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The Internet

'Electrohippies' Protest WTO 228

creativemeans writes "Yahoo! is running a story on electro hippies plotting to sabotage the WTO. Actually I'm just curious if anybody has a link to the electrohippie site. The idea is pretty revolutionary I guess, but I've considered the Internet the battle ground for freedom for a long time already. Maybe the next century will be like the 60s, but nobody will replace Jimi." Update by RM: Slur was the first to send in the electrohippies URL. Thanks!
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'Electrohippies' Protest WTO

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  • The thing about the WTO and similar organisations is the pathological secrecy that they operate under.

    Rather than close down the limited information flow it would be better to distribute the sub rosa stuff that they keep secret. The McLibel sites are a good example of this working (to some extent at least).
  • I was there, but I don't remember much of it. I do know that I don't want to relive it though.
  • They're at: http://www.gn.apc.org/pmhp/ehippies/
  • "If you remember the '60s, you obviously weren't there"
  • I agree somewhat....Using the internet to stop the flow of information is contrary to the ultimate goal of the 'electrohippies', it would seem. Use the internet to expose them if you don't like them. Stopping information from getting out of the conference just seems like a nuisance job, with no lasting effect - ultimately a waste of time and effort.
  • Although I'm not as paranoid about the WTO meeting as others are I do think many countries will try to hurt the US in the technology sector. They always do, after all the has become WTO more about the little guys banding together against the more powerful countries for the sake of trade (unofficially of course), and the bigger countries take part because they're scared about the little guys cutting off the flow of cheap labor. The big guys I'm talking about are the EU, Japan and the US. Everyone has something to gain if the US's technology exports are limited, except the US of course. The US may go along with it because we can't stand to not get our Nikes from Taiwan at $1.50 a pair. Remember, the US has delegates there too. Some of them even try to protect US industries. (those that don't get campaign money from china, that is)

    The biggest problem the US has at this meeting is over that of intellectual property. Over the last 30 years or so the US has become less of the industrial powerhouse it once was, relying more on sales of ideas. Or at least improved copies of things. The problem there is that the WTO hasn't really dealt with this yet (as much as they should at least) and the little guys find it as another way to get what they want from the big guys... mainly the US. The EU and Japan are against the US here too, because their tech industries would like a shove right now.

    Some delegates to the WTO want incredibly broad rights to intellectual property. Of course they do, patents = money. Who doesn't want money?

    -----
  • by Bearpaw ( 13080 ) on Tuesday November 30, 1999 @05:00AM (#1494377)
    I think the argument is that what the WTO releases is not information but disinformation. To whatever extent that's true, then blocking it is arguably not contrary to either the goals of the electrohippies, nor to the more general "information wants to be free" ethic. (Though I believe that in general countering disinformation is better than blocking it.)

    Of course, the ultimate goal of public protests -- whether like this or with more traditional methods -- is to raise awareness of opposing views ... which this has already done.

  • But trade doesn't exist in isolation, it exists in a social, moral, and environmental milieu.

    The large corporations, who exert most influence at the WTO, don't care about these things. After all they don't contribute to profits and may in fact reduce them.
  • Maybe I'm "too young to understand" (I'm right on the cusp, being 35), but why would anyone want to identify themselves as a hippie? To me, a hippie represents self-indulgent destructiveness. We're still suffering the damage that was caused by these self-titled "free thinkers". Not to say that everything that came out of the 60-70s was bad, but the "hippies" had very little to do with the good parts (OK, perhaps much of the music can be credited to hippies).

    By calling themselves hippies, is this supposed to create some sort of trust in me? If so, it has utterly failed in my case.

  • More lawyer crap. Big organizations that yammer about freedom of trade are usually not thinking the freedom of individuals to buy and sell to whomever they wish, and whatever they wish, but the freedom of corporations to have special privileges and to take away the normal freedom of individuals. They remind me of the British sugar merchants during the American Revolution who bitched when people smuggled in French molasses to avoid taxes:

    "The American derived his right of cheating the Revenue, and of perjuring himself, from the example of his fathers and the rights of nature...[and would continue to] complain and smuggle, and smuggle and complain, till all Restraints are removed, and till he can both buy and sell, whenever, and wheresoever, he pleases. Anything short of this, is still a Greivance, a Badge of Slavery." Charles Adams,
    For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization

    Damn straight.

    Hippies can rail all they want about how evil money is, and how evil the freedom of individuals to trade amongst themselves is. Meanwhile, these frigging control freaks speak forked tongue lawyerese instead of plain, simple language...understandable, if your goals are FUD and power over others' lives.

  • ... the fact that no one has refered to what they are doing (the Virtual Sit-in) as "Slashdot"ing the servers. That would lead to some embarasing explainations.
  • Living through something may impart special knowledge, but it doesn't mean that one automatically becomes an authority. I lived through the '60s, was exposed to both the positive and negative of the decade, and can't claim that I "understand" them, in any way than marginally more than I understand the '40s, when I was an infant, the '30s, which were before my time, or 1776. Rob wasn't around in the '60s. So what?
  • here's the address from a previous post, with html tags so's you don't have to do all that 'work' cutting and pasting. Don't eat the paste.

    http://www.gn.apc.org/pmhp/ehippies/ [apc.org]

  • I saw an interesting article recently about a plant used for generations in India as an analgesic. There was some trade in the plant, enough to employ a significant number of people.

    An American company (I am not being anti-American here, insert the name of any developed country) had taken the plant, extracted the active ingredient and patented it.

    The company had no intention of paying the native Indians, who presumably had prior art and would be made unemployed by the action of the company.

  • Sure it has a lot to do with intellectual property, but the WTO protests are more about keeping the environmental and labor legislative power out of the hands of the 500 or so global corporations that dominate the international trade scene. Insurrection is the only way to go.
  • It seems to me that if you shut down other people's web sites, you automatically become the bad guy. Whether you are in the right or not, if you go around harassing others who are trying to distribute information (whether by lawsuits, or by cracking their server), you come out looking like the guilty party.

  • This is a denial of service attack. Plain and simple.
    'Duh!', you say, 'and for a good cause.'
    I won't debate the merits of the World Trade Organization. That's for you to decide.
    I will, however, point out that this is a Really Bad Thing to do. In the good old days, a sit-in only affected the business you were targetting. This affects all of us who use the net.
    When colored folks sat down in a diner and refused the leave, the diner was the only business that was affected.
    When nutballs (er, concerned citizens) start a denial of service attack against the WTO's web page, that not only affects the WTO but also the usefulness of the entire net.
    That is wrong and short sighted. It will also have a meaningless effect on the conference.
    The news media love to shoot video of folks standing outside a building with signs. Can you see the nightly news doing a bar graph showing ping times to the WTO web site before, during and after the protest?
    I can't.

    In the meantime, don't slow down my net connection.

    InitZero
  • To me, a hippie represents self-indulgent destructiveness. We're still suffering the damage that was caused by these self-titled "free thinkers".

    Are you referring to the terrible damage the hippies caused in protesting the Vietnam war, applying sufficient political pressur to eventually force the US Government to cut its losses and pull out, thereby ending decades of sensless bloodshed?

    Or perhaps you refer to the untold damage the civil rights movement (supported in no small part by these "self indulgent hippies" of yore) has caused this country? Absolutely shameless, to demand that we adhere to the notion that "all men are created equal."

    Or is it the ACLU which is the subject of your ire, which owes no small part of its existence and continued support to hippies and aging ex-hippies, among others? Damn liberals, always insisting people have inalienable rights!

    Or is it the flooding of the workplace by those uppity women, who have since the sixties been insisting on equal employment opportunities and equivelent pay (which BTW they've yet to recieve)? Damn bitches, taking all those good jobs away from hard working, testosterone driven men!

