Morphex's blogologue (Life, technology, music, politics, business, mental health and more)

This is the blog of Morten W. Petersen, aka. morphex in various places. I blog about my life, and what I find interesting and/or important. This is a personal blog without any editor or a lot of oversight so treat it as such. :)

My email is morphex@gmail.com.

An OGG/Vorbis player, implemented in Javascript.

My Kiva bragging page
My shared (open source) code on GitHub

Morphex's Blogodex

News
Slashdot

Zope hosting by Nidelven IT

Morten Petersen on Linkedin

Morten Petersen on Facebook

Morten Petersen on SoundCloud

Morten Petersen on MixCloud

Blogologue on Twitter



Older entries



Atom - Subscribe - Categories


I will be attending the Norwegian constitution day 17. Mai (17 of May), but not celebrating it

So, tomorrow is Norway's constitution day, celebrating the signing of the Norwegian constitution in 1814.

I will be attending some social events tomorrow, to enjoy some company and different good food. But I won't be celebrating or congratulating others on the occasion, because of my experiences in the Norwegian society.

I have two kids, 6 and 8 years old, and I haven't met them in person since the start of November 2017, and it is now the middle of May, 2018.

I broke up with the kids mom in 2013, and since then I haven't seen the kids much. Even though I've been to every meeting, every planned time with the kids etc. since then.

I was thinking of taking a picture of the children marching tomorrow celebrating the day, but after some thought I created this collage of the Trondheim hospital St. Olav and the Norwegian flag (taken from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d9/Flag_of_...) so I have the "day off" tomorrow, and also don't take a picture of different people who haven't asked to be associated with this blog post.

Picture of St. Olav with Norwegian flag superimposed

So yeah, I found taking a picture of the hospital fitting for different reasons, one of them being that I broke up with the kids mom while I was diagnosed with one or two serious psychiatric disorders, and today about 10% of my net income goes to paying off previous court costs and current lawyer costs, to get to see the kids.

To be correct, I have to say that the kids mom has offered a deal for me seeing the kids now, but I have negative trust towards the kids mom after what has happened earlier, so I think her presence during my meetings with the kids would be negative in more than one way. And as they say, "fool me once - shame on you, fool me twice - shame on me". I have suggested meeting in public spaces in Mo i Rana, but that was not acceptable for the kids mom.

So it looks like it will be another round in court, so that I can get supervision from the state when seeing my kids, which will limit the amount of time I get with the kids, but since the kids mom refuses to let me be alone with the kids, and I don't trust the kids mom, it's the best solution I see.

The kids mom has also earlier said that the situation was stressful with me and me seeing the kids, so when she doesn't have to do anything beyond dropping off the kids and picking them up, that should be a practical solution for her as well.

But yeah, the picture above. I moved recently. and the hospital is now within walking distance. I have given the healthcare system in Norway quite a bit of criticism, but when I see little of my kids for years and years, and 10% of my income goes to legal costs, and this situation started when I had serious psychiatric diagnoses, was taking a significant amount of mind-altering medicine and was going to therapy and was talking about serious problems with the kids mom, they are getting what they deserve.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [16 May 12:38 Europe/Oslo]

Charges pressed against NAV and NAVI

So, I've had issues over time with NAV and NAVI, NAV being the Norwegian employment and wellfare office, NAVI being the child support collectors (some branch related to NAV I guess).

Over time there has been some critique and questions, and things turned a bit weird not so long ago, when my primary care physician basically said he wanted me to find another primary care physician.

So I filed a report against NAV and NAVI today, here's the original, and here's the translation:

To: Police Trøndelag (county police) <post.trondelag@politiet.no>
Cc: Police internal affairs <per-martin.utkilen@spesialenheten.no>, Sveinung Hestad Strand <strand@advokatsf.no>, Elisabeth Nossum <elisabeth.nossum@nav.no>, Per Olav Gundersen <per.olav.gundersen@nav.no>, NAVI <navi@navi.no>
Bcc: Dad <jpeter@broadpark.no>

Hi.

In 2009 I became acutely [mentally] ill, psychotic, and was until then on an up-and-coming arch salary-wise, in my own company.

Today I have a low income, and I am in many ways financially painted into a corner, and also have problems with my kids mom, and have met the kids 2-3 hours a month on average since 2013.

I have asked questions to NAV about their methods, and a short while ago I asked to have all papers to my case printed out. I moved apartments in that period, and got a message to get the papers on NAV Lerkendal. When I got there, I got a message to pick them up at NAV Heimdal.

When I collected the papers at NAV Heimdal, they were in an unsealed envelope, with a thin rubber band wrapped around.

NAV has also recently rejected a meeting at the conflict council [the first step to arbitrating a conflict in the Norwegian legal system], after one arbitrating session there.

