The Null Device
This was good enough to plagiarise in its entirety: Charlie Stross on copyright fascism:
- The key feature of the political system known as Fascism is that the State is more important than the individual -- your body does not belong to you, it belongs to the State.
- The key feature of the ideological system known as Copyright Fascism is that the Rights holder is more important than the consumer -- your experiences don't belong to you, they belong to the Distributor.
You can identify copyright fascists because they're the guys who say things like "skipping advertising breaks on TV is theft", and apply emotive words like "piracy" (armed robbery and murder on the high seas) to having an unauthorised copy of a piece of software (shoplifting).
There's an agenda at work here, folks. Learn to recognize it.
(NB:I'd use the term "creator" instead of Distributor, except that there are precious few musicians, programmers, authors or editors who'd take such an extremist position. As usual, the ones who are least creative are the ones who are most anxious to defend totalitarianism.)
Presiding over a memorial service commemorating the victims of the attack on the Death Star, the Emperor declared that while recent victories over the Rebel Alliance were "encouraging, the War on Terror is not over yet."
"We will continue to fight these terrorists, and the rogue governments who harbor them, until the universe is safe, once and for all, and the security of the Neo-New Cosmik Order ensured."
And then there's this analysis of Star Wars, in which the Empire is good (if somewhat heavy-handed in places, though never without justification) and the Rebels are "an unimpressive crew of anarchic royals who wreck the galaxy so that Princess Leia can have her tiara back".
Make no mistake, as emperor, Palpatine is a dictator--but a relatively benign one, like Pinochet. It's a dictatorship people can do business with. They collect taxes and patrol the skies. They try to stop organized crime (in the form of the smuggling rings run by the Hutts). The Empire has virtually no effect on the daily life of the average, law-abiding citizen.
I wonder whether such an article would have been written before September 11 2001. Or whether the problematically Al-Qaeda-like nature of the Rebel Alliance will bite into the Star Wars franchise's profitability. (via bOING bOING)
The Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory Diagram showing how everything's connected. But who's this Toni Blair bird? (via Charlie's Diary)
Interesting: DNA explained in computer science terms, with analogies to everything from program comments to makefiles. (via bOING bOING)
Actor Garry McDonald's eulogy for Ruth Cracknell, the veteran actress who recently passed away (and whose middle-aged son he played in a long-running comedy). She had dignity and grace, right to the end.