Tuesday, June 25, 2013

You are slowly dementing

In our lives over the last 20 years many new electronic products have successfully been introduced. We have embraced them and integrated them in our daily lives. But we never seriously contemplated the side effects and long term consequences.
Now that we have life very much dominated by these electronic products, we have strong reasons not to want to know what are those side effects and consequences. Because if we did truly realize them, we would have to give up to use a cell phone, play computer games, use Facebook, etc.

Frequent television viewing, hours spent at playing computer and violent video games, making incessant phone calls and SMS-texting, the reckless dissemination of personal feelings, thoughts and photos on networking sites like Twitter and Facebook have a negative impact on feelings, thoughts, behavior and social contacts of children and adolescents.
Reputed media scientists and responsible educators, juvenile judges and sorely tried parents of internet-addicted teenagers have been drawing people’s attention to the adverse effects of excessive media use for two decades now.
And now we have Manfred Spitzer.
He is a neuroscientist and medical director of the Psychiatric University Hospital in Ulm, Germany.
Professor Spitzer has collected the scientific evidence on the subject of the consequences of having technological inventions deeply integrated in our lives and his conclusion is: it all drives us and our children mad.
In his book “Digital Dementia” Professor Spitzer explains in a scientific and detailed way how he comes to this conclusion.
What is shocking about “Digital dementia” is that it is not a nutty professor claiming this: Professor Spitzer has collected all the information now available and anybody learning this will have to come to the same conclusion.
We drive ourselves mad and allow the same thing to happen to our kids.

This the world has never seen. But in the end we are all individuals. Every electronic device can be switched on. And can be turned off. It’s all up to you.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Distrusting doctors

Imagine you become sick. What it is we will disclose: that is your private bussiness, true? You go to a hospital and you meet a doctor. He asks what is the problem and wants to know every detail. In order to be able to decide on a diagnosis and consequently a treatment. He writes down those details you revealed. Maybe in a hesitant way, as it can be embarassing, but, hey, it is a doctor and he is bound to secrecy and the oath of Socrates, isn’t he?

Well, we have created a society where we cannot count on secure intimacy and privacy anymore. Not even from a doctor.
The doctor makes a file on you in his computer and this file is stored on the server of the hospital.
The agreement is that only those who treat you, have access to your delicate medical information you were so confident to reveal.
In the Netherlands is a special office called the CBP (College Bescherming Persoonsgegevens): it is a neutral institution safeguarding and checking the privacy of the Dutch citizens.
This CBP went to nine hospitals to check how safe personal data of the patients was.
In not one hospital it was safe. Not one hospital had a security system making their data base safe from illegal visitors.
The CBP found examples of a woman who worked in the hospital who checked in the hospital data base what was the reason her neighbor was ill. Or a student checking the data base for the health situation of her fellow students.

An intriguing result of the CBP was also that they found that the hospitals are actually able to protect data of their patients. The adequately protected data is of patients who are on the Board of the hospital or who are VIP’s.
CBP concludes that if the 9 hospitals are failing in protecting the privacy and intimacy of their customers, all hospitals in the Netherlands will have a similar failing system.

It is this kind of news that should be shocking because it undermines confidence. Many people believe in the integrity of doctors and now they must conclude that this beautiful opinion has to be reversed.
Instead a doctor must be distrust or you must not mind basically anybody might know of your illness. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Intimacy and privacy intruded by the NSA

An art-project like “What the world has never seen” is much more than only an expression of artistic abilities. Although nowadays form is the only thing curators focus on when making selections for exhibitions and purchases for collections, with “What the world has never seen” we find a combination of form ànd content.
It is not only about the style of the “What the world has never seen”-pictures, but also about what these images tell us.
For two years now “What the world has never seen” creates artistic value but at the same time is linked to what threatens our privacy and intimacy. All the people who during the last two years could not be waken up by this important message of “What the world has never seen”, got a shock when recently the PRISM-program of the American NSA was revealed. On a large scale persons outside the USA have been illegally tapped and monitored by the American  NSA. These persons were robbed of their privacy and intimacy and this was not done by an enemy, but by a country that propagates democracy, liberty, civil rights and pretends to be an ally and friend.

