A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for October 2007

Protected: [NON BLOG] More on the laptop

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Written by Randy McDonald

October 27, 2007 at 7:19 pm

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Protected: [NON BLOG] All wired up

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Written by Randy McDonald

October 27, 2007 at 7:15 pm

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[LINK] “Will the Soviet Union Survive to 1984?”

John Reilly’s The Long View linked to a substantially excerpted version of Soviet dissident Andrei Amalrik‘s Will the Soviet Union Survive to 1984? (1, 2). As Wikipedia notes, Will the Soviet Union Survive to 1984?, predicted Soviet reform through the slow-motion collapse and discrediting of the current regime.

“If…one views the present “liberalization” as the growing decrepitude of the regime rather than its regeneration, then the logical result will be its death, which will be followed by anarchy.”

Amalrik predicted that when the breakup of the Soviet empire came it would take one of two forms. Either power would pass to extremist elements and the country would “disintegrate into anarchy, violence, and intense national hatred,” or the end would come peacefully and lead to a federation like the British Commonwealth or the European Common Market.

As Reilly notes, though Maoist China never managed to occupy the eastern Soviet Union after a long drawn-out Sino-Soviet war, Amalrik did get quite a few of the details right.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 25, 2007 at 11:59 pm

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Written by Randy McDonald

October 25, 2007 at 11:38 pm

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[BRIEF NOTE] Quebec Citizenship

The debate on the establishment of a distinct Québec citizenship regime (see The Globe and Mail, Montreal Gazette seems to have taken a fairly illiberal turn, not least since it isn’t altogether clear whether it would be possible for a Québec citizenship regime to establish different legal status for Canadian citizens based on their province of birth. Bavarian citzenship in Germany comes closest to what’s being proposed right now, but practically speaking it seems to be useless in the face of the existence of a common regime of civil and political rights for all German citizens across Germany.

Does anyone know off-hand of other subnational citizenship regimes and how they work?

Written by Randy McDonald

October 24, 2007 at 8:26 pm

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[MUSIC] Kanye West, “Stronger”

As detached as I am from the pop charts, I hadn’t heard anything of Kanye West’s latest number one single, “Stronger”, until finfin pointed out last night that the video quotes extensively from the very enjoyable if retrofuturistic anime Akira. (The song itself samples Daft Punk’s Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” quite heavily.) I enjoyed both song and video, and you all?

Written by Randy McDonald

October 24, 2007 at 8:20 pm

[LINK] “In Spain, the Catholic church loses battle to prevent a member from leaving the fold”

Via chrishansenhome, Victoria Burnett’s International Herald Times article “In Spain, the Catholic church loses battle to prevent a member from leaving the fold” tells the story, the most significant portions of which are excerpted below.

The National Court ruled that the archdiocese of Valencia, in eastern Spain, should note in its baptismal records that Manel Blat González, a 41-year old union worker, had left the church. The decision is a symbolic blow to the church, which faces a dwindling flock and disenchantment among a once-devout people who see it as increasingly out of step with modern life.

Blat, who was baptised 40 years ago, sent several applications to the church to have his name expunged from baptismal records after he became disillusioned by what he saw as the church’s narrow attitudes. Blat, who is gay, said he was particularly angered by the church’s stance on same-sex marriage, which is legal in Spain.

“I felt I was part of an organization that neither wanted nor respected people like me,” Blat said in a telephone interview. “The church doesn’t represent my values.”

The archdiocese refused Blat’s request, arguing that baptismal records were historic documents that could not be altered. Blat turned to Spain’s Data Protection Agency, which sued the archdiocese on the basis that all data collected about private individuals should be kept up to date and conserved for as long as strictly relevant. The archdiocese appealed a ruling in the data protection agency’s favor in May last year, but the appeal was dismissed Oct. 10. A spokesman for the Valencia archdiocese said it was studying the ruling and may appeal before Spain’s Supreme Court.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 24, 2007 at 8:15 pm

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