    Perhaps it is free thought itself which offends you most. Goddamn non-conformist long hairs, saying things that contradict my world view and make me feel uncomfortable.

    Then of course, there are all those Marijuana Addicts, killing their families with axes! The Menance surrounds us, you might have read about it in the papers.[1]

    While it is your constitutional right to adhere to and promote political philosophies that are to the right of Gengis Khan, it is thankfully the constitutional right of the rest of us to openly laugh at and mock you for espousing such extreme views.

    [1]Paraphrased from the 1930's propoganda film "Reefer Madness."
  • by Saige ( 53303 ) <evil.angelaNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday November 30, 1999 @05:28AM (#1494392) Journal
    Sure it has a lot to do with intellectual property, but the WTO protests are more about keeping the environmental and labor legislative power out of the hands of the 500 or so global corporations that dominate the international trade scene. Insurrection is the only way to go.

    The WTO has been making some amazing claims as to what constitutes a "trade barrier". Often environmental and health laws fit into this territory - did you know that the WTO considered the whole "doplhin-safe tuna" thing in the US to be a trade barrier? Last I knew, companies weren't even allowed to advertise their tuna as dolphin-safe (though I haven't looked at a can of tuna to double check).

    There's nothing wrong with globalization. There are, however, numerous things wrong with the "backroom deal" method that the WTO is using.
    ---
  • Actually, the United States pharmasectical and technology lobbies were instrumental in pressing for the negiotiation of TRIPS (Trade Related-Aspects in Intellectual Rights Agreement) in the Uruguay Round in 1995

    In the final analysis TRIPs is actually very good for US technology exports, as it requires WTO nations to conform to arbitration resulting from IP disputes.

    In fact, as China gains entry into the WTO, US technology interests will have broader power to enforce disputes over intellectual property in a nation renowned for its flagrant abuse of patent abuse.

    TRIPs and the WTO are far from perfect, but I would argue that in the final analysis they are beneficial to U.S. technology interests
  • Agreed. WTO are a Good Thing(tm).

    Just because they're big, it doens't mean they're bad :)

    Mong.

    * Paul Madley ...Student, Artist, Techie - Geek *
  • The World Trade Organisation is getting in the neck simply
    because the issue of trade is linked in to so many other
    issues. Environmental damage, employee rights, GM food,
    food hygiene, all these headline issues are related to
    international trade.

    People like the electorhippies exist to protest on these
    and other similar issues - that's what they're for.
    Therefore they will protest whenever and wherever these
    issues are relevent _regardless_ of whether their protest
    is helping or hindering the resolution of these problems.
    They can always claim a moral high groudn for haveing
    'done something', however banal that something may have
    been.

    Surely if the global environment is going to be protected,
    the human rights of child labourers in third world countries
    are going to be protected, and fair trade and prosperity
    encouraged agreements made between the nations involved.
    Simply attacking this process is irresponsible and damaging,
    to jobs, economies, health, the environment and the
    aspirations of the weakest countries in the world. The
    alternative is to leave the most powerfull nations, such
    as the US and power blocks such as the EU, to carve up
    the global economy behind closed doors. Is that realy
    prefferable?

    This kind of protest is akin to terrorism, it doen't
    progress the goals of the perpetrators and in fact galvanises
    their opponents to resist legitimate lobbying.

    The orriginal post taked about using the net to advance freedom.
    What freedom? The freedom to attack our economies, wreck
    environmental reform and damage the wider acceptance of human
    rights? What about the freedom to trade, to work whenre and for
    whom you want to? The freedom to invest in emerging third world
    economies and strengthen trade ties between former foes?

    Surely communication between the world powers on trade and all
    it's related issues shoudl be encouraged and supported. Which
    do you prefer, the WTO or the Cold War?


    Simon Hibbs
  • The WTO is not some sort of secret organisation, like SMERSH or something! It's a force for good. Read an economics text book and wise up.

    I'm not sure what McLibel had to do with the WTO either. Unless it would be "useless wasters sponging off state handouts try to attack the USA by pretending to be for the environment." (I'm British by the way)

    If you don't the the WTO, raise it with your elected government representative that forms a part of the organisation.
  • Strange, "The system cannot find the file specified", but it's not formatted like any web error message I've ever seen.

    D

    ----
  • i agree that this probabally wont solve anything because they are protesting to the wrong people. they should maybe protest US government sites instead, after all it is the US government that is abiding by the WTO's guidelines.

    however i think this type of protest is a good thing. granted it sucks if you are on the wrong side of the stick, but it does intice companies/organizations to act ethically otherwise the majority of people out there will slashdot your web page. :)

    "The importance of using technology in the right way has never been more clear." [microsoft.com]
  • Possibly you should take a break from sniffing glue and reconsider whether or not this type of Denial of Service attack affects more than just the site it's aimed at.

    What the Ehippies (okay, so the name is weak) are advocating is basically a concious "slashdotting" of a particular server. It is not some heavily overdone SYNflood or UDPstorm and as such isn't going to have much of an impact on anything but the WTO's servers and the segments very near to it, of which I am *certain* you are not on.

    ...and if you want your porn faster, get a cablemodem and quit wasting time complaining about what other people do with the internet, cluebie.
  • I can't seem to reach http://www.gn.apc.org/pmhp/ehippies/ - it seems they've been slashdotted.

    From what I've read from other posts of what was on that site, it seems a fair turn on them. It's the Karma - don't threaten DOS if your server isn't any better ...
  • I'm terribly sorry that this is your definition of `hippie'. I call myself one with pride.

    To me, a hippie is someone who places trust in friends, knows right and wrong, knows how to fight for the former and avoid the latter, and will (generally) do The Right Thing(TM).

    I guess hippies grew up a bit after the Seventies (disco; what were we thinking?!?!?) and Eighties (Greed is Good).

    Anyhoo, my parents were hippies back in the day, as it were, and I guess I'm loosely following in their footsteps (I'm 22).

    How does that adage go? Something about judging a book or something (y'know, I'm too high on pot and flower power to remember (for the humor-impared, that was sarcasm, and it was intended to be nice sarcasm)).

    Jedi Hacker (Apprentice) and Code Poet
  • I tried both Netscape (which gave me same the error message you got) and IE5.0; IE gave me a simple 404 error.

    Hopefully the web page went down with Slashdot effect, and not because of police intervention. Then again, with the world becoming the place it is, who knows.........

    The Kulturwehrmacht [onelist.com]
  • "it is thankfully the constitutional right of the rest of us to openly laugh at and mock you for espousing such extreme views."

    It is also our right to educate and to forgive. It is also our right to illustrate ignorance, so that others may not be so blind.
    It is also our right to remember that we are all human beings, and that we all fall short at some point.

    None (save the Buddah) are enlightened.

    Put down the flamethrower, brother.


    Jedi Hacker (Apprentice) and Code Poet
  • I had a flashback of a time in 1969. I was OD green and I think I recall that I asked, "Oh, Man. How did I get here and who are these guys?'.

    1999 - live, CNBC (tv) is running stories about how secure the WTO meetings are. The cool people are dancing for the media and it looks so staged. The reporter spits out bytes on how the entire place is under control of the anti-terrorist cops and that trouble makers are being rounded up before they get too close. Sorry folks, the cops/fbi/other countries cops, are not going to put up with much trouble. Any protest marchers on TV will be staged for the media.

    A cyber battle with the WTO is inconsequential (and unhealthy), the cyber cops are there too. -d

  • by MillMan ( 85400 ) on Tuesday November 30, 1999 @06:09AM (#1494413)
    Unless you're really really rich, and want to get richer. They scare me more than the US government, be cause they have the power to overrule laws of any member country that get in the way of "competition". This includes labar and environmental laws. The web page below has a number of articles on the WTO as well as photos of some of the demonstrations going on. Seattle doesn't look like a happy place at the moment.

    http://www.zmag.org/CrisesCurEvts/Globalism/Glob alEcon.htm
  • I find this passage useful for thinking about protest marches.

