jump to navigation
Le Petit
Support EFF

Freedom of Speech

Human Rights

petikr Badge
A petikr badge showing public photos from Clas le Petit. Make your own badge here .

Futurist Programming? Monday 2006-12-04

In clear disagreement with the dogmatic way programming is taught to would-like-to-be programmers today, Paul Haeberli and Bruce Karsh wrote the “Manifesto of Futurist Programming

Let me just cite a bit from the “Futurist Programming Notes“, that accompanies the manifest:

How would you wash a window?

Suppose we were asked to wash a window and we chose to do it the same way that software is developed. We’d get things like:

  • How to make really nice customizable buckets and squeegees.
  • A system for classifying window shapes. and materials, including of course, window materials and shapes that might be developed in the future.
  • An analysis of how well a window washing technique scales from windows the size of a bee’s wing to the stain-glass windows in the largest cathedral.
  • A commitment for a full design review BEFORE starting any implementation.
  • A consultant to write a user’s manual.
  • A promise of compatibility with the new Window Washing Standard from MIT.
  • Plans for a set of meetings to discuss a schedule for developing user training to teach users to wash windows the modern way.

Who would you rather have “solving” this problem for you, a computer “scientist” or a professional

It’s said that information wants to be free. But how free? I’ll leave the judgement to you, dear reader.

The Blue Ribbon Campaign Sunday 2006-02-26

The Blue Ribbon CampaignToday I have decided to join The Blue Ribbon Campaign for free speech online and the EFF. The Electronic Frontier Foundation was founded in July of 1990 in response to emerging threats to the freedom of speech on the Internet and later became an organisation for defending freedom of speech and human rights.

I remember the strong impression The Blue Ribbon Campaign had on the “Black Thursday” in February 1996, when thousands of web pages went black for at least a day, in protest against legislation signed by the American president Clinton, aimed at limiting freedom of expression on the Internet. The campaign was supported by EEF and such leading Internet companies as Netscape.

It may be hard to understand today, the impact of black pages with this blue ribbon made at the time, if you weren’t there. Today there are many black web pages, but only as a matter of design. Back in those early days of the Internet era, most pages were grey with black text, blue links and simple GIF images – nothing fancy. When suddenly lots of pages all over the web turned black, it was a chock, and for many an eye opener for the fact, that freedom of speech could be threatened by governments, but also that efficient campaigns could be launched very fast on this new medium.

Today, more than ever in the history of the web, threats against freedom of speech are raised. In the fear of terrorism, governments are making plans for control of all kinds of electronic communication. Laws are proposed on the right to collect email traffic, tap into mobile phone calls and do all kinds of communication surveillance. Such violation of individual integrity is planned in democratic countries, in the United States and in Europe. In many less democratic countries in the world, the situation is worse, and freedom of speech is just a dream. We have to defend ourselves against crime and terror, but we cannot give in to fear but we have to stand up for human rights and the democratic freedom we have gained.

Here are the simple rules of “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights” set out by the General Assembly of the UN in 1948. They are most relevant today.

Search Your History on The Web Saturday 2006-02-18

The web is coming of age, at least measured in Internet time ticks. You may wonder where you have been as information gets lost in the void of early cyberspace. Let “The Internet Archive Wayback Machine” come to your rescue! Here you can find your youth and your early struggle to present your soul to the world. and others of course :)
Here are some of mine as I worked as webmaster and teacher at the Royal Institute of Technology.
| 1996 My webmaster piece |
| 1997 My personal page |
| 2003 evolved ( they saved the image too ) |
| 2004 ( some images are killed )
| 2006 My now abandoned home page at the Institute still lives it’s quite life |