25 September 2010


I'm underwhelmed, to say the least, after reading promo for 'The Tesla Shield™', a product designed "to heal, strengthen and protect the mind body and soul".

The vendors of that device - an "internal module" that, judging by the illustration, apparently resembles a purple suppository rather than the sort of thing wielded by Conan the Barbarian or Captain America - refer to fin de siecle inventor Nikola Tesla, who apparently discovered that "everything that exists possesses a unique vibratory rate which resonates with the heart of the cosmos".

The vendors report that they are "priviledged [sic] to have been given exclusive access to some of Nikola Tesla's papers and have been able to update and upgrade the original design of The Tesla Personal Oscillator". The new device -
has two active elements which act in synergy with one another. These are the bioactive outer shell which was invented and developed by Nikola Tesla and his assistant Ralph Bergstresser, and the bioactive internal module which was developed by Life Technology™.

The specialist bioactive outer shell of The Tesla Shield™ was developed by Nikola Tesla and Ralph Bergstresser. The bioactive outer shell of The Tesla Shield™ is created by the Tesla/Bergstresser process and allows the device to resonate with the cosmic energy particles known as tachyons. The Tesla Shield™ emits a positive tachyon field with a radius of approximately 10 meters which is capable of penetrating any material substance or living organism.
What, you ask, are tachyons?
Tachyon energy is observed to affect subatomic structures in an ordering way, aligning molecular structures uniformly, harmonizing life energy and by neutralising disruptive or dissonant fields.

Tesla said, that when tachyons are slowed down, they produce energy fields of high density. As conveyors of intrinsic energy fields they are said to have a very beneficial effect on living organisms and to neutralize negative fields.
Presumably you do not need an alfoil beanie if you have the device. The vendors explain that -
The bioactive outer shell of The Tesla Shield™ generates a field that slows down the cosmic particles known as tachyons. In this manner the surface of The Tesla Shield™ gets charged with subtle energy which is then conveyed to the energy field of the user.
But wait, there's more good news if you're into quantum mysticism such as notions of the Akashic Field.
The Tesla Shield™ has the ability to transfer specific information rich energy from the Schumann Resonance Field to the human bioenergetic field. The Schumann Resonance Field is a natural magnetic field with a unique harmonic frequency of 7.83Hz. It is scientifically recognised that The Schumann Resonance Field performs a vitally important function of sustaining all life on the planet through its ability to support and maintain the electromagnetic energy field of all organisms. ...

The Tesla Shield™ incorporates several synergistic technologies as a basis for its creation and capsular design. The Tesla Shield™ is a functional creation based on the principles of sacred geometry, zero point energy, orgonomy, superconductivity, and harmonic frequencies of light.
If you are worried about handing over your money, never fear. You are reassured that -
The bioactive outer shell of The Tesla Shield™ has a unique crystal lattice structure which is identical to that of rubies and sapphires which share the same chemical composition. Coincidentally, rubies are highly prized in many parts of the world for their healing properties, particularly in India where they are known as Power Stones and are commonly worn by men to enhance their health, vitality and strength.
And on and on it goes, replete with statements such as -
The internal module consists of a pair of harmonically coupled Zeusite™ microsphere resonators and a Quantum Microvortex™ caduceus coil. Before final assembly at our laboratory, The Zeusite™ microsphere resonators are psychotronically programmed with specific frequencies which promote the health and wellbeing of the mind body and soul.

Zeusite™ is a unique proprietary material developed by Life Technology™ as a result of our research into novel materials which have the inherent capability to mitigate the effects of electromagnetic radiation EMR.

Zeusite™ consists of a high energy compressed matrix of precious and semi precious stones, precious and non precious conductive metals, and monatomic covalent mineral elements which are specifically chosen not only for their protective effetcs [sic] but also their subtle energy enhancement effects.

Aside from the Zeusite™ microsphere resonators, The Tesla Shield™ internal module also incorporates a Quantum Microvortex™ orgone generating caduceus coil. This specially designed Quantum Microvortex™ orgone generating caduceus coil utilises the sacred Lost Cubit measurement.
The sacred Lost Cubit! Ooooh, scary.
The Lost Cubit was discovered in April of 2000 by German astrophysicist Hans Becker and has, in the last ten years, been extensively researched by the well known metaphysical researcher Slim Spurling. The Lost Cubit is a previously unknown cubit length which fills a harmonic gap between the Sacred and Royal cubit lengths of Ancient Egypt. Research and calculations made by Becker indicate that the Lost cubit may well have been deliberately omitted from ancient records due to its important and powerful esoteric significance.