    From The Unbearable Lightness of Being:

    A year or two after emigrating, she happened to be in Paris on the anniversary of the Russian invasion of her country. A protest march had been scheduled, and she felt driven to take part. Fists raised high, the young Frenchmen shouted out slogans condemning Soviet imperialism. She liked the slogans, but to her surprise she found herself unable to shout along with them. She lasted no more than a few minutes in the parade.

    When she told her French friends about it, they were amazed. 'You mean you don't want to fight the occupation of your country?' She would have liked to tell them that behind Communism, Fascism, behind all occupations and invasions lurks a more basic, pervasive evil and that the image of that evil was a parade of people marching by with raised fists and shouting identical syllables in unison. But she knew she would never be able to make them understand. Embarrassed, she changed the subject.

  • by Leareth ( 25555 )
    Not to be to off topic... but who is Jimi ?

  • Most of the people I've met that call themselves "hippies" have been nothing more than kids who buy tie-dye shirts and Grateful Dead CD's at the mall with Daddy's gold card, sit around, watch TV, and tell each other how cool they are. Real activists I have some respect for (even if I don't agree with all their views), but if they were ever more than a tiny subset of the "hippie" movement, that time is long past. Why a modern protest movement would want to saddle itself with that kind of lame nostalgia is beyond me.
  • by MAXOMENOS ( 9802 ) <maxomai.gmail@com> on Tuesday November 30, 1999 @06:29AM (#1494423) Homepage
    Apparently, they're anti-freedom protesters, attempting to block the free flow of information and preserve preferential policies that favor a few special interests...

    Of course. As opposed to the delegates at the WTO, who are there to meet on strengthening intellecual property rights (that is, blocking the free flow of information) and removing such barriers to free trade as environmental and labor laws, on behalf of major corporations (read as a few special interests).

    What's even better is, if you don't like what the WTO is doing, you can't even elect a different WTO. They're beholden to corporations and a few government officials, not to the people.


    The Kulturwehrmacht [onelist.com]
  • I have to say that I find myself in two minds about the WTO. On the
    one hand I believe that, in the long run, free trade is a good thing
    for all parts of the world, rich and poor alike. An organisation like
    the WTO is needed in order to prevent national governments natural
    tendencies to succumb to special interest bargaining.

    On the other hand I have to say I don't like the WTO's conduct or
    the way these treaties are negotiated. The The EU's ban on hormone
    treated beef may have been against free trade, but it was undoubtedly
    mitivated by a genuine concern for consumers health. The WTO ruling
    took no account of this. Similarly the negotiations on the MAI
    (mulitlateral agreement on investments) are deeply unopen.

    People's fears about the effects of globalisation are real: some
    people do lose jobs as a result of cheap imports, and so the arguments
    about trade really should be made in the open. Maybe making trade
    negotioations more open will slow down the adoption of free trade
    measures. Even so, I think it is better than undermining democratic
    institutions in the way they do now.

  • It _is_ contrary to the "information wants to be free" ethic. The whole point of that ethic is that it allows the reader to see all the facts necessary to make the decision _for_ _himself_ about which is the "information" and which is the "disinformation".
  • I have no argument with what you have said. However, what remains unsaid is I think important.

    Extreme views have a way of becoming legitimized through simple repetition if they are not countered and countered forcefully. Laughter, mockery, and the pointing out of their absurdity is an important tool in countering such viewpoints, and do serve to illustrate ignorance quite well. Education and forgiveness are also legitimate tools, but not exclusively so.

    I make no claims of enlightenment, beyond some level of common sense which appears to exceed that of the post to which I replied. My "flame" was quite mild, given the venom with which the original poster chose to demonize an entire demographic group and, in his response to my comments, an entire generation during which, ironically, some of the most important social changes and progress took place.

    If you have any doubts as to the original poster's extremety, may I refer you to his response [slashdot.org] to my comments? I leave it to any rational, dispassionate observer to draw their own conclusions at this point.
  • It's working fine now. It was merely slashdotted.
    Go nuts.


    The Kulturwehrmacht [onelist.com]
  • If you had read his bio (click on his name at the top of the article), you would have read this

    In 1960 he was, at one point, the second-youngest licensed amateur radio operator in the United States.

    If he was old enough to figure out a ham radio and get a license for it, (my guess is six at the absolute youngest, but most likely older) then he most certainly is old enough to remember a lot more than you are assuming.
  • I think we need to get over itand stop arguing about things which happened 30 years ago. This discussion is about the wto and what good, if any, it's doing to our environment and working conditions all over the world. The fact that ONE of the protest groups calls themselves (or is called by Yahoo news) electrohippies isn't really the point. There are probably hundreds of organizations down in Seattle today to protest the wto.
  • Ah, I see they're claiming that the Internet is a "military experiment" again. Correct me if I'm wrong, but just because the original research was funded by DARPA, this doesn't mean, and never has, that the Internet was developed as a military network. This urban myth has been floating around for decades. DARPA was a civilian agency which just happened to be paid for by the DOD and located in the Pentagon.

    This doesn't mean the Internet was, or ever has been, a military network. There have been sections connected to the Internet that were military (the MILNET springs to mind) but the original research was bluesky research of the type that DARPA existed to fund, not in any way aimed at direct military applications. The whole "being able to withstand a nuclear blast" thing is a myth.

    I find it hard to take seriously a group that protests against the spreading of disinformation while spreading disinformation itself.

    For references, see any half way decent book on the history of the 'net. I think I have my facts right above, but if not, please correct me.
  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Tuesday November 30, 1999 @06:49AM (#1494433)
    >...is wrong and short sighted. It will also have a meaningless effect on the conference.

    Amen.

    Civil disobedience does not give you the right to break laws in the advocacy of your cause and not expect repercussions. The point of civil disobedience is that while you're breaking the law, you're also willing to face up to your responsibilities as a citizen -- and you're therefore willing to suffer the consequences.

    If you're DOSsing WTO servers in the name of some hippie cause, you should be prepared to lose your internet connectivity at a minimum, and face criminal charges (with associated seizure of your computer equipment) at a maximum. When the dust settles, I'll still disagree with what you're doing, I'll still disagree with your politics, but at least I'll respect that you're willing to take the heat for your views. You're a whackjob, but you've got integrity.

    If, however, you're DOSsing WTO servers but not prepared to suffer these consequences, you're lame, just like a relay-raping spammer or a random script kiddie, and I look forward to laughing at your whining when your ISP cuts you off and (if you're in the US) the Feds show up at your door to haul your ass to jail.

    Sadly, I suspect that most of these "e-hippies" couldn't define civil disobedience with both hands and a flashlight, and fall in the latter category rather than the former. They choose to DOS attack WTO servers rather than express their views effectively because anything more complicated than spending 2 minutes setting up an infinite-reload script might actually require work on their part. Feh.

  • by megalobrainiac ( 97349 ) on Tuesday November 30, 1999 @06:54AM (#1494436)
    I found a passage in a novel that explains why mass actions like the electrohippie's 'electronic sit-in' have always given me the creeps--no matter how much I agree or disagree with the goals of the protesters. (And, in this case, I just don't know. Free trade is a Good Thing, and I am no enemy of globalization, but people have painted the WTO as both the apotheosis of big government and as a convenient mechanism for corporate interests to make an end run around meaningful debates on, say, intellectual property.) But even though the electrohippies aren't actually marching anywhere--

    From The Unbearable Lightness of Being:

    A year or two after emigrating, she happened to be in Paris on the anniversary of the Russian invasion of her country. A protest march had been scheduled, and she felt driven to take part. Fists raised high, the young Frenchmen shouted out slogans condemning Soviet imperialism. She liked the slogans, but to her surprise she found herself unable to shout along with them. She lasted no more than a few minutes in the parade.

