Next generation of Wikileaks

After Wikileaks established the viability of electronic drop box, tested the legal boundary of what is publishable and prevail against the the worlds superpower and its minions. Wikileaks is bound to inspire imitations with varying operational model, specialty or focus. Wikileaks was a major mutation in the journalism meme and these are some of its offsprings that i have notice.

Variants with geographical focus – Russia. Ruleaks recently leaked the alleged photo of Putin’s palace. – Czech – Balkan region – European Union – Indonesia
Govecn.orgwas reported to build a Chinese version of Wikileaks but the site seem to redirect to Google. Not too sure what is going on. – Quebec – France and Europe area.

Variants with issue focus – environment – environment – environment

Media organization mutation
Al Jazeera Transparency Unit – a cross breed with Al Jazeera
EZ Pass Lane – a cross breed with New York Times

Other variants – a cross breed with Bit Torrent meme. – specialized only on providing electronic drop box service to conventional media organizations. I previously speculated the possibility for Wikileaks to include such service too.
Update 2011/02/16: Anonleaks (ad hoc website)- Anonymous‘ outfit.

Of course, other than these variants of Wikileaks there are other leaks site that existed even before Wikileaks, for example, Crytome.

The emergence of these organizations have provoke the established powers (governments, corporations and elite organizations) to beef up their control of information, which will in turn push journalistic organization grow even more sophisticated, the result as we will soon see is a evolutionary arm race. This is going to be very interesting and i will continue to monitor its development.


Header change: Revolutions

Its only been a couple days since my last header change, but i thought this header better express my feeling of solidarity towards the people to Tunisia, Egypt and of course the Iranians.

Demonstrators place flowers in the barrels of soldiers guns as people take to the streets again to protest for changes in Tunisia's new government on January 20, 2011 in Tunis, Tunisia

An Egyptian anti-government activist kisses a riot police officer following clashes in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011.

Supporters of presidential candidate for Iran, Mir Hossein Mousavi, gather during a campaign rally at Haydarniya Stadium on June 9, 2009 in Tehran, Iran

The Calculous of Abrahamic Religions

Followers of Abrahamic religion (christianity, islam or judaism) believes, by following the correct religious doctrine you will enter heaven in the afterlife, if not you will be consign to hell. This mechanism raise the ultimate cost and benefit of good and bad to infinity. Without it there is in the long run (death) no cost nor benefit to acting morally. This is perhaps what fear the Abrahamist about atheists the most. Not only do the atheist deny the existence of heaven and hell, they consider the very concept of afterlife to be complete nonsensical.

I suspect that there are closet-atheist-elitist (CAE) who denounce atheism and promote religion because while they are comfortable with themselves living without heaven or hell, they are uncomfortable with others doing the same. These CAE fear the freedom of knowing the ultimate cost and benefit is zero may lead to nihilist social unrest. They imagine nightmare of nihilists going around raping and pillaging, doing whatever they want with completely disregard for other people, and if thing turn for the worse, either because they got caught committing crime or whatever they can just kill themselves to set all balance to zero.

I as an atheist obviously do not subscribe to CAE’s fear. I am convinced that human internal moral compass develop via evolution and the incentive mechanism of modern legal institutes are very effective. To the contrary of CAE’s logic, if ultimately the cost/benefit is zero after death, than the only cost/benefit is that will affect you when you are a life. It does not make leading a life of crime more attractive, it make it less so.

While its extremely difficult to have a watertight demonstration of correlation between believe/non-believer and morality/criminality, because we dont have the technology (yet) to read peoples minds to know if they really believe in god or they are just paying lip service. There is at least some evident to suggest that atheism dont necessarily lead to more, but less crime.

More than half of Japanese consider themselves to be irreligious, they also have one of the lowest homicide rate in the world – 0.5 case per 100,000 people. While in the United States, where only 15% consider them self to be irreligious, their homicide rate is 10 times higher than japan at 5 cases per 100.100 people.

Ricky Gervais sums up the benefit of teaching your kids Christianity (he is now an atheist).