The secrets of The Lost Cubit were always strongly guarded by the priesthood of Egypt, and were reserved exclusively for high initiates and Phaoroh himself. This is why there are no records of the Lost cubit to be found in orthodox historical records.

The Lost Cubit is derived from the sum of the polar and equatorial circumferences of the Earth divided by the speed of light. The Lost Cubit therefore relates to cosmic harmonics in a special way. Due to its dual ability to resonate with cosmic energy frequencies and earth energy frequencies, The Lost Cubit is the secret key to extraordinary health and extreme longevity.

The Lost Cubit has a natural resonant frequency of 177 megahertz which corresponds to the frequency of DNA, thereby facilitating DNA repair and the capability of consciously controlled DNA activation and ascension. It is becoming more widely accepted by scientists that DNA acts as an antenna for light energy, and therefore the harmonic frequencies of light and The Lost Cubit in particular are vitally important aspects of the equation.
I am unpersuaded by claims regarding The Lost Cubit but then, as noted elsewhere in this blog, I'm equally unimpressed by claims in publications such as World Futures regarding reincarnation, precognition, remote healing and so forth. As a sceptic I can't help questioning mumbo jumbo such as Ervin Laszlo's bizarro "Communication with entities that are no longer living in the familiar form in this world but are alive nonetheless".

If you are thinking of buying The Tesla Shield™ the vendors indicate that the "benefits" include -
Protection Against Harmful Electromagnetic Radiation (AKA EMF EMR EMP)
Heals Strengthens And Protects Mind Body And Soul
Balances And Enhances The Biophysical Energy Field
Promotes Mental Clarity Focus And Concentration
Promotes A Sense Of Balance And Centeredness
Promotes Feelings Of Love Joy Peace And Happiness
Helps You Become Relaxed Harmonious Peaceful And Calm
Neutralizes Disharmonious Or Negative Energies
Clears Negative Energies Of Cosmic Or Telluric Origin
Helps To Releases Blockages Or Stagnant Energy
Awakens And Enhances Psychic And Healing Abilities
Ideal for Healers, Lightworkers and Channelers
Expands Consciousness And Awareness
Rapid Revitalisation Of The Organism
Diminishes Fatigue And Tiredness
Enhances Physical Strength And Stamina
Improves Sleep
Retards Aging
Acts As A 24/7 Passive Psychic Shield
Energises Food And Water
Stimulates The Third Eye Chakra Improving Intuition And Creativity
Assists Connection To The Divine Source
Empowers Meditation And Prayer
Facilitates Ascension
Increases Synchronicity
Enhances Manifesting Abilities
Assists Astral Projection And Lucid Dreaming
Suitable For Adults And Children Of Any Age
Beneficial For Pets Animals And Plants
Use As A Pendulum In Chakra And Aura Balancing
Use As A Transmitter Pendulum In Distant Healing
Use As A Tuning Pendulum In Radionics
Use As A Pendulum For Radiesthesia And Dowsing
All that and more, as "The Tesla Shield™ Has Many More Uses Which Are Regularly Discussed At The Life Technology™ Blog And Forum").

The disclaimer on the site states that -
In accordance with FDA regulations and the laws of The USA we must state the following: Products and equipment supplied by Life Technology™ are on the cutting edge of technology in the field of holistic healthcare. However, these products are intended for research purposes only, no medical claims are stated or implied. Descriptions used are subtle energy references only and should not be interpreted to apply to physical conditions. The products and equipment supplied by Life Technology™ are not designed to be used in diagnosis or treatment, rather they are designed to make muscle testing remedies only.

None of the statements in this or any other pages at this website should be construed as claims or representation that this or any of the products or services from Life Technology™ are offered for the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation, cure or prevention of any disease. The products services and statements presented at The Life Technology site have not been evaluated by the FDA.
Interested in buying something that will purportedly assist "astral projection", retard aging, heal "mind body soul" and presumably facilitate engagement with "The Oneness Blessing"? Any last minute hesitations will presumably be removed - along with the negative fields and manifestions of those who are no longer living but are nonetheless alive - by reading that the device has "been independently evaluated by the famous author and paranormal investigator Joshua P Warren. Joshua Warren is widely regarded to be the world's foremost paranormal investigator / metaphysical researcher". Foremost researcher? So much for Targ and Puthoff, the researchers who reported that Uri Geller was the genuine article.

