Saint Patrick’s Day and other items

posted by Mike on March 17th, 2010

Pie and Coffee classic: The Real Saint Patrick, starring the Duffy Bros.

Cargo Cult Activism
New essay on Pie and Coffee; somehow marked as published a week ago, rather than yesterday. Didn’t want you to miss it.

Google Fiber, Worcester, and the Broadband Market
Worcester, like many communities, is working hard to bring the Google Fiber for Communities pilot program to the city, so residents and businesses can get Internet access “more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today.” Yochai Benkler, one of my intellectual heroes, headed a recent Berkman Center study of America’s screwed-up Internet market, and the mediocre Internet access we get as a result. If you’re wondering why cities are begging Google to bring them services that phone and cable companies won’t, this interview is a clear and detailed intro to the subject.

Eben Moglen on “Freedom in the Cloud”
A great talk by the free software lawyer Eben Moglen on the threats Facebook et al pose to privacy and freedom, and “how we should fix it”:

It’s not like what we have to do to begin to reverse the catastrophe is hard for us. We need to re-architect services in the net; we need to redistribute services back towards the edge; we need to de-virtualize the servers where your life is stored and restore some autonomy to you as the owner of the server. The measures for taking those steps are technical … as usual the box builders are ahead of us.

The New Normal
Is humanity doomed to war and violence, or is change possible? One of the radio shows that stayed with me through the latter part of 2009 was Radiolab’s “The New Normal”, which offers some hope. Here’s the mp3 link.

Keeping the same computer for the next 20 years
Mark Pilgrim outlines his bold goal. Also: why he moved from the Mac to GNU/Linux.

“Lent perfect time to begin vegan diet”
Letter to The Republican:

The season of Lent is the perfect time to consider a plant-based diet. This 40-day period preceding Easter is when Christians have traditionally abstained from meat and dairy in memory of Jesus’ 40 days of fasting and prayer before dying on the cross

Such a gesture would be a tangible expression of Jesus’ message of compassion and love for all living beings. Animals are being raised for food under abject conditions of caging, crowding, deprivation, drugging, mutilation, and manhandling. When trucked to slaughterhouses, they travel for days without food or water only to be bled, skinned, and dismembered while still conscious. Wastes from factory farms foul the water we drink and the air we breathe, and meat production accounts for 18 percent of greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. Most chronic killer diseases are linked to consumption of animal products. We have choices, and there are consequences: blessings and curses.

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One Comment Leave a comment.

  1. On March 18, 2010 at 19:06 Nicole said:

    We’ve had the same computer (bought used) for at least 10 years. (And, because that one can sometimes have its issues, we’ve had one for a year or so that’s about four years old…) Both are Macs. (I also have a Toshiba laptop that’s nearly twenty years old that is so beautiful I can’t bear to part with it…)

    I loved the Real Saint Patrick as well. (Though we prefer Munster dialect in our house.)

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