Redemption of the Tiger Mother

Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother: The Audio Book Club discusses. – By Ann Hulbert, Hanna Rosin, and Nina Shen Rastogi – Slate Magazine.

First, i know very little of the subject i am about to write about. All my knowledge of the book came from the Slate podcast review of the book, and i only know Amy Chua via her interview with Colbert and Conversation with History (2004: the myths of globalization and 2007: the moment of empire).

The girls at Slate dissected the book very well and very comprehensively. Other than just talking about the book, they spent half of the podcast discussing the book’s literally genre and its relation and impact to the culture climate of parenting and American anxiety over the rise of China. Their view of the book was overall favorable.

I just want to add two points to their review: I couldn’t help but to notice the book’s redemptive quality. As if the book is Amy’s way to apologizes to her kids for her sometime overzealous methods, while also publicly telling them how proud she is of their accomplishment and maturity. This book will mend some wound and prepare her kids next level of gruesomer education. This book have injected a favorable view of her kids into the public consciousness, which will probably result in easier university entrance and employment opportunities, all according to the grand scheme of the tiger mother.

And about parenting in general: There is perhaps a middle road between tiger mother’s way and the “american” laissez faire way. Maybe kids can be subject to tiger mother’s training and retain 10-20% of personal project/fun time, depending on kids’ performance during the tiger mother’s. Call it the google way if you well.

ps. Amy looked hot in the Colbert interview.




Header change: how many can you recognize?

I discover this painting from Reddit.

UPDATE: i just found out the name of the painting it named “Discussing the Divine Comedy with Dante” Its painted jointly by Dai Dudu, Li Tiezi, and Zhang An, who can be seem in the top right corner with Dante. How cool is that!! The person or people behind has actually gone through the trouble and added link to every person on that painting. Check it out here. I adore this painting, its going to stay as my header for a while.

Please note: Instead of twitter, i will write my pithy thoughts on the blog. So expect more shot posts.

In the last 24 hours or so:

  • Header change: how many can you recognize?
  • Taking issue with Wikipedia’s definition of philosophy
  • In a Atheist v. Christian brawl, redditors won
  • Obama promise clean energy… like all 7 presidents before him
  • Reblog: A New Beginning
  • China, India and their culture of Hope
  • Taking issue with Wikipedia’s definition of philosophy

    I got a rant or two about the definition of Philosophy on wikipedia. It states:

    Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.[1][2] It is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.

    To me, philosophy is the thinking and theorizing process that exist before and between actions for the purpose of discovering truth and what to do with it. All established academic disciplines, economics, physics and everything else were all initially the subject of philosopher’s contemplation. Philosophers thought about them until they convince themselves to move beyond thinking up theories to understand those subjects and onto actually proving their theories, with scientific methods developed by other philosophers. Where scientific method can be effectively applied to prove theories about the subject, advanced theories are able to be built on proven theories which can then proven by further application of scientific methods. Thus a loop is form and study of those subject become highly specialized giving birth to disciplines. Philosophers who become specialized in a particular discipline are then given name associated with their discipline, such as economist and physicist. Disciplines where scientific method are more applicable are grouped together under the broader label of science. The people who study a science discipline are brought under the broader label of scientist. These scientist are still philosophers who engage in philosophical theorizing between acts of proving their theories with scientific methods.

    Subjects where the scientific method cannot be effectively applied, never got developed too far from the initial spark of thought about them. It only seems like philosophers only study general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language because understanding of them remains primitive (with all due respect); and philosophers who study specialized and advanced subjects are given broadly recognizable new labels.

    Having already go on too long on the first sentence of wikipedia’s definition, let me just quickly end my rant with the second sentence by saying this: Philosophical thinking usually involve critical, generally systematic approach and rational argument because they are usually the best when one try to think about truth and what to do about truth. Philosophy is not distinguished by its method, but by its intended goal and its limitation to thought. Get it right Wikipedia.

    ps. i know what you are thinking. you are thinking “its a wiki, if you are not happy about it, go fix it yourself, you pompous prick”. Yeah yeah, i know.