These days, almost everyone who uses the Internet has one or more email accounts. And no matter how careful you are, it’s hard to avoid receiving daily emails that don’t interest you. And even if you always check the box not to receive promotional e-mails, you will still end up receiving spam.
Even the biggest and most serious companies know that e-mail marketing is a very profitable business and they usually send a lot of e-mails that you are rarely interested in. In fact, that’s why the so-called “loyalty card” business is so successful: you have to provide all your personal information, including e-mail, address and even your date of birth!
Although, for the reasons outlined below, you should not use temporary emails to subscribe to services that you use regularly and that contain personal information, these anti-spam emails can be very useful in certain circumstances.
What are anti-spam emails?
Also called disposable or temporary emails, these emails are generally email services developed for one-time use. That is, to fill in a registration form and be able to check your account, but then not to use it again.
Because they are designed to be used temporarily, this type of email generally does not require a password to access and is much less secure than traditional email services such as Gmail or Outlook.
What is the most popular anti-spam email service?
Although we have previously shared a link to an article with 3 of the most popular temporary emails, the most used is undoubtedly Yopmail.
When to use them?
Because of their characteristics and even though they can be very useful to avoid receiving spam in our non-temporary emails (Gmail, Outlook, etc), anti-spam emails should only be used, for example, to register on pages where you do not enter personal information and if the account is not important to you.
Remember that because spam emails are not designed for regular use, you may not be able to access them again to change your account password, for example.
However, they are very useful for registering on a web page that requires you to create an account to access its content, such as a forum, because once you have read the content you are interested in, you will probably never use that account again.
As you may have guessed, creating an account on this forum with an anti-spam e-mail allows you to avoid receiving promotional e-mails sent by the forum to your traditional e-mail account.
Not a week goes by without a spying scandal linked to various connected products (speakers or assistants) coming to light. Amazon, Google and other manufacturers are all in the same boat! This is the worst thing that can happen to your privacy…
You are permanently bugged!
This is a serious matter. These connected spies are selling like hotcakes everywhere with attractive advertising. But do you know the other side of the coin and the risks to your privacy? There are a few things you should be aware of before you bring a spy into your home…
The general conditions of use to be accepted are quite long and vague. The fact is that this type of speaker (like all other types of connected assistants by the way) constantly listens to the sound environment and that this data is sent to the manufacturers. It is also potentially listened to and analysed by a dedicated team (called “transcribers” at Google for example) or even by an AI in the process. All data of interest to locate or identify the user is carefully stored. Some private conversations inevitably reveal critical information that can be exploited!
Thus, in April, we learned via an investigation published on Bloomerg that the Echo speakers using Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant send voice recordings to teams of employees in charge of analysis. By “conversations” Amazon means not only direct exchanges with the devices but also background noise in the room!
This month, the focus is on the Google Home, as we learn that thousands of employees are dedicated to voice analysis. These are real scandals, especially when you know that there is no information or warning for users who buy this kind of invasive equipment. And for good reason, it would be scary and these gadgets would literally become unsellable!
In the recent case involving Google, we learn that a certain volume of captured recordings contains sensitive private information: private conversations in the bedroom, conversations between parents and children or professional conversations with confidential data… Some discussions included elements on the health of users who asked their assistant for information by voice, thus allowing extrapolation on the general state of the user. No limits.
And don’t think that the data is anonymous! Indeed, each device communicates its unique serial number and the identifier of the registered user (name or e-mail). Geographical position can also be added through the Internet connection. Don’t think you’ll be saved by the European RGPD either… because according to the researchers’ findings, the records are well kept by Amazon and Google and not deletable with a click as some vendors would have you believe… business is business! Not to mention when “bugs” occur and personal data is accidentally shared with strangers… or the risk of hacking.
Data security and privacy is clearly not the concern of GAFAM. Their business model is not based on privacy and non-intrusion, it is in fact the opposite…
The case of spy smartphones
Let’s note that the latest smartphones are now equipped with intelligent voice assistants that also listen to you permanently if you do not deactivate them! This is Google Assistant (OK Google) for Android smartphones and Siri for Apple products.
Here is the procedure to deactivate Siri, here’s the procedure:
Go to Settings.
Scroll down, and select Siri.
Then, deactivate Siri, by pushing the slider to the left.
Finally, confirm this step by pressing “Turn off Siri”.
As for OK Google, here’s the procedure:
Open the Google application
Press “… More” at the bottom right of the screen to access the menu and then Settings
Select Voice from the list and turn everything off.
Finally, if you have a PC running Windows 10, you should know that you also have to fight to deactivate Cortana, which is deeply integrated and protected within the system: the use of a dedicated utility is mandatory to get out of it! We can mention Win10AntiTracking or Ultimate Windows Tweaker. The best thing to do is to remove all the bug services and telemetry! This site gives you a complete overview of the utilities and actions possible to clean the OS of various spies.
It also remains that connected objects are multiplying at great speed: connected TVs, connected watches, connected household appliances, connected locks, connected houses, connected cameras, connected light bulbs, connected thermostats, connected scales, connected sports bracelets, and even connected sex toys! Of course, the list is far, far from being exhaustive… it is high time to question the stakes and the dangers linked to these highly invasive objects
Artificial intelligence could destroy 120 million jobs worldwide within the next three years. It is the finding of a recent study conducted by IBM. Moreover, as a result of robotization – a theme that is more relevant than ever – millions of working people will have to retrain to reorient themselves towards new professions. At the same time, 41% of CEOs surveyed believe they do not have the financial resources to develop an AI strategy.
The study draws on the responses of 5,670 business leaders in 48 countries. It highlights complex challenges. Those require a fundamental change in the way companies respond to and manage changing labor needs at all levels of the organization. Thus, according to the results, the time required to fill a skills gap through training has increased more than 1000% in just four years. While in 2014, it took an average of three days to train an employee, in 2018, the duration of the apprenticeship would have reached 36 days; the report points out.
