Saturday, January 21, 2012

internet as a fundamental right

I agree to the extent that I don't feel like trying to multiply fundamental rights, but I am also concerned that without the mechanism of free speech -- and the internet is becoming essentially *the* mechanism for free speech -- you don't have any way to get your fundamental rights. The fact that you can run a mimeograph in the basement may have been an important right back in 50 years ago, but it isn't going to do you much good to get your cause out now. I think there is implied in the freedom of speech concept a freedom to be allowed to be heard. It doesn't require me to listen, but it does at least allow you to make it possible for me to listen. And without internet access, I don't think you have free speech...And in the Constitution of 1787 it basically was the printing press that they intended to protect. When they talked about freedom of speech, they really meant pamphleteering. Poor Richard's Almanac, that sort of being able to keep a little red letterpress in your basement and run off things saying things like "the President is a schmuck!"
- Jerry Pournelle, This Week in Tech #335, discussing whether or not internet access is a human right.

Monday, January 9, 2012

"papa tomato says, 'ketchup'"

I spent the last few weeks of the year transitioning from crazycrazy quarter close tasks (I now have a passing knowledge of test question validation) to a veg out vacation on the couch in Vegas. Whit and I have caught up with Game of Thrones. I'm now attempting to catch up with Downtown Abbey. I clearly have a weakness for costume dramas, political machinations, and intrigue.

I'm also slowly reclaiming things that I have lost touch with. Knitting. Photography. Reading. I've taken on one new fun thing for the new year, but trying to keep it a secret from my husband.

  • I would like to try this lemon curd tart recipe.
  • Also, FINALLY. A sauerkraut recipe that doesn't result in 4 gallons of fermented cabbage.
  • The deed and mortgage to my grandfather's property in Tallulah, Louisiana. Purchase price: $500.00. Purchase date: September 1945.
  • A really interesting debate on NYTimes.com about the pros and cons of classroom technology. I struggle with this quite a bit in my job since Stanford tends to be bleeding edge when it comes to innovation and technology, but doesn't always implement it in the most efficient way.
  • I am still cracking up over Elon James White's hate-tweeting of The Blind Side.