The vendors of the amazing shield kindly offer The Atlantean Power Crystal™ ("The Healing Technology Of Atlantis Utilised In 21st Century Vibrational Medicine") and The Ultra Advanced Psychotronic Money Magnet™ ("Harnessing The Power Of Psychotronics In Engineering Financial Abundance"). The latter, sounding very like the quantum mysticism espoused by Laszlo and his devotees, is apparently new and improved -
Through the aid of spiritual guidance given to us by the Archangel Mikhail we have discovered a uniquely different and improved method of creating our well known Psychotronic Money Magnet. The new method was delivered to us through an exceptionally gifted channel and we were astounded by the information that we were privileged to have received. According to the information the new Scalar Vector Programming Method which we have adopted can raise the subtle energy characteristics and the manifesting capabilities of The Psychotronic Money Magnet more than one hundred fold!
It was explained to us by the Archangel Mikhail that mankind was to be allowed to see the truth that we all have a connection to the source of all and that abundance is the natural state of the universe. We all have access to that state through meditation. The Psychotronic Money Magnet merely super-connects our consciousness to the source of all abundance more quickly and easily than meditation or any other known method.

To use an analogy, The Psychotronic Money Magnet operates like a high speed modem which hooks up our subconscious minds and etheric fields to the creative software of the universe.
The World Futures editor characterises the brain as a "quantum field transceiver"; the Money Magnet people rely on a modem analogy. The Magnet vendors, with phrasing that resembles Laszlo's "Oneness Blessing", indicate that -
It is important to point out that we were chosen to have been given this valuable information to benefit the financial situation of others so that we could continue unhindered with our important work of providing healing services to the earth and mankind. The universe and the higher spheres of creation will always assist when they recognise a project that will ultimately benefit mankind and facilitate the ascension to the fifth dimension.

24 September 2010

bailed up

'Bail presumptions and risk of bail refusal: An analysis of the NSW Bail Act', a NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics & Research paper [PDF] by Lenny Roth, Don Weatherburn & Lucy Snowball, examines the relationship between statutory presumptions surrounding bail and the risk of bail refusal.

The authors analysed 37,165 cases where defendants were granted or refused bail by a NSW Local Court to determine the impact of presumptions surrounding bail on the risk of bail refusal.

Controls included in the analysis were the defendant's age, gender, Indigenous status, number of concurrent offences, number of prior criminal convictions, a previous conviction for a breach offence, number of days between the date of first court appearance and the date of finalisation, whether the defendant had legal representation in the current case, and the plea in the current case at time of finalisation.

After adjusting for the effects of other factors, the risk of bail refusal was found to be higher for those charged with offences where there was a presumption against bail or where bail should only be granted in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

The risk of bail was also elevated for those with a larger number of prior convictions and/or concurrent offences.

Three main anomalies were noted. Firstly, nearly half of those falling into the ‘exceptional circumstance’ category were on bail at their final court appearance. Secondly, factors such as prior criminal record, number of concurrent offences and delay in finalising a case, exert a much stronger influence on the risk of bail refusal than the presumptions surrounding bail. Thirdly, the bail refusal risk was higher for those charged with offences where there was no presumption for or against bail than for those charged with offences involving a presumption against bail.

The authors comment that -
When the Bail Act was enacted in NSW in 1978 it created a presumption in favour of bail for all offences except violent or armed robbery. Since then, numerous changes have been made to the Act and it is now considerably more complex than it was when first passed. When considering whether or not to grant or refuse bail, courts must now distinguish between four types of cases: (a) cases where there is a presumption in favour of bail; (b) cases where there is no presumption in favour or against bail; (c) cases where there is a presumption against bail; and (d) cases where bail can only be granted in exceptional circumstances.No previous Australian studies have examined the relative importance of various factors in shaping the decision to grant or refuse bail.

22 September 2010

it dices, it slices, it makes your privacy go away?

The Business Standard of India reports on the latest efforts to spruik that nation's problematical national identity scheme, questioned on this blog last year and more recently in a 6(8) Privacy Law Bulletin (2010) article and ANZSOG Justice paper on 'Technological Identity Gothic'.
A unique identification number, or Aadhaar, may soon be enough for a person to get a new mobile connection or to open a bank account.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the apex agency managing the UID project, which aims to give every resident of the country a unique identity, has initiated the process to make this happen, according to Chairman Nandan Nilekani.