Despite this somewhat alarmist observation, the report provides a reassuring answer: while automation will certainly replace employees in many sectors, a job creation component will be created in parallel. New skills needs are expected to emerge quickly, while other profiles will become obsolete. And it is soft skills, i.e., knowledge, behavior and not technical skills, that will be the most sought-after.
Training plans still insufficient
Since 2016, professional profiles, mainly hardware and software developers, have been the most sought-after by companies, the report says. At present, it is behavioral knowledge that is preferred by recruiters, flexible, agile, adaptable, and able to manage priorities. For Amy Wright, associate director at IBM Talent & Transformation, with the arrival of AI, companies are increasingly facing the growing skills gap.
While leaders recognize the seriousness of the problem, half of those interviewed admit that they have no skills development strategy in place to address their most essential gaps, she says.
To this end, strategies are emerging to help them retrain their employees and create a culture of continuous learning necessary to successfully transition to AI. The main recommendation is to adopt a comprehensive approach to fill the skills gap through multimodal, personalized, and data-based development. To retrain, employees will have to follow training paths tailored to their current level of experience, skills, role, and career aspirations. To feed these paths, companies must take advantage of an ecosystem of partners to expand educational content, take advantage of learning technologies, and even share their strengths beyond their organizational boundaries.
If you are not making use of a VPN, you should know that you are leaving traces on every website you visit.
Just observe what I can learn about you when you visit this page: the language of your computer, the browser you are using, your operating system, and even your IP address and location. It’s scary. But there is a solution to hide your IP when browsing the web.
In this article, I will show you how to change your IP easily and keep your activity secret.
What is an IP address?
All devices require an address to access and connect to the Internet. Your IP address is unique. And it can be static (your Internet Service Provider assigns it to you, and it can’t be changed) or dynamic (changing at the will of your ISP, every hour or so, or every time you restart your router).
When a person, company, or government gains access to your IP address, it is feasible for them to know the exact location from which you are connected. It doesn’t matter if you connected via cable, Wi-Fi, or using your cell phone’s mobile data.
If you don’t want anyone to know your public IP address, you need to hide IP, and you need to know how to change the IP of my PC. The best way to do this is to use a VPN.
Why should you hide your IP while online?
Do you want to share your home address, email address, or phone number with advertisers and other third parties? Of course not. Since this information is personal and sharing, it could result in spam or worse. The same goes for your IP. Let’s review the reasons why you should hide IP or your IP address.
Hide your location: There is a lot of data stored on your IP. And anyone can locate you using them. Don’t you believe me? Check the page “What is my IP, or how can I change the IP of my pc? Where the country where you are, the region, and the city are listed. It would also be possible to show your coordinates in GPS… So it is essential that you hide your IP address or at least change IP address!
Avoid IP restrictions: Governments, companies, and schools set limitations to block you from accessing certain content and websites when using your IP. The only way to decide what content I want to access is to change my IP address.
Protect your computer from attacks: If you are a gamer, this is for you because by hiding your IP address, you can block DDoS attacks and any other attacks focused on your vulnerable IP address.
Surf anonymously: Last but not least, privacy is a right. Therefore, you should protect it from intruders. How to change my IP or hide IP? I hide my IP address with a VPN – you should do the same!
These are just a few of the reasons why I hide my IP and know-how to change IP or how to change the IP of my PC when I’m online. And I’m sure there are many others that I haven’t even thought about. But this is enough to convince me that all users should their IP for their privacy.
Does private browsing hide the origin IP?
Unfortunately, no, it doesn’t. Both incognito mode and private browsing do not hide your IP address, i.e., hide IP. These particular windows or tabs can only protect the data of your local and local red navigation (on your computer). The information is still clearly transmitted over the Internet and can be intercepted, and your IP address will remain public for any website you visit.
How to hide IP, your IP address, or how to change the IP of my PC?
There are many ways to hide your IP address and how to change my IP. And I’ll show you later the analysis of all of them. If you have asked yourself: how to hide IP or my IP address? I have the perfect answer, read on!
The best way to hide an IP, change an IP is to use a VPN
First, I would recommend getting a VPN like ExpressVPN (reviewed on this website). VPNs have the property of changing IPs; you should know how to change my IP easily and replace it with an IP from your server. And that’s just what you’re looking for: Hiding your IP is always better than changing IP to another country. So it works for what we’re looking for. And it has many other benefits that improve your security and protect your privacy.
A look back at the year 2018. Faced with the Yellow Vests movement and the high school mobilization of the past two months, an impression of something new emerges when we take stock of the repressive arsenal used by the government in power. It is undoubtedly first of all the terrible count of the physical victims of police violence that is staggering.
An armed police trained for war
The “instant tear gas grenade” GLI-F4 is misnamed because it is more than a tear gas but rather explosive and deafening. Since the withdrawal, in 2017, of the F1 grenade that killed Rémi Fraisse in Sivens, it has been the most powerful grenade in the arsenal of mobile gendarmes. It contains an explosive charge of 25 grams of TNT, which makes it a weapon of war.
France is the only European country using it for police operations. The flash-ball or “defensive ball thrower,” LBD 40, is also a mutilating weapon, and the exponential number of mutilated people in the face shows that police officers are now deliberately targeting this part of the body.
A legal arsenal at the service of the “State”
The violent, mutilating state and, also, increasingly disproportionately constraints and condemns all those who challenge the established order. The range of products used is extensive too. There are thus all the procedures for restricting fundamental freedoms decided by the administrative authority, which are the direct consequence of the incorporation of provisions relating to the “state of emergency” (and therefore supposed to be limited in time) into ordinary law since 1 November 2017.
