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An old rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open, free and exciting is waking up.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003day link 

 MoveOn Successes
The MoveOn organization has scored some good successes recently. Mark Smollin posts their announcement. Lately they've focused on a Let the Inspections Work campaign. 310,000 people signed the petition. Several dozen congressmen sent a letter to Bush, asking him also to let the inspectors work. Support for war has dropped sharply.
[ | 2003-01-22 23:59 | 0 comments | PermaLink ]

Tuesday, January 21, 2003day link 

 Corporate Responsibility News
Agence France-Presse has a new news service in English called the "Global Ethics Monitor" which carries Corporate Responsibility News every day. I.e. mostly news about large corporations doing bad things and being caught in the act. Now, THAT's good news. I don't think you are going to see such a thing from any major U.S. news agency anytime in the near future.
[ | 2003-01-21 23:59 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

Saturday, January 18, 2003day link 

 Anti-war Protests
picture Tens of thousands of people protested yesterday in Washington D.C., San Francisco, and across the world in Europe and Asia. The good news is that this time the U.S. media didn't try to ignore it like the last time, and didn't lie about the numbers of attendees, as far as I can understand.
[ | 2003-01-18 18:29 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

Friday, January 3, 2003day link 

 Corporations claim the 'right to lie'
picture From Common Dreams:
"While Nike was conducting a huge and expensive PR blitz to tell people that it had cleaned up its subcontractors' sweatshop labor practices, an alert consumer advocate and activist in California named Marc Kasky caught them in what he alleges are a number of specific deceptions. Citing a California law that forbids corporations from intentionally deceiving people in their commercial statements, Kasky sued the multi-billion-dollar corporation.

Instead of refuting Kasky's charge by proving in court that they didn't lie, however, Nike instead chose to argue that corporations should enjoy the same 'free speech' right to deceive that individual human citizens have in their personal lives. If people have the constitutionally protected right to say, 'The check is in the mail,' or, 'That looks great on you,' then, Nike's reasoning goes, a corporation should have the same right to say whatever they want in their corporate PR campaigns."
And here's some more detail as to the current situation:
"In the next few weeks the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether or not to hear Nike's appeal of the California Supreme Court's decision that Nike was engaging in commercial speech which the state can regulate under truth in advertising and other laws. And lawyers for Nike are preparing to claim before the Supreme Court that, as a "person," this multinational corporation has a constitutional free-speech right to deceive.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Exxon/Mobil, Monsanto, Microsoft, Pfizer, and Bank of America have already filed amicus briefs supporting Nike. Additionally, virtually all of the nation's largest corporate-owned newspapers have recently editorialized in favor of Nike and given virtually no coverage or even printed letters to the editor asserting the humans' side of the case."
It is of course quite enlightening to hear exactly which companies stand up to support their own right to lie.
[ | 2003-01-03 04:30 | 4 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Thursday, January 2, 2003day link 

 Dow Chemical sues Bhopal survivors
picture According to Greenpeace News, Dow Chemical, the worlds largest chemical company, and new owners of Union Carbide, is suing survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India, which killed thousands of people. On December 2nd a peaceful march of 200 women survivors from Bhopal delivered toxic waste from the abandoned Carbide factory back to Dow's Indian headquarters in Bombay with the demand that Dow take responsibility for the disaster and clean up the site. Instead, Dow files a lawsuit against them for $10,000 for "loss of work". One Dow employee briefly came outside to meet the protesters. Apparently he's very well paid. On the other hand, that amounts to about 10 years of income for those particular protesters. Dow's new CEO, William Stravopoulos, is the person who engineered the Dow merger with Union Carbide in 2001.
[ | 2003-01-02 16:11 | 3 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Thursday, December 26, 2002day link 

 Nestle sues famined Ethiopia
According to The Guardian, the multi-national coffee and chocolate corporation Nestle is demanding a payment of $6m from the government of the world's poorest country, Ethiopia, which is in the middle of the worst famine in nearly 20 years. The money would be compensation for an Ethiopian business which was nationalized in 1975 by a previous military government. To put it in context, $6m could feed 1 million Ethiopians for a month. Nestle didn't even own that company, but years later they bought a German company, which used to have majority shares in it.
[ | 2002-12-26 04:55 | 3 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Saturday, December 14, 2002day link 

 Teen hog-ties intruders
A tiny teenage girl, barefoot in her pajamas, runs after three guys who were trying to break into her house, tackles one of them, sits on him and hogties him, while waiting for the police to show up. "I felt violated," Melissa said. "The only thing running through my mind was, 'how dare you?'"
[ | 2002-12-14 23:59 | 0 comments | PermaLink ]

 European perceptions of the U.S.
pictureBelow are a couple of article excerpts about European's perceptions of the U.S. which had been circulating and creating some debate.

Now, I'm rather fascinated by and mystified by the different group mindsets that exist in different places. Actually quite different worlds people live in.

Just having come back to the U.S. from a month in my country of birth, Denmark, I notice easily how mindsets are different in many ways. For example, yes, most Europeans would appear to look very critically at USA's blatant imperialism and arrogance on the world scene. And I would agree with them.

But now, when I go back to the U.S. there's kind of a fog that descends over me again, and the rest of the world again start looking like just some remote entertainment on TV. There's some kind of national brainwashing wave or something. OK, most of my friends here would be just as critical about US policies. But it is a minority position here, rather than a common sense that most people have. And much here in the U.S. that I would consider completely insane if I saw it from another country, I would here accept as fairly routine and normal.