To make people realise the importance of having a UID, the authority is in talks with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Trai to make Aadhaar numbers sufficient for getting new mobile connections.

“We are negotiating with DoT and Trai on making the Aadhaar number sufficient for getting a mobile phone connection. Presently, a person who wants a new SIM card goes to a retail outlet and he has to do some paper works, other than submitting all necessary proofs. If he has an Aadhaar number, that entire process can be done electronically,” Nilekani said today, while addressing income tax officers on ‘Revitalisation of Public Service’ here.

He said the authority was also talking to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the finance ministry and Indian Bankers’ Association (IBA) to allow Aadhaar numbers as sufficient proof for their know-your-customer (KYC) procedure to open no-frills bank accounts.
A few months ago the Times of India reported that the UIDAI had been rebadged with a new name and logo, no doubt useful for marketing but arguably less of a priority than urgent development of a coherent national privacy regime.

The report indicated that -
The government's ambitious unique identity project aiming to give a 16-digit number to all citizens of the country was on Monday renamed 'AADHAAR' and its new logo unveiled.

The Unique Identification Number project of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chaired by IT czar Nandan Nilekani was renamed 'AADHAAR' (foundation) as part of efforts to reach out to the common man.

"UID itself is very confusing. Some people call it DUI, somebody calls it IUD and so forth. So it was getting a little difficult to explain all this various permutations, combinations of this acronym," Nilekani said.

"Therefore, we wanted a name that could effectively communicate its transformational potential and its promise to residents. Something that had a national appeal that could be recognised across the country, could resonate in different languages and easy to remember and speak," he said.

He said the same standard was also set for the making of the logo. The new logo, with a sun in yellow and a fingerprint in the centre, was also made public at a seminar organised by the UIDAI here. ...

Nilekani said the project was aimed at the under privileged and the poor who are left out of the government's social schemes because of lack of identity proof.

R Chandra Shekhar, Secretary, Department of Information Technology, said, " AADHAAR is the first identity project which is aiming at the poor and marginalised. Earlier all such schemes use to cater only to security but AADHAAR caters to both."
Earlier this month Nilekani responded to the question 'What is this number really going to verify? What would it mean for me when I have it?' by claiming -
Fundamentally, it is great value for money because if you are able to give every Indian a number, it is not just about giving a number, it is about giving them an identity, it is giving them an acknowledgement of their existence by the state and that is really the main thing and it has huge social benefits.

You just think of it as your mobile identity. Think of it like the mobile phone versus the landline. When we had a landline, you were fixed to a particular location. If I had to reach you, I have to know you are at home or in office. Now when I call you on your mobile, I do not care where you are. Your mobile number goes with you. So this is also a form of mobile identity, it travels with you and wherever you are we can verify about a person’s identity.
On the UIDAI site Nilekani explains that -
"The name Aadhaar communicates the fundamental role of the number issued by the UIDAI - the number as a universal identity infrastructure, a foundation over which public and private agencies can build services and applications that benefit residents across India."

Aadhaar's guarantee of uniqueness and centralised, online identity verification would be the basis for building these multiple services and applications, and facilitating greater connectivity to markets

Aadhaar would also give any resident the ability to access these services and resources, anytime, anywhere in the country

Aadhaar can for example, provide the identity infrastructure for ensuring financial inclusion across the country – banks can link the unique number to a bank account for every resident, and use the online identity authentication to allow residents to access the account from anywhere in the country

Aadhaar would also be a foundation for the effective enforcement of individual rights. A clear registration and recognition of the individual's identity with the state is necessary to implement their rights –to employment, education, food, etc. The number, by ensuring such registration and recognition of individuals, would help the state deliver these rights.
The Aadhaar, like the UIDAI - still without a privacy statute and indeed operating under an executive direction rather than discrete statute - is reminiscent of one of those frenetic telesales advertisements. It dices, it slices, it abolishes poverty, eliminates corruption, it's guaranteed (omit the fine print) and - oops - make privacy go away.