And for those who fall into the net of immediate court appearances for the mere possession of objects treated as “weapons by destination,” it is often prison time or suspended sentences, even for people who have never been convicted before.
State violence as an agent of social violence
On the one hand, high school students forced to remain to kneel with their hands on their heads for several hours, on the other side, police officers pampered by a salary increase, and increasingly encouraged to use violence, to such an extent that some began to pull out their guns in the middle of a demonstration. On the other hand, there is a growing social protest, and on the other hand, power at the service of the rich and the bosses, which now has repression as the only answer.
The criminalization of social protest is the tree that hides the forest from the criminalization of social exclusion. The number of prisoners in France has just broken a new record: more than 71,000! Of which 1,500 sleep on the floor because the prisons are overcrowded, etc. The security and authoritarian state is the ultimate weapon for those who want to preserve the rotting capitalist world.
Every facebook account holder is regularly, if not several times a day, offered page content with evocative titles. However, in reality, the marketing strategies that these Facebook pages often deploy without any real content make the Internet using a pure product that needs to be taken up as much time as possible: your available brain time.
Facebook page sales, mergers and acquisitions
The trap can take many forms. Small pseudo-philosophical sentences on a rainbow background, an image of a cancerous person demanding a prayer, text that strongly encourage you to identify your friends on a funny clip, but more often than not: a video with very high buzz potential roughly copied and pasted from Youtube without source… All this is now part of our daily life on Facebook. What is less known, however, is that most of the pages behind these posts are far from being managed by ordinary users who would like to entertain us out of passion. It is now a real organized business that makes it possible to create small fortunes from our likes, without having to create any original content, without personal investment or real work.
There is facebook page trading, so a market with sellers and buyers of pages with their fans. Indeed, it has been possible for some time to merge pages, and thus to capitalize users of other pages. Thus, brands will want to fictitiously inflate their fans by buying pages, those personal pages with clickbait contents that raise us like cattle. Because these likes have very particular value because unlike fake Facebook accounts which are fictitiously used to inflate the number of fans, they are real people, potential consumers for the brands. Once the herd is large enough, the page is sold to the highest bidder.
The Facebook page buyback strategy is straightforward: thanks to hollow content, kitten images and other buzz videos stolen all over the web, the company capitalizes thousands (millions?) of fans on a page with the name “cool and nice.” Then this “empty shell” page is sold at gold prices on specialized trading sites. A customer buys the page, merges it with his company and capitalizes the fans. Sometimes, it is the same media that will practice the technique, multiplying almost similar pages and then merging them. Thus, a typical user may suddenly find himself following the page of a company he has never heard of before. Moreover, here is how in a few clicks, with a little money, a brand can win 50 000 or 100 000 more fans and claim to be one of the most significant communities on the web. All that remains is to place products to make one’s business grow on the backs of the cheated users without ever having created physical or intellectual wealth from one’s existence.
The commodification of everything and everyone
This practice, far from any elementary ethics, trivializes a new state of fact: the user of the social network becomes a pure commodity that is exchanged and sold. Worse still, the people most inclined to “like””fun and light” content are being categorized into ideal potential consumers and subjected to increasingly elaborate marketing strategies. In contrast, a person with a critical perspective on what he or she is supporting on the Internet, for example by avoiding liking this hollow content, will eventually have more restraint in terms of consumer incentives, which does not make him or her a very good customer (unless his or her specific “need” is targeted through the capture of private information, which is yet another problem). It reflects a poor image of the Internet and the modern world in general, which is becoming more and more embedded every day in the commercial logic where “real” and actual content is scarce and where the human being is only a commercial variable.
Behind the scenes, there is a growing discomfort about the degree of disruption these new currencies could have on the banking and payments sectors. During the summer, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the World Economic Forum published detailed reports on the state of play and their concerns.
Central banks must wake up to crypto-currencies.
As the last few weeks have shown, few problems are as worrying for central banks as the fear of losing control of their currencies. Recently, the Chinese central bank recently banned Bitcoin fundraising, leading to a temporary 15% drop in the value of crypto-currencies.
So far, the big winners of technological innovations have been the customers. The innovations introduced by fintech banking seem to have been less disruptive than anticipated, mainly because they have largely failed to change the competitive bases of such a regulated environment. Instead, the technology has significantly improved customer service and lowered transaction costs as said on this Twitter page.
But three major concerns remain, beyond the issue of resilience to cyber attacks.
First of all, will the banks, which have made so much effort to protect themselves against any eventuality, be put at risk by the newcomers?
In other words, will they be exposed to the same level of risk that Amazon is putting other industries at?
Bankers have tended to think that regulation would make financial services less attractive to new entrants, but they now realize that new rivals outside the banking world can attack them on more profitable segments and make traditional, regulated players less profitable.
Second, will banks become less important as more lending moves away from the regulatory framework?
Since 2009, entire sectors of activity have shifted from banks to asset managers. More than $600 billion has been raised to finance private debt, according to Preqin’s data. As a result, political leaders are now focusing their analysis on the non-banking sector.
The growing dependence of banks on large technology companies to manage their infrastructure prompts decision-makers to ask themselves the following question: which players will be more important on a systemic level?
Thirdly, will central banks lose control over payments if the volume of encrypted currencies issued by the private sector increases? Foreign currency issuance is a lucrative business, as central banks pocket the difference between the cost of issuing a coin or banknote and its face value.
Central banks are also concerned about losing their ability to monitor global trade. Given the global fight against terrorism and organized crime, this is a major concern. In an extreme scenario, central banks might even fear losing control of money supply.