I was in a meeting on Wednesday at NAV Lerkendal with Elisabeth Nossum and Per Olav Gundersen, where NAV and I did not agree on the path [for me getting back to work life]. When I after the meeting applied for financial welfare support for a lawyer, so I can understand my rights and obligations regarding NAV and AAP, it was suggested I instead contact the free legal help [organisation that provides free legal assistance]. But I applied for welfare support for a lawyer anyway, 1020 kroner.

If the free legal help is OK for all legal questions and cases, I guess we don't need lawyers and the licenses to practice as lawyers?

Shortly before this [couple of weeks], my primary care physician Thor Digre displayed weird behaviour, and asked me to find a new primary care physician.

NAVI has on their end done some weird things, and I have given them information relevant to the case and my situation, which it looks like they have ignored.

So I'm asking what NAV and NAVI are doing [and have been doing]. Now one should be very careful to [be the boy who cried wolf], especially with a prior history of serious mental illness, but you can consider this a legal maneuver to give you an approach vector.

You know, there is a 5 year statute of limitations on crimes with a maximum penalty of 4 years.

A signed copy of this document will be sent later.

Regards,

Morten W. Petersen

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [24 Mar 12:27 Europe/Oslo]

I won't be voting in 2017

So, this year it is an election in Norway, for parliament.

A couple of days ago I was asked whether I'll vote and I said no, I don't feel like it.

When I gave it some thought, the thing that popped into my mind and persisted there without much else, was polishing a turd. You can polish a turd, but it is still a turd.

I took a test just now and it seems I have the same political orientation now as before, I guess I'm just disillusioned about how things actually work.

Seems I can't escape the election talk either; it's on the news all the time, and even ad-funded social media has ads that pop up here and there with simple political selling points for political parties.


FRP Facebook ad

Like this one, which says that the oil is going to get pumped up! Yes it will until there is not enough profit to be made, who cares.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [10 Sep 16:47 Europe/Oslo]

Justice 2K

So, I was making myself some oat meal today, something I do regularly as it is filling, keeps me going and is quite healthy.

Lately I've also started exercising more, and because of that, I'm changing eating habits a bit, to get a variation and make it easier to eat those times I don't feel like eating.

So I bought some cherry compote the other day (kirsebær-kompott in Norwegian), and mixed that into the oat porridge today.

Tasted OK, and now I can mix some cherry into the food plan as well.

Oat meal with compote and skimmed milk

Anyway, I see the news now and then, read on the web and so on, and it is almost always the men who have done some atrocity, yada yada ya.

Seeing that men and women are different isn't difficult, but then again, you have for example yin and yang, where the masculine and feminine are equal but opposing forces.

So where are the female perpetrators? Is culture just laid up in a way that men often become so-called winners and losers, while women are more evenly spread around the average?

I guess there is some internal justice between women, and the fights are more subtle while men can get physical.

Oh well, I guess biologically it made sense for the women to stay around the cave as they got pregnant, while the men went out chasing food. And that this is something that echoes well into today.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [21 Aug 14:53 Europe/Oslo]

A nice piece

As I read this:

http://scripting.com/stories/2011/01/01/theWorldIsSocialist....

I found myself nodding. Pooling of resources is important, and as an example, it is easier to have one firestation paid by a whole city's populace, rather than two different paid by different parts of the population, for being able to pool resources towards 24/7 watch and response.

Then again, things probably evolve faster (products, production processes, whatever) when you have competition.

So there is probably some number of competitors in any market segment that is optimal, one or billions.

I like the idea of socialism and capitalism mixed together, and it is already, everywhere.

One thing I've wondered about is the rule of law here and there. A death penalty is harsh, and I've heard Abid Raja say that it is the most effective or gruesome if you will, form of torture.

We have a liberal rule of law here, which emphatises with the offender and gives a relatively light sentence.

We don't have the death penalty for example, it is 21 years max, with some exceptions.

I think that is acceptable, as 21 years is a long time, it will be a lesson. And it will certainly take the "fun" out of things.

I've griped a bit with justice issues, and thought about how things are for me and my family. I know my kid can grow up to be "good", but he could also be "bad" and in need of correction.

Seeing my family vs. anothers for example. If one kid should become a murderer, it is a tragedy for the victim. But it is also a tragedy for the person that becomes a murderer. And as we know by now, you can't make people alive again, by killing another.

So a liberal rule of law, is the system with the least amount of overhead, IMO.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [02 Jan 18:04 Europe/Oslo]

Wikileaks thoughts

So I've been following the Wikileaks debacle these last months, and I find it interesting, interesting to see what people think and say when "off the air".

As far as I can tell, there are some things there that are damaging, but at the end of it all, I think most people will say that it wasn't that surprising what was published.

Someone used the analogy of these documents being like private patient records.. not quite, as these are documents of people working and taking decisions on their people's behalf.

