Ed Sheeran, Once Again, Demonstrates How Modern Copyright Is Destroying, Rather Than Helping Musicians
https://www.techdirt.com/2023/05/08/ed-sheeran-once-again-demonstrates-how-modern-copyright-is-destroying-rather-than-helping-musicians/, posted 10 May by peter in business copyright law music opinion
To hear the recording industry tell the story, copyright is the only thing protecting musicians from poverty and despair. Of course, that’s always been a myth. Copyright was designed to benefit the middlemen and gatekeepers, such as the record labels, over the artists themselves. That’s why the labels have a long history of never paying artists.
Krig leder alltid till fred, förr eller senare. Men vilken fred?
https://cornucopia.se/2023/04/gastkronika-krig-leder-alltid-till-fred-forr-eller-senare-men-vilken-fred/, posted 2 Apr by peter in inswedish opinion russia ukraine war
Det går därför inte att generellt hävda att en förhandlingslösning alltid är att föredra framför fortsatt krig. Det går heller inte att påstå att varje fred är att föredra framför krig. Kostnaden för freden måste vägas mot kostnaden för fortsatt krig. Det finns många exempel på historiska fall där lidandet, också kostnaden i människoliv, varit större på grund av fiendens brutalitet efter att striderna upphört än under själva kriget. Den fred som uppkommer kan råda mycket länge, och effekten av sådant som förlorad demokrati och nedtrampade mänskliga rättigheter kan då komma att påverka många generationer, vilket gör att kostnaden med en dålig fred växer när det långa tidsperspektivet beaktas.
What Putin Fears Most
https://www.journalofdemocracy.org/articles/what-putin-fears-most/, posted 15 Feb by peter in fascism opinion politics russia toread war
Russian president Vladimir Putin wants you to believe that NATO is responsible for his February 24 invasion of Ukraine—that rounds of NATO enlargement made Russia insecure, forcing Putin to lash out. This argument has two key flaws. First, NATO has been a variable and not a constant source of tension between Russia and the West. Moscow has in the past acknowledged Ukraine’s right to join NATO; the Kremlin’s complaints about the alliance spike in a clear pattern after democratic breakthroughs in the post-Soviet space. This highlights a second flaw: Since Putin fears democracy and the threat that it poses to his regime, and not expanded NATO membership, taking the latter off the table will not quell his insecurity. His declared goal of the invasion, the “denazification” of Ukraine, is a code for his real aim: antidemocratic regime change.
ChatGPT Is a Blurry JPEG of the Web
https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/chatgpt-is-a-blurry-jpeg-of-the-web, posted 11 Feb by peter in ai cognition language opinion
This analogy to lossy compression is not just a way to understand ChatGPT’s facility at repackaging information found on the Web by using different words. It’s also a way to understand the “hallucinations,” or nonsensical answers to factual questions, to which large language models such as ChatGPT are all too prone. These hallucinations are compression artifacts, but—like the incorrect labels generated by the Xerox photocopier—they are plausible enough that identifying them requires comparing them against the originals, which in this case means either the Web or our own knowledge of the world. When we think about them this way, such hallucinations are anything but surprising; if a compression algorithm is designed to reconstruct text after ninety-nine per cent of the original has been discarded, we should expect that significant portions of what it generates will be entirely fabricated.
Potemkin GDP: Vladimir Milov on why Russia’s “soothing” economic indicators are not to be trusted
https://theins.ru/en/opinion/vladimir-milov/258158, posted 15 Jan by peter in fascism finance opinion propaganda russia war
Summing up the economic results of the year, many Russian economists say that “everything is not so bad”, referring to the usual indicators, such as GDP of the rates of unemployment, inflation or exchange of the ruble. Judging by these, “GDP has declined less than expected,” unemployment and inflation are virtually nonexistent, and the ruble has “stabilized,” but does this really mean that the country is not in economic crisis? Vladimir Milov explains why these indicators are irrelevant at a time of war, the crisis is already in full swing (even if the average citizen cannot see it yet), and the payback for Putin's military ambitions will be dire for Russians.
Russia-Ukraine War: What the West Gets Wrong About Russian President Vladimir Putin
https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/06/01/putin-war-ukraine-west-misconceptions/, posted Jun '22 by peter in fascism opinion propaganda russia ukraine war
For the moment, both Russia and the West appear to believe that their counterpart is doomed and that time is on their side. Putin dreams about the West suffering from political upheaval, whereas the West dreams about Putin being removed, overthrown, or dropping dead from one of many diseases he is regularly rumored to be suffering. No one is right. At the end of the day, a deal between Russia and Ukraine is only possible as an extension of an agreement between Russia and the West or as a result of the collapse of Putin’s regime. And that gives you an idea of how long the war could last: years, at best.
In applying to NATO, Finland and Sweden give the lie to Putin’s claims
https://www.economist.com/leaders/2022/05/15/in-applying-to-nato-finland-and-sweden-give-the-lie-to-putins-claims, posted May '22 by peter in opinion politics propaganda russia sweden war
Finland and Sweden are right to have concluded from the tragic war being waged in Ukraine that they need more security. Mr Putin is dangerous and unpredictable not because of NATO, but because of the way he has chosen to govern Russia. Their applications should rapidly be approved. As with NATO’s expansion in the past, their membership will help secure European peace.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky on how to deal with the "bandit" in the Kremlin
https://www.economist.com/by-invitation/2022/03/19/mikhail-khodorkovsky-on-how-to-deal-with-the-bandit-in-the-kremlin, posted Apr '22 by peter in eu fascism opinion politics russia usa war
Part of the problem is that the current leaders of Western countries have never dealt with thugs. Their experience and education relate to interactions between statesmen. The principle of these peopleâs behaviour is that both sides concede to each other in the interests of their electorate or subjects. War is evil to them, and the use of force is a last resort.
This is not the case with Vladimir Putin. He was raised in the KGB, an organisation that relied on force and disregard for the law.
Vladimir Putin Has Fallen Into the Dictator Trap
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/03/putin-dictator-trap-russia-ukraine/627064/, posted Mar '22 by peter in fascism opinion politics russia transparency war
If you live in a fake world long enough, it can start to feel real. Dictators and despots begin to believe their own lies, repeated back at them and propagated by state-controlled media. That might help explain why Putin's recent speeches have stood out as unhinged rants. It's certainly possible that his mind has succumbed to his own propaganda, creating a warped worldview in which the invasion of Ukraine was, as Trump put it, an incredibly "savvy" move.
Putin Proves There Are Worse Things Than American Power
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/03/putin-kremlin-imperialism-ukraine-american-power/624180/, posted Mar '22 by peter in china fascism opinion politics russia usa war
Blaming America first became all too easy. After September 11, U.S. power was as overwhelming as it was uncontested. That it was squandered on two endless wars made it convenient to focus on America's sins, while underplaying Russia's and China's growing ambitions.