Until recently, policy-makers were very concerned about crypto-currencies (cryptomonnaies in French) only to a very limited extent, because they offered few advantages as currencies, except for those who saw them as an opportunity to erase all traces of transactions. They are not a “store of value,” as recent movements linked to China have shown. Nor are they widely enough accepted to be a useful means of exchange. Finally, digital currencies are not as secure as expected, having been successfully hacked several times this year, at considerable scales.
With the increasing volume of crypto-currencies, we should expect that more central bankers will seek to prohibit or curb their use. It will be particularly visible in countries concerned about capital flight and organized crime. This will not stop speculators and enthusiasts but will limit their potential to create powerful network effects that could turn them into usable parallel currencies.
When asked in the Oval Office, Donald Trump (our dear president agent orange) attacked press freedom:”It is frankly disgusting that the press can write what it wants.”
A statement that will not improve Donald Trump’s relationship with the media. On Wednesday, in the Oval Office, while receiving Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the U. S. President attacked press freedom, after again attacking NBC News on Twitter. He was trying to denounce an article he said “fake news” in which the channel asserts that it wanted to increase the country’s nuclear arsenal tenfold:
“Cable news channels have become so one-sided.” It’s not fair to the public!”
Asked about this tweet, he replied that he found it “frankly disgusting that the press can write what it wants and people should look into it.” A journalist then asked him if there should be “limits on what the press should write”:”No. The press should be more honest. CNN pointed out that there is no license for national channels, but one per local station.
“They have non-existent sources, which do not exist.”
So he denied the information that he wanted to multiply the U. S. military arsenal by ten, saying that it would be “unnecessary”:”I know the capability we have and believe me, it’s impressive. It’s massive. So when they make up stories like that, which are just made up, well, the generals will tell you that. And they have non-existent sources, which do not exist. They’re making springs. There are no sources.”
Trump’s resentment towards NBC News (in particular, among all the media he describes as “fake news”) is also due to an article in which the station assured that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had thought about resigning this summer and calling the president a “moron” at a meeting at the Pentagon. Rex Tillerson denied the first part and refused to mention the second part, saying:”I’m not going to talk about mean things like that.
Since antiquity, money has been the principal means of exchange at the center of economic activity. Its shape has evolved; Of the primitive state (raw materials, agricultural or artisanal products) to three commonly used forms: metal parts based on precious metals, banknotes (also known as fiduciary money) and bank money (also known as bank money: Deposits, checks, transfers, etc.). Today, the currency is mainly dematerialized: cash is only a small part of the money supply.
A variety of currencies is used throughout the world, commonly referred to as the monetary currency in a defined territory or zone. The issuance of banknotes or coins in currency and monetary creation is controlled and regulated by the State or Institution exercising its authority over the defined area (Central Bank).
These currencies are exchanged within the framework of the international monetary system.
Under the umbrella of the digital era, trade and financial exchanges have evolved considerably, leading the system to unprecedented crises. Also, new technologies resulting from the combination of the Internet and computing capabilities of computers are causing a tremendous change in information technology, it’s authentication and processing.
In fact, the computational capacity of large networks must make it possible to keep the state of the debts and claims of the various agents of the economy in an instantaneous manner. It is, therefore, a digital currency that is emerging.
This digital currency will have a second characteristic: it will be peer to peer, and it will be universal. This digital revolution is manifested today by the appearance of crypto-currencies, of which the bitcoin is a part.
This has probably happened to a lot of us, especially women that tend to not know much about automobiles. You bring your car to a garage and get hammered with a crazy bill for repairs, only to find out later that you’ve basically been ripped off by dodgy mechanics…These days, technology is rapidly improving and helps us quickly diagnose our cars without the help of an untrustworthy mechanic.
The Autel AL519 OBD scanner offers you a plethora of information about your car, ranging from why your check engine light is on to critical one-click state emissions checks that will tell you if your vehicle is within government standards. Now that cars have complex electronics systems having a quality OBD scanner is a must for anyone who wants to properly diagnose and repair their car.
Autel AL519 OBD Overview
This scanner works on a broad range of vehicles manufactured after 1996 (OBDII and CAN), on both foreign made cars and imports. So there’s a good chance it’ll work on your car as well. It features a bright color screen for easy reading, as well as audio sounds for different system checks, making understanding the results of the scans a breeze. The Autel AL519 can also turn off your check engine light and clear codes that have been fixed. For the car-owner, this means you don’t have to take your car to a certified mechanic to remove the codes, even after you fixed the problem.
– The Autel AL519 OBD scanner comes packed with features. Some of those features include:
– Read, stores and playback of live sensor data
– Prints your data via a PC connection
– Operating system can be updated over the internet
– Check engine light data and reasons
– Able to read generic manufacturer codes specific to your vehicle type
– Much, much more!
One thing to note is that this OBD scanner will not change codes. For example, you cannot change your keyless remote entry code with this unit. The Autel AL519 OBD scanner only reads codes.
Between the easy-to-read display with audio feedback and the great diversity of vehicles it is compatible with, the Autel AL519 scanner packs a big punch for the sub $100 price tag. One feature not mentioned in the specifications is that it won’t just read the codes and tell you what they mean, the unit will suggest possible fixes.
This saves you time and money when you’re trying to get your car back in working order.
Another significant benefit of this scanner is that there are no batteries to worry about. It draws on the power provided by your car when plugged in (don’t forget to turn the ignition on!). However, some do find this a bit limiting because it means you’re tethered to your car when reading the data.
The Autel AL519 OBD 2 scanner for cars ranges in price, depending on where you buy it from. The price on Amazon is $56 (as of this writing). You can also find it for about $65 at Walmart. Shop around your area to find the best deals. But even if you end up paying a little more, you’ll make up the cost with the savings this OBD scanner gives you concerning easy diagnostics and maintenance.
For your money, this scanner has everything you need to keep your car maintained and in great working order.