I'm feeling uneasy about living in the U.S. at this point. I'll probably forget about it if I watch some more commercials on TV.
[ | 2002-08-24 01:35 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

 Patents and the human mouse
pictureInteresting article in L.A. Times about a scientist, Stuart Newman, and his friend Jeremy Rifkin, who are challenging the patent system. They're trying to get a patent on a deliberately outrageous construction, a "humouse", something that would be half mouse and half human, in other to better define the limits in these matters, and to show how ridiculous many granted patents are.
[ | 2002-05-12 18:34 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

 Radioactive message to the future
pictureHere's a rather fascinating report from a panel of experts called together to figure out how to construct appropriate warning signs around a huge nuclear waste dump to be constructed in Nevada. The idea is to somehow show the importance and the significance and the danger of the site, even to people 10,000 years into the future who potentially might be living in a totally different culture, no longer speaking English or understanding our current symbols.
[ | 2002-05-11 03:59 | 7 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Software Patents
pictureAdobe wins a suit against Macromedia (the makers of Flash) and gets $2.8 million in damages. All because Macromedia used some little tabs on the windows in their programs, which was similar to what Adobe was using. Hmmm, I was seriously considering buying a copy of Adobe GoLive for web design. I'm now going to change my mind, and I'm now going to pay for Macromedia Dreamweaver instead. The new version looks pretty cool anyway. I think companies using software patents to try to wipe out the competition should be boycotted.
[ | 2002-05-03 15:01 | 7 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Ballooning into Space
pictureSome adventurous people are planning to fly in a balloon 132,000 feet into space next summer. Sitting in spacesuits in open air armchairs hanging under the balloon. Up where its pitch black and you can see whole countries in one look. See here: [link]
[ | 2001-11-09 03:54 | 5 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Ricochet Wireless is back
YES! My wireless computer connectivity is coming back. I had been a subscriber to Ricochet, which went bankrupt a few months ago, and which had a very reliable, wireless 128kbps service within the major metropolitan areas of the U.S. Meaning I could be online in airports, on the freeway, or whatever. And when it disappeared there were no comparable alternatives left. Now the $1 billion assets of the Ricochet network have been bought by Aerie Networks for 8 million and it looks like they'll turn the thing on again shortly, and at a lower price. And it sounds like the new people will know how to market it. Ricochet was a well-kept secret in the hands of the old company, Metricom, which apparently had no clue on how to let people know it existed.
[ | 2001-11-05 16:18 | 2 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Colonies in space may be only hope, says Hawking
pictureTHE human race is likely to be wiped out by a doomsday virus before the Millennium is out, unless we set up colonies in space, Prof Stephen Hawking warns today.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Prof Hawking, the world's best known cosmologist, says that biology, rather than physics, presents the biggest challenge to human survival.
[ | 2001-10-16 13:01 | 6 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 The perfect storm on Mars
pictureThe planet Mars has for several months been covered by a dust storm enveloping the whole planet in a layer of dust, and creating a huge jump in global warming. Strange. Maybe it is waking up and coming to life. Maybe somebody is terraforming Mars while we're looking elsewhere, busy with other problems. Article from NASA: [link]
[ | 2001-10-15 16:32 | 0 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 In the minds of suicide bombers
pictureAn interesting glimpse into the culture of suicide bombers:
It is from WorldNetDaily, which is a rightwing christian news source that I'll always take with a grain of salt, but this looks useful. Kindergarten kids are taught the virtues of killing their enemies. And if you do you are a martyr, bringing great pride to your family. And, this is the kicker: there will be 72 pristinely beautiful virgins waiting for you in heaven, and you can have sex with them all day, and you will lie on fine soft carpets and receive their delights forever, just because you're a great martyr. Wow, that's juice enough to screw up the mind of any young teenage boy.
[ | 2001-10-13 14:13 | 24 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 TeamNet books available online
pictureOne of my central inspirations for starting the New Civilization Network 6 years ago was the work of Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps. They're sort of networking gurus, having written and talked extensively about the power of networked organizations, particularly inter-connected networks of teams, which they coined the term TeamNet for. I hoped for NCN to become a TeamNet. Anyway, because of the increased necessity for dialogue and good networking in the world, they've decided to make all their books available online for free. They are "The Networking Book", "The Age of the Network", "The TeamNet Factor" and "Virtual Teams". I very much applaud this. You can find the books at [link]
[ | 2001-10-10 23:39 | 0 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Underground Living
pictureAn auction just ended at eBay of an old ICBM missile silo, re-fitted into a rather unique luxury home. Sounds like a lot of fun. Who wouldn't want a 47 ton garage door for one thing. I always dreamt of living underground. Anyway, it sold for $1.5million, and there are a whole lot more of these in Kansas.
[ | 2001-10-06 05:02 | 9 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Introducing new News Log feature
This is the first post here. I'm testing this new feature, which is a place where one can post timely information about one's activities, thoughts or aspirations. Each person will be able to have their own little "newspaper", if they want it, attached to their profile. This is what I call a News Log, but which is also often called a "Web Log" or a "blog" for short.
[ | 2001-08-15 01:41 | 10 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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