July 18th, 2009

At work, Self portrait

Iceland and the EU

Iceland applies to join European Union (CNN)
This is not a final decision. After negotiating the practicalities of membership, a referendum will no doubt be held. Since the political elite generally is more pro-EU than the people (as in all European countries) and even the politicians were almost evenly divided, chances are there will be no membership unless the EU offers virtually full local control of the important fisheries. This is unthinkable because Spain in particular has been drooling over these resources for decades. So barring a miracle, this will end in acrimony. My native Norway has twice applied for membership in the EU, only to reject the proposed treaty. And rightly so, I may add.

Iceland would have been better served by a closer cooperation with Norway. The island was colonized almost entirely from western Norway, and the Norwegian language is largely a simplified version of Icelandic, which is old Norse with a different pronunciation. The whole population of Iceland is similar to a large Norwegian city, but next to nothing compared to the over 300 million people in the European Union.
Disagreement, Determined

Please stand by while we destroy your books

Some E-Books Are More Equal Than Others (The New York Times)
In which Amazon erases e-books not only from their store and from the archive but from the Kindle e-book reader when it is online. The irony is that the books were George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm.

Now, from all available facts it would seem that the books should not have been sold in the first place, that they were unauthorized copies, kind of like pirate copies, although the customers would not have known this.

The problem is that we are choosing a society in which the things we have bought can be unbought without our knowledge. In which things that exist can unexist in the dark because of events we are not aware of. In which things we own can cease to exist because of the decisions of others. On an individual basis. In our own homes.