Nothing like a home clean and welcoming! But no question that cleanliness rhymes with toxicity. Henceforth, environmentally friendly, green and environmentally-friendly cleaning products are available to us to maintain our houses efficiently.
Moreover, who said cleaners are ecologic, they are full of volatile organic compounds, a real source of allergies and irritations.
Many studies show that air quality can be worse in the home than outside. A phenomenon caused in particular by the regular use of chemicals which release volatile organic compounds irritating or even carcinogenic such as benzene or formaldehyde.
Ecological and natural care products are within reach, let’s enjoy! Without phthalates, rechargeable, with a 100% recyclable packaging, compatible with the septic tank, these eco-friendly products that facilitate our daily life are endowed with a soft and natural fragrance and meet the standards of the very strict Ecological Label of the European Union.
Products you need to know
Sodium bicarbonate is the multi-purpose product par excellence. Made from natural raw materials and totally harmless to the environment, it is very useful and economical for the maintenance of the house.
The black soap.
Thanks to its cleansing and degreasing properties, the solvent allows to maintain your floors: a tablespoon of black soap in a bucket of water and the turn is played!
White vinegar has become a must for household chores. 100% eco-friendly, inexpensive and powerful, white vinegar helps to clean pans, coffee maker, silverware, microwave, bathroom surfaces, etc …
Eco-friendly steam cleaner.
A convenient household appliance that takes up little space in your closet. It’s strong point?
It does not require any detergents and the accessories provided allow it to be multi-function, acting from floor to ceiling: windows, floors and even textiles. Find more on Les balais vapeur!
It is therefore critical to choose your cleaning products. For laundry detergents, there are so-called “diluted” detergents or so-called “green” or “green” detergents
Hope this article helps you switch to a greener approach for your home.
After patriots rallying around Donald Trump for the last elections in America, it is now time to make a summary of Donald’s first 100 and so days as president of the United States of America!
Even Alex Jones that used to be one of his main supporter and helped getting him elected against Hillary Clinton, he’s now slowly turning his back to Trump and realized how much of a fool he was for supporting him !
The IKEA Foundation has developed a tent-like structure that houses up to 5 people, is safer and more durable, and for only around $1000.00. Partnering with Better Shelter, IKEA have created these easy-to-build shelters to provide Syrian refugees with bigger accommodations than the best camping tents they were previously housed in.
IKEA is famous for its range of home-assembled furniture, and just like a bedroom set purchased from one of their stores, these new shelters arrive on site in two large boxes. Taking an average of six hours to erect, these structures can be built without the need of any additional tools.
At 57 square feet these shelters are far more spacious than a typical refugee tent, and are also much more cost effective as they can last up to 3 years, unlike a tent which typically last only 3 months.
Consisting of lightweight panels the shelters are able to stand up to most weather conditions, keeping the occupants safe from sun, wind and rain. The light reflective fabric that makes up the roof helps to keep the desert heat at bay.
In addition to the aforementioned advantages of the shelters over tents is the addition of electricity and light powered by solar components. Occupants are also able to lock the door to prevent intruders gaining access.10,000 shelters have already been ordered by the United Nations, in response to the refugee crisis. Iraq has already built 2600 of the new shelters, and 775 of them can be found in Europe.
The existence of psychic powers can hardly be questioned, as there have been millions of people who admitted that those psychic readings have significantly helped, and improved their lives. However, explaining the phenomenon, in reality, may not be as easy.
While some argue that psychics rely merely on psychology while performing their readings, others claim that they use spiritual powers that are supposed to be different. To find out the answers, we have questioned the Oranum – one of the most authoritative psychic portals.
Most of the psychics said that they have particular spiritual talents, and that their craft is unrelated to psychology. However, according to the encyclopedic literature the psychic powers are nothing more than the ability of psychological reading.
In fact the psychics could be the very good psychologists, but when asked questions unrelated to a particular person, their readings would turn out highly inaccurate. So it is like, when they see their client in person, they can read from the manner that he dresses, speaks as well as facts from his life and any related information, but when they have no clues, they just start imagining, and then it never works.
Thus, these who claim to be enlightened, or actually to possess spiritual powers are likely either hiding the truth about their craft or simply believing in their extraordinary powers. From our experience with Oranum, we think that the latter supposition is true.
In fact, it makes good sense, why sceptical individuals suddenly start believing in extraordinary powers after an actual contact with these psychics. It is just the psychics tend to have an excellent natural psychological perception, and as they never flaunt it as psychology, the individuals are left with no other choice than to conclude about the existence of spiritual powers.
It is indeed difficult to spot the psychology where not even a single traditional psychology term or question is being used. Hence, due to inability to explain their psychological sense, they start imagining to have extraordinary powers and claim themselves anyone but psychologists.
However, this is absolutely no reason to discard their abilities altogether. Psychics help so many people, and Oranum makes a great job in providing them with a complete freedom of different approaches, rather than demanding a scientific explanation of each end every technique.
All in all, even psychological help from an excellent institution can provide us with many insights, and resolve as many problems. It is just in the modern society psychology has received some atrocious reputation, and most of the people refuse to ask the help of psychologist unless they realise going mad.
Thus, who don’t consider themselves crazy would rather prefer to talk with clairvoyant or any occult practitioners than with actually certified psychologists. That way the psychics are effectively stealing the potential clients of the latter… What in the world?
Cold, wet weather has pushed its way into Fort Worth, bringing relief from the unseasonable heat. It makes running more pleasant, or at least less onerous. While running a few minutes ago (just 3.1 miles today), I noticed dozens of vehicles going toward and away from Handley Middle School. This occurs twice a day: morning and afternoon. Why are kids not walking to and from school? One mile is nothing. A middle-school child could cover a mile in twenty minutes, easily. Even two miles is not too far for an eight- to twelve-year-old child, backpack or no.
