February 26, 2003

A 'minifesto' for the constitution of virtual, post-national states

The minimal compact: An open-source constitution for post-national states. "What sorts of arrangements of power between humans can account for the deep variation in beliefs and assumptions among the six billion of us who share this planet, while still providing for a common jurisprudence? What measures can be taken that enhance the common security without unduly infringing on the sovereignty of the individual?

I believe that a useful model for the desired structure can be found in the open-source or "free" software movement."

Our own adamgreenfield has been thinking about emergent democracy and the widening gap between power and politics, and has written a 'minifesto,' and would like some feedback. Democracy for the rest of us : fascinating, 'deep geek' stuff, and worth your time.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:13 PM PST - 11 comments

One hell of an overdue fine

So, we all know the Patriot Act allows for the monitoring of library and computer usage. Big deal, right? I mean how many people can they watch and what are the odds?

Maybe not as good (or bad, depending on your view) as you might think,"A St. John’s College Library visit by a former public defender was abruptly interrupted February 13 when city police officers arrested him about 9 p.m. at the computer terminal he was using, handcuffed him, and brought him to the Santa Fe, New Mexico, police station for questioning by Secret Service agents from Albuquerque."
posted by cedar at 9:25 PM PST - 45 comments

Forget 50 Cent and Eminem

Give It Up for MC Zhirinovsky Flamboyant Russian ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, renowned for his controversial views on Iraq, has had his words turned into an anti-war rap song. The song, titled "Don't you dare go shooting at Baghdad", is being launched on the internet, according to the Russian television station TVS.
posted by turbanhead at 8:36 PM PST - 7 comments

Nike flotsam

Need a pair of Nikes? Fifteen or so thousand pairs of Nikes were lost overboard December 12th while on their way to Tacoma and are making their way north. Some of those shoes started to show up on the Washington coast late last month. The bulk of these shoes will find their way to the Alaskan coast and the Aleutian shores. You may have a problem finding a good pair; the shoes were not bound to their mates. This isn't the first time Nike has lost a load of shoes (and here). In fact, in just a little poking around, it seems that there is all sorts of flotsam drifting along the ocean currents.
posted by YohonTheLarge at 8:01 PM PST - 13 comments

Head Scan

Head Scan is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their heads wedged into their scanners, or why.
posted by Stan Chin at 5:28 PM PST - 71 comments

isonews.com seized

Justice Department Seizes Top Internet Site Involved In Copyright Piracy "The leading public Internet site dedicated to online copyright piracy was seized by the Justice Department today. Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff and Paul J. McNulty, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia today announced the seizure of www.iSONEWS.com as part of a previous plea agreement entered into by a defendant convicted of violating the criminal copyright laws."
Law enforcement seizes computers everyday for one reason or another, but leaving the site up and displaying a rather finger-wagging message is a new one!
posted by quonsar at 4:34 PM PST - 36 comments


PerversionTracker "locates the very worst of Mac software. We search the web for 15 minutes a day -- so you don't have to!" [via Macintouch]
posted by kirkaracha at 3:40 PM PST - 11 comments

Beaches, sandpits, castles...

What do you think of when you consider... sand Some beautiful pictures of sand under a microscope, as well as description of what sand is...
posted by darsh at 3:36 PM PST - 9 comments

An Abortion Clinic Nightmare or An Activism Boon?

A Supreme Court ruling with interesting implications: All lower court racketeering convictions against pro-life protestors have been effectively overturned. Operation Rescue is quite free to harass patients and blockade clinics again. Is this a major dent in the campaign to save Roe vs. Wade? Or does this open up new possibilities for activists of all stripes?
posted by ed at 2:59 PM PST - 39 comments


U.S. BUNKERS: Life assurance, not life insurance. If you lack faith in duct tape and plastic sheeting, perhaps this is the solution for you.
posted by aladfar at 1:05 PM PST - 9 comments

Stupid criminals

Boneheads of the Year - The year may only be just shy of two months old, but these two Massachusetts men have already wrapped up the award for 2003. Really, how dumb can TWO people be?
posted by MediaMan at 1:04 PM PST - 12 comments

Nick & Norm Parody

You may have seen the PSAs with Nick & Norm (So it is alright to support terrorism, a little?) Now the Marijuana Policy Project in their War on Drug Czar has released a parody. [QT, Real, or WMP]
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:04 PM PST - 14 comments

MassKilling.com: Holocaust on Your Plate

MassKilling.com: Holocaust on Your Plate, where PETA compares the holocaust to the meat industry really boils my blood. Sure they are seeking approval from the Jewish Community to take the exhibit on a national tour, but Jews weren’t the only ones killing in the concentration camps.
posted by ambirex at 1:03 PM PST - 77 comments

Jeff Bezos : Inventor

Jeff Bezos has patented the idea for "A method and system for conducting an electronic discussion relating to a topic." Clearly, an idea way ahead of its time... (via somebodydial911)
posted by bluno at 12:14 PM PST - 14 comments

Sex Ed

Since it's Hump Day here on MeFi, I thought I'd let everyone know that the National Sexuality Resource Center opened last week in San Francisco. (SF Chron article here.) So far, the site seems pretty sparse information-wise, but there's an interesting article on disability and sexuality.
posted by DakotaPaul at 11:59 AM PST - 12 comments

Interesting French Music Video

Very Interesting French Music Video The movie is somewhat hard to explain without giving away the ending, but the movie addresses very interesting implications for the future of mankind.
posted by banished at 11:49 AM PST - 26 comments

Teachers Traumatizing Students of Deployed Soldiers

Teachers Traumatizing Students of Deployed Soldiers "WABI TV reported Friday that the Maine National Guard Family Assistance Center has received about 30 complaints from children of deployed soldiers concerning Principals, Teachers and Guidance Counselors reportedly demeaning the role of their deployed parent. Some children involved are 7 to 9 years of age." More inside...
posted by darian at 11:27 AM PST - 65 comments

What century?

