It's not enough to bash in heads, you have to bash in minds
            

RIP John Parry Barlow

Last week John Perry Barlow (co-founder of the EFF) passed away at the age of 70

Cindy Cohn at the EFF has published a memorable eulogy:

It is no exaggeration to say that major parts of the Internet we all know and love today exist and thrive because of Barlow’s vision and leadership. He always saw the Internet as a fundamental place of freedom, where voices long silenced can find an audience and people can connect with others regardless of physical distance.

Barlow was sometimes held up as a straw man for a kind of naive techno-utopianism that believed that the Internet could solve all of humanity’s problems without causing any more. As someone who spent the past 27 years working with him at EFF, I can say that nothing could be further from the truth. Barlow knew that new technology could create and empower evil as much as it could create and empower good. He made a conscious decision to focus on the latter: “I knew it’s also true that a good way to invent the future is to predict it. So I predicted Utopia, hoping to give Liberty a running start before the laws of Moore and Metcalfe delivered up what Ed Snowden now correctly calls ‘turn-key totalitarianism.’”

Eroded Beauty

Antelope Canyon X – Page Arizona

Lower and upper Antelope Canyon might be swarming with tourists, but Antelope Canyon X remains almost empty.

It is like stepping into another world.

Horseshoe Bend

It might be a cliché, but this is MY cliché

Horseshoe Bend Sunset
Horseshoe Bend First Light

Back off!

Back off!
Sandhill Crane – George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

The Paris Agreement withdrawal

John Oliver gives a great summary of why Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement makes absolutely no sense

Or as David Roberts puts it:

An agreement cannot be both nonbinding and draconian (Spoiler: Paris is the former)

Early on in the speech, Trump said: “Thus, as of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country.”

This made me laugh out loud when I first heard it. I still get a kick out of it.

The Paris climate agreement… is voluntary. Participating countries determine their own targets and their own policies. They can, at any time, revise those targets and policies. They can fail to meet the targets, without penalty. When Trump says “nonbinding” … that’s what nonbinding means. There are no legal bonds…

So how, then, if there are no threatened penalties, and the US is free, within the agreement, to implement whatever policies it wants … can the agreement also “impose … draconian financial and economic burdens”?

The answer: It cannot. That sentence makes no f’ing sense, even internally. The chances that the logical dissonance troubled Trump for even a microsecond seems, however, remote.