Every week we see another report about the skyrocketing rate of obesity in this country. The rate of obesity among children is supposedly higher than among people generally. Do parents care about the health of their children? What better way to exercise their children than to require them to walk to and from school? There are sidewalks throughout the neighborhoods. I’ve heard of no abductions or accidents in the ten years I’ve lived in Fort Worth. Parents need to stop pampering their children. A little rain, cold, or heat never hurt a child. Walking home alone or in the company of other students teaches a child responsibility and discipline. Even if there were no health benefits to walking, which of course there are, it would be a good idea. Among other benefits, it would reduce vehicular traffic, and therefore smog.
Does anyone know why parents are so indulgent? Is it that they themselves are lazy, and can’t imagine walking more than a few feet? (I think here of people who wait ten minutes or more for a parking spot in a shopping center to avoid having to walk an extra fifty feet.) This will mark me as an old fogey, but in my day, we thought nothing of walking five miles to town (and five back) to play a Little League or Pony League baseball game. There’s also this thing called a bicycle. I have no idea why kids don’t ride bikes to school. Okay, that’s my rant for the day. As you were.
I ran 20.8 miles this morning at White Rock Lake in Dallas. The sunrise was spectacular. Birds were everywhere, doing their bird thing. The temperature was in the mid-thirties at the start but had climbed into the upper fifties or low sixties by the finish. This evening I do the Jingle Bell 5K race in downtown Fort Worth. In between, I get to eat, nap, eat some more, watch a little football, and, most importantly, blog. Blogito ergo sum! I hope all of you are having a safe, enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday, as Sophie, Shelbie, and I are.
Let’s get serious. Have you heard critics of the war in Iraq describe it as a “war of choice” as opposed to a “war of necessity”? And what about the outrageous use of war drones on civilians and local populations? Visit the Facebook du site amateurs de drones for more on multirotors!
What does this mean, and why is it a criticism?
A war of necessity is presumably a war that we have no choice but to wage. This would include, at a minimum, wars of self-defense, but also what lawyers (international and otherwise) call “anticipatory self-defense.” It’s interesting that some of the people who insist that only a war of self-defense is justified defend women who kill their abusive husbands by stealth. You can’t have it both ways. Either it’s sometimes permissible to pre-emptively attack an assailant or it’s not. No reasonable person can doubt that Saddam Hussein had evil intentions toward the United States, or that he would have attacked us had he been able to. The links between Hussein and terrorists are becoming increasingly clear, although one suspects that no amount of evidence to that effect will ever persuade the critics.
Let’s ignore self-defense for the time being.
I want to explore (at least tentatively) the concept of a war of necessity and its contrast, a war of choice. A war of choice is a war that is unnecessary. But unnecessary given what? Judgments of necessity always presuppose an end or goal. If I say that it’s necessary for you to take the Law School Admission Test, I assume (perhaps because you have told me as much) that your goal is to attend law school. Without the goal, the test—a means to the goal—is unnecessary. Whenever someone says that X is necessary (or unnecessary), it makes sense to ask, “Given what end?” A thing can be necessary for me, given my ends, but not for you, given yours.
So we need to ask why the war in Iraq was unnecessary, for saying that it’s unnecessary is saying that it subserves no proper end. It was certainly necessary if the Iraqi people were to be liberated from a brutal dictatorial regime—i.e., if we had liberation as our end. No reasonable person thinks that anything would have changed in this regard if the United States hadn’t invaded Iraq. Even after Saddam Hussein died, his sons (one or both of them) would have taken over, continuing the reign of terror for decades to come. They had been groomed for precisely this role. They were mass-murderers, like their father.
People who say that the war in Iraq was unnecessary are therefore saying that the end of liberating the Iraqi people was not important or worthy. But how can one say this without disregarding or discounting their interests? Those who say this must be counting only the interests of Americans. Given our interests, they seem to be saying, the war was unnecessary. This, with all due respect, is selfishness. But leave that aside. Is it so clear that American interests weren’t implicated? Saddam Hussein had a nuclear program. Nobody disputes that. Perhaps it had been dismantled by the time of the invasion, but he had the means, the motive, and the opportunity to revive it at any time. Do the critics think that a world in which Saddam Hussein had a nuclear weapon (or other weapons of mass destruction) would not threaten American interests?
It’s all very puzzling. Those who supported the war in Iraq, such as me, should not deny that it was a war of choice. That plays into the critics’ hands. It was a war of choice, and the choice was a good one for all concerned: for Americans (present and future), for Iraqis (present and future), and for other residents of the Middle East. (Okay, it wasn’t such a good choice for Saddam Hussein and his Baathist thugs.) Some of us thank goodness that we have a president with backbone, a moral compass, and a willingness to risk much to achieve great things. Yes, some Americans have paid the ultimate price during the war, and more will surely die before order is restored; but that has always been the case when much was at stake. Americans have never shied away from sacrifice in a noble cause.
As for Europeans—the French, the Germans, the Belgians—they should thank their lucky stars that they have George W. Bush and tens of thousands of brave American soldiers to protect them. A nuclear-armed Iraq would have made all of their lives fearful. Perhaps, now that I think of it, that would be a good thing; it might remind them that evil knows only one language: force. It might make them less squeamish. One would think that this, after all, was the lesson of the twentieth century: that weakness, squeamishness, and vacillation abet and encourage violence. Americans, who have already saved the world once, know better.
