In the post-post modern post colonial west, particularly among its disciples in liberal Europe and even aux Etats Unis [such as Hakim Bey] have been busily propagating the idea that the American Revolution of 1776 represented some kind of an anti-colonialist movement that once having achieved a kind of hegemony over the natives decided it no longer needed the protection of the motherland to secure their power rose up against their former masters cast and them off.
This point of view is of course factually and demonstrably false.
Full groove ahead, or the end of the public domain? [cca2.0 knipstermann]
Lucia, possibly the smartest lady in the blogosphere [herpartials are just as strong as the boys’] has had a series of posts up recently at her climate oriented blog The Blackboard that strays from her usual blog-fare: toy worlds and the intricacies of modeling thermodynamic systems; betting quatloos on the monthly UAH temperature anomaly; how-to sessions on anti-bot script writing for self-hosting WordPressians; and knitting.
The subject of this series of posts at The Blackboard is one Linda Ellis, author of the 1996 inspirational poem The Dash, and her propensity to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the OCILLA code to guard – very closely – the unauthorized use of her work on the internet. Ms. Ellis’s behavior has been described by some in the blogosphere as “trollish“, and by some others as a “shake-down operation“, though I’m sure if you asked Ms. Ellis she would say she is only defending the integrity of her intellectual property and trying to make a living from her work. To find out more about the specifics of the controversy at Lucia’s peruse the relevant blog posts of: 18 February, DMCA Takedown: Linda Ellis; March 19th [which seems to have disappeared from the front page of The Blackboard], Don’t Post Linda Ellis’s ‘The Dash’; and March 27th, Linda Ellis DMCA follow up. Lucia loves a puzzle and the most recent post from her fits that tendency to a T. Lucia is also: feisty, smart, and doesn’t like the idea of someone gaming her. There are some very good comments so it is worth at leas skimming those as well [Lucia attracts very smart commenters].
It is not the intent of this post to discuss the specifics of the legalities or even the ethics of the ‘trollgate’ controversy [feel free to comment at Lucia’s], but in the usual Meme Merchants fashion take a slightly tangent tack and look at a few of the deeper issues of culture and society that form the basis and rational for intellectual property rights and law.
FAIR WARNING – you may have some reading to do. This article is mostly a slim collation of other articles you may want to read if you want to bring yourself up to speed on the subject of ‘energy access’ and energy poverty.
The other day Pielke the Younger unwittingly, handed me the perfect graphic to illustrate the scope of the problem that lies at the crux of the good humored dispute I have been having with Willis Eschenbach from WUWT regarding Willis’s scheme for The Powerhouse School Concept.
Willis’s rural power generation and transmission scheme for the rural poor arose out of his insight that Expensive Energy Kills Poor People, an insight with which I am in total agreement with Willis. The problem I see with Willis’s scheme is that it doesn’t go far enough to solve the real problem of energy access in the developing world. I commented at Willis’s article at WUWT and expanded upon that comment here with my article Powerhouse School Project-unintended consequences of what works.
I was fisked today [in a gentle way], it was actually a small honor in this case, the author of The Powerhouse School Concept bog post I wrote about yesterday, Willis Eschenbach, did me the honor of taking some of his time to respond to my comment almost point by point. I actually appreciate this kind of critique, and in this case also garnered some appreciation for some of the points I was making and general agreement on others.
As far as I know Willis hasn’t figured out that the ping-backs to his post are coming from here and hasn’t read either of these two posts. Or, maybe he has better things to do. Of course he is welcome to comment or guest post here.
I think the greatest bone of contention arose between Willis and I over my insisting on emphasizing the importance of economic development for the adults in his community based scheme, which Willis seemed to interpret as a downplay of his scheme’s educational aspect. This was not my intent at all. My intent was to express that both were equally important and that there was a danger of one undermining the other.
Willis Eschenbach, one of the regular authors and commenter over at WUWT has a thought provoking new article up: The Powerhouse School Concept, This article is a further development of his thoughts on bringing low cost electricity to the rural poor of the world who are suffering grave hardships, disease, and excessive mortality due to their reliance on expensive or dirty biomass fuels and coal.
Access to energy is one of the big global issues that has hovered around the fringes of international policy discussions such as the Millennium Development Goals or climate policy, but which has been getting more attention in recent years. In my frequent lectures on climate policy I point out to people that 1.3 billion people worldwide lack any access to electricity and an 2.6 billion more cook with wood, charcoal, tree leaves, crop residues and animal waste (an additional 400 million cook with coal).
The “success” scenarios of climate advocates hoping to power the world with carbon-free energy almost always leave a billion or more people in the dark and several billion cooking with dirty fuels. Sometimes, magic is invoked to suggest that “electricity can be brought to everyone” without appreciably increasing carbon emissions. Of course, if we could bring electricity to the 1.3 billion without any access with no effect on emissions, then we could probably do it for 6 billion others.
In response, amplifying Pielke the Younger’s argument in comments I wrote:
People send me things. Original attribution unknown
This came across the electronic desktop this morning, sent to me by a friend.