21 September 2010

not dead, just on holidays

From the ODNB biography of Edward II (1284-1327) -
Although the official account said that Edward had died of natural causes, it was soon widely believed that he had been murdered. Murder is the most likely cause, perhaps following a conscious decision by Mortimer to rid himself of the embarrassment of a former king, or even in a moment of panic by Edward's gaolers when yet another attempt to free him was reported. However, a natural death, possibly from a pre-existing and painful condition (which might account for the lurid chronicle accounts of his death) or from ill treatment or from the mental shock of his deposition, should not be ruled out. But it was also rumoured that Edward had after all escaped from Berkeley, so much so that in March 1330 Edward's half-brother, Edmund, earl of Kent, was executed for plotting to restore the late king. In September 1330 the pope wrote to the king and to Isabella expressing amazement that anyone could believe 'that he, for whom solemn funerals had been made, could still be alive' (CEPR letters, 2.499).

In September 1338 a certain William le Galeys ('the Welshman') appeared at Cologne claiming to be Edward II and was escorted to Koblenz where Edward III was then meeting the emperor, Ludwig of Bavaria. This episode may have some connection with the astonishing letter preserved in a fourteenth-century register of the French diocese of Maguelone (now Montpellier) and apparently written to Edward III between 1336 and 1338 or at the latest 1343 by Manuele Fieschi, an Italian cleric with good connections both with the English court and the papal curia who ended his career as bishop of Vercelli in Italy. According to this, Edward had wandered across Europe after his escape, visiting Ireland, England, Normandy, Avignon, Paris, Brabant, Cologne, and Milan, before ending his days as a hermit at Cecima, near Voghera in Lombardy. A tomb of earlier date which is wrongly claimed to be that of Edward II can even be seen in the nearby abbey of Sant'Alberto di Butrio. Although there is no reason to believe that the circumstantial story told in the Fieschi letter is based on fact, the mystery remains of how and why the letter came to be written.

If some believed that Edward lived on after 1327, others wished to present him as a candidate for canonization. Such feelings were probably inspired both by a desire to counter the moves to canonize Edward's former opponent, Thomas of Lancaster, and by the rumours about the hideous mode of Edward's death - his bowels burnt out with a red-hot spit or poker inserted at his anus - which were given literary expression by the unknown author of the Brut chronicle and by Geoffrey Baker. Some of Edward's old allies and sympathizers among the Dominican order may also have played a part. There is no evidence of any systematic attempt to have Edward canonized until Richard II petitioned the pope in 1385; a book of Edward II's miracles was compiled and presented to Pope Boniface IX at Florence early in 1395. The process however lapsed with Richard II's own deposition in 1399, never to be resumed.

I'd prefer a Gruffalo

James Grimmelmann, in the 'The Elephantine Google Books Settlement' [available on SSRN], offers a US view of the 'classcopytrustliphant', ie the Google Books Settlement.

Australians, with a tradition of statutory licensing and collective IPR administration, may find that settlement less threatening than some US copyright analysts.

Grimmelmann comments that
The genius - some would say the evil genius - of the proposed Google Books settlement is the way it fuses legal categories. The settlement raises important class action, copyright, and antitrust issues, among others. But just as an elephant is not merely a trunk plus legs plus a tail, the settlement is more than the sum of the individual issues it raises. These “issues” are, really just different ways of describing a single, overriding issue of law and policy - a new way to concentrate an intellectual property industry.

In this essay, I argue for the critical importance of seeing the settlement all at once, rather than as a list of independent legal issues. After a brief overview of the settlement and its history (Part I), I describe some of the more significant issues raised by objectors to the settlement, focusing on the trio of class action, copyright, and antitrust law (Part II). The settlement’s proponents have responded with colorable defenses to every one of these objections. My point in this Part is not to enter these important debates on one side or the other, but rather to show that the hunt to characterize the settlement has ranged far and wide across the legal landscape.

Truly pinning down the settlement, however, will require tracing the connections between these different legal areas. I argue (Part III) that the central truth of the settlement is that it uses an opt-out class action to bind copyright owners (including the owners of orphan works) to future uses of their books by a single defendant. This statement fuses class action, copyright, and antitrust concerns, as well as a few others. It shows that the settlement is, at heart, a vast concentration of power in Google’s hands, for good or for ill. The settlement is a classcopytrustliphant, and we must strive to see it all at once, in its entirety, in all its majestic and terrifying glory.
He concludes that -
Ultimately, like every other question of concentrated power in the information society, the Authors Guild settlement is also a question about the role of the state. The settlement is a form of collective copyright management, giving Google the right to sell books unless and until their copyright owners object. The class-action settlement uses the coercive power of the state to create and enforce its provisions. But unlike other state-sponsored experiments in information centralization, which at least were established through democratic processes and subject to public oversight, the Google-Registry complex would be the result of a process instigated by a handful of private parties on terms worked out in two years of strictly confidential negotiations. Creating an elephant ex nihilo may be a remarkable feat — but the settlement remains a wild and dangerous beast.

