December 2008

Israeli “Automated Kill Zones”

by Limbic on December 19, 2008

There is something deeply disquieting about these new Israeli Sentry Towers now installed on the Israel Gaza border:

The towers are “basically remote weapons stations, stuck on stop of silos. “As suspected hostile targets are detected and within range of Sentry-Tech positions, the weapons are slewing toward the designated target,” David Eshel describes over at Ares. “As multiple stations can be operated by a single operator, one or more units can be used to engage the target, following identification and verification by the commander.”

[They are] designed to create 1500-meter deep “automated kill zones” along the Gaza border.

Israeli “Auto Kill Zone” Towers Locked and Loaded | Danger Room from Wired.com

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Atlas of True Names

by Limbic on December 19, 2008

The Atlas of True Names revelas the ‘deep etymology’ of place names by substitution “the original meanings of the world’s place names for the better-known, ossified toponyms”.

334 – The Atlas of True Names « Strange Maps

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Off to Denmark

by Limbic on December 19, 2008

K and I are off to Denmark tomorrow until the New Year. Posting will be light. I would like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and very Happy New Year.

Jonathan

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For more on this cover, see Wikipedia.

The girl in the video is the oddly named but very beautiful Winter Ave Zoli.

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Bookmark splurge

by Limbic on December 18, 2008

These are my links for December 7th 2008 through December 18th 2008:

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101 Fascinating Brain Blogs

by Limbic on December 15, 2008

Looks like we made it into the Online Education Database’s top 101 list of Fascinating Brain Blogs, described as “An interesting assortment of links to articles and various bits of information that have a heavy dose of psychology, this blog’s purpose is to make your brain happy.”

Thanks Alisa!

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Greek riots are carried out by smart mobs

by Limbic on December 11, 2008

Revolution like in Greece - scrawled onto a pharmacy wall in Belgrade, Serbia by local Anarchists inspired by massive riots in Greece. Dec 2008

“Revolution like in Greece” – scrawled onto a pharmacy wall in Belgrade, Serbia by local Anarchists inspired by massive riots in Greece,  December 2008.

A couple of notes about the ongoing rioting in Greece:

1. The riots are coordinated – like so many contemporary riots – with classic smart mob technologies like SMS, Blogs posts and Twitter(?) 1

2. It seems left wingers are responsible for much more public order violence in Europe than right wing groups or immigrants. 2

3. Minor copycat rioting has occurred in other European cities 3, but not in near neighbours like Serbia where the economic conditions are worse. I suspect this is because there is an overall sense of improvement in Serbia but the opposite feeling in Greece.

4. Greece is perfectly suited for leftist organized violence. A string of weak governments and poor policing have allowed Anarchist gangs flourish. A constitutional loophole also bans police from university campuses so “demonstrators can regroup behind barricades at the Athens Polytechnic and pick up fresh supplies of petrol bombs before heading back onto the streets” 4.

5. Something has made very large number of Greek youths prepared to join the anarchist core in rioting. They are obviously fed up – and it would appear corruption, economic stagnation and failed (or missing) educational reforms are part of the reason. 5

6. The kid was shot by mistake, hit by a ricochet.

7. Criminal gangs are now in on the action, is it time to deploy the army?  The military can raid the campus sanctuaries, destroy the petrol bomb factories and arrest the ring-leaders 6

6. English students are too ignorant of world events to even know about the riots, so not much chance of copycat rioting there. 7

Added Sunday 14th

7. We know the teargas reserves of the Greek police are about 5000 canisters. It has taken about a week of sustained rioting to use them all up, so now Israel and Germany are rushing tear-gas supplies to Greece. 8

8. Rioters are using other technologies now, like laser pointers, to target police commanders.9

9. It seems that rubber bullets (baton rouns) are much more effective in quelling riots than just using passive dispersal agents like teargas. Greek cops were reduced to throwing stones back at gas-masked anarchists – immune to their gas –  who were able to shower them with projectiles including petrol bombs. Water canons seem to effective too. Some claim that there is an unwritten agreement between the cops and the rioters not to hurt each other 10, but even in riot gear being hit by a petrol bomb is dangerous and can lead to serious injuries. This policeman –  hit by a petrol bomb –  was extremely lucky his training, fireproof protective clothing and colleagues saved him from being harmed. New reports say that the rioters are now attacking police with crossbows, swords and slingshots 11

10. The riots have been descibed as “the first credit-crunch riots”12. Countries with high youth unemployment and a tradition of mass protest (e.g. France, Italy, Spain, Serbia) should be concerned about the riots spreading. From Belgrade to Bordeaux solidarity graffiti warns of  “The Coming Insurrection“.13. My personal belief is that we are entering into period of turmoil as the young push back against growing authoritarianism in Europe. A combination of highly manipulative late stage Capitalist media culture, eroded civil liberties, nanny state/Political Correctness, political cynicism and now economic hardship (caused mostly by elite greed and short-sightedness) have combined to engender fury in Europe’s young. Part of me is delighted to see it.

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Traveller man

by Limbic on December 11, 2008


[From Creative Ireland Forums – View Single Post – Photo a Day]

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EU and Kosovo: The Honeymoon is Over?

by Limbic on December 9, 2008

I am detecting an upsurge in anti-Kosovo rhetoric, particularly amongst former big supporters like Germany.

One article in a Serbian weblog discusses the outrage in Germany over the arrest and detention of three of its agents in Pristina. It would appear that these arrests really have caused a rift between the Germany and Kosovo. 

Stratfor have also picked up on the growing conflict between the EU and the government of Kosovo. Here is an excerpt from their scathing report published Dec 3rd and reprinted in B92:

Ironically, however, the struggle is now no longer primarily between Priština and Belgrade. Kosovo’s government is facing off instead with Brussels, which until recently seemed to be a firm ally. However, now that independence is all but entrenched, Kosovo’s interests are diverging from those of the European Union (and, incidentally, the United Nations). Priština wants to claim sovereignty over its entire territory — including the restive Serbian-majority provinces — while Brussels wants to begin clamping down on the rampant narcotics- and human-smuggling operations in the newly minted country.

Kosovo sits on an elevated plain surrounded by imposing mountains, right in the middle of one of the most lucrative drug – and human – smuggling routes in the world. The region is isolated enough to be practically unconquerable, and certainly untamable, and yet is near enough to historical trade routes (through the North-South Vardar River Valley and the nearby Adriatic coast) to be a perfect smuggler’s haven.

Slaves, mainly young girls from Moldova and Ukraine, are transported through the Balkans regularly — and Kosovo is part of that route. The transportation of heroin, however, is Kosovo’s main source of income. Heroin from Afghanistan and Central Asia enters the Balkans through Turkey and is distributed through Kosovo to various points in Europe. One of the main smuggling routes goes to the Italian port of Bari on the Adriatic Sea, where the Italian Mafia distributes the product to the rest of Europe. However, the most lucrative distribution method for Kosovo is via its own diasporic networks in Turkey, Greece, Italy, Germany and Switzerland. In particular, Switzerland — where the diaspora numbers more than 100,000 and where the Kosovo mafia handles up to 90 percent of all incoming heroin — is key for further distribution through Europe, particularly now that the Swiss have joined the Schengen treaty of open European borders.

[click to continue…]

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Twitter Updates for 2008-12-05

by Limbic on December 5, 2008

  • Like @robotwisdom, “i’m in search of hi-quality lo-volume twitterers”. Anyone have a “Must Follow People” list? – http://tinyurl.com/6qmlln #

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