Friday, November 23, 2012

Linky Things

I've decided to start putting links and comments about them in my blog rather than on my Facebook page, as they tend to just get lost on FB's news feed.

#1 today is this link from the BBC about a Texas school district that is planning to give all students radio tracking ID badges so they can find out how many students are on campus daily and keep track of them, and what happened when one student refused to wear the badge. 

The above article provokes so many thoughts from me.  First is that the student's religious objection to the badge seems specious.  Why not just make a human rights objection?  Second is the ridiculous assertions by the representative of the civil rights organization.  Who seriously believes our government has the resources to constantly monitor every email, text and tweet of its citizens, in addition to keeping constant track of their whereabouts?  Even much more restrictive Communist countries aren't able to do that.  Contrary to popular opinion (and propaganda), China isn't able to monitor its citizens at that level of detail.

I'm also amused by the idea that we have any privacy now.  The only privacy anyone has currently is the privacy to be in your own home without anyone looking in the windows at you.  The idea that we can keep our electronic communications and personal activities private from government agencies or commercial interests is a fantasy.  My employer uses ID badges that can track when we use them, and also records keystrokes on our computers.  Why should a public school student have more privacy than me?

Next: The last ninja. , underground art in Paris - literally, and Not the Da Vinci Code.  The modern art of cryptography used on an 18th-century secret society's documents. Way more fun to read than a Dan Brown novel.

In other news, Jackie Chan announces that apparently he wasn't retired yet and is now retiring from acting.  We'll see how long that lasts.  Maybe he can do better at retirement than Jet Li did - Li's retirement lased for, what, a week?

My friend Anthony Pryor writes a very entertaining review of The Beastmaster on his Pit of Swords and Sorcery blog.

More links to come...

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