Most people want their sausage, but don't want to be reminded how it was made.

I don't like sausage that much by itself, but properly prepared I love it:

http://ingvildsmatblogg.blogspot.com/2009/08/plsegrateng.htm...

It is interesting indeed. Wonder how information sharing and protection goes in the future, and how states communicate now that everyone can reaech everyone else.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [09 Dec 13:49 Europe/Oslo]

Idle time

So, yesterday I had a small serving of cognac. I felt thirsty, thirsty for something strong.

Not exactly cognac, but maybe Irish whiskey, Italian grappa or something along those lines.

But, I only had cognac. So I drank for a little while, but it wasn't tasty.

Before going to Spain a little over a month ago, I hadn't had more than a couple of beers in the prior months. When in Spain, do as the spanish (visitors) and drink. So there has been some drinking.

Well, the first time I drank in Spain it was nice and fun, but I didn't get much out of it after that.

I think I have a better time when I'm not drinking.

So there has been some political discussion lately, about opening hours for pubs, discos and the like. Like cutting the opening hours by one hour.

I also see that there are 3000 people in various places in Norway waiting for a nursing home place. The old, disabled, blind etc.

It would probably be a politicians wet dream to be able to cut one hour of opening time Friday night, and have people work taxable work 2-3 hours on Saturday instead. And also avoid having one-day sickleave from work, due to hangovers.

If you take maybe 100000 people, have them work 2 hours extra each week, and the money saved by lowering costs through less police, less injuries and less crime.. it could be big numbers.

Anyway, the problem I guess is cutting public bar opening times, and then getting an illegal market which isn't taxed at all. People want their fun, after all.

It's sad to see these old people not getting help, because there isn't enough money. But politics is about prioritizing money, so one can't have everything.. I guess.

We've adapted some continental (southern Europe) drinking habits in Norway, but the problem is that a lot of people go binge-drinking during the weekend; a little alcohol combined with food is (from what I can tell) good for you. But for some reason we have a need to get shitfaced during the weekends.

As I got more established, and others I know have done as well, there has been less time spent partying, but there is still the occasional binge for most people.

I think my life is better when I don't get too drunk, or drink too often. And it's easy to "hit oneself" with the bottle and end up on the wrong side of use, abuse.

I think it is culture, and then bad habits formed as a result of that culture. And I know a little about intoxicant abuse; it's just a bad habit or self-medication that makes you feel worse.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [26 Oct 14:14 Europe/Oslo]

Turbo-capitalist goes anti-capitalism

http://e24.no/boers-og-finans/article3686602.ece

This made me smiles. Spetalen, an investor well-known in the Norwegian media takes a piss at capitalism and that a few are holding a lot of the resources.

I think economies-of-scale, bigger-is-butter and head-tail thinking are something that used to work, but we've heard the wierarchy, peer-pressure-thinking and so memes going for a while now.

Information is abundant now, and it is getting harder and harder to keep "secrets", and I think the head-tail will be too slow for a lot of things.

It is interesting that a capitalist such as Spetalen disses capitalism and quite plainly says that we should never join the EU (because you can see how the financial things are working there at the moment).

If I could get an article like that every day with my morning coffee, life would be better. :)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [10 Jun 11:19 Europe/Oslo]

Walled gardens, the pig in the river that ate its passenger (the pancake)

I am seeing bits and bobs about twitter, facebook and other user-generated-content sites.

It is the content that users generate and their inherent structure which provides exciting ways of mining new data.

I guess we'll see the UGC sites blossom, and like the pig that could've helped the pancake across the river, it would eat the pancake.. It is after all, a pig.

But the interesting thing here is user content. In the long run I think services like Facebook, Twitter and so on will be legally required to share their raw data created by users, and to do so at the same rate it would charge to itself, plus a markup, similar to how telecommunication companies do today when resellers renting access to infrastructure make money on top.

It depends on how these pervasive these services get I guess.. if you have photos on your machine, and upload them to Facebook that's one thing. Another is to directly tweet something or update your status.

I also think we'll see users wanting to be paid for their opinions. There are services out there today that premier you with points etc. for giving you their mind on things.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [24 Apr 19:52 Europe/Oslo]

Rules of engagement (to whom?)

I read a bit about journalists and civilians getting killed by troops with what seemed as a just cause.

I haven't served, but I've had my own issues, and knowing that paranoia and delusions can really screw with you.

There was the case of the psychiatrist that went bananas last year and killed a number of soldiers on an army base..

There are rules of engagement, but what happens when those who are by any perception civilian are in fact masked soldiers? How would that be, day after day while failing on the line of goodwill can get you killed?

I know a guy that has been and is into army matters, and I can tell he's more on edge than the average guy. Not necessarily jumpy but apprehensive.