SDA in review

The ANU E Press has released an ebook, edited by Margaret Thornton, on Sex Discrimination In Uncertain Times.

The book results from a conference to mark the silver anniversary of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth). It is described as having two aims -
first; to honour the contributions of both the spirited individuals who valiantly fought for the enactment of the legislation against the odds, and those who championed the new law once it was passed; secondly, to present a stock-take of the Act within the changed socio-political environment of the 21st century.
Thornton comments that -
The contributors present clear-eyed appraisals of the legislation, in addition to considering new forms of legal regulation, such as Equality Act, and the significance of a Human Rights Act. The introduction of a proactive model, which would impose positive duties on organisations, is explored as an alternative to the existing individual complaint-based model of legislation. The contributors also pay attention to the international human rights framework, particularly the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. The essays are illuminated by recourse to a rich vein of historical and contemporary literature. Regard is also paid to the comparative experience of other jurisdictions, particularly the UK and Canada.
Chapters include -
'Women's Work is Never Done: The Pursuit of Equality and the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act' by Marian Sawer

'The Sex Discrimination Act at 25: Reflections on the Past, Present and Future' by Beth Gaze

'The Sex Discrimination Act: Advancing Gender Equality and Decent Work?' by Sara Charlesworth

'Reproducing Discrimination: Promoting the Equal Sharing of Caring Work in CEDAW, at the ILO and in the SDA' by Caroline Lambert

'And Which ‘Equality Act’ Would that Be?' by Simon Rice

'Rethinking the Sex Discrimination Act: Does Canada’s Experience Suggest we should give our Judges a Greater Role?' by Belinda Smith

'Raising Women Up: Analysing Australian Advocacy for Women’s Rights under International and Domestic Law' by Susan Harris Rimmer

'Can We Feminise Human Rights?' by Margaret Thornton

'Sex, Race and Questions of Aboriginality' by Irene Watson & Sharon Venne

don't think he liked it

From Madhavankutty Pillai's review of the reissue of Michael Polanyi's The Tacit Dimension (London: Penguin 2010) -
The reader — unless he has an IQ of 140 plus and is a scientist untrusting of his own instincts and has a profound interest in epistemology (that branch of philosophy which explores the knowing of knowing) and does not mind it being combined with metaphysics (that branch of philosophy which explores the being of being) — is well advised to give The Tacit Dimension by Michael Polanyi a miss. Most of the book is incomprehensible.

That the reader might be none of the above is, of course, his own failure, but since the book is being promoted to him, a foreword by Amartya Sen serves little purpose in making it easier. A commentary was absolutely necessary, not just to make it slightly more lucid for him who shells out Rs 300, but because the argument Polanyi makes was done 50 years ago when science was perplexed about the direction to take, with forces like the Marxist theory in its established prime to confuse it. For example, communists, who ruled half the world’s governments, were arguing that scientific pursuit had no business being done for its own sake. It must fit into the grand historical movement of making the world an equal and perfect place. Polanyi’s case is that clear objectives are redundant. Professor Sen merely saying in the foreword that The Tacit Dimension is relevant today does not help; someone should have interpreted how.

... Polanyi makes a philosophical case for a reaffirmation of instinct. That inability to elucidate one'’s gut feeling is no reason to not pursue a field of inquiry. This he does in the language of Nobel laureates. To give an illustration: "Minds and problems possess a deeper reality than cobblestones, although cobblestones are admittedly more real in the sense of being tangible. And since I regard the significance of a thing more important than its tangibility, I shall say minds and problems are more real than cobblestones." And that was an example to make the understanding of a concept better.

19 September 2010

mummy's little helper

From the Wall Street Journal in a discussion by Courtney Banks of the US Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), noting concerns about practice highlighted in my May 2010 conference paper on 'Electronic Nannies' -
On Wednesday, Echometrix Inc. agreed to pay $100,000 to settle charges by New York state’s attorney general that it was selling data gleaned from its software that allows parents to monitor their children’s online activities.

The attorney general said Echometrix had violated state deceptive-practices and false-advertising laws. Echometrix, which did not admit or deny wrongdoing, also agreed to stop selling information gathered from children using its monitoring software. Echometrix did not immediately return a call for comment.