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Tag: Ramblings (page 1 of 23)

You Don’t Own The Things You Buy

So you thought the digital music, movies, books, and games you buy are yours to enjoy forever? That’s only natural to think, but you couldn’t be more wrong.

It might not come as a huge surprise that you don’t own the music you listen to on Spotify, or the series and movies you watch on Netflix. These services are, after all, subscription based. If you cancel your subscription, you lose access to the service, and by natural extension, everything the service provided.

In many cases, you’ll find the same entertainment elsewhere. There’s a myriad of music and video streaming services online, and many of the them have much of the same content in their selection. There are, of course, a lot of exclusives, but in the case of movies and series, you often only watch them once anyway.

So what about the digital books and computer games you actually purchase? You own them like you would a physical copy, right?

No, that’s not the case.

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Technology Won’t Save Us

As Gab embraces ActivityPub, it turns out technology won’t save us from ourselves after all.

I’m a big fan of the ideas behind IndieWeb, the Fediverse, ActivityPub, and the general concept of distributed social networks. You own your content, your personal data isn’t sold to the highest bidder, and the censorship is limited1. I don’t have any factual backing for the following statement, but my impression is that these ideas were first embraced – and implemented – by people leaning towards the bottom left quadrant of the political spectrum. Digital hippies, if you will.

But because of the ongoing purge of many prominent, conspiracy-fueled, hate-mongering bigots from mainstream social networks, people found in the upper right quadrant of the political spectrum no longer feel particularly welcome on these sites. It’s only natural, then, that they start to gravitate towards social networks and sites run by like-minded people.

And with that, the alt-right is coming full steam to the Fediverse.

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The Oil Fund: How Norway’s Dirty Money Should be Used

Let me tell you how Norway should use it’s big pile of dirty Oil Fund money.

Norway was traditionally a land of farmers, fishermen, loggers, and miners. Our industry was mostly based on processing these natural resources, and towards the end of the 1960’s Norway’s GDP was comparable to that of Greece.

Today, Norway is one of the wealthiest countries in the world per capita. We also score consistently well in the World Happiness Report, and in general, Norwegians live a carefree, good life.

There are many reasons this change happened. First and foremost, Norway is located in a relatively quiet and stable part of the world. The population of Northern Europe is for the most part of the same ethnicity. We’re also on the same frequency in terms of political and religious views. The wealth is relatively evenly spread among the population, and our part of the globe is usually spared of the most devastating natural disasters. Without armed conflicts fueled by ethnic violence or religious nonsense, and without the need to rebuild the country every time it’s ruined by a natural disaster, we’ve been able to focus is economic growth.

In 1969, Norway got a major boost on it’s way to the top of the prosperity food chain. The Ekofisk oil field was discovered in the North Sea, and Norway joined an exclusive club of oil producers. The country went from an economy mainly based on processing renewable resources, to one exploiting non-renewable oil and gas resources. I’m not saying Norway wouldn’t have been were we are today without the Ekofisk discovery. Our Scandinavian neighbors are proof of that. Sweden, Denmark, and Finland all have a generally happy population, and a high GDP.

But the black gold sure helped.

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The Rise of Springwood

Whether you like it or not, I’m continuing my narrative let’s play Cities: Skylines series.

On the 21st of May, your favorite Finnish game developer Colossal Order will continue their effort to suck the wallets of every single Cities: Skylines player dry. Yet another DLC will be released, Cities: Skylines – Campus. In this DLC, university life abounds with new area types for any sort of student – Trade School, Liberal Arts, and University. As always, there will be new buildings to plop down in your city, new policies, and, of course, new Chriper hats!

Last year, we learned of Springwood, a thriving city just North of the valley. Before Campus is released, Springwood needs to grow. You can’t just build a campus in any city. Let’s consult the mayor’s journal to see how things are progressing in Springwood.

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The Case Against Nuclear

Many people are touting nuclear as the ultimate solution to the world’s energy problems. But why do they always seem to conveniently forget the technology’s flaws?

First of all, let me get one important thing clear: I’m not going to pretend I’m an expert on this fairly complicated subject. But it really doesn’t feel like you need to be one to see some of the issues with nuclear being portrayed as a massive silver bullet.

We have a problem that needs to be solved: The world’s energy usage is ridiculously high – and increasing. As poor countries climb out of property, their energy usage goes up. For many of these countries, the main source of energy is coal. In fact, many countries built coal plants like mad in the beginning of the 21st century.

Unfortunately, coal is bad for everyone, and so we need to find less lethal alternatives to stay alive.

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