If someone of inferior force resorts to hiding-in-plain-sight to gain an advantage in war, then who is responsible for an increased number of noncombatants being killed?

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [05 Apr 20:43 Europe/Oslo]

Viva La Revuliciòn

http://www.dagbladet.no/2010/04/02/nyheter/aksjoner/arbeider...

French workers are angry about their severance packages. I lived in France for a year or so while working on a project (which was a small, but in some ways also very productive disaster).

I learned un peu French, but spoke mostly English while there. I had my issues while I was there (had to pay some 2K EUR for a dental job, which was probably due to long periods of grinding teeth, i.e. angst and stress), but also had some moments where I got to enjoy the French way.

They have an excellent cuisine for example.

But, anyway. I remember one thing or story about the French, and that was that they were upset about some advertising campaign(s). So people went around and tore the ads down. I've found that amusing and appreciable. Capitalism in its most malignant form is about (cynical, careless) exploitation and generating money.

But, I guess things like this can scare investors and entrepeneurs away as well, if there are certain norms or preconceptions about how a company should behave, that should be in some regulation and known up front.

Being kidnapped and threathened in various ways is bad for business. Period.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [02 Apr 20:47 Europe/Oslo]

Some thoughts on the Data Retention Directive

I know a guy and some people who are against implementing the DRD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directive_2006/24/EC) which will enable storing of communication etc.

Here's the 'sign on against the DRD page'

http://stoppdld.no/kunnskapsbanken/folkets_horingsuttalelse/

The arguments against it are pretty good, that it violates privacy, treats everyone as a suspect, that it creates false security because criminals can circumvent it and that it opens for massive surveillance in the future.

I see EU member states that have gone above and beyond the DRD, and you have to wonder why. If you think about it, the order of events on copyrighted material being shared and not much being done to compete with it / making a viable alternative is odd. There has been filesharing tools and systems out there for a long time which distribute the bandwidth load of music and other media.

And the argument that it can be used to track terrorists is pretty moot. All you need as a terrorist to circument it is a plan and a watch. What you could stop / discourage is potential cross-border recruitment

Storing surveillance for 6-24 months.. well, for stopping serious crime (abuse, molestation, bodily harm, murder) I'd think that is OK.

Usually the investigators have to deal with things as they are and nature itself (evidence). Here we're defining the "law of internet nature".

Once you get the legal right to surveill someone, you can store pretty much anything you want and keep it running until you get the criminal charged for something, or delete it after a given amount of time if there is no reason to suspect something.

If you get a conviction, that data can the be used together with heuristics, and you have programs running in the system that scan and monitor for other possible offenders.

When you do something criminal I guess the law of chance applies to whether you get caught. Maybe these systems monitoring the flow of randomness in them so that one isn't continually being surveilled.

But, the system. I think a system that monitors everything and uses heuristics (not people) to scan for potential offenders is interesting. And once you get to a level where you are "tagged", a person can come in and get anonymized and relevant data and decide further action. The access control to the monitoring data would have to be superb. Access logs, encryption etc.

Today the scanning function is pretty much cops driving around in cars and civil/uniformed cops going around on spaces. What is a public space on the internet?

Oh well, time for bed. More thoughts later.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [24 Mar 00:04 Europe/Oslo]

CO2 cleaning

I see the policital party SV, a party far on the left side. And when I say that, the party on the furthest right in Norway is socialistic compared to the Democrats in the US.

They're pushing forward for CO2 cleaning on a gas power plant (and more) in Norway to the tune of 27 billion NOK (some 4.5 billion USD).

I'd say go for it. And it doesn't have to be a Norway-based company either.. take some of the oil money (pension fund), invest in research and development.

Build business in the less economically developed parts in Eastern Europe, own the company and share the risk with the local government, local investors and others. Economic inbreeding isn't a good thing IMO.

It isn't necessary to have the company/companies in Norway. With ownership there is still a nice profit to be made.

The climate reports etc. done by the climate panel are I think, pretty solid, and if we have to fail, we should fail on the side of caution.

And we, in Norway, have a moral obligation to clean up CO2, as we've been made stinking rich by oil.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [23 Mar 18:45 Europe/Oslo]

Nice

I'm liking Høyre (Right)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservative_Party_%28Norway%29

more and more. Today Erna Solberg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erna_Solberg

talked about centralizing of some cancer operations, as those local hospitals that only do a few each year don't get the necessary .. 'pace' to keep up their skills, thus increasing the amount of things that can go wrong.

She said that if people were given information about this when deciding where to get an operation, the choices would be pretty clear.

I guess this would centralize and save money too, so it's a win. Acute things, local hospital. I guess most cancers don't kill that fast.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [21 Mar 21:10 Europe/Oslo]

Wrong point of failure

I read this piece on slashdot:

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/03/19/1928244/Company-Sued-...