    When she told her French friends about it, they were amazed. 'You mean you don't want to fight the occupation of your country?' She would have liked to tell them that behind Communism, Fascism, behind all occupations and invasions lurks a more basic, pervasive evil and that the image of that evil was a parade of people marching by with raised fists and shouting identical syllables in unison. But she knew she would never be able to make them understand. Embarrassed, she changed the subject.

    (I posted this as a reply above but, oops, I think it should be a toplevel comment.)
  • It isn't working now...
    --
  • What's typical is that liberals read what they want to read, not what's actually there.

    In my original post, I didn't "diss" everyone left of center, I dissed "hippies". In my follow up post, I dissed many philosophies left of center, not "all peoples".

    Exactly where did I say that everyone opposed to Vietnam approved of Jane Fonda? Please supply a quote. Jane Fonda was a well-known hippie, however. My point is that public opinion ended vietnam, whereas hippies often did more harm than good.

    And, of course, I never said that the ACLU is responsible for "all" of our educational problems. They are, however, responsible for many of them. (A much bigger target is the national teacher union, but that is off the subject).

  • That page seems to have been taken down, any mirrors available?
  • Maybe the protestors are similar to those of the 60's. But if they have their way, we're more likely to see conditions like those in the 30's. It's quite likely that the major cause of the Great Depression was the trade/tariff conflict that preceded it.

  • If this cyberprotest doesn't manage to shut the website down cold, then whatever OS the site is running on has one hell of an anecdote.....

    Maybe if we can get the electrohippies to code a Linux test site for us, we can use this same approach to simulate heavy Web traffic on, say, a Red Hat box with the new 2.4 kernel....


    The Kulturwehrmacht [onelist.com]
  • I knew we should of patented the Slashdot Effect!

    Rob, Jeff, You gotta think ahead! *GRIN*

  • did you think about that beofre your wrote it ?

    Are you trying to make out like the big guys have something to worry about ?

    Im sorry but your comments just reek of arogance.

    Technology is so powerfull, it can make a real difference to those that dont have it (e.g. communications), 2 and a half years ago i got told the total international network bandwidth for sri-lanka was 64Kb/s !

    And your worried that you might have to pay more for your sneakers?

    Yea, like all the little countries gang up and rip the international e-commerce market from the US.

    Dont worry mate, im sure you wont be out of pocket.
  • It _is_ contrary to the "information wants to be free" ethic. The whole point of that ethic is that it allows the reader to see all the facts necessary to make the decision _for_ _himself_ about which is the "information" and which is the "disinformation".

    All other things being equal, that would be true. But they aren't, so it ain't. It's just not that simple in the Real World.

    In some contexts -- and arguably in the context of the WTO and spreading corporatism -- information can be effectively driven out by disinformation. Information may want to be free, but just releasing it into the wilderness doesn't mean that it will be free.

    Again, in general I think it's better in the long run if disinformation is simply countered by information. But I have no illusions that it always works best that way.

  • Meaningless, kind of like "water wants to run downhill" or "genes want to reproduce"?

    It's not to be taken literally. If you want to get anal about it, the correct phrase would be "in any given information network, where there are few or no barriers to information flow, information will tend to distribute to the greatest possible extent until demand for that information is satisfied.

    Anyways, I much prefer Bruce Sterling's rebuttal: "Information wants you to give me a dollar".
    • Liberal: anyone who believes in: the environment, gay rights, women's rights, abortion rights, religious freedom (for more than the Christian Right), and/or an economic safety net.
    • Goddamn Stinking Liberal: anyone who can back up these beliefs with evidence, logic, or legal reasoning.
    • Radical: a Goddamn Stinking Liberal who acts on these beliefs, in order to affect social change.
    • Communist: a Radical without a suit.
    • Unballanced dangerous Communist: a Radical or Communist with a concealed carry permit and/or an NRA membership (or equivalent).
    • Terrorist: a Radical who ties up traffic for more than two minutes.
    • Treasonist: a Radical who disagrees with the government's policies as the government is implementing said policies will full vigor.

    The Kulturwehrmacht [onelist.com]
  • If you're looking at this only in the context about "little countries" vs "big countries", you're missing a very large part of the picture. Try also thinking about it in terms of the basic goals of multinational corporations, what results would strengthen their bottom lines, and how they might be able to influence those results.

    Follow the money.

  • Those trust fund kiddies playing rastafarian.
  • The US, at least US industry, is not who you should be worrying about when thinking about the WTO. The WTO is there pretty much to serve their interests, as should be evident from its makeup (any democratically elected delegates, apart from heads of state? anyone not representing corporate interests sitting on the various boards that settle 'trade disputes'?)

    The real worries (apart from intellectual property, which I'll get to in a moment) concern wages, health regulations, working conditions, child labor and environmental damage. Any protections that countries attempt to set up in these areas will be struck down by the WTO as 'trade restraints'. It's a lowest-common-denominator situation. If the EU has more effective regulations governing, say, car engine emissions, the US can claim that these regulations make things more difficult for American car manufacturers, and that therefore they constitute a trade barrier. And the WTO will tell the EU to lower their standards. Ditto health regulations, minimum wage legislation, etc. Things haven't quite gotten this bad _yet_, but that's where they're going (the WTO wants to resurrect the MAI - here's a quick link on that: http://mai.flora.org/mai-info/). That's why the protesters are there.

    Now, 'intellectual property' is a concept protected by the US because, as emmons noted, the US leads with 'ideas' - like software, and the entertainment industry. Being a leader in these industries, it wants (or rather, deep-pocketed companies want) to extend the protection of these industries. I said 'protection' because it is protectionism, disguised behind 'intellectual property' concerns... many articles on /. have demonstrated that 'intellectual property' is being warped beyond its original intent (to ensure that entities that come up with ideas are able to recoup their investment in doing so, and make some profit) to simply ensure that certain (American) companies can indefinitely rely on their cash cows (like Mickey Mouse et al).

    It's not about 'free trade'. It's about the various big players in the global market angling to set the rules to their advantage. What's different about the WTO is that it's allowing them to set the rules without much reference to little things like democracy or what might be best for everybody. If we allow them to do this, things will only get worse for the vast majority of the planet's population.

  • I live in Seattle and there are (according to police estimates on the local news) 3000-6000 protesters downtown. The city expects 50,000 people by weeks end. WAT teams and police in riot gear have blocked the streets near the Seattle Convention Center. They have built barricades using city busses, but protesters have climbed on top of the busses. Many downtown intersections have been "owned" by protesters, too, and traffic is blocked. There have only been a few arrests, but the news estimates that protesters outnumber police 10:1.

  • This is an eloquent passage. It's clear that you sympathize with the discomfort and unpleasantness this girl feels. Like Kundera, however, she is incapable of using her will to conquer this difficulty. What is the difficulty? I think for many, including myself, protest marches are difficult because you must subjugate yourself to the crowd. The words and slogans sound ridiculous coming from your own mouth.

    But why then, do hockey games and basketball games not elicit the same visceral shudder? After all, these events are basically "people marching by with raised fists and shouting identical syllables in unison." Are sports a "basic, pervasive evil"? I suppose it could be argued, but from a pretty cynically abstract point of view.

