Thursday 8 September, 2022

In the shade

I love the way apartment dwellers in France make the best of things.

Quote of the Day

”If only I had known, I would have become a watchmaker.”

  • Albert Einstein, reflecting on the atomic bomb.

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

Louis Armstrong | La vie en rose



Long Read of the Day

A website is a street corner

Wonderful, wise blog post by Ryan Broderick, triggered by the decision of Cloudfare, a service that provides protection for websites from denial-of-service attacks, to terminate its protection of Kiwi Farms, a toxic website. What this generally means is that a blocked site effectively disappears from the Web or fades into obscurity.

Every time this step is taken there are the usual rows about ‘free speech’ etc. And when Matthew Prince, Cloudfare’s well-meaning CEO, takes to his blog to provide agonised rationalisations for a particular exclusion decision he sometimes seems to muddy the water rather than clarify the issues.

Broderick’s blog post takes aim at a particular analogy suggested by Prince in his recent discussion of the issue.

Just as the telephone company doesn’t terminate your line if you say awful, racist, bigoted things, we have concluded in consultation with politicians, policy makers, and experts that turning off security services because we think what you publish is despicable is the wrong policy. To be clear, just because we did it in a limited set of cases before doesn’t mean we were right when we did. Or that we will ever do it again.

Sometimes analogies and metaphors are helpful in exploring an issue. Sometimes, as in this case, they’re not. But Broderick puts it better than I can, which is why he’s worth a read.

Thanks to Charles Arthur for alerting me to it.

My commonplace booklet

”The Beluga Restaurant, Marsascala Bay, will be closed today due to the official opening.”

  • Advertisement, Times of Malta

(From French Widow in Every Room)

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