sqbr: (up and down)
Sunday, December 8th, 2013 06:56 pm
This is a lot of unfinished thoughts.

I didn't agree with all of Cyberlibertarians’ Digital Deletion of the Left but it was throught provoking. It makes the valid point that many "benevolent" technological groups are quite libertarian in effect and motivation. Also any sort of digital utopianism is blatantly bunk, technology is at best value neutral, it's a tool not a complete solution. I am glad of the link to this essay comparing intellectual property to other sorts of property in terms of freedom/enclosure etc, though I've only read the preface. And the idea that "information should be free" is definitely leveraged by businesses like Google to invade the privacy of and profit from everyday people.

But I think it acts like you're either pro-government or pro-business, and there are plenty of people who are neither. Also I'm pretty sure the EFF aren't the unambiguously pro-big-business force for evil they're painted as, they seem to help defend the little guy from oppressive big business a moderate amount of the time, and I know the Chair of the Australian branch is a card carrying member of Labor (and also quite left wing ;))

And...ok, Jimmy Wiles is pro-business and there's lots of obnoxious hierarchies and biases in Wikipedia, but I'm hard pressed to see it as an overall Force for Capitalist Evil. Not that the article says it is, it just mentions Jimmy Wiles and moves on instead of examimining whether libertarian techno-utopian projects may do social good regardless of their founders' politics. Or am I missing something?

Anyway, it got me thinking about what it means for a non profit or anyone to be "left wing".
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sqbr: Are you coming to bed? I can't, this is important. Why? Someone is wrong on the internet. (duty calls)
Thursday, May 24th, 2012 09:44 am
I donate to World Vision every now and then since it's a friend's favoured charity and they always seemed ok. Yesterday I read a little rant about foreign aid which included a swipe at World Vision for forcing Christianity on people and in general bossing locals around and being condescending and unhelpful. I mean to look into that, but before I had the chance got an email from World Vision asking me to do a survey about charities in general, and I decided to get it dealt with before I lose my answering-email momentum.

There were a few opportunities to express my opinion on the relationship between charity and religion (I have no issue with religious charities in principle if they're actually helping people, but prefer secular charities given the option), which I took gladly, but there was absolutely no way to express a desire for charities to work with communities and let those in need control or even offer input on what form their aid takes. It wasn't anywhere in the list of priorities, and there was no place to leave it as a write in answer or add general comments at the end. Hmmmmph!