Here’s a quick syllogism on the subject. Rothschild is a bank, banks enable modernity and development therefore banks are found where ever you find development and or modernity.
To a certain extent Rothschild in particular may also be self-serving to the point of being evil – much like any trans-national corporation whose corporate controllers no longer have any ties of either: friendship, kinship, nationality, culture, or interests with the vast majority of the people they serve and the only people they have any genuine ties with are their fellow controllers of trans-national institutions in government, business, and academia.
The real problem seems to be much more that “the global village” is still very much a zero-sum tribal affair where trans-national quasi-individuals are either in naked collusion with one another or are involved in the kind of cattle rustling operations favored by the archaic warrior prince.
The only real antidote to the problem is societal evolution. We need better people, fortunately evolution is hard at work on the problem.
Irony? Coincidence? When I downloaded the NYTimes Eastwood convention story, the ad on the page was about dementia.
Since we don’t do Twitter around here I’ll just have to post my reply to the Gleickster here:
Coincidence? Of course not. As we all know its a kind of metaphysical law of the universe that confirmation of whatever your deepest most paranoid fears and biases are will automatically appear before your eyes.
A torrent of scholarship cleanses the Augean Stables [The Twelve Labors of Hercules, 1808, colorized by Atani]
Turn your back for one moment and you find yourself three or four posts behind the power curve.
It seems in the last week since my previous post, Landes, Landes, Taleb and MemeMerchants, that there has been an avalanche of scholarship over at TheAugeanStables. My previous post noted the recent congruencies between this blog and Prof. Richard Landes and his blog TheAugeanStables, regarding some ideas about the dialectic of “cultural capital” and “societies that make things vs societies that take things”, the current bit torrent over at TheAugeanStables greatly expands the previous enterprise into interesting and new dimensions about the origin of civil polity in the West.
Two days ago I noticed that Prof. Richard Landes had posted a second in a series of articles at his blog, regarding the fallout from the recent “culture counts” controversy surrounding US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney over remarks he made during a recent visit to Israel, for which he received wide spread criticism, especially from Palestinians who felt slighted by Mr. Romney’s remarks.
Yesterday I posted a comment there and then set to working that idea up into a new post here. As I was getting set to post that article here, I noticed that I had in missed the real second article in the series over at Landes’ blog and I had actually read article number three, and that as I was typing he had posted two new articles.
There has been an interesting congruence this week between the workings of the Meme Merchants Consortium and Richard Landes’s, blog the Augean Stables, which has been cited here before on several occasions, most recently: Poison in the Well of Culture. Landes’s latest article, Romney Cites Landes, Offends Palestinians is a discussion of the recent controversy surrounding US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s suggestion that key differences in Palestinian and Israeli culture are responsible for the stark divide between the two societies economic productivity.
In reading Landes’s article I was struck by the congruence between our separate conclusions about two ostensibly different societies, in Landes’s case the Palestinians of the 21st century, and in the Meme Merchants case the Barbary Corsairs of the 16th to 19th centuries. Landes concludes [emphasis mine]:
On the other hand, Arab political culture, amply embodied by the Palestinian variety, promotes a cultue of contempt for hard work by leisured elites, widespread commitment to zero-sum games of dominance, an distrust of intellectual openness and external influences, a strong emphasis on rote learning and respecting those older and more powerful, hostility to women in the public sphere, ubiquitous protection rackets (e.g., Arafat the PA), a violent repression of public criticism… in a phrase, a culture dedicated to taking, not making.
I’ve been on an extended holiday from blogging, but since I still seem to have something to say I’ll say just say it now.
E.M. Smith aka Chiefio, – I have to get used to this, E.M seems to have ditched his pseudonym and is now going by his initials in public – has a new post up Same Solution, Same Problem, no fix which is a musing on the classic Audrey Hepburn movie Roman Holiday, the light hearted fairtale of a truant princess who skips out on her royal responsibilities for a day for before returning to the more serious duties as a figurehead of state. Solutions proposed by fictitious princesses in 1953 don’t seem to be much different than what is proposed by fairy tale politicians today according to E.M.
From the screenplay [bold by The Chiefio]
AMERICAN CORRESPONDENT [speaking from the crowd] Does Your Highness believe that Federation would be a possible solution to Europe’s economic problems?
ANN. I am in favour of any measure which would lead to closer cooperation in Europe.
E.M had this to say:
Looks like the particular fantasy that “closer cooperation” or integration or “Federation” will solve economic ills has been around since at least 1953. You’d think after 1/2 Century they would have figured out it doesn’t do that. (Heck, you’d also think they would have figured out how to avoid financial problems…)
So is it time we started talking about Angela Merkel being on a Roman Holiday?
Fulfilling my role as prophet for the group I had this to say:
The tendency towards, “… any measure which would lead to closer cooperation in Europe,” is a faulty response to the general evolutionary pressure towards the globalization and unification of human culture and civilization.