Where a guy sues (and wins) because the tablesaw manufacturer didn't include a patented feature, which would be making the saw more expensive and in some ways less practical to use and prone to break, costing in repairs.

Here's a choice comment:

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1588948&amp;cid=3154...

"Table saws, at the best of times, are what guys who work with power tools like to refer to as "fucking dangerous". There are ways to certainly manufacture safer saws, but no matter whether you're using some cheap $200 bargain basement table saw or a top end unit is that you never stand in front of our behind the saw blade and just as importantly if you're ripping small pieces of wood, you don't feed them in with your hands. This is a good way to keep your hands intact."

Yup. The thing is that different table saws have different features, and some might find a safety mechanism off-putting.

My company is kind of a hybrid between being a producer and a retailer. We produce (create) things for the customer, as well as resell some things.

We've learned some things along the way, and one thing is (data) security. When offering something to a customer, we need to tell the customer what the security implications of each (hosting package) choice is. Although we need to get even better at informing the customer about it.

Some things are cheaper, but also less secure. Some things are more bare-bones, unsecured and powerful but also more expensive. And yet other things are secure, powerful and comprehensively packaged.

You'd think at least power tools manufacturers (and the likes) would agree on some, if not standard rating, standard categorization of security features.

Then you'd have a brochure, or something the retailer could compile and print and give to the customer and/or discuss. Which would enable the customer to make informed decisions.

Or, some 3rd party website could evaluate products in that particular market and give ratings and such and derive revenue from ads or referrals.

Yes yes, the potential for 'raw deals' in 3rd party websites could be something, but then there's the law, putting persons' life and health in jeopardy and the red face factor.

I'd lean towards secure products every time I think. Unless I really knew what I was doing.

And it would bring the right focus on things, namely life and health. It'd be a positively twisted competition.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [19 Mar 23:57 Europe/Oslo]

Some human rights spanking from the US

http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/eur/136050.htm

(thanks Chris)

I think racism (or "racial profiling") is a problem here in Norway, but that's the way it is. It'll get better. Prejudice, fear.. Stories about immigrants on welfare.

I don't know what came first, but I talked to a cab driver last year about things, and he said "it is YOUR culture, that's the way it is". That stuck to my mind.

If someone is steadfast and doesn't want to integrate, problems happen. And natives are suspicious and have a culture and set of norms already.

OTOH, you'd think the people in charge would do a better job at integrating immigrants. I see in some muslim environments there's work to make change and integrate, so I guess things are happening. And one of the Islam-values-fearmongering political parties in Norway are asking for more school-time in Norwegian. And more integration (understanding) is better.

I've had beers with muslims myself, and they were OK, if not a bit hard around the edges (which could be because of any of the things above).

(Add soap)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [12 Mar 12:38 Europe/Oslo]

Speaks volumes

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/03/11/leaked-documents-uk.htm...

The text on the page says a lot. I've been to London and worked for a little while in Guildford some years ago, and it was an OK experience. Brits have a good sense of humour and the hot chicks are REALLY hot.

But I see they're putting up cameras everywhere, talking about drones for surveillance. OK, in the interest of safety and justice..

But if they're going to experiment with those things, I think it is very, very important to make sure that free speech is cemented and celebrated at every turn.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [11 Mar 23:49 Europe/Oslo]

Childish

We were taking the train today from Trondheim to Oslo, and talked a bit to a woman visiting Namsos all the way from Rhode Island (some 4 hours away from NY).

I asked a bit about "socialistic" health care, and she moaned on about the 2700 page document and people there being childish about their health care and the broken system that is. A self-perpetuating black hole for money, light and well-being perhaps.

One doctor had to pay 110K USD per year in malpractice insurance.. oh well.

I guess a system where the gap between people is so big screws things up. A capitalistic darwinism if you will.

Here in Norway I guess we have a fairly even spread when it comes to resources.. on the other hand, social pressure and social darwinism is a beast of its own. The angry birds pick 'til the feeling is gone.

The other day I was viewing COPS or somesuch, and saw some guy speeding away from the police in a car. Over gardens and driving like crazy.. he subsequently got out the car and started running. He ran for a while and got caught by the cop.. wrestled to the ground he responded to the officer, "Yes sir! No sir!". Well, I guess it is never too late for good manners. :)

[Later..] In related news, a police officer was killed by a speeding car around 3 last night here in Norway:

http://www.dagbladet.no/2010/03/04/nyheter/politijakt/innenr...

That's just sad. I don't know if most people recognize that when driving they're steering a ton or more of potentially lethal material at velocity.

I also read the officer happens to be the 10th officer killed in the line of duty since the end of WW2. 4-5 million people and 10 officers killed, that's pretty good considering I guess. The scary thing is that the pace has picked up the last 20 years.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [03 Mar 23:16 Europe/Oslo]

Interesting

http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/taxes_marijuana/reven...