    Kundera seizes on the *form* of the protest march as oppressive, being the consummate aesthete that he is. I would suggest that protest and dissent makes you uncomfortable not because of the form per se, but because of the political necessity in these situations of subjugating your own desires (the desire to be liked, to be cool, to be 'successful', etc.) to a more anonymous and collective desire. Such a subjugation takes a great effort of will, my friend. Identifying how you can be a unique vessel for a truthful message is far more difficult than using weakly nostalgic old lech writers as the cover for your fears.

    People are mobilizing in hundreds of cities this week to protest the WTO. Granted, many of the
    demonstrations will be simplistic and over-earnest bore-fests. I agree that this is a problem. Shit should be exciting. But the political necessity is very real. The WTO can veto legislation retroactively if they find that it "hampers trade," and they can do it secretly. This is simply unprecedented, unless one thinks of the Dutch East India Company and its ability to declare war on nations. The WTO is actually far more effective I think. It is not one company, but a consortium of many companies from many nations.

    Lessee, Canada has nationalized health care? Why, that's a barrier to U.S. insurance companies who want to do business there! Hmm, France subsidizes its own filmmakers? Those protectionist jerks! Not giving Big Daddy and End of Days a fair chance in the market place, who do they think they are?

    You think these scenarios sound far-fetched? Think again. If your way of life depended on decisions made by the WTO (and it inevitably does, even if the consequences aren't clear yet), you might find it easier to develop the will necessary to get over your embarrassment at shouting as loud as you can in the streets. You think that's the road to totalitarianism? Well, you're entitled to your opinion. But I think you've got it backwards.
  • by Chromalon ( 25132 ) on Tuesday November 30, 1999 @08:11AM (#1494461) Homepage

    This is an eloquent passage. It's clear that you sympathize with the discomfort and unpleasantness this girl feels. Like Kundera, however, she is incapable of using her will to conquer this difficulty. What is the difficulty? I think for many, including myself, protest marches are difficult because you must subjugate yourself to the crowd. The words and slogans sound ridiculous coming from your own mouth.

    But why then, do hockey games and basketball games not elicit the same visceral shudder? After all, these events are basically "people marching by with raised fists and shouting identical syllables in unison." Are sports a "basic, pervasive evil"? I suppose it could be argued, but from a pretty cynically abstract point of view.

    Kundera seizes on the *form* of the protest march as oppressive, being the consummate aesthete that he is. I would suggest that protest and dissent makes you uncomfortable not because of the form per se, but because of the political necessity in these situations of subjugating your own desires (the desire to be liked, to be cool, to be 'successful', etc.) to a more anonymous and collective desire. Such a subjugation takes a great effort of will, my friend. Identifying how you can be a unique vessel for a truthful message is far more difficult than using weakly nostalgic old lech writers as the cover for your fears.

    People are mobilizing in hundreds of cities this week to protest the WTO. Granted, many of the demonstrations will be simplistic and over-earnest bore-fests. I agree that this is a problem. Shit should be exciting. But the political necessity is very real. The WTO can veto legislation retroactively if they find that it "hampers trade," and they can do it secretly. This is simply unprecedented, unless one thinks of the Dutch East India Company and its ability to declare war on nations. The WTO is actually far more effective I think. It is not one company, but a consortium of many companies from many nations.

    Lessee, Canada has nationalized health care? Why, that's a barrier to U.S. insurance companies who want to do business there! Hmm, France subsidizes its own filmmakers? Those protectionist jerks! Not giving Big Daddy and End of Days a fair chance in the market place, who do they think they are?

    You think these scenarios sound far-fetched? Think again. If your way of life depended on decisions made by the WTO (and it inevitably does, even if the consequences aren't clear yet), you might find it easier to develop the will necessary to get over your embarrassment at shouting as loud as you can in the streets. You think that's the road to totalitarianism? Well, you're entitled to your opinion. But I think you've got it backwards.
  • I'll answere this one for anoymous.

    What's typical is that liberals read what they want to read, not what's actually there.

    What is typical of the written word is for the reader to not only read the literal words, but to interpret their underlying meaning based on context and verbiage. When one is caught out making assertions or implications which are out of line, the typical defense is to deny any underlying meaning and insist on second-grade, literal interpretation of the words written, ignoring or playing down any context or common meaning of the verbiage employed.

    It is also very common for extremests to lump large, disparate groups of people together and assign to them attributes which they either do not possess at all, those only a small mintority of them possess, or those which all people possess with the implication that it is an attribute primarilly of that particular group (in this case "liberals"). This is generally coupled with denying any positive attributes said group may have, even those so obvious as to be common knowledge. Examples of this behavior include:

    "LOL! I can't believe how much credit you give to the whining middle class white children of the 60s."

    ("whining" is a negative attribute which is by no means unique to middle class white children of the hippies. Witness your own off-topic whining about the alleged impact of "hippies" on our current affairs.)

    "Women... again, you give credit where none is due, unless you count silly gestures like "burning bras" somehow got woman into boardrooms."

    (Here you state emphatically that the women's movement had little or no effect on the treatment of women and the opening of career opportunities previously denied them. To underscore this, you use a popularized image taken from a protest in an effort to imply the women were foolish, ineffectual, crazy, or all of the above, while ignoring both the importance of protest as a method for catalyzing social change and the fact that symbolic acts such as bra-burning were just that, symbolic.)

    I think it should be becoming clear to you why I and others do get the impression that you are espousing extreme views, based on your rhetoric. I could go on with further examples, but I think the rest of your comments more or less speaks for themselves, and I do not take much joy in tearing your words apart in such a public manner.

    Exactly where did I say that everyone opposed to Vietnam approved of Jane Fonda?

    "Vietnam war... there is no doubt that the hippies were part of it, but it was primarily the huge losses that changed public opinion. Public opinion, not "hippie opinion". Of course, we could bring up Jane Fonda, who called a bunch of prisoners "liars" for claiming they were tortured. I guess you think JF was a national hero?"

    While you did not state word for word that those "opposed to Vietname approved of Jane Fonda", you clearly make this implication in both the context with which you raise Jane Fonda and the assertion you then make regarding my beliefs in that context. (Not that it matters, but for the record I vehemently disagree with what she did. Being on the right side of an issue does not magically transform an ass into a saint, as she so very clearly demonstrated.)

    Your response will no doubt now be to use semantics to reduce the limit and scope of your assertions and their implications, now that I and others have spoken out against them, or to resort to additional ad hominim attacks against myself or others. Be my guest -- I think even those sympathetic to your political stance will see that for what it is. In the meantime, I have work to do.
    • Like "hacker", "nigger", or any other label, the word "hippie" has a wide and varied meaning depending on context, and can be positive or negative.
    • While the popular image of hippies as ones who would completely abolish the idea of privately owned property, many have in fact worked within that context of rights, seeking instead to empower individuals despite the various constraints placed upon them by nation-states, corporate entities and thieves, control freaks, etc. not already working for the latter groups: Co-ops, voluntary standards for organic foods, private/local currencies, fighting the War on Some Drugs from the FDA to the CIA, and more.
    • As another poster noted, much of the harm done by this sort of thing is in the secrecy. And as Justice Brandeis noted, "a little sunlight is the best disinfectant." They claim we have nothing to hide? Let's make sure their inner workings are given complete public exposure.
    The American Indians had a conception of property, just as Richard Stallman does. The difference between them and today's tribe of suits, pinks and lawyer-sharks that seek so much control and deep scrutiny over every last detail of the lives of "the rest of us" is, I think, readily apparent. Frank Zappa 's autobiography, "The Real Frank Zappa Book", noted:

    In every language, the first word after "Mama!" that every kid learns to say is "Mine!" A system that doesn't allow ownership, that doesn't allow you to say "Mine!" when you grow up, has -- to put it mildly -- a fatal design flaw.

    Actually, to be slightly closer, I think of Robert Fripp [discipline...mobile.com] as the Richard Stallman of the music world, and Frank Zappa as its Eric Raymond.

