This is a beautifully written article debunking intelligent design.
I'm a technical director and individual contributor who focuses on issues such as:
- Corporate technical strategy (e.g. what technologies should we be investing in and when?),
- Cross company technical coordination (building consensus on the direction for our technical architecture and then herding the cats to make it happen),
- Standards strategy (which standards do we create/adopt/oppose and when?) and
- OSS strategy (how to best contribute to and take advantage of the resources on offer).
So what does it take to get one's universities boycotted by the British Association of University Teachers (AUT)? Does killing 10s of thousands of civilians get you boycotted? Nope, not good enough. Perhaps that's not a direct enough comparison. How about invading a territory, killing its people and moving in huge numbers of one's own population in order to assert de-facto control? Nope, that won't do it either. Perhaps outright genocide? No, that won't cut it. So if killing civilians, ethnic cleansing and genocide don't merit boycotts, what does? Being Jewish will do it. Antisemitism seems too sterile a term for the AUT's actions. Perhaps Jew hatred more directly captures it?
I have no trouble understanding why many people would have serious problems with Israel's policies in the occupied territories. I have no trouble understanding why people would want to take action to try and stop Israel's policies there. But the difference between honest protest and Jew hatred is consistency. As demonstrated above AUT's actions are completely inconsistent which lets one know that the criteria they are using for their boycott targets is something other than human rights.
Our rights only exist to the extent that we defend them in our daily lives. The right to free speech, for example, would quickly drain away if we didn't frequently exercise it and by so doing kept the knowledge of the rights importance and the mechanisms to protect it alive and well. But too often people believe that the need to defend our rights doesn't apply to them because they are just a single individual. Who cares what a single person does? But when each individual believes their actions don't matter then they significantly reduce the work required by those who would take our rights away.
I liked university. It gave me time to think about things. It gave me interesting people to talk to. But then I had an idea. It was called the Host Routing Multicast Engine (HRME). The idea was to get computers above the TCP/IP layer (e.g. not IP based multicast, see here for the problems with IP multicast) to join up in a spanning tree and distribute information down the tree. By each machine volunteering to redistribute content to every other machine one could very efficiently distribute large amounts of data. I'm sure this all sounds very familiar but these thoughts occurred to me back in 1994. 56Kb modems were state of the art, e-mail was still mostly 7 bit text, the Internet bubble was just getting started and I smelled money in them 'dar' hills.