That is the projected revenue of regulating and taxing marijuana in the US.. not to mention the saved cost of not putting people through the justice system for choosing to have a little fun and doing something that affects them and their own body.

Here in Norway we're still much trapped in "portal theory" / "stepping stone" theory hell. When will people here realize that making something which is less harmful than alcohol illegal gives all the wrong signals about other drugs and also drives more revenue into the illegal economy not to mention pushes people into environments where they get lured into doing more illegal things?


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [04 Nov 01:09 Europe/Oslo]

More wind in the sail

http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/doc/2009/10/09/to-win-you-need-...

"I’m all for giving the guy a chance, but why hang a garland on him when the race has hardly begun?"

Well, I'd rather like to think of it as extra wind in the sails for an inspirational captain..

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [10 Oct 23:01 Europe/Oslo]

A scare from the east (digital bloodbath)

I've been reading up on Rick Falkvinge's blog, the leader of the Swedish Pirate Party:

http://rickfalkvinge.se/2009/02/27/valkomna-ombord/

It talks about the "Private police law" - Ipred which was accepted in "Riksdagen" a little while ago. I don't know where to begin, but to sum it up, the content industry would be able to:

* Perform private criminal investigations
* Force an ISP to provide the subscriber info for the IP address they've been supervising and see as an (illegal) file sharer (even the Swedish police don't have the rights to do that)
* Confiscate the house and freeze the bank accounts of the person they suspect for illegal filesharing

  They go after the person responsible for the connection, not necessarily the person doing the infringement

* Search the house and any equipment which can contain infringing content (private diaries? private surfing history? politicial intentions? sexual preferences?) They get to see it all.

And that's just some of it. On the other hand, I see Telenor here in Norway today are sticking it to the content industry, saying that basically they can't shut down access to the Pirate Bay, because it would be like the postal office inspecting mail. They also nip it in the bud and flat out say that the business model of the content industry is broken, and that it needs to change (using mobile phone ring tones as an example of something that works). That may be because Telenor has a vested interest and a piece of the pie for content that gets ordered through their network or using their broadband, but oh well.

But, anyway back to this Swedish deal. From what I surmise, the content industry can go after anyone they suspect, freeze their assets (how do you pay your lawyer then?) and force the people to pay up the sum on short notice. Nothing like being held hostage huh?

Another bit in that article is that the group of people accused of filesharing can be forced to pay an ad where they admit to being convicted. To draw a macabre paralell, I know there are places where you can be executed and your family forced to pay for the bullet. Or that you're publicly humiliated (flogged) and then sent to economic prison for a while. If it isn't an economic death sentence.. can anyone fathom the anguish of being publicly humiliated and ruined?

I can only hope that the politicians here in Norway don't go down the same path.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [02 Mar 21:46 Europe/Oslo]

Anger for a change

The last song of the day was something I listened to a bit when I was younger. The "cool" kids were into Public Enemy, wearing PE caps and things like that.

We were rebelling against something, but I'm not sure exactly what. I guess PE was born out of anger as a group of people were fighting for a good status and place in society.

A couple of weeks ago we saw some punk-heads having a protest, and there were several cop-cars at the event. The cops were pretty relaxed about it, even when that song was played on a boom-box. "Raaawrr, we're rebelling!"

My dad's a cop, so don't take that reference as me being for cop-hating. Cops have to play by the rules defined by politicians, and someone with the power (and the law on their side) can easily abuse it - there are bad apples everywhere. I still see some stigma and racism here in Norway, where the actions of a few gives ammo to those who live by stereotypes.

But I guess that's the way it has always been. Ignorant people find something to hate and it spreads like a disease..

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [26 Nov 15:41 Europe/Oslo]

Is blind justice better than empathic justice?

Just a question...

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [25 Nov 19:53 Europe/Oslo]

Congrats USA

:)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [05 Nov 09:20 Europe/Oslo]

Just another day at work

http://i37.tinypic.com/2r57xvn.jpg

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [21 Oct 23:55 Europe/Oslo]

Don't hate the playa, hate the game

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3198/2856435471_e65eecb2db.jp...

I personally found the picture above funny. Still chuckling as I think about it and in the context of what Obama said earlier about lipstick on a pig.. well. Good one. :)

From the outside that election looks like a bit of a farce, with all the off-the-issues, dirty remarks.

But I see that here in Norway as well, you have a lot of politicians/newspapers who take mistakes other politicians make, and maximize it and really rub it in.. the drama is entertaining to some I guess, and it gives the tabloids something to write about.

Here's hoping whoever wins will do a good job. To me it's a win-win, the first time an African American is President, or a woman is Vice President.

