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Piratenpartij Limburg wrote the following post 18 hours ago:

Hoog tijd voor het basisinkomen en recht op vrije tijd!
"[...] naast deze technieken is er ook iets anders dat onze apathie in dit opzicht stimuleert. Psycholoog Abraham Maslow sprak in zijn tijd al over het belang van vrije tijd voor ons persoonlijk welzijn en voor het welzijn van de gemeenschap als geheel. Vrije tijd creëert zogezegd de mogelijkheid om goed geïnformeerde beslissingen te kunnen nemen. Maar momenteel wordt de vrije tijd 'aangevallen'. Dertig jaar lang stagnatie van inkomsten te midden van steeds meer stijgende prijzen (mensen moeten worstelen om rond te komen) betekent dat voor de meesten van ons minder tijd over is om kritisch na te denken. [...]

"Als je de leugen groot genoeg maakt en maar blijft vertellen, dan zullen de mensen het uiteindelijk geloven". [...]

Nu hebben we vier redenen genoemd: de aanval op de vrije tijd, herhaling van informatie, angstbeleid en de transformatie van onze mediakanalen van waakhonden tot schoothondjes. Tezamen creëren ze een situatie waarin onze geest langzaam oplost in een oceaan van lawaai, afleiding en verkeerde informatie.

Ondertussen produceren politici, bedrijven en media een sociale omgeving vol angsten en illusies om zelf meer winst te kunnen maken. Deze maatschappelijke krachten fungeren als zwaartekracht voor overheids-en bedrijfs-empowerment. Dat wil zeggen; ze trekken kracht weg van de mensen om deel te nemen en actief bij te dragen aan een geestelijk gezonde en betekenisvolle democratische omgeving."

#piratenpartij #belgie #belgium #nederland #surveillance

Swift Kick Central: Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Schooling in Graduation Speech

Last month, Erica Goldson graduated as valedictorian of Coxsackie-Athens High School. Instead of using her graduation speech to celebrate the triumph of her victory, the school, and the teachers that made it happen, she channeled her inner Ivan Illich and de-constructed the logic of a valedictorian and the whole educational system.

Erica originally posted her full speech on Sign of the Times, and without need for editing or cutting, here's the speech in its entirety:

Here I stand 

There is a story of a young, but earnest Zen student who approached his teacher, and asked the Master, "If I work very hard and diligently, how long will it take for me to find Zen? The Master thought about this, then replied, "Ten years . ." The student then said, "But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast -- How long then?" Replied the Master, "Well, twenty years." "But, if I really, really work at it, how long then?" asked the student. "Thirty years," replied the Master. "But, I do not understand," said the disappointed student. "At each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that?" Replied the Master, "When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path." 

This is the dilemma I've faced within the American education system. We are so focused on a goal, whether it be passing a test, or graduating as first in the class. However, in this way, we do not really learn. We do whatever it takes to achieve our original objective. 

Some of you may be thinking, "Well, if you pass a test, or become valedictorian, didn't you learn something? Well, yes, you learned something, but not all that you could have. Perhaps, you only learned how to memorize names, places, and dates to later on forget in order to clear your mind for the next test. School is not all that it can be. Right now, it is a place for most people to determine that their goal is to get out as soon as possible. 

I am now accomplishing that goal. I am graduating. I should look at this as a positive experience, especially being at the top of my class. However, in retrospect, I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system. Yet, here I stand, and I am supposed to be proud that I have completed this period of indoctrination. I will leave in the fall to go on to the next phase expected of me, in order to receive a paper document that certifies that I am capable of work. But I contest that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer - not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition - a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. I did what I was told to the extreme. While others sat in class and doodled to later become great artists, I sat in class to take notes and become a great test-taker. While others would come to class without their homework done because they were reading about an interest of theirs, I never missed an assignment. While others were creating music and writing lyrics, I decided to do extra credit, even though I never needed it. So, I wonder, why did I even want this position? Sure, I earned it, but what will come of it? When I leave educational institutionalism, will I be successful or forever lost? I have no clue about what I want to do with my life; I have no interests because I saw every subject of study as work, and I excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning. And quite frankly, now I'm scared. 

