Link Blog 4th March 07

*Warren Ellis Comments on Second Life* :http://secondlife.reuters.com/stories/category/second-life/warren-ellis/

I didn’t know who Warren Ellis:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Ellis was until I looked him up on Wikipedia, but these articles on the Reuters website are fun and interesting comments about what happens in Second Life. I have no experience of Second Life, and find its popularity rather bemusing, but nevertheless it’s something fun to keep half an eye on. These articles are at a much more human level than most about Second Life, simply because they are about Ellis’s experiences of the game.

*Steve Jobs' iTunes Dance* :http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2007/02/23/itunes/?source=whitelist

Cory Doctorow has some insightful comments on the Steve Jobs’ open letter from a few weeks back. I have a more positive view on the announcement than Doctorow, but I do agree with Doctorow’s main point: that Jobs is trying to deflect the blame for DRM from Apple to the record companies. I’m dubious of some of the other points, however, as I believe the “lock in” argument to be far more hyped than is needed, at least from Apple’s point of view. I don’t see Apple would gain anything from licensing their standard, aside from the headaches which naturally occur as you try to manage larger enterprises, which licensing would entail.

In addition, I don’t believe the main selling point of the iPod is the iTunes Music Store — it’s the iPod itself. I don’t think, as yet, the fact people have a few tunes from the ITMS would prevent them from switching, the desire for the iPod is enough to do that.

*Faith, a special report from the Guardian* :http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,,2021337,00.html *

The divide between theists and atheists currently becoming more pronounced is going to become increasingly problematic. The opening paragraph expresses this:

The American journalist HL Mencken once wrote: “We must accept the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.” In Britain today, such wry tolerance is diminishing. Today, it’s the religious on one side, and the secular on the other. Britain is dividing into intolerant camps who revel in expressing contempt for each other’s most dearly held beliefs.

We need to be more tolerant on both sides. Religion has an extreme dogmatism that cannot be altered by extreme dogmatism on the opposing side. Religion also does not need eliminating, as some profess, but certainly needs to change alongside the world it is present in. If this is the goal, dogmatism of any kind can only serve as an obstacle.

*Chomsky on Iran, Iraq, and the Rest of the World* :http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/3999 *

A transcript of an interview with Noam Chomsky. I can’t really add much, other than perhaps his views should be taken with a slight pinch of salt, but certainly should be read.

Finally, some grammar pedant fun, courtesy of Flickr members.

.:.