Progress.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [21 Sep 08:41 Europe/Oslo]

Drinker's license

I think we should have a drinkers license. Act like an idiot when you're drunk? Have it revoked.

Don't have it? OK, then you can't enter nightclubs, order drinks at restaurants or buy any alcohol "legally."

Just a thought.. :)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [15 Feb 13:17 Europe/Oslo]

The softer end of Darwin's Shtick

http://youtube.com/watch?v=LLQki-mQF4Q

Norway is a good country to live in; you may blame that on the oil resources, but I'd like to think it's the culture, laws and social norms that have given us these benefits.

Related: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jante_Law


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [27 Nov 16:22 Europe/Oslo]

Baseline

There were some discussions on #joiito regarding capitalism and socialism among other things, which got me thinking again.

On my page it says that I am "more socialistic than capitalistic, hoping that capitalism is a means to modern socialism and that we will become strong enough to find a meaning without resorting to religion."

What I mean by that, is that I believe in capitalism's ability to get things done, efficiently. I also believe that people should have at least two levels in their basic needs covered, as seen in Maslow's pyramid:

http://tinyurl.com/6ujce

in Norway we have a good thing going, with a public health service that's funded by the taxes people pay. So, anyone can get health care. One thing I often see in the media though, is that there are long waiting lines for operations and other things.

If you've seen movies like The Corporation and Sicko, you know that (at least in the US), corporations tend to behave like psychopaths, only focusing on profits. That for example health insurance companies use dirty tricks to stop people from getting the care they're actually paying for. When it comes to health, this is a very bad thing.. I know from personal experience that it can be hard even asking for help if you have a medical problem, even if the treatment is (close to) free. The insurance companies say that "the system works" whenever they have lost all their appeals and the person finally gets their treatment (paid for), but my guess is that a lot of people suffer and/or die because they don't have the "juice" to fight health problems and a company at the same time.

So, in the case of health insurance and health care, I believe that health care should be universal, and funded by the taxes people pay. I do however believe that health service providers could and should be private. But then we need a system that rewards and penalizes (in monetary terms) these health providers based on the service they provide to their patients. It IS OK to make a profit, if you're smart, hardworking and/or creative. In itself, I think giving health care is a very rewarding job (I have a huge respect for doctors for example), but it is always extra motivating if you can make some extra money which you can use on a fancy vacations, new gadgets and so on.

And that's the good thing about capitalism.. it promotes competition and gives an incentive to do things better, which ultimately benefits us all.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [14 Oct 05:21 Europe/Oslo]

Why the internet is a win (oh it's all about control?)

Over the last couple of years I've been reading various websites and a common theme (that I have noticed anyway) is sticking it to the man, whoever that might be.

It's interesting to see how those who were .. dominant in their time, such as recording companies, getting squeezed on for example DRM.

I had a chat with some FIX people earlier tonight (telnet fix.no), which sparked this post; we were talking about music, downloading music and paying for it. We also discussed DVDs and their region codes.. I think I've bumped into the problem with region codes once so I haven't given much thought to it.

Anyway, you can see the Wikipedia page here:

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD_region_code

which mentions that "The purpose of this system is to allow motion picture studios to control the various aspects of a release (including content, date and, in particular, price) according to the region."

OK. Well, back to DRM. I think that's a system dreamed up by paranoid a-holes who want to earn as much as possible (see Wikipedia quote), and they're clinging to it for dear life, because they don't have the ability to adapt. They can't compete a virtually free product, so what they need to do is give up DRM and protecting their old ways and find a better product. Many things spring to mind for music: hold more concerts, charge more for the concert, give each user who downloads a song a certificate of some sort, which says that the user supports that band (that could be social credibility..). Heck, make buying a song a lottery, so that people can win concert tickets with a backstage pass!

I could go on and on.

Now, back to downloading music. I use mp3sparks, because it's my understanding that it is legal in Norway (that's what some Norwegian state person said in some article on a website a while ago anyway). There is an ethical issue there however, and that is artist compensation; from what I understand, artists get little or no compensation when I buy music from mp3sparks. OK.

But what about giving me a DRM-free alternative, where I can buy the music and do whatever I want with it? I'm not saying I want buy music, start a file sharing site and rob artists of their money, but I want to buy something, own it, maybe give a couple of songs to my friends so they can try them out. I see Amazon have started a DRM-free store, but it's not available for users outside of the US. I do have some qualms about using Amazon though, due to their lame 1-click patents and what have you. And the DRM-free music selection in the iTunes store sucks (last time I checked - this is in Norway) iTunes sucks (it's slow and a in my opinion poorly designed piece of software). I'm not an Apple hater though, I have an iPod shuffle and love it.

