Portugal: don’t jump to conclusions but…

I just noticed an interesting article over at Forbes about the “Owners of Portugal” documentary. The article pointed to a couple of extremely interesting charts. And, although it asks not to jump to conclusions I find that, not jumping to conclusions, extremely hard to do.

The charts in question are: the big family and 30 years, 115 members of the government.

Check for yourself, I bet you’ll start jumping to conclusions!… -->

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Cultural change through the prism of movies

It is so strange to see some old movies nowadays. They have all the “wrong” values in them, did you notice? They teach being assertive, bold, funny, arrogant and non-compliant. That is totally not what we see these days, now it is all either fancy fantasy stories, or all sex and “regular life”. The movies nowadays do not give up on the principles and values, who would watch them then? But instead they place them in such stories that you cannot really associate with them. And the values you can associate with are totally different – being soft and understanding, suffering for your country or your family and so on.

If we accept the premise that all movies are a channel for brainwashing the population, just like every other public communication channel, we would have to ask ourselves the question “Why?” Why is all so different? Why is the change of the values propagated to the population? What are we being prepared for if we need to follow these patterns of behavior? Can you answer?… -->

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Advice from IMF: Eurozone must tie closer together

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde has figured it all out for us. Her advice is to integrate the Eurozone economies closer together. And introduce more central control over the monetary and economic side of things.

Yeah, right. If we wanted to make sure that the next economic problem anywhere in the EU takes the whole of it down under we would heed her advice. Oh, absolutely, the tightly integrated economies are a clear winner when it comes to sinking quickly.

But I hope the people at the top realize that they are not outside EU, they are inside it, and it is not in their best interest to build a Titanic out of the EU countries. The strength of the German economy and its resilience to all sorts of political and economic crisis lies in its loose integration and the freedom of every land to develop its own strengths. And that’s a good principle to apply to the whole of EU as well.

Sure, the development and this silly economic growth are not as fast as they would be in a tightly controlled and integrated economy but the advantages of a diversified locally directed economy were clearly seen during the last crisis when Germans could so rightly say “He who laughs last, laughs best.”… -->

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Orwell’s rules in security

I came across the “six rules of English language” set forth by George Orwell in his essay “Politics and the English Language” in one of the posts on Jordan Bortz’s Software Architecture Blog. They are:

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

These rules are absolutely essential for good system or application security. All too often we have the situation where the real target is to provide an insecure system and it is obfuscated by the use of this “political language”. To turn the words of Orwell to our subject, the great enemy of software security is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one does not get proper security.… -->

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The Factor of Money

I call this interesting thing “The Factor of Money”. What is it? It is one of the things quite wrong with the world from most people’s perspective. Although, to be fair, most of them do not realize it. And there is a minority who abuse the rest so it is quite ok for them. But let’s see.

A society is built on a number of factors that the society considers important. And whoever controls the decisive factor controls the society. If most of the world considers a single factor of utmost importance then whoever controls that factor controls the world.

Factors important, or crucial, for the people in the society may differ. One of the factors quite widespread nowadays is money. Notice how USSR, the Soviet countries overall, were not into money before. like the eighties. And those countries were quite apart from the other countries that were controlled by money. They were independent and powerful, they could not be easily subverted by money. Once they joined the throng in cherishing the money factor, they became a slave to the controllers of the money factor. Notice how quickly their deterioration happened.

Now watch this. China was always quite separate from the money world. They became strong on a basis totally different from money. Now they let the money in. What do you think will happen? Yes, let’s watch them being overtaken by the overlords of money. They stand no chance anymore whatever they may think about it.

The Factor of Money is the factor that leads to enslaving entire countries to the will of the Lords of Money. If you want your society or country to be independent, the first thing to do is to break away from The Money Factor.… -->

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Quote of the day

A very suitable quote for today:

“In September last year, Putin and Medvedev announced their plans to swap jobs after Medvedev’s presidential term expires in 2012. Putin said the plans were agreed four years ago when he picked Medvedev as his successor on the presidential post.”

— RIA Novosti, 2 March 2012

Well planned and executed. Duh, the democracy.… -->

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As Forbes joked, “in a country where there is an Old New Year must be an old new president too.”

On the elections:

  • Russia’s Putin faces protests after poll triumph
  • Russia election: Vladimir Putin celebrates victory
  • Vladimir Putin: ‘We have won. Glory to Russia’

On the “democraty”:

  • Selective capitalism and kleptocracy
  • As Russia Claims Democracy, Is It Redefining The Word?
  • Природа (нашей) демократии

The unfortunate thing about the elections in Russia is that they are boring. At least in some other countries the elections are staged so that you have an illusion of a fight for power, you get excited over the process and wait eagerly for results. Russia does not bother. Boring.… -->

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