John Taylor Gatto, a retired school teacher and activist critical of compulsory schooling, asserts, "We could encourage the best qualities of youthfulness - curiosity, adventure, resilience, the capacity for surprising insight simply by being more flexible about time, texts, and tests, by introducing kids into truly competent adults, and by giving each student what autonomy he or she needs in order to take a risk every now and then. But we don't do that." Between these cinderblock walls, we are all expected to be the same. We are trained to ace every standardized test, and those who deviate and see light through a different lens are worthless to the scheme of public education, and therefore viewed with contempt. 

H. L. Mencken wrote in The American Mercury for April 1924 that the aim of public education is not "to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. ... Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim ... is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States." 

To illustrate this idea, doesn't it perturb you to learn about the idea of "critical thinking." Is there really such a thing as "uncritically thinking?" To think is to process information in order to form an opinion. But if we are not critical when processing this information, are we really thinking? Or are we mindlessly accepting other opinions as truth? 

This was happening to me, and if it wasn't for the rare occurrence of an avant-garde tenth grade English teacher, Donna Bryan, who allowed me to open my mind and ask questions before accepting textbook doctrine, I would have been doomed. I am now enlightened, but my mind still feels disabled. I must retrain myself and constantly remember how insane this ostensibly sane place really is. 

And now here I am in a world guided by fear, a world suppressing the uniqueness that lies inside each of us, a world where we can either acquiesce to the inhuman nonsense of corporatism and materialism or insist on change. We are not enlivened by an educational system that clandestinely sets us up for jobs that could be automated, for work that need not be done, for enslavement without fervency for meaningful achievement. We have no choices in life when money is our motivational force. Our motivational force ought to be passion, but this is lost from the moment we step into a system that trains us, rather than inspires us. 

We are more than robotic bookshelves, conditioned to blurt out facts we were taught in school. We are all very special, every human on this planet is so special, so aren't we all deserving of something better, of using our minds for innovation, rather than memorization, for creativity, rather than futile activity, for rumination rather than stagnation? We are not here to get a degree, to then get a job, so we can consume industry-approved placation after placation. There is more, and more still. 

The saddest part is that the majority of students don't have the opportunity to reflect as I did. The majority of students are put through the same brainwashing techniques in order to create a complacent labor force working in the interests of large corporations and secretive government, and worst of all, they are completely unaware of it. I will never be able to turn back these 18 years. I can't run away to another country with an education system meant to enlighten rather than condition. This part of my life is over, and I want to make sure that no other child will have his or her potential suppressed by powers meant to exploit and control. We are human beings. We are thinkers, dreamers, explorers, artists, writers, engineers. We are anything we want to be - but only if we have an educational system that supports us rather than holds us down. A tree can grow, but only if its roots are given a healthy foundation. 

For those of you out there that must continue to sit in desks and yield to the authoritarian ideologies of instructors, do not be disheartened. You still have the opportunity to stand up, ask questions, be critical, and create your own perspective. Demand a setting that will provide you with intellectual capabilities that allow you to expand your mind instead of directing it. Demand that you be interested in class. Demand that the excuse, "You have to learn this for the test" is not good enough for you. Education is an excellent tool, if used properly, but focus more on learning rather than getting good grades. 

For those of you that work within the system that I am condemning, I do not mean to insult; I intend to motivate. You have the power to change the incompetencies of this system. I know that you did not become a teacher or administrator to see your students bored. You cannot accept the authority of the governing bodies that tell you what to teach, how to teach it, and that you will be punished if you do not comply. Our potential is at stake. 

For those of you that are now leaving this establishment, I say, do not forget what went on in these classrooms. Do not abandon those that come after you. We are the new future and we are not going to let tradition stand. We will break down the walls of corruption to let a garden of knowledge grow throughout America. Once educated properly, we will have the power to do anything, and best of all, we will only use that power for good, for we will be cultivated and wise. We will not accept anything at face value. We will ask questions, and we will demand truth. 

So, here I stand. I am not standing here as valedictorian by myself. I was molded by my environment, by all of my peers who are sitting here watching me. I couldn't have accomplished this without all of you. It was all of you who truly made me the person I am today. It was all of you who were my competition, yet my backbone. In that way, we are all valedictorians. 

I am now supposed to say farewell to this institution, those who maintain it, and those who stand with me and behind me, but I hope this farewell is more of a "see you later" when we are all working together to rear a pedagogic movement. But first, let's go get those pieces of paper that tell us that we're smart enough to do so!

