Humanity

Human beings are rule-following animals by nature; they are born to conform to the social norms they see around them, and they entrench those rules with often transcendent meaning and value. When the surrounding environment changes and new challenges arise, there is often a dis-junction between existing institutions and present needs. Those institutions are supported by legions of entrenched stakeholders who oppose any fundamental change.” (The Origins of Political Order + Political Order and Decay – Francis Fukuyama )

The Cute Cat Theory

The Web was invented so physicists could share research papers. Web 2.0 was invented so we could share cute pictures of our cats. The tools of Web 2.0, while designed for mundane uses, can be extremely powerful in the hands of digital activists, especially those in environments where free speech is limited.
This talk looks at creative uses of well-known tools to promote free speech in countries from Bahrain to China, and looks at ways in which the use of these tools helps evade internet censorship and promotes human rights issues to a wider audience. Great article at ethanzuckerman.com.

Rebreather course.

Next month I am visiting Sharm (Egypt) to do a rebreather course with TDI (www.tekstremediving.com)

From Wikipedia:

A rebreather is a type of breathing set that provides a breathing gas containing oxygen and recycles exhaled gas. This recycling reduces the volume of breathing gas used, making a rebreather lighter and more compact than an open-circuit breathing set for the same duration in environments where humans cannot safely breathe from the atmosphere. In the armed forces it is sometimes called “CCUBA” (Closed Circuit Underwater Breathing Apparatus).