    Male, female, any color, yadda -- vive la difference! But despite the value of individuality, let's not lose sight of our essential similarities -- definitely where we should be focusing our attention if we want to improve the way we interact. Life isn't a zero-sum game...or at least, it doesn't have to be.

    Peace and prosperity to y'all, in all your honest endeavors.

  • Said hippies would probably get a lot more traction by opening sockets and not sending any requests. Somehow I doubt that this is possible in javascript's normal security sandbox.

    The TCP sockets available on a machine would probably run out far before the machine had problems serving normal web browser hits.

    It would certainly allow those "with slow connections" to have more of an effect.
  • Speaking frankly, I'd be very frightened to be a protester in Seattle right now. It's only a hunch, but I think things might get a lot uglier in Seattle by week's end...

    At the risk of getting off-topic, I'd be very interested if native Seattlers could keep us informed about the situation in Seattle. After alll, what good is the "new media" of Internet if we can't get first-hand, unedited accounts of world events?


    The Kulturwehrmacht [onelist.com]
  • As a service to those who are bad at cutting and pasting:
    http://www.zmag.org/Cris esCurEvts/Globalism/GlobalEcon.htm [zmag.org]


    The Kulturwehrmacht [onelist.com]
  • Well, Fox News is reporting the cops have been using tear gas in places, and there've been more arrests. As you said, things are getting uglier.
  • I sincerely suggest that you research what the WTO has stood for in its past actions.It serves the interests of huge multinational corporations above and beyond anything else.There are many examples of how the WTO is the weapon utilized to force unsustainable and detrimental policies upon sovereign nations in the name of "free trade"From 1988 until August of this year, Europe banned the import US beef because it contains growth-enhancing hormones.The WTO declared the ban illegal since it was detrimental to free trade.Regardless of whether or not you feel that injesting animal hormones is safe can you honestly say that it this is fair?Is it really the responsibility of the WTO to decide that it knows what is best for the health of the European people?I definitely do not think so. It is because of decisions like this that the WTO is "getting in the neck" and rightfully so.

    I agree that a denial of service attack against the WTO may not be the most productive form of protest possible, but I am confused by your statements in the third paragraph.It seems to me that you are stating that the WTO is somehow unlike allowing "the most powerful nations, such as the US and power blocks such as the EU, to carve up the global economy behind closed doors."In truth, the WTO is much worse.Since the WTO is the puppet of short sighted and self minded multinational corporations that are generally aloof from the citizens of the world, the only say that we have is through protest. What kind of freedom is that?To suggest that the only alternative to the WTO is a Cold War is misinformed.The WTO is operating behind closed doors, and it is the goal of the protesters to try and inform everyone of this and to ensure that the WTO does not increase its already disturbing amount of influence over our lives.

    Here are some links that should help arm and inform:

    -Larry
  • They want rules in place to make everyone "equal" and everything "fair" So that it doesn't matter how hard you work, or how much you train or study, you will never ever get ahead of anyone else. Hence no one does much of anything. There will be no reason for freedom of information, because no one will have any reason to collect information or distribute information.

    Looked at this way... If say Linus's programming skills being improved would not have increased his employability (is that a word?), or his standing within a community, or for whatever reason he was studying programming, would he have bothered to write Linux? Why? He doesn't need the programming skills to get a job, he doesn't need the better os to work better and faster, so whats the point. May as well go for a soda, rather than bother writing a kernel. Same difference, same end result.

    Free open source web page/mailing list hosting. see http://www.cnhtech.com/ossoffer.html for details.
  • "The American Indians had a conception of property, just as Richard Stallman does."

    Actually, IIRC, very few Native American tribes really had a concept of individual property that even came close to what we now think of as "property" (maybe closer Stallman's concept though ;). One couldn't own land or objects any more than one could own the sky. This was to some extent, I believe, because of the acknowledgement that humans were owned by earth and nature and not the other way around. Although they traded, their cultures were not predicated on it, or on the idea of individually owned property. It took European invasion to make a capitalist individual-ownership arrangement a necessity of survival. And what has it got them today? The crutches of casinos and life-sucking capitalism. The hand that holds is the hand that holds them down.
  • ergghh...

    s/life-sucking capitalism/life-sucking commercialism/g
  • Tell that to the McDonald's owner whose store got smashed up. Tell that to the delegates getting attacked. Tell that to the businesses whom these protestors block...

    Peaceful? Nope. Legal? Nope. Not when it involves assault, B&E, destruction of property...
  • There are about 3000-6000 protesters in downtown Seattle, but 20,000 more people now at Memorial Stadium for a huge rally and parade. The parade planned for this afternoon expects between 20,000 and 50,000 marchers. My previous comment about "50,000 people by week's end" was wrong. Expect 50,000 people by this afternoon.

    More info from Wired: Tear Gas Debuts at WTO [wired.com].
  • From Netcraft:

    www.wto.org

    www.wto.org is running Netscape-Enterprise/3.5.1C on DIGITAL UNIX
  • Jimi Hendrix.
  • Heh, thanks for your clarification.

    Ken Kesey says, "Take what you can use, and let the rest go by." The excesses of the modern age are hardly wholly due to the concepts of natural rights and ownership of property. Sure, most commercials drive me nuts -- I try not to watch 'em, and the few that are good can be enjoyed on many levels without succumbing to the mindset that one is not complete unless one Buys and Consumes. And as shown in many past discussions here, a lot of problems can be traced to passive and/or active stupidity and/or malevolence by the PHB's of the world and their underlings -- as well as the "ordinary people" who cooperate to further enslave their fellows or sit back and let it happen.

    It's a shame that the Indians have had to "resort" to casinos (argh! the pun!), but only because they've been backed into a corner (IIRC, every treaty the United States government has ever made with the Indians has been broken...hardly a good example of equal rights, respecting contracts/one's word, etc). Ideally, neither they nor anyone else would get special privileges from the state, but merely overseen enough to prosecute fraud or other true criminal activity.

    Karl: "A good friend, good lover, good neighbor."

    Questioner: "That's all there is to being an anarchist?"

    Karl: "What did you expect, a bunch of rules?"

    - Karl Hess, 1923-1994

  • Um, is there a sit-in counter?

    I have a T1 and I'd like to know if there are already hundreds of people doing this, or if the WTO is going to call me tomorrow saying that my IP accounts for 80% of their 100x overloaded web traffic.
  • ok, this is just lame...
    i'm not going to clog up our network...
  • by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Tuesday November 30, 1999 @09:08AM (#1494485)
    I don't see how this even comes near the definition of a 'sit-in.' All they're doing is trying their best to crash the WTO web server. Which isn't at all like demanding to be served as much as it is a lot like silencing your opponents.
    Lets say the WTO wanted to post something important or *gasp* something critical about eHippies on their page. Too bad, because all these well-meaning brain-donors are busy clogging up the works. This effectivly turns into a free speech issue. The only speech allowed now is eHippies speech.

    You'd think hippie liberalism would include such comforts as free speech, but then again the word hippie is synonymous with hypocrisy, now add the 90's marketing catch-letter 'e' and you've got the makings of a brand new 21st century stupidity.

    Imagine if this caught on, fundies organizing on-line and jamming talk-origins.org. Anyone seriously thinking of joining this should consider what happens when others try to silence you.
  • Tell that to the McDonald's owner whose store got smashed up. Tell that to the delegates getting attacked. Tell that to the businesses whom these protestors block.

    I'll grant you that violent protest is unacceptible .. and that's just what smashing a McDonald's or attacking delegates is, violent. People who conduct themselves in such a manner should be arrested, prosecuted, and sentenced to hard time.