Ohio to approve 14th Amendment — 135 years late People think I'm kidding when I say it's the 19th century in my neighborhood.
posted by elgoose at 11:16 AM PST - 18 comments

huh. Maybe I AM right wing...

Justice is served. A career criminal, high on cocaine breaks into a bar that has been fitted with a security system that turns out to be lethal. The bar owner installed the system after the 3rd break in in the past month, and posted numerous signs outside warning of the danger. The criminal is electrocuted to death, and this being America, the widow of the bar's owner (who has passed away during the years of litigation over this issue) is forced to pay $75,000 to the family of the robber, who understandably need the money now that the breadwinner is no longer around to provide for them via a life of robbery.
posted by jonson at 10:19 AM PST - 129 comments

Agatha Christie and Archaeology.

Agatha Christie and Archaeology. 'Many years ago, when I was once saying sadly to Max it was a pity I couldn't have taken up archaeology when I was a girl, so as to be more knowledgeable on the subject, he said, 'Don't you realize that at this moment you know more about prehistoric pottery than any woman in England?' [more inside]
posted by plep at 9:43 AM PST - 13 comments

marlin never bluffed an elephant.

"Imagine, five elephants — with a combined weight of maybe 50,000 pounds — fanned out in a circle, defending their territory against puny you." Marlin Perkins might've been the host of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, all comfy and cozy in the studio, but it was reliable Jim who did all the daring face-to-face encounters with ferocious fauna. And you can relive those mid-70s Sunday nights spent in front of the television right here.
posted by grabbingsand at 9:23 AM PST - 5 comments

Porn is bad. Violence good.

It's official! Watching porn can make you a bad person. So says the FBI. Get ready for the crackdown. "Pornography teaches ideas that validate aberrant behavior," according to detective Nate Gittins of the Madison County Sheriff’s office. The use of illicit materials is not exclusively related to sex crimes. It may also lead to other criminal activities, FBI officials say. Oh my! What does this mean for us deviants?
posted by eas98 at 8:51 AM PST - 57 comments


Sex Week at Yale
posted by semmi at 8:31 AM PST - 13 comments


BLUEDANIEL: DJ, jazz drummer, animator, and Blair Witch website designer Dan Karcher's webpage, a true gem, is particularly timely right now. Great site design, great Flash/MX, great music. (More inside.)
posted by Shane at 8:04 AM PST - 22 comments

Tristan Louis's observations on the current state of blogging.

With his own blog in place Tristan makes interesting observations on today's blogs. He's definitely got a point when it comes to the variety of information on most blogs... sometimes it seems I can visit 20 blogs and see the exact same source articles over and over again. An interesting read from tnl.net, as always.
posted by clevershark at 7:19 AM PST - 18 comments

Dick Cheney has the answer.

How does one assure global stability in a world where there is only one strong power? John Perry Barlow (previously mentioned here) thinks Dick Cheney has the answer.
posted by ashbury at 6:05 AM PST - 54 comments

What Price Stars?

We know that the French take their food seriously, and restaurant ratings are a BIG deal over there. But here's a sad illustration of that: famed chef Bernard Loiseau was found dead yesterday of an apparent suicide, and speculation centers around his downgraded rating from the influential GaultMillau guide. Shades of Vatel?
posted by Vidiot at 5:38 AM PST - 17 comments

Farewell Concorde?

The thought of Concorde services ending saddens me ( possibly because 101 sits less than half a mile from my doorstep). It [with it' s clone Concordeski] was the only supersonic passenger jet to even make it to prototype status. Considering things like it's massive fuel consumption, should we ditch the beast, find something else or go back to subsonics?
posted by twine42 at 4:47 AM PST - 16 comments

Kyoto National Museum

"It is with pleasure that I welcome you to the Website of the Kyoto National Museum. We hope this site will open up the fascinating world of East Asian art to a broader audience than ever before possible." [1]
posted by hama7 at 3:54 AM PST - 7 comments

If music be the food of love, then play on

Busker Dü: You're short of money. You're not afraid to make a fool of yourself. You have no pride. You have a musical instrument to abuse. Well - that, apparently, is easy. At least if you're a Guardian journalist. But what else can a feller do these days to drum up that old "Buddy, Can You Spare A Dime?" spirit?
posted by Carlos Quevedo at 1:55 AM PST - 12 comments

hold it right there apollo!

model rocketry woes. the article mentions a wyoming senator who wants to amend the bill, but the homeland security act is/would put the squeeze on model rocketry, as the fuel of some engines will/would be classified as an explosive. whoa. wonder if the NHRA is gonna follow this. hate to see 'em stop the top fuelers.
posted by asparagus_berlin at 12:40 AM PST - 7 comments

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