Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More than a month without posting - yikes

Things that I wanted to post about but haven't found the time:

- I have been following with interest where the water ends up from the major floods of the interior of Australia.

- I have made a connection between the emigration of non-trivial numbers of young, rich intelligent Indians to Australia (brain drain), and the hysteria in the Indian media over the relatively small risk of attack by racists in Australia on their students.

- How great Wii fit software is - addictive in a good way. Our whole family lines up to have a go at the game - keeping us more active.

- The paper-less post office. I have been noticing a dramatic decline in the number of physical letters being sent around.

- Insights into the future -


Anonymous said...

Well, I've been thinking this morning about that assassination in Dubai. If you're going to use fake passports to go do something dodgy, maybe there are good reasons to use the names of real people. But why pick real people who live in your country? This seems to make things a little too obvious for anyone following your trail. There seem to be two explanations why anyone would do this: (1) It was the easiest way to do things and they never expected they would get caught; or (2) they expected to get caught and wanted to send some sort of message. Now, (1) doesn't wash to me, because if you just had a collection of 26(!) agents that you wanted to get into Dubai on the sly, and those agents were a not overwhelmingly unrepresentative slice of Israeli society, there would be plenty out of 26(!) who could more convincingly pass as Russians, or Arabs, or Americans, than as Europeans/Australians. Maybe the fancy gee-whiz American biometric passports were a problem. But there are a lot of citizens of friendly Arab states and a lot of Russians staying at luxury hotels in the UAE, and a lot of Israelis with much better Arabic or Russian than English, and you'd think Jordan (say) and Russia would have relatively easy passports to forge...
Which leaves (2) - but what possible reason would *Israel* have for going out of its way to provoke a whole bunch of 'friendly'
Western countries?

So here is my morning conspiracy theory: it wasn't Israel at all, but a plot to lay a very obvious trail to Israel for the assassination of someone - someone who perhaps knew too much about a certain other nation's dealings with Iran and nuclear proliferation- and cause trouble for Israel vis-a-vis these 'friendly' nations at a time when it is looking for support for stronger action against Iran. There is one world leader in particular I am thinking of, one with a background in spycraft and a history of assassinating people on foreign ground, who came to power partly as a result of a series of dubious 'terrorist attacks' in his own capital...

Remember, you heard it here first! Note that I am posting this anonymously ;)

Marco said...

I kind of agree with you, but it is probably as a result of my considerable conspiracy bias.

To explain, in situations such as these, where there is "obvious" motive (Israelis) but is also predictably counterproductive due to backlash, I am biased towards thinking that it was a conspiracy perpetrated by people who are ostensibly on the same side as the assassinated. This works the same for me when roles are reversed as in that other assassination we talked about a while back (which I voted as a French secret service possible connection)

I think, anonymous, you may have a different bias again - perhaps more along the lines that if it wasn't one murderous group of Islamic terrorists, it is probably another:)

Anonymous said...

One more piece of evidence - for the past few weeks the faces of the assassins have been splashed across the front pages of the newspapers of the world, yet no-one has gone to the tabloids in Israel or elsewhere to say: 'I know him! That's Yossi Liebowitz, we played volleyball together in Petah Tikvah in the late 90s...'

What is more likely, that everybody in Israel or the vast Israeli diaspora who happens to know any of these people has been intimidated into not talking to the press, or, everyone who might have played volleyball with them in the late 90s lives in Russia?

Dr. Clam said...

If you aren't careful, you'll do it again! :P

Here is an old critique of 'Star Wars' that fits in beautifully that Androo and I wrote, a long long time ago, that I can't seem to find in cyberspace at the moment.

I am feeling guilty about surviving on money extorted from others by force... maybe this feeling will grow and I will find myself obligated to move to the private sector.

Chris Fellows said...

Is blogging a dying art? A fad whose 15 minutes have come or gone? A bump on the information superhighway as human thought is compressed into microbursts containing as few characters as possible? Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear? The word verification is 'harati' which Google tells me is Sanskrit for 'annihilates'. It also tells me there is a Harati High School in Isfahan. And a Harati Hotel in Katmandu. There's no excuse for being ignorant about anything anymore.

Chris Fellows said...

The word verification is 'factinel' so I have to make another comment, that is just such a beautiful almost word. There seems to be a Factinal S. A. in Montevideo, but that's it. I imagine a 'factinel' as a delicate, beautiful fluttery version of a factoid- part factoid, part nightingale. YMMV.

Chris Fellows said...

Er, that 'Factinal S. A.' should be 'Factinel S. A.', naturalmente! The word verification for this post is 'brumer' which seems to be a common name presumably Yiddish in origin from the fact that the top Googlees are lawyers in Miami, an Israeli footballer, and ladies named 'Miriam' and 'Rachel'. These are the top scientific papers with co-authors named Brumer according to Google: "Baumann, Eklöf, Michel, Kallas, Teeri, Czjzek and Brumer (2007) Structural evidence for the evolution of xyloglucanase activity from xyloglucan endo-transglycosylases: Biological implications for cell wall metabolism. Plant Cell, 19, 1947-1963."; "Chaos and Correspondence in Chaotic and Quantum Hamiltonian Ratchets: A Heisenberg Approach", J. Pelc, J. Gong and P. Brumer, Phys. Rev. E 79.
(I note that P. Brumer, of the second paper, is wearing a tres pretentious rakish black beret in his photo on his university website. I gotta get me one of them.)

Chris Fellows said...

'adworam'- the #1 Google result of which is on p.133 of Googlebooks "Orkneyinga saga: sive, Historia Orcadensium By Jón Jónsson, Grímur Jónsson Thorkelín, Arnamagnæanske stiftelse"

Are you in Tasmania?

If you cannot access a computer, make the international standard hand gesture for 'Look out! You are ignoring Hayek's limited knowledge problem!' now...