Smith & Wollensky, a North Dallas eatery, has been publishing a third-of-a-page advertisement in The Dallas Morning News. I’ve seen the ad two or three times now, including in today’s Sports Section. The restaurant’s slogan, “Horrifying Vegetarians Since 1977,” appears prominently in the ad (above a life-size steak knife). I believe this slogan is used by other restaurants across the country, but that doesn’t make it any more acceptable. It is unacceptable. Where does a restaurant get off belittling vegetarians? There are, of course, different grounds for vegetarianism. Some people forbear from eating meat on prudential grounds: They believe it to be unhealthy. But others forbear on moral grounds: because they believe meat-eating to be wrong. It is one thing to reject the proposition that meat-eating is wrong; this is a respectable position taken by many intelligent, well-meaning people (including philosophers). But how low is it to belittle those who conscientiously choose vegetarianism as a way of life? The slogan encourages meat-eaters to look down on vegetarians, when in fact they should look up to them.
In some quarters, sadly, moral seriousness is seen as naivete. People with moral scruples are viewed as uncool, dorky, laughable, perhaps even as ascetic or religiously dogmatic. Don’t vegetarians realize that the vast majority of people enjoy the taste of animal flesh? Don’t they know that humans have been eating meat for as long as there have been humans? Do vegetarians really believe that their choice of a meatless diet will make a difference? Will a lifetime of vegetarianism save even one cow?
But these questions presuppose that the point of living a moral life is to make a large-scale difference. It is not. None of us controls anything but his or her own behavior. The point of living a moral life is to achieve a kind of integrity in which one not only has moral principles (one can always avoid hypocrisy by refusing to stand for or espouse anything), but strives mightily to live up to them. An integrated person—a whole person rather than a shard of a person—tries to integrate his or her beliefs, principles, feelings, values, attitudes, and actions. An integrated person avoids hypocrisy (not practicing what one preaches), insincerity (not believing what one says), and inauthenticity (not feeling the feelings one expresses).
I’m not making a case, here, for vegetarianism. Others have done so far better than I can, or ever will. I’m making a case for respecting, even admiring, vegetarians. They are trying to live a life of integrity and principle. They want the world to be better, not worse, as a result of their existence. They care about something besides social status and gustatory pleasure. Not consuming animal flesh is a way of showing respect for the animals, many of whom were treated like machines while they lived. It is a way of saying, “Not through me.” It is a way of standing up for something.
Most readers of this blog know about Peter Singer’s important work in animal ethics. Animal Liberation, now in its second edition, is a classic. Singer made discussion of the moral status of animals respectable and serious (not to mention lucrative, in the sense that one can make it an academic specialty). Here are two other worthwhile items: (1) David DeGrazia, Taking Animals Seriously: Mental Life and Moral Status (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996); (2) Mylan Engel, Jr., “The Immorality of Eating Meat,” in The Moral Life: An Introductory Reader in Ethics and Literature, ed. Louis P. Pojman (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 856-90. Anyone who wants a PDF version of the second of these items, which I consider the best essay ever written about vegetarianism, should write to me. I will be happy to e-mail it.
Brian Leiter has an interesting (but I think wrongheaded) discussion of analytic philosophy on his blog. I think he confuses a particular program or conception of analytic philosophy with analytic philosophy itself. I’m an analytic philosopher. This means that, unlike certain other philosophers, I care about clarifying (rather than obscuring) concepts, arguments, and methods. Philosophy is a second-order discipline, a discipline about disciplines (as well as practices, professions, and institutions). Philosophy is not science. Nor is it continuous with science. It occupies a different logical order from science. Analytic philosophers, to use John Locke’s quaint terms, are Under-Labourers, not Master Builders.
I, for one, am not committed to the idea that there are necessary and sufficient conditions for every concept. Some concepts succumb to this type of treatment; some don’t. The analytic philosopher examines the concept in question to see how it behaves. He or she comes to the task with no preconceptions or assumptions about what will be discovered. For Leiter to say (or imply) that analytic philosophy is “defunct” is to mischaracterize the field and, I am afraid, marginalize those of us who consider ourselves analytic philosophers but do not buy into particular (defunct?) research programs.
For those who wish to understand analytic philosophy, read the following essay by one of its ablest practitioners: Alan R. White, “Conceptual Analysis,” chap. 5 in The Owl of Minerva: Philosophers on Philosophy, ed. Charles J. Bontempo and S. Jack Odell (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1975), 103-17. Some of the material in this essay appears in Alan R. White, Grounds of Liability: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985).
Ranting, in the sense of using bombastic language or preaching noisily, is fun. I do it. Brian Leiter does it. Andrew Sullivan does it. Everyone does it. Even intellectuals do it. Blogging, I am afraid, lends itself to ranting. But is there anything more to ranting than fun? Does it have any redeeming intellectual or social value?
I say no. Who cares what Brian Leiter thinks or values? Seriously. I like Brian. He’s intelligent; he’s witty; he’s a good writer; and he has important things to say about legal theory. I learn from him. But when he expresses his opinions about political or moral matters, why should I attend to them? This goes for my opinions as well. Why should he or anyone else give a damn what I think or say?
I hate to break it to you, but I’m not your moral authority.
I’m nobody’s moral authority. I don’t believe in moral authorities. The mere fact that I believe this or value that gives nobody else any reason to believe or value it. I’m no wiser than anyone else, despite my years of study. If anything, I’m less wise because of my years of study. My philosophical training equips me to pay attention to certain things, such as consistency and ambiguity, but it doesn’t inflate or enlarge my values. Brian Leiter and I have similar training—law and philosophy—but we disagree about fundamental evaluative matters. He’s on the political left and I’m on the right. (One difference may be that I used to be on the left. I doubt that Brian was ever on the right, although he probably will be one day, as he matures and gains experience.) Even if training in a field such as philosophy made one wise, how would one choose between people with the same training (such as Brian and me) who have different views and values?
