites in order to maintain recruitment levels while dealing with same number of suspects as a year ago.
The Government says between 30 and 40 people are being actively watched. Kitteridge said numbers remained in that range.
Spy boss Rebecca Kitteridge goes on a recruiting drive
'She put herself through the assessment process to get a taste of what would-be recruits were faced with. It included role playing, where she had to enter a room, strike up a conversation with its occupants and "elicit certain information from people" in a way that did not raise any red flags with them.'
Jesus freaking wept. Is one allowed to wonder if she was wearing a burqa?
In the 1980s, an SIS agent left his briefcase on a fence, apparently with a pie and Penthouse magazine inside (some say it was a sandwich and a Listener - I'll stick with the Penthouse because the theatre reviews are better) for a journalist to find.
So I had a think about this, particularly the fact that there are 200 SIS monitoring 30-40 people, and they need new recruits because:
Some of the material was so disturbing SIS agents required to view it for their job needed pastoral care.
And far be it from me to give advice to the head of intelligence, but wouldn’t it be easier and more cost effective to simply recruit those 30-40 on the watch list in a way that will “not raise any red flags” with them, knowing full well that they do have the right stuff to view this material.