    But if you think I'm going to shed tear one for anyone who has been inconvenienced by these protests, you've got to be kidding. In fact, a lot of these businesses are looking foreward to the revenue generated by all these out-of-town protesters. As far as anyone having a longer commute, or having a business slowdown -- speaking as a working stiff myself, why the hell not? Life goes on. Convenience is no more an inalienable right than having a big-screen TV in your living room.


    The Kulturwehrmacht [onelist.com]
  • According to the AP, the Seattle Police used TearGas on the protesters.

    Ehh... just mentioning it.
  • ... in "The Light Fantastic" the anti-hero Rincewind is talking to the anthropomorphic personification Death about some religious fanatics:

    "Its horrible," said Rincewind.

    "I'M INCLINED TO AGREE" said Death.

    "I would have thought you'd be all for it!"

    "NOT LIKE THIS. THE DEATH OF THE WARRIOR OR THE OLD MAN OR THE LITTLE CHILD, THIS I UNDERSTAND, AND I TAKE AWAY THE PAIN AND END THE SUFFERING. I DO NOT UNDERSTNAND THIS DEATH-OF-THE-MIND".

    Paul.

  • by Paul Johnson ( 33553 ) on Tuesday November 30, 1999 @09:46AM (#1494496) Homepage
    This is a denial of service attack. Plain and simple.

    Its also censorship. These people are explicitly attempting to prevent others from reading the WTO's point of view because they happen to disagree with it.

    When colored folks sat down in a diner and refused the leave, the diner was the only business that was affected.

    Also unaffected was the ability of the owner to argue his own case. Here, however, the aim is to deny the WTO its ability to speak.

    Paul.

  • Well, Fox News is reporting the cops have been using tear gas in places, and there've been more arrests. As you said, things are getting uglier.

    It gets even better. Apparently the police are now also using rubber bullets. To quote the report from ZNet:

    Seattle, WA, Tuesday, 11/30/1999 -- Despite CNN's reports that no rubber bullets have been used, the Indy Media Center has several witnesses that saw police firing this morning outside the WTO's meeting place. Despite one protester struck with a rubber bullet, and accounts of at least one more, Seattle police denied using rubber bullets and tear gas on CNN this morning.

    Oliver De Marcellus, a 56-year-old activist with People's Global Action, visiting from Geneva, says a rubber bullet shattered the right lens of his glasses. Witnesses report that a rubber bullet also struck a nearby man in the head.

    The police have put the entire city on red alert. Volunteer medics are calling for more eyewash for protesters affected by the gas.


    The Kulturwehrmacht [onelist.com]
  • You must be on crack. You say that the WTO is needed because it can prevent national governments from impeding trade. WHY oh why is this a good thing? Nations are sovereign. If they want to block trade, they can damn well block trade.

    -jwb

  • The company had no intention of paying the native Indians, who presumably had prior art and would be made unemployed by the action of the company.

    Thats a pretty big presumption.

    First of all, the company in question has added value by identifying the active ingredient. This took research. Getting it approved as a medicine will have taken lots of money on top of that. The active ingredient, is more valuable when purified than when in the plant. Even more valuable is the knowledge of its side effects and contra-indications. I, at least, am unwilling to trust my health to approximate doses of a drug with unknown side effects brewed up in an ad-hoc manner from stored herbs when instead I can take a tablet with exactly 100mg in it and read a leaflet warning me that long term use has been linked to liver failure.

    This may result in loss to the native Indians who previously traded in the plant. But set against that must be the benefits to many other people (not all of them rich) who can now get the pure form, plus associated knowledge, where before was only folklore.

    And anyway, just where do you think the nasty western drug company gets its raw materials? Yes, right where they always did: the native Indians.

    A key issue here is that trade increases the wealth of both parties. If it didn't then one of them would refuse to trade. Therefore anything which increases the freedom to trade is a Good Thing. Those who would deny poor peasants the right to trade what they have in return for what they want or need should consider this before issuing blanket condemnations of the WTO.

    Also, take another look at India. At the end of WW2 it was comparitively wealthy, especially compared to China, Hong Kong, and even Japan (which had, after all, just lost the war). The reason it did not become more wealthy was the belief of its leaders, especially Ghandi and Nheru, that competition was a bad thing, especially when it caused a company to lose market share and hence lay off employees. The result was a long period when a factory owner wishing to increase production had to apply for government permission, which was likely to be refused if the government thought that the increased sales would be at the cost of one of his competitors. This in turn led to the "Hindu rate of growth", which was as close to zero after allowing for population growth as made no effective difference. That, and not the WTO, is the reason you see children employed in building sites in India.

    Paul.

  • Anybody who's read some history on the 60s knows it was a time of utter, total lusers on both sides. Some noticed this, and some didn't.

    Remember the Mothers of Invention? Frank Zappa noticed- and produced a lot of music to try (and fail) to shake up a lot of people who, quote, "mindlessly accepted everything they were given, without questioning it". That was the hippies, to Zappa.

    Woodstock was paid for entirely by John Roberts. Remember that name, or Joel Rosenman's? John Roberts financed the whole festival, having been conned to believe it was a moneymaking venture, originally put forth as a 'press party' for a recording studio to be built. Roberts pretty well had a breakdown while the festival was happening- left totally responsible, far in debt, being asked to sign checks for which there was no money anymore, Roberts and a few other people took the whole load of the Woodstock Festival upon themselves, a festival that was declared free after it had already eaten through Roberts' entire inheritance.

    The whole hippie concept is a story of rip-off, stealing, lying, and destruction, painted to appear as virtue and freedom. Virtually nothing was accomplished- the end of the war in Vietnam, for instance, owes much more to the fact that eventually Middle America was sick of it and wanted it stopped, and to Nixon's bid for re-election.

    Having hippie idealism on the Net is a bad thing. It's spelled out quite obviously: "Let's march on Website X and stomp it with DOS attacks!". No thought is given to other services that may be hosted on that computer, no interest is taken in the additional load produced by X many lusers running a Javascript program and monopolizing all the network links to the target. The idea of responsibility is seriously lacking here.

    It's like a riot in cyberspace: riots were seen as civil disobedience in the 60s. My generation saw them more clearly: "Tomorrow you're homeless- tonight it's a gas" -The Dead Kennedys

    Rioting is not freedom. Rioting is collectively throwing a fit. If you want civil disobedience, "smash the right windows" (Lee Felsenstein)- get smart, intrude, change their web page, don't just riot in the cyberstreet smashing everything. Stupidity is not insulation, it will not protect you.

    If you want FREEDOM, then write fscking software! This is the most annoying aspect of all this. DOSing a site that happens to contain something you don't like is freedom? Write software, GPL it (or BSD license it depending on if you don't want to _enforce_ the availability of the code), put it out there. That does more for freedom than any twelve hippie web pages. If you are a blackhat at heart, learn how to pull off intrusions into whatever's out there, get good at the surgical strike, be smart enough to spare the environment you're in while punishing your enemies. That's harder, of course: a lot harder, in fact. But there's no excuse for the hippie approach. It's a disaster, a mess! Fight smart or go do bong hits, if you can't get a clue then get out of the way.

    Otherwise you might well find that the GenXers (_my_ generation, thank you) have very much their own opinions on what activism is. You might find that they take a dim view of mindless destroying to prove some vague point. You might find some GenXer who's done his or her homework sneaking onto your precious target site and setting up some sort of viral attack from Javascript on the site itself- which itself attacks the site, but also whacks all the idiot DoSers in the bargain.

    Hippies are the Commodore 64s of making change happen. It's time to move on. It's time to get _serious_. For example, the GNU GPL uses the law and copyright to attack what copyright is _normally_ used for, and Linux takes the GPL and proliferates it wildly- now there is a huge amount of Linux out there, and it's got the legal backing to fight attempts to subvert what it stands for. Now that's change. That's _significant_ and it matters and it's constructive but uncompromising.