If blogging is to survive as anything more than self-indulgent ranting, it must engage readers. It must seek to persuade them, rationally. But it can do this only if it begins where they are, with the beliefs and values they already have (or are presumed to have). Suppose you think the war in Iraq unjustified, but I think it justified. One thing we might do is fling our opinions at each other. I say the war is justified. You say it’s not. I repeat what I said, only louder. You repeat what you said, louder still. I repeat what I said, this time with an implication that you’re stupid. You repeat what you said, this time with an implication that I’m a shill for the Bush administration.
What does this accomplish?
Precisely nothing. What I must do, if I aim to persuade you, is show you that your belief in the unjustifiedness of the war conflicts with other of your beliefs. I must show you that certain of your other beliefs (or principles) commit you to believing that the war is justified. You, by the same token, must show me that certain of my other beliefs (or principles) commit me to believing that the war is unjustified. This process requires patience, intelligence, understanding, and civility. I must talk with you (or simply listen to you) long enough to understand your belief structure. I must find out which of your beliefs are basic and which derivative. I must elicit your principles, your standards of evidence, and so forth. You, in turn, must elicit these items from me.
There is no guarantee that this process will result in agreement. We may find, after a long discussion (in which, among other things, we resolve factual disputes), that we have divergent basic values. But unless we try to reach agreement, we will never know whether this is so. This is why it is so frustrating, for a philosopher, to observe contemporary political debate (especially contemporary televised political debate, wherein thinking appears to be disallowed). Almost no attempt is made by the person arguing to ascertain the beliefs or values of his or her interlocutors. Each party to the “debate” ends up shouting at the other (or ranting). It is all very sad. Actually, it’s worse than sad; it’s tragic. We can and should do better. Philosophers—progeny of the great Socrates—can and should lead the way.
I keep hearing that people don’t like negative campaigning, but the discussion then shifts to personal attacks, as if that’s what negative campaigning means. I think these are different matters. One can engage in negative campaigning without attacking anyone personally (although it’s hard to imagine a personal attack that does not constitute negative campaigning).
A positive campaign consists in setting out (or displaying) one’s background, character, principles, and policies. The candidate says, in effect, “Here’s what I stand for; here’s who I am; here’s what matters to me; here’s what I will work to achieve; here are my values.” A positive campaign makes no reference to what one’s opponent(s) stand(s) for.
A negative campaign, in contrast, consists in setting out—and then criticizing—one’s opponent’s background, character, principles, and policies. It is other-directed rather than self-directed. It runs another down rather than building oneself up.
I believe that the opposition to negative campaigning, so understood, is that it is insulting to the electorate. The candidates must think that unless they run the other(s) down, the voters will not be able to figure out for themselves how and why the candidates’ principles and policies differ. The voters are being treated like children. Most voters are intelligent enough to understand such differences. They want to hear what each candidate will do upon being elected. Having heard this, they will compare the views and decide how to vote.
If I (god forbid) were a candidate for public office, I would set out my principles and policies as clearly as I can and let the chips fall where they may. I would not even address the views or values of my opponent(s). If what I say appeals to the voters, they will elect me; if not, they won’t. I retain my pride and self-respect; the voters feel as though they are treated like adults (because they are). The system itself is cleansed of negativity. Politics becomes noble again. All of us are better (and better off) for it.
Why does Fox News Channel persist in characterizing its product as “fair and balanced”? I’ve been reading newspapers and watching television news for more than three decades. I like Fox News, but it’s not fair and balanced in any meaningful sense of those terms. It’s slanted to the right. CNN, which I used to watch, is slanted to the left. I don’t sense much of a slant on MSNBC or CNBC. I haven’t watched network news in years, so I can’t speak to their biases (if any). I keep hearing that Dan Rather and Peter Jennings are biased to the left, but I don’t know; nor do I plan to take the time to find out.
What offends me is not slant (bias), but pretending not to be slanted or not knowing that one is slanted. The former is duplicitous and the latter delusional. Readers of this blog know that some entries are written in my capacity as philosopher and some in my capacity as citizen. I make no bones about my ideological predilections. I’m a proud conservative/libertarian. I used to be a proud liberal/socialist. If you’re wondering how and why I changed, read my forthcoming column on Tech Central Station, “My Journey to Conservatism.” When I speak to you as a philosopher, I speak with authority. If you are not a trained philosopher, you have reason to defer to my judgment. When I speak to you as a fellow citizen, I speak as your equal. You should not defer to me. If you transfer authority from one realm to another, without looking into the substance of the claims being made, you reason fallaciously. Authority in one realm does not necessarily translate to authority in another realm. Would you call a plumber for legal advice (or a lawyer for plumbing advice)?
I didn’t think so.
News operations make fools of themselves when they disclaim bias. Perhaps they think that bias consists in hewing to a party line. If this were the case, they might be on solid ground. But bias can be far more subtle than that. It can consist in using certain terms rather than others. Compare the following three terms:
3. Laid-back (or easygoing, or [my favorite] energy efficient)
These terms, like most terms in English, have both descriptive and emotive meaning. They convey information and express attitudes (or pass judgment). These three terms have the same (or roughly the same) descriptive meaning. But notice how different they are in emotive meaning. The first term is condemnatory, the second neutral, and the third commendatory. Which term would you use to describe yourself? Which term would you use to describe someone you dislike? Which term would you use to describe someone neutrally, without passing judgment?
The language used by Fox News is often emotive rather than neutral. That is the first journalistic sin. It is compounded by the slant. Liberals are described (not always, but usually) with derogatory terms, while conservatives are described (not always, but usually) with laudatory terms. Qua conservative, I like this; but qua philosopher, I find it unsettling, especially since Fox proclaims itself “fair and balanced.” Start paying attention to the terminology used on various news channels. See whether you agree with me that they’re slanted to the right or to the left.