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  • Dec 31st, 2014 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Non-profits will benefit? Can you say for-profits will benefit?

    "...abuse thrives in secret...?" Do you really think so? The Amazon rain forest is being cut down now. Can you show where visibility has prevented either legal or illegal logging from happening?

    When the demand for minerals and wood goes up, do you think the presence of indigenous communities is going to matter? Settlers in North American depopulated an entire continent. Very visibly. Oh, it was an outrage that they now sincerely regret, but no one has offered to give the land back.

    The importance of the rain forest for the global ecology is only being guessed at now. I would stop all exploitation until its role is better understood. We know where the wood ships from. Stopping those ports would quickly end all logging.

  • Dec 31st, 2014 @ 7:18am

    Non-profits will benefit? Can you say for-profits will benefit?

    I'm not sure where Glyn gets:

    As that notes, once completed Mapazonia will be an important tool for environmental organizations -- for example, those seeking to monitor and reduce Amazonian deforestation -- and for humanitarian bodies to use in the event of disasters there. It's a great example of OpenStreetMap stepping in to fill gaps left by commercial offerings that have no interest in mapping vast areas with few people and little business activity. It emphasizes once more that open projects are not just valuable because they are open, but also because their different priorities lead them to tackle problems ignored by those whose primary motivation is profit.

    Accurate maps are the basis for more access to the Amazon, not less. By comparison, why do you think the Afghanistan warlords fought so hard against better and more roads in Afghanistan? If you guess it would make it easier for a mechanized enemy to control the areas in question, take a gold star! Right in one.

    Political corruption is enabling deforestation of the Amazon now, yes? So how is having better maps of the Amazon going to reduce political corruption? Simple enough question. If better maps are not going to reduce political corruption, which we have agreed enables deforestation, isn't better mapping going to facilitate more deforestation?

    I don't doubt the good intentions of OpenStreetMap or its participants but in their rush to do good, they are over estimating the forces of evil seeking to damage the Amazon. Recall that deforestation wasn't an issue until the arrival of modern transportation and technology. That battle was lost long ago. Why lose another battle by making exploitation of the Amazon by oil, mining, timber and other robbers of natural resources easier?

    Disruption of the links in the chain that enable deforestation and exploitation of the Amazon would be a far better use of time and resources than depending upon some day using moral suasion to defend it.

    Peril to the Amazon increases with every new data point in OSM.


  • Dec 30th, 2014 @ 1:23pm

    NSA - Partial File Release

    The incompleteness of the NSA Christmas file release has gone unnoticed. On Christmas Day I posted: Merry Christmas From the NSA! Missing Files detailing missing files. Then on 27 December 2014, I posted NSA IOB Report Dump – Still Missing Files on 3 files missing after the NSA corrected its first file posting (silently). As of today, 30 December 2014, the NSA as posted the three files I noted missing on 27 December 2014, again, silently. The piece-meal dribbling out of the files hasn't attracted other commentary as far as I am aware.

    Anyone performing substantive analysis of the file content? Interested in comparing methods/notes. Thanks!


  • Mar 19th, 2011 @ 3:29am


    We made the mistake of granting corporations personhood for legal purposes. Such that a legal fiction, has the same rights as a "natural" person. Property rights for example.

    Which makes little sense. A natural person can work for and appreciate property, corporation never can. A natural person will die, but short of real mis-management (maybe more common than I think), a corporation never dies.

    Let's work on reversing the mistake of extending personhood rather than compounding our error.

  • Sep 15th, 2010 @ 2:19am

    Exploiting the Poor

    Two things tend to get missed in the "digital divide" discussions:

    1) Read "digital divide" as "technology divide" and you can predict the winner of every encounter in history.

    2) People like winning.

    Can you guess based on #2 how successful the efforts will be to eliminate #1?