Maand: juni 2008

Lessing, Doris: Shikasta

Rating:  Dit is niet één boek, maar de eerste van een serie van 5 boeken (!) die Doris Lessing geschreven heeft in een science fiction format. Sommige van haar eerdere werken neigden al een beetje naar dit format, maar met Shikasta is zij er volledig ingedoken. In het nawoord heeft zij ook het beste betoog geschreven dat ik ooit gelezen heb om de waarde van science fiction aan te tonen. Het plaatje rechts is de hardcover editie die ik in mijn bezit heb, en die niet meer te krijgen is. Het...

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The end of privacy

Of course, the famous quote from Scott McNealy, chairman and co-founder of Sun Microsystems, “you have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.”, has mostly been repeated out of context. But it created quite a stir at the time, almost a decade ago. Since then the situation regarding privacy has increasingly changed in a direction that most would describe as worse. I am not sure I would – although it certainly is not an easy subject and I hope not to simplify it too much in this blog. But...

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Back to the Future for Smalltalk

Attributes of Smalltalk As many of the Smalltalk community know, Smalltalk was originally designed to be a multi-headed beast for the Xerox Alto and other personal computers incubated at the Learning Research Group at Xerox: operating system development environment applications But, of course since it all was Smalltalk, there were quite a few differences with “modern” operating systems and all such, no matter if we are talking Microsoft Windows here or Linux. The entire environment...

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Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Illustration by Guy Billout Is Google Making Us Stupid? This article by Nicholas Carr struck me as an article that touches on an important subject that in a way feels denied or neglected in our society. I am convinced of the fact that our thinking is morphed by our actions, specifically our way of dealing with language. Language is to me the mechanism that synchronises our inner world with the world outside us. Human beings specifically, but life in general, are mirror-beings. We mirror the outside...

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Embryo selection worries

A hot topic in The Netherlands at the moment is embryo selection. This is the use of a technology to detect “genetic defects” in embryos in a very early stage of development. This could then lead to destroying those “defect” embryos before implanting. The discussion has escalated to the political arena, because the state secretary responsible for legislation in public health, Bussemaker, has made some peculiar moves in the past few weeks: first she accepted the use of this...

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