The Trumpeting Zone Blasts Off

“We do not hold the belief that this earth is a realm of misery where man is doomed to destruction. We do not think that tragedy is our natural fate and we do not live in chronic dread of disaster. We do not expect disaster until we have a specific reason to expect it – and when we encounter it, we are free to fight it. It is not happiness, but suffering that we consider unnatural. It is not success, but calamity that we regard as the abnormal exception in human life.”

– Ayn Rand, from Atlas Shrugged

Welcome to The Trumpeting Zone, which will share beautiful art, innovative technology, and interesting ideas. Occasionally shared items will be in Dutch, when I find a valuable item in my mother-tongue that deserves attention. I started this page in order to help myself focus on expressing explicitly what I value about cultural products, and also to archive the things I share in a better way, which makes it more easily searchable.

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Quote of the week: Best response to #RICO20 #ExxonKnew Attorney Generals ever

Watts Up With That?

I don’t usually go for this sort of language, but sometimes, you just have to bow to the absurd, dive in, and say things in language that simple minded people will understand. Such is the case of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey who yesterday expanded the #ExxonKnew documents probe to organizations that don’t even take funding from Exxon. His advocacy group, the Center for Industrial Progress, was named in an April 19 subpoena for 40 years of internal company documents and communications. Clearly, Ms. Healey must have been asleep in class when the 1st and 4th amendments were discussed and is abusing her position of power.

Alex Epstein, who got a subpoena, posted his response on Twitter:

eff-off-fascist

Lest you think Alex is one of those “old white guys” that alarmists like to stereotype, have a close look at his picture:

alex-epstein

He has written a book: The Moral Case For Fossil Fuels and…

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Diversiteit, een vals concept: Linkse ”identity politics” knevelt zichzelf.

Yernaz Ramautarsing

Take 1: De jaarlijkse Joost Divendal lezing stond vorige week in het teken van diversiteit in de media en de hoofdspreker was Zihni Ozdil.

De avond was een parade van ongefundeerde aannames en contradicties. Het toonde aan hoe diep we zijn gezonken in het drijfzand van de nieuwe ”anti-racisten”. Ze hebben hun zin gekregen, etniciteit is een mainstream onderwerp geworden. Termen als diversiteit en representatie dienen als camouflage. De notie dat meer diversiteit per definitie goed is en minder per definitie slecht is expliciet racistisch. De conclusie dat een gebrek aan diversiteit het gevolg moet zijn van racisme is waanzinnig. Iedere sector heeft zijn eigen context en niet iedere bevolkingsgroep blinkt uit in dezelfde gebieden(in algemene zin).

Ozdil stelt terecht dat we iedereen met een Nederlands paspoort als Nederlander moeten beschouwen. Maar hij pleit ook voor ”strenge quota’s” bij bedrijven, dat is alleen mogelijk als je onderscheid maakt, zie daar…

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Crowdsourcing Human Rights Activism

Movements, is a website that seeks to crowdsource human rights activism over the whole world, by connecting local activists with an international body of volunteers who can aid them with their specific skills. US senators Marco Rubio and Mark Kirk for instance offered to bring untold right violations to the attention of the US senate.

It seems what is most needed are people with (social) media connections who are willing to bring stories of human right violations to their audience, and people who can help built webpages.

This is great initiative in my opinion that shows the way technology can empower oppressed individuals, and connect the peoples of the world. Various companies have contributed to built their website, and ensure the privacy of the users.

Have a look if you, or someone you know, can directly help someone through Movements.org!

For more info, here is an interview by Sam Harris with the director of the institute that is behind this website: David Keyes, of Advancing Human Rights.

The Space Race and Big Expectations (New & Old Space, part 1)

New Space is a term that, loosely, describes new trends in the space industry.

Mostly, it is NOT Old Space.

Old Space is the name for the way things have been done in the space industry, since its inception, or shortly since: government driven innovation and government funding. Old Space got going during the Space Race.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy declared that the United States would put a man on the moon. Four years earlier the USSR already had launched the Sputnik, the first ‘artificial satellite’ – a man-made object that orbits a bigger object in space. And in 1961, the USSR also put the first human being in space – Yuri Gagarin.The US was behind, and feared it would loose the space race, a high-stakes competition during the Cold War.

See here an excerpt from JFK’s inspiring speech:

However, once the US put its brightest minds, including the great Wernher von Braun, on it, and added quite a bit of money, the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration achieved its goal to land humans on the moon in 1969, only eight years after the speech of JFK.

On July 20th of that year Neil Amstrong, and Buzz Aldrin, stepped on the moon, planted the Star Spangled Banner on its surface, a feat not repeated by any other nation up to the present. (Unfortunately JFK was no longer alive during the culmination of the events he put in motion, because of an horrible assassination.)

A great video series about this whole episode in history is From the Earth to the Moon, narrated by Tom Hanks.

During this era, expectations went through the Earth’s atmosphere and beyond. It was a time in which Americans, and also other peoples, experienced optimism about what the future of mankind could bring, despite the threat of nuclear war that was always on the back of their minds.

As the years progressed it became more and more apparent that mankind would not venture onwards to other celestial bodies quite as fast.

Stay tuned for part 2!

Distrust of Technology Puts a Break on Innovation

Yesterday evening my first article on a professional opinion platform was published. The website is called The Post Online. Right now it has 64 shares on facebook, for this website the second place of the day. The first place was an article about the political party VVD (the party of the prime minister) making a statement about working together with some of the dictators in the Middle-East, rather than taking them down, and letting IS take control in the power vacuum – for which the party got quite some interest, and flak.

Anyways, my article introduces the topic by referencing a popular futurist television program in the Netherlands, that unfortunately is also quite distrustful of all the interesting developments that are going on, particularly if entrepreneurs are involved…

I note that this is in fact the general mindset amongst opinion makers and politicians in my country. And move on to ponder where this attitude comes from. To underline why I find this strange, I briefly state the tremendous progress that we have been able to enjoy for the last 200, and especially the last 70 years (post-WW2).

My claim is that the pessimism and distrust is due to the Precautionary Principle and that it leads to governmental regulations that suppress innovation because of fears for changes to the status-quo. These interventions, however, take a toll, that remains largely unseen – the lost potential of progress – which makes our living quality suboptimal, and evens costs lives of people in emergency situations, mostly diseases.

For this reason, I propose the Opportunity Principle, which is about allowing innovators and interested people to voluntarily test new methods of doing things.

My final remark is that the Opportunity Principle will ensure a better and more interesting future.

Read the whole article here! (In Dutch)

* I do not have the rights to the featured image, it is the image the website that published my article used to biffy up the interest.