In Europe we have the Euro-commissioner Viviane Reding responsible for Justice. She has now the opinion that personal data of the Europeans must be legally protected as soon as possible.
Mrs. Reding considers this protection a fundamental right. That is very beautiful but how come for years the Americans could sniff at Europeans, even checking what they were doing with their bank-accounts?

This recent revelation of PRISM proves how relevant “What the world has never seen” is. It turns out that Viviane Reding knew about PRISM and that she has been discussing this subject with American authorities in the past. Only after Edward Snowden, the whistleblower on PRISM, revealed publicly the amazing facts of the illegal activities of the American Government, only then did Reding publicly oppose and condemn these activities.
Because Viviane Reding is concerned about public opinion. An outrage by Europeans is damaging to her position and career. Therefore, the more people are aware, conscious, know the facts, respect, protect and defend their rights, their privacy, their intimacy, will politicians do what is good for our lives.

See: www.whattheworldhasneverseen.com
And: www.whattheworldhasneverseen.wordpress.com

Friday, June 7, 2013

The drowned mouse

Alfredo felt embarrassed. He was feeling proud he had invented a successful mouse trap. And he was pleased to get the attention. His long time friend Miguel showing interest and even making pictures of his genial trap. But then no mice walked the tightrope to try to reach the banana luring in the centre of the bucket half filled with water.

So, yesterday Alfredo changed strategy. He filled TWO buckets with water and equipped them as a trap.This time not with banana, but with a piece of cheese. Placed them around his rancho house.

And indeed, this morning proudly he announced that in one of the buckets a dead mouse could be found.

The eager mouse. It was lured by the cheese to step on the tightrope, to lose balance, fall down into the water and not finding any stairs to climb out of the pool. The death of the mouse must have been terrible. Having left the family behind in the mouse house nearby, finding a delicious piece of cheese, only thing to do to carefully walk the tightrope and now finding oneself in a water pool with no safe exit. Swimming around in circles. Around and around slowly losing more and more energy and hope to survive this debacle. Sheer out of lack of physical energy, and maybe because all hope consumed, the mouse had to give up, got water in the lungs, couldn’t breath anymore and that was the dramatic and horrible end of its life. 
Alfredo proved his point. But it is not a happy point. For the mouse.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The failed Mexican murderer of mice

I could see it from his face this morning. Alfredo was standing in front of his rancho not looking as a winner. His sophisticated and clever mouse trap had not been successful. Not one mouse had been walking the tight rope to reach the delicious banana but to lose balance, fall into the water to have the last bath in the life.

According to Alfredo the reason why no mice are floating in the square bucket is that last night no mice came to visit his rancho. That might very well be, and Alfredo has a strong argument to plea for this supposition because the square bucket contains only water, but then we heard everywhere there was a plague of mice of biblical proportions in Baja California. And last night around the Fuso Szulc expedition vehicle parked not too far from Alfredo’s rancho, conventional mouse traps called “Victor” had been able to send two mice to heaven.
So, we may ask, what is going on here? Is Alfredo a genius or Napoleon?
Let’s give him one more chance: OK?
Tomorrow morning we return to see if mice read this blog or not. For the moment, keep yourself on stand-by. A new report will follow in this saga.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Mexican mass-murderer of mice

It has never seen before here in Baja California, Mexico. But in the southern part there is a plague of mice. Somehow these animals have multiplied in numbers never witnessed before. It is so bad that on warm nights when people are used to sleep outside, this is made impossible because mice crawl all over the innocent sleeper.

Alfredo Gonzales from Rancho Punta Boca del Salado has been thinking about it. And came up with an idea to get rid of the many mice invading his place. He has filled a square bucket with water. He took a thick wire and slid a piece of banana to the centre of it. This wire he mounted in two holes on either side of the bucket. The bucket he placed next to a wall where he knows many mice make nightly walks.