Which brings me to watermarking. When you purchase some watermarked songs and decide to share some with your friends so that they can try it out, and some end up on a file sharing site for whatever reason - are you to blame? Do you get prosecuted and/or sued? There are some issues with watermarking, but in any case, it's a lesser "weevil" than DRM in my opinion.

The internet is a wonderful, open ended thing and it's sparking conversations between people, all over the world. No one owns it, no one can control it and look! It's exploding.

The internet is so elusive that protesters in Burma are able to use it and broadcast the truth about what's happening there. So, not only is the government feeling pressure from beneath (yes.. I think some states govern "over" people), they're getting pressure from the rest of the world as well, because politicians are being pressured by people who get access to information about what's happening in Burma.

Ultimately though, governments have to serve the people, or you'll have revolutions, protests and whatnot. And the people on top will listen to the masses when they change their minds about something. So what we need is an open way to communicate and collaborate, and the internet is just that. You can talk to anyone in the world, exchange ideas and opinions and make people smarter, more informed.

DRM is one of many pitfalls we can fall into in the new information age; because it enables some to control others. Control has an overhead!

First we have region codes or DRM, then we get systems that block certain information in certain regions and ultimately we get more of the status quo, where information about what's really going on is being withheld from us. Is that what we want?

I don't need someone to feed me bullshit and tell me what to do. I want to understand why something is and make up my own mind and make my own decisions and take the consequences for it.

That's what the internet can bring; we can have .. systems that enable people to voice their opinions on issues and make it count. What if someone starts a Facebook group for human rights, and 1/3 of the population in a region join it? Doesn't that send a pretty clear message?

If the ones in control don't respond to it, we can get organized and revolt, or "vote" for someone else..

The internet enables people, it is a wonderful thing, as it is today.

OK, I'm done with this quick little rant. Maybe I'll give more thought to it and rewrite it later.. thanks for listening. :)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [27 Sep 02:41 Europe/Oslo]

Creative come-ons

http://www.uv.no/arkiv/pressemeldinger/liberal-party-advocat...

http://www.uv.no/politics/translated-items/culture-wants-to-...

Unge Venstre is one of our hosting customers. I think the decision of working to make filesharing legal should make quite a splash, just hope the server can cope.. :)

[Later..] The server is coping well, and it is obviously a hot topic, over 200 comments on slashdot:

  http://politics.slashdot.org/politics/07/04/15/1950200.shtml

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [15 Apr 22:42 Europe/Oslo]

I can believe that (2)

"The current drug system is ill thought-out and arbitrary," said Nutt, referring to the United Kingdom's practice of assigning drugs to three distinct divisions, ostensibly based on the drugs' potential for harm. "The exclusion of alcohol and tobacco from the Misuse of Drugs Act is, from a scientific perspective, arbitrary," write Nutt and his colleagues in The Lancet.

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1602252,00.html?xid=rss-topstories



[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [24 Mar 19:00 Europe/Oslo]

Fixing an issue with an issue

Got off the phone with my dad a little while ago, and we had a chat about different things. Anything from how's it going to work to global things.

We somehow got into the subject og climate, global climate and global warming which got me thinking of how to deal with it.. consensus is that global warming is happening, and that we should deal with it to avoid big (unpleasant) changes.

We can say that all humans on this planet have an equal right to produce CO2, and that this is capped according to whatever the scientists find is the right amount.

Then, each country could govern these rights, give them out to individuals or companies (entities) - a year at a time for example. These in turn can use them as they wish, either sell the quota or use it.

That way, all people over the entire world get a slice of the pie, and could .. use it as they wish. People could live "ecologically" or not; people get rewarded depending on how they act towards "the rest of the world". If someone in the "3rd world" lives off the nature and don't pollute, they get more money and can spend it as they wish.

Of course, there would need to be some (transparent, good) system in place for this to work, to keep account of who's using/buying/selling what. But we have models for this that we could adapt - and it should function.

It would mean a lot of work for a lot of people, but what else can we do?

I'm sure someone has thought along the similar lines and maybe I'm ignorant for missing it. But I thought I'd share.

Now, back to work. ;)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [20 Mar 23:44 Europe/Oslo]

The bomb

Got pointed to this .. impact simulator for large bombs:

  http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/gmap/hydesim.html

freaky stuff.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [18 Mar 13:36 Europe/Oslo]

An inconvenient truth

Well, I just rented an inconvenient truth. With all this talk about global warming it made me curious so I had to rent it as I was getting some mothers day gifts.

Look forward to seeing it, should be good according to the critics.

[Later..] Well, interesting flick - a lot of good points. Makes me think that we can still make it even if all goes to hell, but that we should do something about it so that life can go on as it does today.

And it certainly makes me wonder what things could be like today if Al Gore won the election instead of Bush.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Politics (and judicial matters) (Atom feed)] [11 Feb 22:31 Europe/Oslo]