Since I got an iPhone last March (my first smartphone), the way that I access and consume information has changed. While I’ve had an iPad for about 5 months, I hadn’t yet gotten a 3G card from my carrier. There is a big difference between having access to the Internet anywhere and just not being able to do so. The places I go to don’t have reliable free WiFi. The iPhone 4S allows me to tether my iPad for free, because my carrier is CHT in Taiwan and they are partly government-owned, my iPad 2 still hasn’t gotten an 3G card.
Errol Morris’ What’s in a Name parts 2 and 3. It’s definitely an interesting series of essays, as people in Chinese cultures have a very different way of approaching names. While most of them never change their family name, a lot of them change their English name and Chinese first name, even at a very young age. I’ve had grade 1 students change their names very suddenly. It’s rarer to change your Chinese first name, but it happens often compared to what I’m used to.
Like many viewers, who saw HBO’s Girls last week, one of the most intriguing parts of the show was when a girl instructed her friend on the totem pole of chat. That term has been in my mind for the last week or so and I’ve spent time thinking about the idea. In our modern connected society, communication has evolved significantly, which is something that a lot of people have trouble grasping. It’s no longer the difference between snail mail and email, but the vast different ways that people of all ages communicate these days, from texts, messaging systems, and life streams.
When lost, look around and try to find a person who looks like they know where they are going and follow them.
I’m going to try this the next time I am lost since I don’t have satnav on my scooter. Subconsciously, we’ve all done this before. I’ve done it on the weekend when I had to take a detour and didn’t really know where I was going. I just followed other people.
seen in Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective Agency S01E01 BBC
I was pretty sad when I realized that when NASA retired its STS, their aging Space Shuttle Program, there would be no replacement since President Obama scrapped Project Constellation in October 2010. It opens the door for China and India to advance in their shuttle programs or develop their own. I also thought it was pretty ironic remembering the plans of manned missions to Mars, a moon base, and other missions. Now, it’s only in science-fiction that the US has a manned space program, and even those show get canceled (Eureka and the Astreus mission, which was canceled earlier this week).
The Streisand effect is a primarily online phenomenon in which an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely. It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose attempt in 2003 to suppress photographs of her residence inadvertently generated further publicity.
Finally making my way through this Rodrigo Rosenberg article in the New Yorker. It’s a long-form, in-depth article, that clocks in at about 14,000 words, which is one of the reasons why the tab has remained open in my browser for the last few months. It’s an astounding story, told almost perfectly by David Grann.
Between 2000 and 2009, the number of killings rose steadily, ultimately reaching sixty-four hundred.
The murder rate was nearly four times higher than Mexico’s.
In 2009, fewer civilians were reported killed in the war zone of Iraq than were shot, stabbed, or beaten to death in Guatemala.
The state’s counter-insurgency strategy, known as “drain the sea to kill the fish,” culminated in what the commission deemed acts of genocide.
Criminal networks have infiltrated virtually every government and law-enforcement agency, and more than half the country is no longer believed to be under the control of any government at all.
Incredibly, the death rate in Guatemala is now higher than it was for much of the civil war.
And there is almost absolute impunity: ninety-seven per cent of homicides remain unsolved, the killers free to kill again.
In 2007, a U.N. official declared, “Guatemala is a good place to commit a murder, because you will almost certainly get away with it.”
Guatemalans often cite the proverb “In a country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”
The election was one of the bloodiest in the country’s history: more than fifty local candidates and party activists were murdered, and Colom’s campaign manager was nearly killed by three grenades thrown at his motorcade.
As Don DeLillo has written, “A conspiracy is everything that ordinary life is not. It’s the inside game, cold, sure, undistracted, forever closed off to us. We are the flawed ones, the innocents, trying to make some rough sense of the daily jostle. Conspirators have a logic and a daring beyond our reach. All conspiracies are the same taut story of men who find coherence in some criminal act.”
Castresana thought, Rosenberg had been making threats to himself.
As inconceivable as it seemed, Castresana and his team were now certain that Rosenberg—not the President, not the First Lady, not Gustavo Alejos, or anyone else—was the author of his own assassination.
Castresana says of Rosenberg, “He set himself off like a suicide bomber.”
“He was an honorable person.” He added, “He wanted to open up a Pandora’s box that would change the country.”