Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Friday, February 2, 2007day link 

 A Reasonable Agreement
picture Vendors of products present you with more and more ridiculous agreements you supposedly have made with them by buying their product and opening the package. Whether you were aware of it or not, whether the agreement is reasonable or not, and whether it is legally enforcable or not. And agreement is in principle something that two or more people make consciously, after having negotiated the terms. Something that benefits both parties, a contract they enter into knowingly. But a EULA or shrink-wrap license is entirely different, a one-sided attempt of making you the losing side, by implying that you've agreed to something you probably haven't even read. So, time to fight back. Bumperactive produces stickers like this one. The idea is that whenever you're communicating with one of those kinds of companies, you provide them with an equally silly contract they've entered into just by talking to you, or receiving a letter from you. So, you can put stickers like that on the back of the envelope when you pay your cable bill. Or you can read out the terms on the phone when you call a vendor. You can adjust the text to your own purpose, of course, and add any additional small print that tickles your fancy. Sounds very reasonable to me.
[ | 2007-02-02 17:27 | 0 comments | PermaLink ]

 Monetary Integrity
Leif Smith, Explorers Foundation, glyph #177:
Monetary Integrity — the Saracens of Spain
five hundred years — 7th to 12th centuries, CE

Writing of the history of the debasement of money, Murray N. Rothbard says:

"Rapid and severe debasement was a hallmark of the Middle Ages, in almost every country in Europe. Thus, in 1200 A.D. the French livre tournois was defined at 98 grams of fine silver; by 1600 A.D. it signified only 11 grams. A striking case is the dinar, a coin of the Saracens in Spain. The dinar originally consisted of 65 gold grains, when first coined at the end of the 7th century. The Saracens were notably sound in monetary matters, and by the middle of the 12th century, the dinar was still 60 grains. At that point, the Christian kinds conquered Spain, and by the early 13th century, the dinar (now called maravedi) was reduced to 14 grains. Soon the gold coin was too light to circulate, and it was converted into a silver coin weighing 26 grains of silver. This, too, was debased, and by the mid-15th century, the maravedi was only 1.5 silver grains, and again too small to circulate."

What Has Government Done To Our Money?, by Murry N. Rothbard, a booklet published in 1963 by the now (Dec 2004) expired Pine Tree Press, Colorado Springs, Colorado

The table of contents and full text may be found at:
And eventually they just made money out of paper. Inflation?
[ | 2007-02-02 19:16 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

picture Is grassroots video production and sharing mechanisms like YouTube going to change the world of media? Maybe. Probably nobody's going to produce Star Wars in their garage in the near future, although there are fun take-offs. One might do mash-ups. And people might do other things that are more authentic and personal, which might be as interesting as watching TV.

Meet YouTube user MaryAnne aka Ysabella Brave. She discovered that singing was fun, so she started doing little videos of her singing classic songs, using a dinky camera and a desk lamp and no editing software. And they turned out to be popular and she developed a following. Which I can understand. She's really cute, obviously has fun with her videos, and one can't help falling in love with her. And she can sing. Oh, she doesn't hit all the notes all the time, but she puts on a great show. She has 12,000 subscribers. And now she does these little videos where she answers questions from fans and that kind of thing. And she really does seem to be an unusually sweet person.

This is a kind of reality television. There's something to say for real people. But mainstream reality TV has gotten awfully scripted, so maybe real, real people would be more interesting. Oh, I suppose not everybody is interesting. But if you have a talent or a unique angle on things, there are certainly ways you can have an audience now.
[ | 2007-02-02 19:50 | 11 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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