Various Squawks From A Niggled Bird

Here’s some stuff I posted on other blogs during a caffeine rush over the weekend. In case it gets edited out:

On concern by the Guardian newspaper over the rights of women in Third World countries:

Typical Guardian. Your staffers, like Blair and Bush, think liberal democracy is the ultimate panacea for all nations, _right now_.

Civil equality is a byproduct of economic success. Because women can find profitable work in the West, they’ve gained economic clout, and can make demands. And have them met.

Simon or Jessica from Richmond pop over to a Third World country on a sabbatical. They’re horrified by local conditions. They agitate for better conditions for the oppressed, for women.

Because that country is only a generation removed from being feudal, you might as well teach a duck to tap-dance. The larger society won’t accept it.

In the West, we’ve had a thousand years to try to get it right. Still, B & B are dismantling some of the rights our forebears fought for. Because of a situation they created.

For example: will The West be able to replace S. Hussein with anything better?

_That_ will be interesting.

PS: Why are liberal/left-wing people in the West so fixated about women’s rights in the Third World?

People in poor countries have more urgent priorities:

– A good sewage system
– Clean water,
– Access to a good education,
– Respect for property rights
– Rule of law,
– Incorruptible police,
– Representative government
– Economic prosperity

… and women’s right will follow in due course.


On the court case against Dan Brown, author of ‘The Da Vinci Code’, a thriller novel based on old Gnostic heresies:

I am sad to read that this court case is helping sell more copies of such low-quality anti-Christian New Age potboilers.

People who know little or nothing about Christianity are forming opinions based on a mish-mash non-academic research, Gnostic gobbledegook and quasi-masonic bunkum.

A gilded lie is much more seductive than the simple truth.

If they are doing this knowingly, I fear the karmic consequences for both parties will be unpleasant.

As I live in London, I might pop along to the court, if I’ve time. Might be interesting to see the protagonists up close.

And shout "Hey, Mr. Brown, lend us a quid, ye bam!"

Heh heh heh.


On the search engine Google breaking copyright law by scanning old books:

If Google have broken copyright law, then they’ll be sued, embarassed, and will have to back down.

Look at what happened to Napster, Kazaa et al. The argument ‘information wants to be free’ is disingenuous. It cuts no ice in court, either.

Authors, who are often poor, want to be paid for their work. They deserve to be rewarded. You are buying _a_ copy of their work, not the right to copy it yourself.

Publishers who take a punt on a book want to reap the rewards. For every success, a dozen go in the remainder bin, money down the drain. They’re entitled to be rewarded also.

Computer literate people are used to getting entertainment for free, legally or illegally.

If legally bought, they’re granted a licence, to sole personal use, of one copy, by the copyright holder.

They’re _not_ entitled to anything else, included making copies for friends and family, unless the copyright holder grants this right. Which commercial publishers don’t.

If illegal, they’re not entitled to anything.


On the British education system:

There’s no respect for education, or intellectual accomplishment, in England. In fact, it’s jeered at, or seen as elitist. It’s also become politicised.

Have a laugh: watch how many times the word "shake up" is used with respect to education or health.

I’ve been living in Britain for 18 years now, and it’s appeared roughly once every 6 months.

England, at heart, has an unhealthy disrespect for education.

Labour sees it as a playground for social engineering. Both the Conservatives and Labour have fr**ged around with it for over twenty years.

Yet it seems to be getting worse, doesn’t it?


More on the ‘Da Vinci Code / Dan Brown court case’. Both plaintiff and defendant are authors of potboilers based on non-academic research of an occult hoax and old Gnostic heresies:

I hope both parties bankrupt each other, but I’ve read the case is actually promoting sales of their wretched books.

You can’t copyright ideas in UK law, I believe, so I reckon it’s a ‘bust’ to begin with, but maybe Baigent and Co. didn’t realise this.

His getting a grilling on his potboiler in a UK court must be an experience, especially given the subject matter.

It didn’t help Crowley or Wilde, I doubt it’ll help him.

Where there’s a hit, there’s a writ!