Archive for the Politics Category

Looks like the following quote is acceptable content under current Mozilla Planet’s policy, and a rather pertinent answer to this now extremely popular post:

“The irony of religion is that because of its power to divert man to destructive courses, the world could actually come to an end. The plain fact is, religion must die for mankind to live. The hour is getting very late to be able to indulge in having in key decisions made by religious people. By irrationalists, by those who would steer the ship of state not by a compass, but by the equivalent of reading the entrails of a chicken. George Bush prayed a lot about Iraq, but he didn’t learn a lot about it. Faith means making a virtue out of not thinking. It’s nothing to brag about. And those who preach faith, and enable and elevate it are intellectual slaveholders, keeping mankind in a bondage to fantasy and nonsense that has spawned and justified so much lunacy and destruction. Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings who don’t have all the answers to think that they do. Most people would think it’s wonderful when someone says, “I’m willing, Lord! I’ll do whatever you want me to do!” Except that since there are no gods actually talking to us, that void is filled in by people with their own corruptions and limitations and agendas. And anyone who tells you they know, they just know what happens when you die, I promise you, you don’t. How can I be so sure? Because I don’t know, and you do not possess mental powers that I do not. The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the big questions is not the arrogant certitude that is the hallmark of religion, but doubt. Doubt is humble, and that’s what man needs to be, considering that human history is just a litany of getting shit dead wrong. This is why rational people, anti-religionists, must end their timidity and come out of the closet and assert themselves. And those who consider themselves only moderately religious really need to look in the mirror and realize that the solace and comfort that religion brings you actually comes at a terrible price. If you belonged to a political party or a social club that was tied to as much bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, violence, and sheer ignorance as religion is, you’d resign in protest. To do otherwise is to be an enabler, a mafia wife, for the true devils of extremism that draw their legitimacy from the billions of their fellow travelers. If the world does come to an end here, or wherever, or if it limps into the future, decimated by the effects of religion-inspired nuclear terrorism, let’s remember what the real problem was that we learned how to precipitate mass death before we got past the neurological disorder of wishing for it. That’s it. Grow up or die.”
― Bill Maher, Religulous

NSA endorses NoScript
Some weeks ago I read on Forbes’ technology blog that

Access Now, a non-profit that’s focused on digital civil liberties in the Middle East, has published a concise guide to staying safe online, aimed at “citizens in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond.”
[…]
Aside from the usual advice about running antivirus, using strong passwords, and staying wary of USB drives, it delves into a few less obvious practices:

  • Run the NoScript plug-in for Firefox, which can block scripts on Web pages that you don’t authorize.

I don’t know if this puts me in any middle-eastern dictator’s blacklist, but it seems “internet security guides” with various political spins are flourishing, and they obviously share most of their endorsements, no matter the ideology.

USA’s National Security Agency (NSA) is doing its part as well, as I found out yesterday: look at page 7 (“Enhanced Protection Recommendations”) of this Best Practices for Keeping Your Home Network Secure PDF…

Amazing coincidence, just a few hours earlier my own NSA project had exited “stealth mode” to official become NoScript 3.0a1 for Firefox Mobile.
Adventurous Android Alpha (AAA) testers are welcome :)

I’m quite surprised (albeit happy) to see a capitalist corporation actually contributing to social progress, and with a politically bold move, rather than with the usual hairy tax-deductible alms.

But after all Mozilla itself is a foundation, but a corporation too, isn’t it?

Interesting times we’re living in…

I’ve always considered myself a quiet non-believer, because atheism as a public militancy seemed useless to me, but now I’m changing my mind. The reactionary insolence of the catholic church needs to be answered with the insolence of lively intelligence, of reason, of the responsible word. We can’t let the truth to be offended everyday by the self-proclaimed representatives of god on earth, whose only real interest is power. The church doesn’t care about the destiny of souls, what it has always pursued is control over the bodies. Reason can be an ethics. Let’s use it.”

José Saramago, interviewed by Paolo Flores D’Arcais on the October 14th 2009 issue of “Il Fatto Quotidiano”.

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