Probably everybody can find an example from his own surroundings, but the one I will describe here is the one most appalling that I’ve encountered.
A few days ago a Facebook page Croatian History Portal (“Hrvatski povijesni portal”) – connected to the homonymous web page – went down. The reason for this was that the Facebook algorithm found that the published images of Hitler, Mussolinni, Ante Pavelić (the local variety of the former) and some others do not conform to the Facebook policy of “non-promoting hate-speech” or whatever they called it. Continue reading →
This looks like an eye opener and a game changer. I’m inclined to shout “Game over, man, game over!”, but I’ll leave that for some other post (the title “Relocation, Separation, Isolation, Amputation” has been crying to be used for far too long anyway). And it does have the properties of a Manifesto so maybe spreading it around isn’t such a bad idea.
A tiny bit of background: even though Alex Steffen is a prolific writer, this particular thing came from his Twitter account. Relatively brief, considering the topic, and painfully to the point.
I care deeply about rolling back this tide of fascism, racism & corruption, and building far more just, honest & fair democracies for everyone. This is the time for that fight.
That said, I have never been more worried about another, larger threat.
Our planet is in crisis.
This crisis is inarguably the largest present threat to human well-being around the world, right now, and it’s getting worse fast. Continue reading →
The world is filled with stories about how short-sightendess and short-term self-interest can cause disaster and decay of once functioning systems. However, the one published by BBC – and, to make matters worse, describing things happening on a continental level – is amazingly blunt and straightforward, showing how collapse out of sheer neglect and high-level stupidity can have drastic and widespread consequences.
This is one of those texts that cause a deep and overwhelming feeling of sadness over the condition of human mind and the depths human spirit can fall to. It couldn’t have been simpler. It couldn’t have been clearer. And yet, it happened. On a scale that can’t be called anything else but epic.
And the worst thing of all is that not many will learn from it, even those further to the west.
I stumbled upon a piece by Francis Fukuyama recently that basically confirmed something I’ve been nagging about for some time: democracy is not a cause, but instead, a consequence of a well-arranged and developed society. Continue reading →
One of the most renown “small” observatories in the world with the education centre attached – the one in Višnjan in Istria – is going to keep existing, although it was a close call. After a few years of shutting programmes one after another due to lack of funding, local counties came to their senses and realised the tourist potential of the whole educational centre. More information should be published soon; in the meantime, the Croatian version of the text is here, but what is sticking out of the whole case are a few sentences spoken by the observatory and educational centre’s founder and manager, Korado Korlević, where he addressed a wider issue: EU funds being handed out to scientific, cultural and other NGO projects.
“We have seen that this is a very cruel money, that, in the end, it boils down to violence of administratively stronger inflicted upon the weaker. We have also witnessed that the government services in Croatia, instead of helping out, just wait for you to make a mistake and then issue a fine and ask of you to return the money you received. You write projects, you struggle, you wait for the funds for two years, and then someone demands that you return 10 percent because you didn’t do everything according to the 600-page manual. We decided it was best if Europe and the state keep their money. I can’t ask of the girls who work here to go through this administrative violence, to be on edge and unable to sleep throughout the week when they are writing projects and reports. No country should do this to their citizens.”
We are witnessing an event of epic proportions that, as is usual in history, has no immediate solution. Nobody knows of any. So, in these extraordinary circumstances, let us at least try to do as few things as possible that would identify us as non-humans and which would make the future generations ashamed of us. As long as they are here, let’s not stand in the way of grey-road walkers.
While communicating with a Ukrainian friend through e-mail, she wanted to know more about Croatia and Croats, being from a country currently going through something similar to what Croatia went through twenty years ago. Keeping in mind that I’m completely the wrong person to give a neutral account of a topic like that (being overly critical, unpleasantly sarcastic and generally negative and, most importantly, not a historian or anything related) I decided, what the hell, if I’m writing something like that, why not make it available to others, too?
So here it is: my version of Croatia’s past and present – and my argument as to why there is no future. Use at your own risk, do not quote as a source, Wikipedia is much more reliable. Seriously. This is just a personalised composition that may serve as a starting point for someone interested in researching further. Continue reading →
…is a mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
Dynamic systems are a bitch. They are, well, dynamic, consisting of many parts and are, very often, unpredictable. For example, one of the things that falls into this category is called “society”. Sometimes we want to predict how a society will behave under certain conditions. We know that guessing it accurately is impossible. However, sometimes a discussion about the dynamics can be helpful, especially if we want to obtain a certain result. For example, a stable and advancing society.
I have already pinpointed some inherent problems with the system called Democracy. I also noted that replacing it with something else is not the preferable solution. So let’s see what else we may have at our disposal. Continue reading →