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Mi testas

Mi iom ludas per Wordpress kaj temo por fari el ĝi socian reton, kaj nun mi ligis mian Posterous-konton al tiu Wordpress-konton, do ĉi tiu mesaĝo devus aperi tie.

Notu ke la paĝaro estas farita hodiaŭ, la traduko ankoraŭ ne pretas kaj eĉ retpoŝto ne funkcias, do por havi konton vi devas fari konton kaj poste sendi mesaĝon al mi por ekhavi aliron. :(

Tio ne signifas ke vi atendu ĝis kiam mi pretas. Ĝuste nun mi ŝatus havi viajn komentojn pri la paĝo, kaj se vi ŝatas testi ĝin kiom ajn vi povas, volonte!

Joop Kiefte

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Retejo farita de ideek

Ni povas helpi vin pri via interreta apero! Por personoj ni senpage povas fari por vi unupaĝan HTML kaj CSS por prezenti vin interrete.

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Kelkaj niaj sugestoj:

  • Interreta prezento por artistoj jam ekde 100 eŭroj plus la monataj domajnkostoj (1 jaro inkluzive) aŭ 3 eŭrojn monate

  • Entreprena retejo ekde 300 eŭroj plus la monataj domajnkostoj (1 jaro inkluzive) aŭ 10 eŭrojn monate

  • Esperantaj organizoj laŭ grandeco de la organizo kaj projekto interkonsenteblas. Jam eblas konsila helpo ekde 10 eŭroj

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ideek - ne gravas la ideoj, gravas la ellaboro

Ĉiuj kiuj laboras en malkomfortaj laborejoj kaj seninspiraj ĉambretoj sendube konas Dilbert. Ĉi tiu prototipo de laboranto kun malplaĉa ĉefo vortigas je kio multaj suferas en siaj laborejoj, kaj kiom da sensencaĵoj ĉirkaŭiras en la mondo. Kaj ni ne scipovas ripari la sensencaĵojn.

Se oni komencas novan entreprenon, oni havas la ŝancon fari aferojn alie, kaj inspiri. En nova entrepreno oni ne supervivas se oni sin tenas al la tedaĵoj kaj sensencaĵoj vidataj en grandaj firmaoj. Oni bezonas labori forte, kaj daŭre vidi ĉu oni vere ion faras kion la homoj volas.

La desegnanto de Dilbert nomiĝas Scott Adams kaj li blogas. En la blogo de Scott Adams mi laste vidis artikolon pri la valoro de ideoj. Li mencias ke la ideo ne gravas, sed la ellaboro.

Mi certas ekzemple ke Esperanto estas bona ideo. Sed ĝia sukceso aŭ malsukceso ne dependas de la ideo. Ĝi dependas de la ellaboro. Lingvo nur utilas kiam ĝi uziĝas en kunteksto kie ĝi plenumas bazajn bezonojn. Mi volas starigi belan aferon kun miaj amikoj el diversaj landoj kaj eluzi la fakton ke ni ĉiuj parolas diversajn lingvojn kaj do povas helpi personojn el diversaj landoj, do Esperanto tie estas taŭga elekto por interna lingvo.

ideek estas nomo kiu venas el la vortoj ideo kaj la prefikso ek. Ĝia celo estas trovi ideojn kaj ellabori ilin bone. Mi jam certas ke ofte ni fiaskos, sed tiu ideo kiu montriĝas valora pro bona ellaboro certe estos nia fiero.

Cetere, ne malgravas mencii ke ideek prononcita angle rimas je geek. Ni estas neordinaraj homoj, kaj ni havas mision.

Dankon pro via atento,

Joop Kiefte, inicianto de ideek

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Why Google is different

This is my first real attempt to write something resembling an essay. All opinions described here are personal and to some extent ephemeral, and I don't like it if you treat it as the one and only truth or my version of it: any essay, how good it might be, is just a way to show how the mind of the author goes about the subject of the essay at the moment of writing.

I am aware I have posted a remark about Google with an apparent not to closely related link to it, and that normally this kind of posting is treated as trolling, and that is a GOOD THING. Everybody should back up their arguments, and all information should be verifiable. In a perfect world there is no doubt about any information out there.

