Attitude of war affected by photos

Bush-dog-thumbFrom an article describing how wars are often defined by the images associated with them, and how the Abu Ghraib prison photographs have affected perception of the war.

The photographs of torture in Abu Ghraib prison are horrific, as is the behaviour they have revealed. Those involved must be punished severely. But the effect they are having on attitudes to the war is entirely unwarranted. It reveals an enormous naivety on the part of many of us.

This sort of brutality goes on all the time, it is happening now in jails right through the Middle East, he says. But of course there are no photos. This is selective outrage. Kazwini believes that the behaviour revealed by the photos is awful and the US soldiers involved should be punished. But he says some of the Iraqi prisoners shown were Saddam’s killers and torturers. They have been responsible for far worse violations of human rights than the Americans.

Not to belittle the torture photographs, but I’ve had the concept of relatively jammed into my head at university. It’s worth considering additional information and placing things into context. What background to the soldiers have? And to that extent, what background and politics do their commanders have? Remember George Bush is the Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces (Dislikes: abortion, stem cells, terrorists; Likes: dropping puppies, eating bull testicles, doing lines of blow off Laura’s back). Also, what background do the prisoners have? Ethically, logically, morally, whatever… it shouldn’t matter. But it does. War is hell, but the real world does a pretty good job imitating it. There are good guys and bad guys and there are courts that attempt to straighten things out. And they all work perfectly.

The wonderful digital culture that the Western world prides itself in allows for instantaneous access to just about any piece of information we could want. We can get movies, music, news, whatever off the internet and fast. If my family happened to get a new puppy and happened to have a digital camera around, I could get a picture of it pretty damn quick. The same goes for torture photographs in Iraqi prisons. It’s the whole fast food culture thing come back to haunt foreign endeavors; instant access to the war.

The media has latched on to the photographs and put their own spin on things. Most of them will probably fail to put the photographs into perspective and life will move on when the next story comes along. The war will end without a victory and without a loss and the war will be represented by a couple of photographs. I watched Wag the Dog yesterday, it’s all eerily familiar to me.

4 Years Old

Between moving houses and starting work and all that, I managed to forget that I started using Blogger over four years ago as of May 9th.. I migrated to Moveable Type about two years ago and am staying with it for now, although I may move to WordPress or something else. I didn’t register eightface until August, so my domain birthday comes later.

Wrong about MT

I jumped the gun a little bit and didn’t wait for all the news to trickle down, although Six Apart did change things slightly. I’m fine under the free license for now, and will probably be purchasing it at some point during the summer.

From the sidebar on the purchase page:

• Author counts are based on “active” authors, those that have logged in within the last 90 days
• Weblog counts are based on “active” weblogs, those that have had posts created within the last 90 days
• One site at one URL counts as a weblog for your license, even if it is made up of more than one weblog in the software

That takes care of most of my initial problems with the licensing. I grabbed the Developer Edition of MT 3.0 and installed it last night. I’m going to have to update my templates at some point. I have a redesign of the site in the works right now. I’ll be moving the weblog to /log at some point. I’ve changed the archive links to reflect that (although the old ones should work still) and I’ll be migrating to individual archive posts at some point in the near future.

MT’s new personal pricing structure is wrong

It doesn’t surprise me at all that Six Apart wants money for moveable type now, it’s a fullfledged and incredibly useful piece of software. I was planning on purchasing Proteus, ecto and donating to MT (when 3.0 came out) after I received my first summer paycheck, which happened yesterday. I just have to make some room the credit card first.

The pricing scheme for the personal license isn’t right though. Kottke sums up my feelings about right. He’s a little bit more hardcore than I am, but I can safely say that it boils down to tech-junkies liking to fuck around with things. I’d have to go for their high end pricing model to accommodate what I have on my site right now. I’ve created blogs to keep track of things for a short period of time. And what about one post that you want to have a weird/fake username?

The user and log limits are poor models for representing the usages of lone-webmaster. The chief concern should be whether or not money is being made through the use of the product. Offer a free version and a paid personal version; the freebie is user/log limited while the paid version is not. The structure for corporate pricing can remain the same, as their webmasters are not apt to let the users have rogue blogs for tracking grocery lists or books read.

I’ll stick with the version of MT that I have for now and see if they change their pricing structure at all. It’s time to start paying for some of these small apps I’ve been using for the last year or two.

Numbers are fun

Who knows if it’s truthful or not, but it’s a great hook for an article:

Corrupt use of World Bank funds may exceed $100 billion and while the institution has moved to combat the problem, more must be done, the chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee said on Thursday.

I lost a $20 bill this morning and have moved to combat the problem through the purchase of a better money-clip.