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This Is The Age

This is the Age of people who only want to hear their own voice and who revel in shouting, denouncing, and attacking anything they want all over the free media in the triumph of their certainty.
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Purpose

Where do I fit in? What is my purpose? Do I have a purpose? Does anyone have a purpose?

Does mankind have a purpose? Does it make sense to talk about the purpose of mankind?

Unless we bring in some other dimension or perspective then where would you even stand to answer that?

And if we cannot say anything about mankind's purpose then what sense is there in asking about an individual's purpose?

So I am left with thinking that the idea of purpose is essentially a religious or metaphysical question.

Messianic Leadership

About a week ago, newspapers reported the concerns of the ex-Archbishop of Canterbury over 'messianic leadership' with the rise of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury said the UK needed to learn lessons from fascism's growth in 1930s Germany as it navigated the withdrawal from the European Union.
I can sympathise with his feelings: It's just strange coming from an ex Archbishop of a religion that is based up the coming of a messiah.

Using Readkit for Mac

Several years ago I bought a lifetime subscription to a bookmarking service named Pinboard that has since moved to an annual subscription. Whether lifetime or annual, it doesn't offer a service of being able to read the bookmarks in a comfortable, readable way - like for example, a service like Feedly does.

On a different but related tack, and as you may know, Instapaper has become a free service. And with a 'Save to Instapaper' bookmarklet in my browser, I can save with one click.

As a side note, one neat thing you can do with bookmarks saved to Instapaper is to have them copied automatically to Pinboard. As to why one should want to do it - well with a paid service like Pinboard, the chances of it disappearing on me are less likely. Not so with Instapaper. As a free service it could just end, on the principle that what is free can be taken away. Hopefully not, though.

Along came ReadKit for Mac. I bought it from the AppStore ($9.99) and now I can read the content of my P…

US Marines In Syria Have A Dual Role

There's an interesting analysis on 30th April by DEBKA of the role the US marines in Syria are playing.

The analysis says that the marines that President Trump has sent to Syria will act as a buffer between Turkish forces and the Kurdish militia. By keeping the marines close to the Kurds, it prevents the Turkish forces from bombing the Kurds as they have been doing recently.

Then on 6th May the Guardian reported:
Syria’s Kurds have revealed plans to redraw the northern part of the country by linking the Kurdish region of Rojava with the Mediterranean Sea, in a move that will infuriate neighbouring Turkey.
In a further sign of growing Kurdish confidence in Syria’s north, officials say that they plan to ask the US for political support in creating a trade corridor to the Mediterranean as part of a deal for their role in liberating Raqqa and other cities from Isis.

Macron Wins But So Does Le Pen

Macron won the second round of the presidential election in France, as expected. Of course, with the upset over Brexit and the US presidential race, ‘expected’ has taken on a meaning tinged with an understanding that nothing is expected to definitely be ‘as expected’ any longer.

A lot of voters entered a null vote, indicating that they didn’t like either candidate. That is not an invalid vote as in UK elections, but a positive vote indicating a preference.

That aside, Marine Le Pen got 10,644,118 votes (33.9% of the vote) against Macron’s 20,753,797 votes (66.1% of the vote).

In the 2002 election, Jean-Marie Le Pen of the National Front took 4,804,713 votes in the first round.

In the run-off Jacques Chirac took 25,537,956 votes, representing 82.21% of the votes cast and Jean-Marie Le Pen took 5,525,032 votes, representing 17.79% of the votes.

So Marine Le Pen has doubled the votes and the percentage. Well yes, she might have gained a lower percentage if those null votes had gone to M…

What they really mean about Obama’s Wall Street speech

What they really mean about Obama’s Wall Street speech is that it is tainted by the suspicion of an agreement that when he resigned, certain people would pay to hear him speak in return for favours given.

You can’t bribe a president in office or before he gets into office. You can’t bribe a prime minister, or a first minister, or any leader in a relatively open society. You can’t because sooner or later they will be found out. The money can be paid to an offshore account behind a wall of secrecy – but sooner or later it will be found out.

Or if it isn’t found out, then the tension of worrying that it might be found out will drain all the joy out of the money.

There is a simpler way. Just promise that when the president or the prime minister, etc., resigns – that he or she can give speeches at $10,000 a plate or whatever. And the speech can be deadly dull and not worth the cost of attending. But those who promised to attend will attend – and the money will be paid and nothing can be p…