    Forget the hippie approach. Go with the Linux approach. Build something good and be ready to protect it.

  • I was watching CNN around noon, they had tons of video of the cops beating the people with nightsticks and shooting into the crowed with those rubber bullets. They also showed teargas. And while they are playing the video they have the head of the police on the phone saing how they would not use teargas and rubber bullets.

    Then a hour later they stopped playing that video and only played video of them using pepper spray.
    hmm...
  • It must be a total madhouse in Seattle now. CNN is reporting that the opening ceremonies have been indefinitely postponed due to street protests, but that working sessions of the WTO conference will still be in session.

    Police are denying allegations of tear gas or rubber bullets. Meanwhile, some demonstrators are throwing sticks at the police.

    However, CNN is saying that the violence is concentrated on one area. Not much word on anything else happening.

    You can read the original story on CNN here [cnn.com].

    The Kulturwehrmacht [onelist.com]
  • According to the local Seattle news, the police have admitted to using tear gas on protesters. Some protesters have created human chains to block I-5 freeway entrances. The 20,000 person AFL-CIO march has been very peaceful, but a group of self-proclaimed anarachists are vandalizing downtown. There are about 30 "anarchists", dressed in black hooded sweatshirts and hiding behind gasmasks, smashing store windows (such as GAP and Starbacks) and spraypainting police cars and news cameras! They don't seem to have a cause or message; they just wanna have fun. One "anarachist" spoke with a news reporter and rambled about the Bush family being Nazis. Do we get to invoke Godwin's Law [tuxedo.org] on these wanna-be anarchists? :-)

  • Regardless of whether or not you feel that injesting animal hormones is safe can you honestly say that it this is fair? Is it really the responsibility of the WTO to decide that it knows what is best for the health of the European people?

    Well, yes, the WTO should be allowed to tell the EU to halt the import ban. If the EU wants to require that all imported US beef is labelled as such and include a warning about the possible health risks, thats a whole seperate issue. But the point of the WTO is free trade, which is beneficial to everyone involved. The WTO helps consumers in any member nation by driving prices lower for any traded goods. An import ban causes prices to rise, since there is a lower quantity of the good available for trade. With greater quantity available, prices fall, and consumers win. If hormone-treated beef is labelled as such, you will find a segment of consumers who are willing to pay a premium for the non-treated beef. So the cattle ranchers in the EU and the US win also - they all get to sell their beef. The WTO has done nothing to the detriment of citizens of the EU with that decision. In fact, everyone involved in the trade of beef between the EU and the US, plus consumers in the EU, is better off directly because of the WTO decision.


    While you're mentioning greenpeace, etc., let me suggest a few places to go for a more economically aware perspective of the situation.

    The Cato Institute [cato.org]
    The Economist [economist.com]
    and
    The Adam Smith Institue [adamsmith.org.uk]


    itachi
  • There are about 30 "anarchists", dressed in black hooded sweatshirts and hiding behind gasmasks, smashing store windows (such as GAP and Starbacks) and spraypainting police cars and news cameras! They don't seem to have a cause or message; they just wanna have fun. One "anarachist" spoke with a news reporter and rambled about the Bush family being Nazis. Do we get to invoke Godwin's Law on these wanna-be anarchists? :-)

    I think at this point the police should start sending SWAT to arrest the anarchists. If they complain, the cops can just tell them "We arrested you because we felt like it." No self-respecting anarchist can complain about that...


    The Kulturwehrmacht [onelist.com]
  • This could very well happen now. The Seattle mayor has declared a city-wide state of emergency. The police will enforce a downtown curfew starting at 7:00pm tonight. In case any of you live in Seattle, the curfew area extends from Yesler up to Denny and from I-5 down to the waterfront.

  • According to local news, 300 armed state troopers will join Seattle's 1,300 police to enforce the curfew. 200 unarmed national guard will arrive at dawn to help police control crowds tomorrow.
  • There's reports coming out of the Seattle Independent Media Center that police have fired upon a fleeing crowd of protesters. [206.168.174.20] A lot of the story is probably BS, but what this does indicate is that tensions are rising in Seattle. Joy.


    The Kulturwehrmacht [onelist.com]
  • Such pressures should be aimed at the corporations, their stockholders, and the appropriate governments.
    But governments have ceded, by treaty, a large part of their power in these areas to the WTO! And in this speculative market, stockholders are largely apathetic so long as the stock price goes up - what does a day trader care about long term results?
    Those who try to make the WTO affect non-trade laws are just lazy,
    The WTO already affects non-trade laws, by making it illegal for member nations to impose reasonably strict environmental and labor conditions on the good that they import.
  • The police have successfully secured downtown Seattle. Unfortunately, the violent crowd of "several hundred" people have not dispersed, they have simply moved. The unruly crowd is now moving into Capitol Hill, a densely populated neighborhood. Unfortunately, I live in Capitol Hill! I am actually kinda scared tongith.. The crowd doesn't look like they are going to leave anytime soon.

    :-(

  • Hey, I didn't once say I supported the WTO. In my opinion it is a freaking nightmare, and the most likely outcome is to solidify global power in corporate hands, substantially bolstering it until these corporations are directly comparable to governments.

    That said, just where do you get off suggesting that _protest_ is going to change this? (I'm not even going to get into 'suggesting that looting Starbucks is going to change this')

    I would suggest, in all seriousness, that protest, already meaningless except in a (dangerously open to misinterpretation) publicity sense when used against governments, is totally useless against corporations. Corporations can replace ALL the beef in your supermarket with genetically enhanced hormone pumped beef, by economic leverage. Corporations can make things like this happen and you can't complain to an elected representative as there isn't one, and you can't complain to the corporation even if they are sympathetic because they do not have, shall we say, lots of legal support for going against the interests of the stockholders- I question if the stockholders can even get together and say 'do X, which will cost an extra 2%' and have it override the corporation's obligation to go after that 2%.

    So protest becomes irrelevant. I would suggest that you'd better learn to fight, instead. I don't know exactly how this would be done: I don't claim to have all the answers. Possibly IT fighting, cyber-attacking a corporation, would hurt it. Very likely continued physical attacks on the corporate executives would make it difficult for the corporation to conduct its business, though you cannot hurt the corporate entity itself, and anyhow corporations can and do hire bodyguards, chauffeurs who are taught anti-hijacking by Bob Bondurant etc. so a corporate exec is a _tough_ target, as tough as any government official. Finally, the corporation is a creature of law so it can be attacked by law- maybe. The trick is, they are increasingly calling all the shots in the legal sphere- we wouldn't want to have to overthrow the fscking _government_ just to get control of the legal system back. All in all, it's a very nasty puzzle.

    I do acknowledge the dangers of the WTO, against which all these groups from Greenpeace to loggers to environmentalists are aligning. I think maybe I consider it more dangerous than you do... but I doubt it is remotely helpful to have sit-ins, or seize Seattle by a _mob_ (a militia, maybe, but a mob??) or to loot Starbucks.

  • "Ideally, neither they nor anyone else would get
    special privileges from the state, but merely overseen enough to prosecute fraud or other true criminal activity."

    Or better yet, sovereignty that they never gave up, but was forced away from them. Every casino, and every federal-sponsored puppet government, erodes more on their sovereignty. They managed to live for eons before europeans came over - now all of a sudden they can manage their own affairs and the money the U.S. government owes them has to be held in escrow accounts (for their good of course) never to see the light of day? I say give them back their sovereignty. Canada did this a log time ago. The U.S. should grow up, instead of trying to hide it nasty past be pretending Native Americans don't exist.

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay

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