Archive for Strange

We were there, where were you?

London Kuro5hin meetup pictures now in… we were there

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All Religions are Authoritarian

Justin Cartwright’s commentary in The Guardian is anti-religious flame bait, but it does make an interesting observation. Liberal democracy is principally concerned with the process rather than the outcome.

Most religions are good, positive belief systems. The Christian gospels are a powerful plea for tolerance and humility. However, the fundamentally good core fails to prescribe a process that would allow a moral society to function.

Socially, all religions are authoritarian. Sadly you can’t make people act morally by simply telling them to do so. In the real world even good people have conflicting interests, and an authoritarian “only one true answer” system can never resolve those conflicts successfully.

Liberal democracy may not be a very good system for resolving conflict, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

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What is Eurostar Security for?

The airport-style security measures for Eurostar passengers serve no useful purpose. What are they for? They are make-work and self-aggrandisement for out of control customs officials. I believe they are dangerous, because they are training the general public to follow the arbitrary instructions of any uniformed bureaucrat. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wake up America!

Anne Applebaum argues that Amnesty International is biased when they accuse the US government of human rights abuses. The truth is that Amnesty are neutral observers who tell it how they see it. It really worries me that Americans can blame the messenger but ignore the message.

Perhaps the USA’s violations of human rights are done with more media-savvy than Stalin or Mugabe managed. Perhaps they are better targeted at ‘them’ rather than ‘people like us’. They are no less wrong.

I fear that things are going to have to get a whole lot worse before they start getting better.