The future of copyright will most likely not be determined by a cost benefit analysis

So i finally managed to start reading the ‘Future of Copyright‘ anthology that contains the winning essays from a contest organised by the Modern Poland Foundation. So far (i have not read them all) my favourite essay is ‘Give‘ by Togi, which i read as powerful argument that systemic change (and not just reform) is not only much needed but also possible. While his overall line of argument is pretty convincing (to me), i have a bit of trouble following one of his (her?) central arguments (Mike Li…

The latest skill required in the war on terror? direct messaging

The Los Angeles times has a terrifyingfascinating reconstruction of a US airstrike that killed 23 (or 16 if you believe the US military) afghan civilians on 21 february 2010. The reconstruction focusses on the role played by the pilot and camera operator of a predator drone that observed three ‘suspicious’ vehicles whose passengers had the misfortune crossing paths with a team of US special operators early on February the 21st. The article documents how the drone operators (in Nevada), the the…

Restrepo

Just finished watching the award winning war documentary restrepo. hard not to be impressed with this documentary (gives a whole new meaning to embedded journalism) and hard not to feel empathy with the soldiers who served more than a year at the end of the world (or as they themselves refer to it, ‘the valley of death’) Aside from the firefights and the portraits of the (extremely young) soldiers restrepo perfectly illustrates the futility of the US-led war in Afghanistan. the whole film shows…

Kabul tourist guide

The city of Kabul (and Afghanistan in general) is still pretty high on my list of places i want to visit. Unfortunately, the closest place to Kabul that i got to so far is Delhi. Fortunately, however, there is the fabulous internet where Safi Airways ‘the international airline of Afghanistan’ is publishing PDF versions of it’s fabulous in-flight magazine. Browsing through the three available issues only reinforces my desire to go and visit the place. As far as the standards of such publications…

Annick van Hardefeld memorial race

Yesterday i raced in the 11th edition of the annual Anniek van Hardeveld memorial race (see my pervious reports here and here). this race is held annually on the 4th of may in remembrance of Annick van Hardeveld, a 21 year old courier for the dutch resistance who was shot dead on the 4th of may 1945, which happened to be the last day of the german occupation. she is probably the last member of the resistance to have been killed by the germans. Turns out that this little tradition of ours slowly…

REMINDER: the CIA were the good guys when we were kids

So the opening evening of IDFA 2009 was a bit of a disappointment (if you do not count new insights regarding the size of mice living in Tuschinski and the esthetic co-dependancies between skimpy dresses and high heels). For some rather dubious reason (must be the general obsession with the fact that the berlin wall came down 20 years ago) ‘War Games And The Man Who Stopped Them‘ was chosen as an opening film. This turned out an really self congratulatory cold-war warrior biopic about a polish c…

Free Gaza footage from Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera has launched the AL Jazeera Creative Commons repository that hosts TV quality Al Jazeera footage from Gaza under a Creative Commons Attribution license. This effectively allows all uses of the footage (even by other TV networks) as long as attribution is given to Al Jazeera. As far as i can tell (and they also boast about this in their press release) this is the first time that a major broadcast organization is making it’s own footage under a Creative Commons Attribution license. This…

Cyclorama vs. Reality

During my recent trip to Cairo, in we visited [on suggestion of the my barbarian crew] the 6 october (a.k.a yom kippur) war memorial that is situated in Heliopolis just off the road to the international Airport. The memorial consists of a large circular building housing a 360 degree rotating cyclorama surrounded an open-air display off tanks, fighter-jets, artillery pieces and anti-aircraft missiles [mainly those used by the Egyptian army during the war but also a few ones captured from the Isra…

'Terrorist' watch list... (weekend reading list)

So the Atlantic has another well written article (‘The Things He Carried‘ by Jeffrey Goldberg) that shows the absurdity of the security theater that we endure at the airports (note that the situation in europe is a bit different, as they do check your boarding pass against ID at the boarding gate), which among other things illustrates that no-fly lists are a rather dumb instrument if you want to catch Terrorists. So if the ‘terrorists’ are not on the no-fly watch list, where are they then? Conve…