His theory is that the mice smell the banana. They probably see it even with their night vision eyes. They will decide to reach the banana walking like a performer on a tightrope. But, according to Alfredo, they will lose their balance, fall into the water and drown.
In this way he believes he will eliminate the number of mice in his area seriously.
In a next blog we will report how successful Alfredo has been.

In the Bible we find the story of the seven plagues. And we read how the people of Israel suffered. But from what we witness here at the rancho of Alfredo and him experiencing a plague is inventiveness. Creativity, clear thinking, cleverness.
One of the plagues in Egypt were locusts. If we believe the Bible it was terrible. But does this mean there has not been one man like Alfredo in those days? Someone who discovered that a locust is actually an animal full of proteins. That it can be caught with nets, grilled, roasted and served as healthy, rich and delicious food?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Shoot the rabbit, not your neighbour

Dominating on the Internet worldwide is Google. Anyone using the Internet hardly can avoid notto use one or more services of Google. In this they are very successful. Many of the services Google offers are very handy and convenient and billions of people make use of them. And that pays off. Says Google CEO Larry Page: “Revenues were up 36 percent year-on-year, and 8 percent quarter-on-quarter. And we hit $50 billion in revenues for the first time last year”.
 That is all very fine, but Google is like a company selling rifles of which they say to shoot rabbits only and not people. Because recently, May 25, 2013, at the Hay Festival Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt has said: 
 “Teenagers can no longer grow up without being reminded of their mistakes because a full record of their lives is now stored on the internet.  There are situations in life that it’s better that they don’t exist. Especially if there is stuff you did when you were a teenager. Teenagers are now in an adult world online. Society has always had ways of dealing with errant teenagers by a process of punishment and then allowing them to grow up away from their mistakes. They grow up out of it and become fine, upstanding leaders, but the current generation of teenagers could now be haunted by their youthful mistakes. Some people’s sharing of personal information online has gone too far. They take things to overwhelmingly excessive levels”.
Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt talked yesterday in fact about intimacy. How this is degenerating, losing more and more its quality. 
It is encouraging that the message “What the world has never seen” is manifesting for over 2 years is now echoed by this important business leader. However, he also said Google is not going to do much about it: “We do not plan to censor unsavoury or offensive videos or messages on the internet”.
That is understandable and we applaud that their executive chairman at least expresses publicly a concern we share wholeheartedly.

Are we upgrading or downgrading?

Many people will have heard about “Les Misérables”. A very successful musical. This musical is based on a book with the same title written by the frenchman Victor Hugo in 1862.
It is an extraordinary book: the paperback version has 1463 pages. And what Victor Hugo has written on all those pages is more than extraordinary. Basically the whole book is about morality. As Victor Hugo calls it: the reasons of conscience. A good example is that in the last chapters, two of the several protagonists in the book, Marius and Cosette, marry and although Victor Hugo describes everything in detail and at length, he will not go as far as explain what happened during their wedding-night. He writes:
“The bride and groom disappeared. Here we stop. On the threshold of wedding nights stands an angle smiling, a finger to his lips.”
Recently, many people worldwide were reading a contemporary book titled “Fifty shades of grey” written by E.L. James. It is the best-selling book of all times in the U.K. with over 5,3 million copies sold. It is a most silly story of appalling writing and the reason why it is a success is the openness about which E.L. James writes about sexual activities by the two protagonists, often involving light forms of sadomasochism.
These two books compared: “Les Misérables” and “Fifty shades of grey”, one written in 1862 and the other written in 2010, explain a lot how intimacy has changed in the awareness and perception of many people. Victor Hugo saw a smiling angle on the threshold of wedding nights and stays outside not telling us anything. Some things of us should not be talked about, he implies. While for E.L. James there are no more thresholds and she describes endlessly scenes like how a weirdo guy roughs up a naked girl. James believes everything of us can be talked about.
What does this all tell us? One thing for sure: morality has changed. The reasons of our conscience have been replaced.
The question is: are we better off now?