Of course this is not practical, and really nobody is backing up all the things they have to say, and even if they do, there is always some argument loose. In the end, every how and why leads back to the beginning and reason of our being, and neither a big bang nor religion are resolving all our doubts. (Luckily I, as a Christian, can believe in eternity as a thriving factor and thus have a reasonable complete picture, knowing that out of that picture there might be even more but it doesn't matter for the way I live, where the science stuff, all other things they believe being true, still cannot point to the reason of everything, but that actually should be handled in a different post...)

Normally we are resorting to factors like common sense, generally accepted truths, guesses, the opinion of the majority and the opinion of people who can now. All together this makes for a lot of room for error, and thus every evidence backing up our claims is valued highly, in my opinion sometimes too highly as you still have a quite uncompleted picture.

So I made a claim there, mostly jokingly, but actually with a lot more thinking than it might seem, that Google always wins. And here is my attempt to give it some backing. It will be nothing thoroughly proved (as that is maybe not theoretically but at least practically impossible) neither something you should bet your live on.

Google is one of the most interesting companies in the world. It is not a typical company in a lot of ways. I might be wrong, but I have the idea that Google is the first company in history that works the way it works. And really, because it did, no other company has a chance to beat them. No company is up to the job to beat Google.

Those are harsh words. Words that need some backing. Because nobody ever believes that a company cannot fail. I don't actually believe that Google is immortal. I just say you cannot beat them. They will always win.

Most companies lose at some point because money runs out. This can have several reasons:
  • The people don't want the product any more
  • The company is made unnecessary (about the same, just from the other side)
  • The money they get is not enough to keep it all running
This seems rather logical. However, the third reason won't necessarily get a company out of business. If there is still need for the product (that's something different of whether there is a market for it: a market cannot sustain a company, people do), the consumers, the people out there, can actually keep the product alive. The moment there is no money can be a really though time, but it doesn't need to kill the company... Money is just a way to express value, and by all means, it is NOT the absolute thing you need to keep something running. It is the people you are after.

To give you an illustration of what I mean, I want to take a look of 3 countries/regions/living areas in the world and how they are run.

The first country I want to mention is the United States. It is a big country and a big spender. The United States have a lot of debts and were it a company, it would be dead a million times by now. It wouldn't deserve the slightest piece of respect and nobody would like to invest in it.

But the US is not a company. It is a country. People are living there. People need the United States to live, and thus it cannot die.

The second piece of the world I want to mention is the rich Arab states with a lot of oil, like the UAE. They don't have a debt. They have enough to buy anything they need.

And then Brazil, called the king, the number one of the third world countries. I have been there. Just like the United States it has debts. Mostly to the United States actually.

But imagine that one day money isn't worth a thing anymore (all banks down; not even that much of an impossibility nowadays) and it's practically impossible to import or export anything. Which country will survive? The UAE are dependent for a big deal on import. I won't give my life for them. The United States are dependent on the oil and other products from other countries (for some horror scenarios on this part, search for Peek Oil). Brazil is a different story however: without the money suddenly Brazil doesn't seem that poor anymore. Anything they need is available in the borders of their own country. The only thing preventing Brazil from using this fact to its full meaning now is knowledge and the unequal way power and money are distributed. But I see a lot of progress here.

The most important thing here is that in the end the money doesn't have to do a thing with profitability.

Now back to Google. My view is that Google is run like some kind of a country. And not just any country. Google has an eco-system that is practically self-supplying. The other thing is that their business is not build on money but a whole different commodity: knowledge. And the product that Google delivers is a way to access knowledge. The only goal Google has as a company is to make knowledge accessible to all.

It turns out that knowledge is something quite more persistent and stable than money. People might live without money, but living without knowledge is a no-brainer in the most literal sense of the word. Google is something everybody depends on, more and more, and you cannot just kick it away. In the improbable case that Google runs out of money, people will willingly pay to keep Google running. It is a product we need. Everybody supports a company that delivers something they need.

Some people say Google is an advertisement company. If you look at it economically you might even have some reason to think about Google this way. Some people think that this business will fail some day and Google will be gone then. I don't think so. For one, advertisement is something people are always wanting to do in one form or another, because products and people always need to be connected. And Google has the guts to keep this up to date and to find new ways accomplishing this goal always.

But even when advertisement stops being a money-maker for Google, they don't care. Who needs money when everybody depends on you anyway?

And now up to the big part: other companies. Those that try to beat Google. You can only beat Google if you run your company just that way and don't depend on your money to keep working.

And that are the companies Google buys.

Google always wins

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