We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Oh the humanity… I mean huge manatee!

Blog research

There is a gentleman from the University of Valencia developing a doctoral thesis, which focuses on the effects reading political blogs may have on the adoption of a more participative political position.

If you would like to complete a questionnaire to lend a hand, please click here.

Samizdata quote of the day

HMRC seems to be a law unto itself. Another inept quango making arbitrary decisions as it goes along

DouglasCarswell MP

Samizdata quote of the day

You couldn’t have asked for a better insight into the po-mo, relativistic, judgement-dodging mush of modern Western liberalism than the recent commentary on IS. No less a figure than President Obama got the ball rolling last week when he said at the National Prayer Breakfast that we largely Christian Westerners should come down from the moral highground on the issue of Islamist violence. ‘Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ… [And] slavery and Jim Crow all too often [were] justified in the name of Christ’, he said. If you heard a smartarse sixth-former who’d just discovered Richard Dawkins’ Twitterfeed and is prepping for a BA in post-colonialist codswallop say ‘We burned people 500 years ago, you know’, you wouldn’t bat an eyelid. But the leader of the free world? The face of ostensibly Christian America? The man who, for better or worse, is the embodiment of the West? For Obama to respond to Islamist violence by saying ‘we did it, too’ is surreal — like if in 1985 Ronald Reagan had said, ‘I had to queue for eight minutes the other day to pay for my loaf of bread, so let’s lay off the Soviets, yeah?’

Brendan O’Neill

Face it, this guy is just channelling what 80% of the western world is thinking…

Oh yeah.

NSFW by the way.

Samizdata quote of the day

The number of “techie” people who are in favour of government regulation of the internet is especially depressing. It reminds me of George Orwell (himself a socialist) who complained that when other socialists said “under socialism” they really meant “everyone else under socialism – and me on top if it”.

The techie types think government regulation will put them in charge – so they can do lots of good, and not have to worry about grubby businessmen obsessed with money…

They are fools – they are fools with wonderful technical skills, but they are still fools.

– Paul Marks

Well what I would do is this…

Shared Parental Leave: How should business prepare for its effects? … so asks an article in City A.M… and surely the correct answers are to reduce your workforce with improved automation, find ways to outsource off-shore, or just move the whole business somewhere the state does not run your affairs to quite the same extent, unless the nature of what your company does precludes those options.

Samizdata quote of the day

The Prince of Wales has demanded a “Magna Carta for the Earth” in order to save the planet from global warming – thus calling into severe question the abilities of those hapless dons who were charged with teaching him history when he scraped into Cambridge back in the early Seventies.

Had those history professors done their job, Prince Charles would surely be aware that Magna Carta was – at least insofar as it matters to us most today – a charter which protected the rights of the many against the tyranny of unaccountable power. But the kind of sweeping, pan-global, UN-enforced climate treaty the Prince is proposing represents the precise opposite.

James Delingpole

Samizdata quote of the day

‘Our state became bankrupt…’

No doubt due to undetected bankrupting radiation, beamed at Greece from an unknown planet hiding behind Pluto. It’s amazing, how that happens. One minute, you’re eating ouzo and drinking olives, and the next – you’re bankrupt! It must happen in some stealthy manner, like male pattern baldness, or the growth of my first wife’s hatred for me.

‘…placing the largest loan…’

They forced us! We didn’t want the money, but they made us take it! We had to! If we didn’t, they said they’d do – well, we can’t quite remember what they said they’d do if we didn’t take their money at once, but it was bad! Terribly bad! We had no choice! We’re victims of Providing Money with Menaces!

– Commenter llamas

Oh this is going to end well…

Putin’s Russia has crossed a Rubicon: it now has sanctioned the Anti-Maidan Movement, a domestic version of Hitler’s storm troopers, and thus created a monster that almost certainly will engage in pogroms against one group or another in the future, according to Moscow commentator Matvey Ganapolsky.

Despite Putin’s ratings in the polls and the power of various state agencies, the Kremlin leader has clearly decided that it needs another weapon to control society and direct it along the lines it wants, and he clearly could think of nothing better than to adopt one of the “attributes of the Third Reich.”

“The times have passed” when the Putin regime used informal groups of bullies against those it doesn’t like or approve of, the Moscow commentator says. Now, those bullies are being officially recognized and legalized, they are holding press conferences, and they are “talking but the salvation of the Motherland.”

As Ganapolsky reports, “the new Russian storm troopers call themselves ‘the Anti-Maidan Movement” and have ostensibly been created by the Militant Brotherhood, the Union of Afghanistan Veterans, the Central Cossack Forces and the Night Wolves, thus allowing the Kremlin plausible deniability about who and what is really behind them.

Paul Goble

Samizdata quote of the day

And so it has proved — self-appointed Muslim leaders have reacted with the usual mixture of petulance and confected outrage. The letter, they insist, is ‘patronising’. One spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain asked: why no similar letter to Christian church leaders demanding they disassociate themselves from the English Defence League? It is difficult to imagine a more lame or ridiculous riposte.

The EDL is habitually reviled by British politicians and church leaders alike — and reviled for nothing more than its thuggish opinions and rare, sparsely attended marches. The EDL has not murdered anyone, nor sent its thick-as-mince legions to fight for the Islamic State, nor blown people up in London, nor tried to decapitate British soldiers on the streets of Woolwich. Reprehensible (and, frankly, laughable) though the EDL may be, there is simply no comparison. And to make the comparison suggests strongly to me that the Muslim Council of Britain does not remotely get the point. But then we should remember the former leader of the Muslim Council of Britain, Iqbal Sacranie, once suggested that mere death was ‘perhaps too easy’ for Salman Rushdie. A little after he said that, we knighted him. And for a long while the MCB refused to attend the British holocaust memorial service.

We have indulged parts of our Muslim community in epic paranoia, victimhood, clamorous obsessions and pre-medieval cultural appurtenances for way too long. And so perhaps it is too late to venture, tentatively, that we got our approach all wrong

Rod Liddle

Samizdata quote of the day

Crash OverRide Network is not an anti-harassment campaign. It cannot be an anti-harassment campaign as it is run by someone who profits and gains notoriety by openly harassing people online. An anti harassment campaign is one that works to prevent the harassment of everyone, whether you personally like them, whether you disagree with things they have done, or whether they share your political ideals. If Quinn really wished to prevent harassment online, she would stop perpetrating it. I will surely not be the last woman she tries to remove from our industry.

Georgina Young

Of course the BBC, pretty much the worst tech reporters to be found anywhere, fail their due diligence as usual and just report it all at face value.